Code of Ethics
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Code of Professional Ethics 

November 2002 – Revisions: August 2011, November 2019


OSLA’s code of professional ethics reflects the values that our professional members aspire to as speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Our members receive a complete code that elaborates on these value statements, and guides professional conduct.


We Value

·     Patient/Client Well-Being

·     Respect

·     Fairness

·     Commitment to Excellence

·     Professional Development

·     Promotion of the Professions

·     Professional Relations


Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists are expected to abide by this code, and those expressed by the professional bodies to which they belong. This provides public confidence that OSLA members practice in accordance with stated, principled, professional values.


Patient/Client Well-Being

• Members should use knowledge and skill to promote the patient’s/client’s best interests in an empathetic manner, taking into consideration values, opinions, needs and right to choose

• Members should provide individuals or substitute decision makers with accurate information regarding the nature and treatment of their communication and/or swallowing disorder

• Members should help patients/clients understand information when cultural, language, or literacy barriers exist

• Members should exercise objective professional judgment in decision making and seek assistance when ethical conflicts arise

• When differences of opinion occur, members should explore patient/client rationale and look for options that converge patient/client wishes and member knowledge and judgement

• Members should not accept professional duties or tasks for which they are personally or professionally unprepared

• Members should not exploit those served professionally by:

➢ Guaranteeing specific results of any professional consultative or therapeutic procedure (notwithstanding, a reasonable statement of expected outcomes can be made)

➢ Prescribing prosthetic or augmentative devices where benefit cannot reasonably be expected

➢ Continuing service for financial gain when no expected benefit can be anticipated

• Members shall communicate fees prior to initiating service

• Members should ensure that public statements provide accurate information about Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology services, and about the nature and management of communication disorders • Members should take measures to promote and maintain their own physical and mental health, as they are best able to help others when in good health themselves



• Members should provide services in a respectful, honest, and professional manner, even though values, interests, opinions, and ethnocultural beliefs (of patients or colleagues) may differ

• Members should respect the knowledge and skills of others and initiate appropriate referrals to other professionals whose knowledge may contribute to the management of the patient

• Members should recognize and respect professional contributions and rights of employees, employers, colleagues, and business associates and properly credit others for their work

• Members should seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Fairness

• Members unable to evaluate or treat a person promptly should provide that person with information regarding other sources of assistance

• Members should provide their associates and employees with a suitable working environment, compensate them fairly, and facilitate their professional development

• Members should strive to avoid bias in any kind of professional evaluation of others

• Members should advocate for input into policies and procedures about the use of resources

• Members should advocate for adequate resources to provide effective and ethical care


Commitment to Excellence

Professional Development

• Members should strive to maintain a high standard of personal competence through continuing education and ongoing critical evaluation of professional experience

• Members should enhance/revise the ways they approach professional duties, tasks, and problem solving based on knowledge gained from these activities

• Members should strive to contribute to the advancement of knowledge within the professions by keeping others informed of new practices and results of research and, whenever possible, contributing to the body of literature in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

• Members should advocate to obtain further training to meet continuing education requirements

• Members should promote public education regarding speech, language, and hearing problems and other matters lying within their professional competence


Promotion of the Professions

• Members should abide by the policies of the Association and support OSLA’s mission and priorities; when lobbying, members should coordinate with OSLA to ensure consistent messages

• Members should promote and/or share this code of professional ethics with Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology colleagues who are not members of the association and with managers, educators or health care providers they interact with

• Members should preserve the integrity of the profession by making known to the appropriate authority any circumstances which compromise agreed upon standards of the profession, or any observation of questionable or unethical practice


Professional Relations

• Members should promote cooperative and collaborative relationships with colleagues, other professionals, students, and members of the community

• Members should strive to empower, educate, train, and support students, peers, and colleagues

• Members should accept responsibility for their behavior and strive to anticipate the consequences of their actions

• Members should seriously consider any concerns that others express regarding one’s professional and business ethics and take steps to rectify any shortcomings 



Downloadable Code of Ethics Document