One identifiable characteristic of a profession is the dedication of its Members in performing service to humanity. In becoming a Member (as defined in the by-laws) of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (the “Association”), an individual assumes obligations and responsibilities to act in accordance with the ideals and standards of the Athletic Therapy profession. These ideals, standards and principles are set forth in the by-laws of the Association (the “by-laws”), the Scope of Practice, the CATA Policies and Procedures, the Code of Ethics and the Code of Professional Conduct.
Each Member of the Association must adhere to the highest standards of conduct in attending to the needs of participants in an activity, irrespective of the level of participation. The Association embraces the belief that the ideals, standards and principles contained in the aforementioned documents must be adhered to by each Member.
While a Code of Ethics describes the ideals towards which each Member will strive, not every failure to achieve perfection will result in disciplinary action. The Association also needs a set of minimum rules with which each Member must comply. This Code of Professional Conduct is the standard by which a Member’s behaviour is judged in the complaints and discipline process.
The Code of Ethics and the Code of Professional Conduct are complementary. The first sets out the goals which members attempt to achieve. The second specifies the rules that must be achieved to avoid possible disciplinary action. They are two sides of the same coin. The Code of Ethics can help interpret any ambiguity in the application of the Code of Professional Conduct to a particular situation. Members who make the Code of Ethics part of their culture of practice will have no fear of breaching the Code of Professional Conduct.
Code Of Ethics
Members strive to achieve the following ideals:
- Members act with honesty and integrity.
- Members respect human rights.
- Members provide competent care consistent with the requirements and the limitations of the profession.
- Members do not discredit or lower the dignity of another Member of the Association. This principle does not prevent a Member from providing, in a professional manner, an honest and competent second or expert opinion about the actions of another Member where appropriate.
- Members provide only those services for which they are qualified.
- Members are transparent and candid in all of their communications. For example, Members do not misrepresent in any manner their skills, training, professional credentials, identity or services.
- Members support the mission of the Association and adhere to the by-laws, the Scope of Practice, the Membership binder, the CATA Policies and Procedures, the Code of Ethics and the Code of Conduct.
- Members comply with the law.
- Members recognize that the self-regulation of the profession is a privilege and that each Member has a continuing responsibility to merit this privilege and to support the Association.
- Members conduct themselves in a manner that merits the respect of society, the profession and its Members.
- Members engage in continuing education and professional development throughout their career.
- Members participate in the promotion of the profession through advocacy, research and maintenance of the highest possible standards of practice.
- Members make themselves aware of the policies, rules, regulations and legislation regarding the use of ergogenic aids and banned methods for athletes under the member’s care and foster compliance with them.
- Members keep their professional commitments by integrating Athletic Therapy principles into their daily practice.
Code Of Professional Conduct
Members shall comply with the following Code of Conduct recognizing that failure to do so is professional misconduct and can lead to disciplinary action.
- Responsibilities to the Profession
- Members shall report to the appropriate authority any professional misconduct by a colleague.
- Members shall report to the Association a breach of the Code of Professional Conduct by a Member.
- Members shall fulfil the continuing education requirements of the Association.
- Members shall enter into contractual agreements only when professional integrity is maintained.
- Members shall treat their colleagues with dignity and respect.
- Members shall cooperate fully with any inquiries, investigations or requests for information by the Association and its chapters, including replying promptly to any communications from them.
- Members shall attend, when requested, before the Investigative Subcommittee to receive a verbal caution or advice.
- Members shall fulfil any undertaking given to the Association.
- Members shall not benefit from the practice of Athletic Therapy while their membership is suspended or terminated.
- Members shall not employ a suspended or terminated Member of the Association.
- Responsibilities to the Client
- Members shall not have a conflict of interest.
- Members shall respect the client’s dignity, needs, values, and wishes.
- Members shall not violate the human rights of an individual. For example, Members shall not discriminate in the provision of services to a client based on grounds of race, religion, ethnic or national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability or any similar ground.
- Members shall not treat or attempt to treat a condition that they know or ought to know is beyond their expertise or competence.
- Members shall refer a client to a qualified health practitioner where they recognize or ought to recognize a condition that requires health services that they are not able to provide.
- Members shall not assess or treat a client without informed consent unless it is not required by law.
- Members shall not practice, as Athletic Therapists, outside of the scope of practice of Athletic Therapy.
- Members shall assume full responsibility for all care they provide including supervising appropriately persons to whom they delegate duties.
- Members shall maintain the generally accepted standard of practice.
- Members shall maintain appropriate documentation for all clients.
- Members shall keep all client information confidential and shall not communicate such information to any person without the consent of the client or the client’s substitute decision maker except when required or permitted by law.
- Members shall disclose their fees to clients before providing services.
- Members shall not charge fees that are excessive for the services provided.
- Members shall not submit accounts that are false or misleading.
- Members shall provide services, make referrals and seek compensation only for those services that are necessary.
- Members shall not permit, participate in or assist in the use of prohibited ergogenic aids or banned methods for athletes.
- Members shall not physically, emotionally or sexually abuse or harass a client or any other person.
- Members shall not practice while under the influence of a substance or while incapacitated.
- Members shall not discontinue professional services that are needed unless the client terminates the service, has a reasonable opportunity to obtain alternative services or there are reasonable grounds to believe that the client has or will become abusive.
- Members shall not make a document or statement that is false or misleading.
- Members shall not contravene a law that is relevant to their suitability to practice.
- Members shall not engage in conduct that is relevant to the practice of Athletic Therapy that would reasonably be regarded by Members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
- Members shall not engage in conduct unbecoming an Athletic Therapist.
Conflict Of Interest
(i) For the purpose of the Code of Professional Conduct, a conflict of interest exists where there is an arrangement or relationship between the Member or a related person or related corporation and a person where a reasonable person could conclude that the exercise of the Member’s professional expertise or judgment may conflict with or be influenced by the arrangement or relationship. A conflict of interest may be actual, potential or perceived.
(ii) Without limiting the generality of subsection (i), a Member has a conflict of interest where that Member or a related person or related corporation, directly or indirectly,
(a) accepts a rebate, credit or other benefit by reason of the Member referring a client to any other person;
(b) offers, makes or confers a rebate, credit or other benefit to a person by reason of the referral of a client to the Member;
(c) accepts, makes or confers a rebate, credit or other benefit in respect of athletic therapy materials or equipment including those intended to be provided to clients that influences or may appear to influence the exercise of professional judgment in respect of the purchase or use of those materials or equipment;
(d) uses without reasonable payment any premises or equipment provided by a person who stands to gain financially from the supplying of premises, athletic therapy materials or equipment by or to the athletic therapist; or
(e) charges clients a different amount for the same good or service depending on whether the clients are paying directly for the good or service except that a different amount can be charged for a service where the amount charged is set by the government.
(iii) For the purpose of the Code of Professional Conduct, a conflict of interest also exists where the Member permits his or her personal beliefs or values to interfere with, or appear to interfere with, the exercise of the Member’s professional expertise or judgment.
(iv) No Member may engage in a conflict of interest.
(v) Despite subsection (i) and (ii), a Member may refer a client to a related person or a related corporation for either a service or a product so long as the client is first advised both verbally and in writing of the following:
(a) The nature of the relationship with the related person or related corporation;
(b) The name and contact information of at least three other local providers of the service or product (or if there is no local provider, three other providers who are as close as possible to the client); and
(c) That the client’s choice of another provider of the service or product will not affect the client’s ability to obtain the same service from the Member as if the client had chosen the related person or related corporation.
(vi) A Member shall promptly provide to a representative of the Association any document or explanation requested about the Member’s arrangement or relationship with another person to enable the Association to assess whether there is a conflict of interest.
The Association may decline to proceed with a complaint against a Member, past or current after 5 years from the incident if the Association concludes that there are insufficient reasons why the complaint was not brought earlier.