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Code of Ethics (2016) Revision Summary

The following information was developed by the ASHA Board of Ethics. Official clarification regarding the Code of Ethics ("Code") should be obtained from Donna Euben, Esq., director of ethics, at

What Has Not Changed?

  • The fundamental purpose of the Code
  • The underlying philosophical basis for the Code in four principles that confirm
    • responsibility to persons served professionally and to research participants, both human and animal;
    • responsibility for one's professional competence;
    • responsibility to the public; and
    • responsibility for professional relationships.

Rationale for Revisions

Code review and revision is a cyclic task of the Board of Ethics. It is completed to ensure the currency, and enhance the accuracy and comprehensiveness of this ASHA cardinal document.

Summary of Changes

  • Updated Preamble
  • Added new Terminology section
  • Added 15 new Rules of Ethics
  • Revised 2 Principles of Ethics

New and Revised Rules of Ethics

Rule changes and additions addressed the following themes and incorporated insights that emerged from previously adjudicated cases, select and widespread peer review, and input from ASHA National Office staff:

  • research conduct
  • evidence based and independent clinical judgment
  • client abandonment
  • impaired practitioner
  • work place service delivery coercion
  • use of technology
  • self-disclosure, financial disclosure, and honesty in reporting
  • intra-professional and inter-professional collaboration
  • reporting members of other professions
  • compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations

Revisions to the Principles of Ethics

  • Principle of Ethics III: Simplified the wording to clarify the meaning, and removed examples here because they are contained within the Rules of Ethics.
  • Principle of Ethics IV: Edited the wording to enhance its aspirational nature.

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