Code of Conduct
Counselling Psychology South Africa (CPSA) is a voluntary association that has been founded to represent the best interests of counselling psychologists, the practice of counselling psychology in South Africa and counselling psychology as a profession in general. The Association is also intended to provide a safe and professional environment for members to interact between themselves, with the Association, with regulatory and/or statutory bodies and the public. To this end, whilst we embrace diversity of opinions and transparent debate, this Code has been drafted to promote dignified and respectful relationships between Association members, between members and the Association and between members and the public. The Code is also intended to develop the reputation and image of the Association as one of professionalism and integrity.
It is not possible to anticipate any and all situations that may be interpreted as a contravention of this Code. The content of this Code therefore avoids strict specificity so as to prevent inadvertent limitation of the application of the ethical and conduct principles contained therein. In interpreting the Code, both ethical and conduct principles must be applied to advance and promote both the spirit and letter of the Code. The Code is therefore not exhaustive, but is rather intended to function, and must be interpreted as, a guide and principles‐based code. Any alleged contraventions of this Code must be dealt with individually on its merits. This Code is a dynamic document, and it is anticipated that as Counselling Psychology South Africa advances as an organisation that this Code will also be revised, amended and updated in response to such developments in the discretion of the Exco.
The following definitions are provided for purposes of clarity. Where any term is not subject to a stipulative definition in this section of the Code or Section 2 “Definitions” of the Association’s Constitution, the common everyday English meaning of a word shall apply.
shall mean any offer of rewards, gifts, hospitality, preferential treatment and/or any other consideration that is intended to influence the conduct or decisions taken by a member of the Association;
shall mean Counselling Psychology South Africa;
2.3 Association Activities:
shall include, but without being limited to, any regional meetings, discussion groups, special interest groups, CPD activities, use of Association communication channels or the annual general meeting;
2.4 Association Benefits:
Shall include, but without being limited to, professional and/or ethics advice, any other advisory service, professional marketing such as a web site listing on the Association’s web site, or professional representation;
shall mean the Constitution of Counselling Psychology South Africa;
2.6 Communication channels:
shall mean any documentation, correspondence, communication forum, discussion group, special interest group, meeting (whether in vivo or by video conference), or electronic communication, whether on social media, internet, by video conference, conference telephone call, E-Mail, electronic text, digital messaging platform or web
Page 3 of 9
site established and used by the Association to facilitate communication and networking between members and between the Association and its membership;
shall mean this Code of Conduct as ratified and amended from time to time by the Executive Committee;
shall be taken to mean Counselling Psychology South Africa;
Shall mean the sitting executive committee as elected at the annual general meeting of CPSA;
is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness of one’s actions, and showing adherence to moral and ethical principles;
shall mean any paid-up member of Counselling Psychology South Africa in good standing;
2.12 Member Not in Good Standing;
shall mean any member that has failed to pay their annual fees by the due date, or any member whose membership has temporarily been suspended by the Exco for disciplinary reasons;
Shall mean any act or omission, whether intentional or unintentional, that are contrary to the letter or intent of this Code.
3. Standing of the Code of Conduct.
3.1 This Code of Conduct has been drafted in accordance with the provisions of section 15 (3) and (4) of the Companies Act (Act 71 of 2008) and section 1.3 of the Association’s approved Constitution: and
3.2 This Code of Conduct will come into effect on its date of adoption and ratification by the Exco of CPSA.
4. Scope and Application of the Code of Conduct.
This Code applies to all members of the Association, by virtue of their membership of the Association. Any person applying for membership of the Association shall, by virtue of their application for membership, be deemed to agree to and be bound by this Code of Conduct.
5. Association Core Values and Principles.
CPSA and its members shall have no hidden agendas and
transparency not only towards its members and between members, but also to
all partners and affiliates;
CPSA and its members will commit to addressing the relevant issues pertaining
to counselling psychology in South Africa, as we ll as playing a key role in
developing the field of psychology;
CPSA and its members will display honesty and truth in all communications,
discussions and/or statements to its members, between members, and to its
partners and affiliates;
CPSA and its members will promote fairness in all situations and on all
platforms to be as far as reasonably possible, and inclusive entity with no
CPSA and its members will demonstrate an openness to new ideas,
and development to promote not only counselling psychology, but psychology as a
6. Conduct Principles.
The following conduct principles are articulated to provide guidance to the Association and its members as to what would constitute good conduct.
6.1 Members shall at all times conduct themselves with integrity in their dealings with each other and the Association;
6.2 Abide by the Association’s Constitution, rules and policies as determined from time to time;
6.3 Members shall refrain from acting or communicating, whether verbally, electronically or in writing through any communication channel in a manner that can bring members of the Association, the Association itself or its reputation into disrepute;
6.4 Members shall refrain from engaging in any derogatory, abusive, inflammatory or demeaning communication, whether by word or demeanour, between themselves and/or the Association;
6.5 Members shall not engage in, or incite or encourage other members to engage in, any conduct that can bring the Association or its members into disrepute or reflect adversely on the good reputation of the Association;
6.6 Members shall refrain from engaging in any conduct, behaviour or activities, whether directly or indirectly, or inciting or encouraging other members to engage in any such behaviour or activities, that could disrupt or discredit the Association’s activities;
6.7 Members shall comply with any reasonable request or instruction issued by the Exco;
6.8 Members shall refrain from making any false or misleading statements about the Association, its Exco or other members to any third party, whether verbally, in writing or electronically;
6.9 Members shall refrain from using any of the Association’s communication channels to undermine the Association, promote their own personal interests or promote the interests of any other organisation or association, whether affiliated with the Association or not;
6.10 Members shall not use their membership of the Association, or it’s communication channels, to advance any party political or religious cause or belief;
6.11 Members shall not disclose any confidential information that is not in the public domain, but is only available to Association members, without authorisation by the Exco;
6.12 Members shall not misrepresent themselves in a manner so as to mislead other persons or organisations into believing that they represent the Association in an official capacity unless they have been mandated to do so by the Exco;
6.13 Members shall declare any conflict of interest that may prejudice their good standing as a member of the Association or impair their ability to act in the best interests of the Association;
6.14 Members of the Association shall not accept any incentive, offer of payment or allurement to influence their conduct as a member or that of the Association. Any members receiving any such offer shall report it to the Association’s Executive Officer;
6.15 Members shall pay any and all fees due to the Association by the due date, failing which they shall be deemed to be a member not in good standing for a period of three (3) months where-after their membership shall be terminated;
7. Disciplinary Proceedings.
In the event of any member of the Association becoming aware of any alleged or suspected contravention of this code, the matter shall be dealt with in the following manner:
Where any member of the Association becomes aware of any alleged or suspected misconduct or contravention of this Code, whether by act or omission, they may, in their discretion, elect to:
7.1.1 Raise the matter with the member concerned to bring the suspected misconduct or contravention to their attention and discuss it with them in an attempt to correct the suspected contravention; or
7.1.2 Report the suspected misconduct or contravention, as a complainant, to the Executive Officer in writing, whether by E-Mail or letter so that proper records of the matter may be kept. The report shall not be made by means of any social media, digital messaging platform or discussion group that could be seen to constitute defamation of character, crimen injuria or damage the reputation of the member to be investigated.
Any such report shall be cause for further investigation and corrective action. The Executive Officer shall, in consultation with the President, direct that the matter be investigated and dealt with in the manner described further below in section 7.2. Should the alleged contravention relate to the Executive Officer, the matter may be reported to the President who shall dispose of the matter as described further below in section 7.2 in consultation with the Exco member responsible for membership.
Where any suspected or alleged contravention of this Code or misconduct is brought to the attention of the Executive Officer, or President, he or she shall nominate an impartial member of the Exco as the investigation convenor and two members of the Association that do not serve on the Exco, and who do not have any working, social or family relationship with the member under investigation, as an investigation panel to consider the allegation. The investigation panel shall:
7.2.1 Conduct themselves impartially and without bias;
7.2.2 Consider the written allegation;
7.2.3 Conduct an interview with the complainant in their discretion to further explore the allegation;
7.2.4 Consider any supporting documentation or electronic evidence;
7.2.5 Interview any members of the Association in their discretion to gather collateral information;
7.2.6 Call on the member under investigation to furnish a written response to the allegation in order to satisfy the Audi alteram partum principle;
7.2.7 Conduct an interview with the member under investigation in their discretion to furnish the member with the opportunity to provide a more comprehensive response to the allegation. No party at such an interview may use any form of legal representation, such as by a lawyer or advocate. However, the member under investigation may call upon another member of the Association to support or represent them in any such interview.
7.3 Investigation Panel Outcomes:
Having considered the matter and having applied their minds the investigation panel may:
7.3.1 Dismiss the allegation without any further consequence;
7.3.2 Find the complaint to be of substance and find the member under investigation guilty of misconduct or a contravention of this Code and apply any one of the following corrective actions:
a) Caution the guilty member in writing to refrain from engaging in the behaviour or misconduct that led to the complaint;
b) Caution the guilty member in writing and request a written undertaking from him or her to refrain from engaging in the behaviour or misconduct that led to the complaint;
c) Suspend the guilty member from any Association activities or benefits for a period of no more than 3 months. The suspended member shall not be entitled to any refund or discount on his or her annual membership fees due to such suspension; or
d) Terminate the guilty member’s membership of the Association as provided for in section 7 of the Constitution. Such termination shall be subject to confirmation by the full Exco at its next ordinary meeting following the enquiry.
The terminated member shall not be entitled to any refund, whether in part or full, of his or her annual membership fees
The investigation panel shall report its findings and corrective action taken to the Executive Officer (or President as the case may be) for noting by the Exco.
7.4 Appeals Process:
Where any member accused of contravening this Code disagrees with the investigation panel’s findings and/or corrective action he or she may lodge an appeal, citing full reasons therefore, within seven (7) calendar days of being advised of the investigation outcome by the investigation panel to the Executive Officer for consideration by the full Exco.
The Exco will consider the appeal within one (1) calendar month of the appeal being received. The Exco shall not conduct a de novo investigation and/or enquiry, but shall consider the merits of the case based on evidence that was provided to the investigation panel. The Exco may in its discretion:
7.4.1 Uphold and confirm the investigation panel’s findings and corrective action;
7.4.2 Uphold the investigation panel’s finding, but review and set aside the corrective action and determine a new corrective action to be taken; or
7.4.3 Review and set aside both the investigation panel’s finding and corrective action, and determine a different finding and corrective action;
The Exco shall communicate its decision to the accused member in writing within fourteen (14) days of having reached its decision with the reason(s) for its decision. The Association’s Grievance Procedure shall not be used as a further route of appeal. The Exco’s decision will be final and no further internal appeals process will be followed.