Chapter 510-5 SUPPLEMENTAL CODE OF CONDUCT
|(1)||Licensure by the State of Georgia mandates compliance with the Code of Ethics1 and the Supplemental Code of Conduct delineated in Chapters 510-4 and 510-5 respectively.|
|(2)||This Code of Ethics and Supplemental Code of Conduct constitutes the standards against which the required professional conduct of a psychologist is measured. Psychologists shall be governed by the rules delineated in this Code of Ethics and Supplemental Code of Conduct whenever they provide psychological services in any context. These codes shall apply to the conduct of all licensees and applicants, including the applicant's conduct during the period of education, training, and employment which is required for licensure; the term "psychologist," as used within these codes, shall be interpreted accordingly. A violation of this Code of Ethics and Supplemental Code of Conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct and may constitute sufficient grounds for disciplinary action, or for denial of licensure.|
|(1)|| Patient or
Client. The term clients/patients may be defined through the following roles:
|(2)||Student. Students are individuals matriculating in a predoctoral training program or internship.|
|(3)|| Confidential Information. Confidential
information refers to information for which a psychologist or other health
professional is ethically obligated not to disclose without client permission.
This standard is protected by state statute except when compelled to disclose
as a result of a court order.
|(4)||Court Order. A court order is an action taken by a judge that compels disclosure unless appealed, in contrast to a subpoena which compels only a response and may be issued by an attorney.|
|(5)||Professional Relationship. A professional relationship is a mutually agreed upon relationship between a psychologist and patients, clients, students, supervisees, or employees. The professional relationship status is not contingent upon nor defined by a payment transaction.|
|(6)||Psychological Services are all actions of psychologists in the context of a professional relationship with client/patients, students, supervisees, or employees.|
|(7)|| Supervisee. Supervisees are individuals
who are not authorized or licensed to practice psychology independently and who
function under the extended authority of the psychologist, the internship/SWE
supervisor or secondary supervisor in the provision of psychological services.
Supervisees are individuals who are either:
|(8)||Supervisor. Supervisors are psychologists who have responsibility for the professional activities of individuals who are supervisees.|
|(9)||Telepsychology. The provision of psychological services using telecommunication technologies. Telecommunication technologies include but are not limited to telephone, mobile devices, interactive videoconferencing, e-mail, chat, text, and Internet (e.g. self-help websites, blogs, and social media).|
|(1)||Scope of Practice. Psychologists who intend to or begin to practice in areas outside of their educational, internship, or SWE experiences must obtain sufficient training in those areas to insure their competence. When psychologists are developing competency in a service or technique that is either new to the psychologist or new to the profession, they shall engage in ongoing consultation with other psychologists or relevant professionals and shall seek and obtain appropriate education and training in the new area.|
|(2)||Maintaining Competency. Psychologists shall maintain current competency in their areas of practice, through continuing education, consultation, and/or other procedures, in conformance with current standards of scientific or professional knowledge.|
|(1)|| Records include information that may be
used to document the nature, delivery, progress, and results of psychological
services. The psychologist who renders professional services shall maintain
records that include the following:
|(2)||Psychologists are aware of relevant federal state and local laws and regulations governing records. Laws and regulations supersede requirement of these rules. In the absence of such laws and regulations, psychologists maintain complete records for seven years after the last date of service delivery for adults. If the client is a minor, the record period is extended until three years after the age of majority, or at least for seven years after the last date of service delivery, whichever is later.|
|(3)||The psychologist shall store and dispose of written, electronic, and other records of patients and clients in such a manner as to ensure their confidentiality.|
|(1)||The psychologist shall not undertake or continue a professional relationship with a client when the psychologist is, or could reasonably be expected by the Board to be, impaired due to mental, emotional, physiological, pharmacological, or substance abuse conditions. If such a condition develops after a professional relationship has been initiated, the psychologist shall terminate the relationship in an appropriate manner, shall notify the patient or client in writing of the termination, and shall assist the patient or client in obtaining services from another professional.|
|(2)||Reporting Procedures and
Investigation. The Board provides the following mechanism for the
identification, intervention, and referral for treatment of a licensed
psychologist or applicant who may be identified as impaired:
|(1)||Consultations and Referrals.
|(2)||Continuity of Care.
|(3)||Delegation to and Supervision of Supervisees of Psychological Services.
|(1)||Possession of License. The psychologist must possess a current, valid, Georgia license to practice psychology.|
|(2)||Practicing via Electronic Transmission. The provision of psychological services by electronic transmission (e.g. internet, telephone, computer.) must meet the same legal and ethical standards as psychological services provided in person. This rule applies to both psychologists who are licensed in Georgia and to other psychologists residing elsewhere who are providing psychological services to clients/patients in Georgia who must meet the requirements of section 510-9-.03. The Georgia Board will report out of state psychologists to their respective licensing boards for practicing psychology via these means in the state of Georgia without a Georgia license.|
|(3)||Psychologists do not exploit recipients of services or payers with respect to fees.|
|(4)|| Telepsychology Practice.
|(1)||Psychologists' forensic assessment, recommendations, and reports are based on information and techniques (including personal interviews of the individual, when appropriate) sufficient to provide appropriate substantiation for his/her findings.|
|(2)|| Psychologists provide written or oral
forensic reports or testimony of the psychological characteristics of an
individual only after they have conducted an examination of the individual
adequate to support his/her statements or conclusions.
Provided, however, that when, despite reasonable efforts, such an examination is not feasible, psychologists clarify the impact of his/her limited information on the reliability and validity of his/her reports and testimony, and they appropriately limit the nature and extent of his/her conclusions or recommendations.
|(3)||In forensic testimony and reports, psychologists testify truthfully, honestly, and candidly and, consistent with applicable legal procedures, describe fairly the basis for his/her testimony and conclusions.|
|(4)||Whenever necessary, psychologists acknowledge the limits of his/her data or conclusions.|
|(5)||In most circumstances, psychologists avoid performing multiple and potentially conflicting roles in forensic matters. When psychologists, may be called on to service in more than one role in a legal proceeding (for example, as consultant or expert for one party or for the court and as a fact witness) they clarify role expectations and the extent of confidentiality in advance to the extent feasible, and thereafter, as changes occur, in order to avoid compromising his/her professional judgment and objectivity, and in order to avoid misleading others regarding his/her role.|
|(6)||When a judge authorizes an order for a psychologist to conduct a psychological custody evaluation of a family, the court appointed psychologist shall not be subject to disciplinary action resulting from any act or failure to act in the performance of his or her duties unless such act or failure to act was found in bad faith by the judge (see O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3). If found in bad faith by the judge the following is considered by the Board in deciding whether or not a rule violation has occurred: The definition of "working in good faith" shall be based on compliance with the APA's 2010 "Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings." Any Board filed complaint that alleges misconduct by a psychologist acting as a court-appointed custody expert must cite a specific breach of the APA's guidelines before any action is taken against the psychologist.|
|(1)||Violation of Applicable
Statutes. The psychologist shall not violate any applicable statute or
administrative rule regulating the practice of psychology.
|(2)||Use of Fraud, Misrepresentation or Deception. The psychologist shall not use fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in obtaining a psychology license, in passing a psychology licensing examination, in assisting another to obtain a psychology license or to pass a psychology licensing examination, in billing clients or third party payers, in providing psychological services, in reporting the results of psychological evaluations or services, or in conducting any other activity related to the practice of psychology.|
|(2)||Psychologists shall cooperate in national investigations, proceedings, and resulting requirements of the Board or any affiliated state or national psychological associations to which they belong. In doing so, they make reasonable efforts to resolve any issues as to confidentiality. Failure to cooperate is itself a violation.|
|(3)||Psychologists do not file or encourage the filing of complaints that are frivolous or maliciously intended.|
A Psychologist shall report within thirty (30) days to the Board:
|(a)||Any sanctions or disciplinary actions by any other lawful authorities.|
|(b)||Any voluntary surrender of his/her license to practice psychology in another state.|