On-Line Course: Being an Ethical Psychologist

[Based on the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, Third Edition (CPA, 2000)]

by Carole Sinclair, Ph.D.

    **Notice** The CPA is now working to update the content of this course to reflect the changes in the recently released Fourth Edition of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists. This course is still being offered, but please check back regularly for updates on this course in the coming months.

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is pleased to offer web-based continuing education opportunities for psychologists that also may be of interest to students of psychology, to members of other disciplines, and to the public.

One of these courses is CPA’s on-line course “Being an Ethical Psychologist.” This course provides a tutorial on the Canadian Code and may be helpful if you have ever struggled with any of the following questions:

  • When is a third party entitled to information about one of my clients or patients?
  • When does offering money or a gift to research participants become coercive?
  • How can I make sure I am acting ethically as a practitioner, researcher, professor, student, etc.?
  • When is it appropriate to have a personal relationship with a student or client/patient? When is it not appropriate?
  • What should I do when I think a colleague has done something unethical?
  • Are there any limits to academic freedom?
  • How can I use ethical principles to help me decide what to do when I have conflicting responsibilities and difficult choices?
  • What is the basis for the ethical principles of psychologists and the members of other health disciplines?


The course examines codes of ethics, major ethical expectations, and ethical decision making, as they relate to practice, research, teaching, and management/administration activities. Topics covered include: the history of codes of ethics; the development of codes of ethics for psychologists and for the members of other disciplines; ethical issues and standards related to four ethical principles (respect for the dignity of persons; responsible caring; integrity in relationships; responsibility to society); and ethical decision making. Lectures and case presentations are employed to outline and demonstrate ethical expectations, issues, and problem solving.

Click here for more information about this course.

CE Credits: 15 CE credits from the Canadian Psychological Association upon completion of quizzes with a grade of at least 70%.

Registration provides 5 weeks access to this CE course.

Click here to view CPA’s complete on-line course catalogue, how to register for “Being an Ethical Psychologist,” or how to register for one of CPA’s other on-line courses.