Code of Ethics

Existing codes of ethics for other organizations of voice professionals:





Joint statement of ASHA, NATS, and VASTA

Belmont Report


PAVA Code of Ethics

These statements of professional ethics are intended to guide the actions of PAVA’s members and the association as a whole, in accordance with and in support of PAVA’s mission, vision, and values.

The rules and regulations of any governmental agency, licensing board, accredited health care organization, or academic institution take precedence over the PAVA Code of Ethics, should there be a conflict.

1. Professional Behavior of PAVA Members

a. PAVA members shall maintain standards of ethical and professional conduct, in an ethical and legal manner, upholding this Code of Ethics.

b. As there is currently no licensure nor certification for Vocology, PAVA members shall not misrepresent or exaggerate their academic credentials, training experiences, abilities, licensing, qualifications, or scope of practice. Members shall engage in only those activities of the field of Vocology that are within the scope of their professional competence.

c. PAVA members shall remain current in the areas of their expertise and engagement with respect to evidence-based practice, voice research, voice habilitation, and voice rehabilitation.

d. PAVA recognizes there are local, state, region, province, and/or national licensure regulations which govern who may work with persons with communication disorders and how that work may be performed. It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that his or her work with persons with voice concerns does not violate the scope of practice set forth by the regulations in the location in which the work occurs.

e. PAVA Members' statements to the public, including those made through Social Media, shall provide accurate information about the nature and management of communication disorders and behaviors, about the various voice professions, about professional services, about products for sale, and about research and scholarly activities.

2. Behavior of PAVA Members with Patients, Clients, Students, and the General Public

a. PAVA members shall recognize and encourage the right of the patient, client, or student to participate in the treatment or habilitation process.

b. PAVA members shall not alter their delivery of services and/or training on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, deficit, disability, cultural background, or socioeconomic status, unless such alteration of delivery of services or training is necessary in order to best meet the special needs of unique populations.

c. PAVA members shall not engage in sexual activities with patients, clients, or students over whom they exercise professional authority or power. In the rare event of a PAVA member’s spouse or partner seeking voice rehabilitation or habilitation in a professional setting, the PAVA member’s employer’s rules on potential conflicts would take precedence. 

d. PAVA members shall convey information accurately with relevance to the situation and with cultural sensitivity, and shall communicate professionally in all contexts, including with students, patients, colleagues, healthcare professionals, and community or professional groups.

e. PAVA members shall honor their responsibility to the public by promoting public understanding of the professions, by supporting the development of services designed to fulfill the unmet needs of the public, and by providing accurate information in all communications involving any aspect of the professions, including the dissemination of research findings and scholarly activities, the promotion, marketing, and advertising of products and services, and discussions on Social Media.

f. If a PAVA member judges that his or her student, client, or patient should be referred to another professional, this shall be done in a timely and appropriate manner.

g. In professional settings, PAVA members shall maintain general good physical and mental health and self-care in order not to jeopardize the health, wellbeing, and safety of others. 

h. PAVA Members shall not defraud or engage in any scheme to defraud in connection with obtaining payment, reimbursement, or grants for services rendered, research conducted, or products dispensed.

i. PAVA Members shall respect their patients’, clients’, and students’ right to privacy.

3. Behavior of PAVA Members with Colleagues

a. Interactions with colleagues should be based on mutual respect and a desire to improve the care or habilitation of all patients, clients, students, and research subjects.

b. PAVA members shall recognize their own professional limitations and expertise. Consultation and referral must be sought when appropriate. Communication with colleagues must be truthful and forthright. Disparagement of any kind is to be avoided.

c. PAVA Members shall honor their responsibilities to the other voice professions and their relationships with colleagues, students, and members of other professions and disciplines.

d. PAVA Members shall uphold the dignity and autonomy of the various voice professions, maintain harmonious interprofessional and intraprofessional relationships, and accept the professions' self-imposed standards.

e. PAVA Members shall not participate in any form of conduct that adversely reflects on the voice professions or on the individual's fitness to serve persons professionally, nor shall Members allow anyone under their supervision to engage in any practice that violates the Code of Ethics.

f. PAVA Members shall provide credit only to those who have contributed to a publication, presentation, or product. Credit shall be assigned in proportion to the contribution and only with the contributor's consent. When appropriate, acknowledgement of the work of graduate assistants, statisticians, and other supportive personnel is encouraged. However, honorary credit for persons not directly contributing to a publication, presentation, or product should be avoided. 

g. PAVA Members shall reference the source when using other persons' ideas, research, presentations, or products in written, oral, or any other media presentation or summary.  

h. PAVA Members shall not file or encourage others to file complaints that cannot be factually substantiated, nor should the Code of Ethics be used for personal reprisal, as a means of addressing personal animosity, or as a vehicle for retaliation.

4. Behavior of PAVA Members doing Research and other Scholarly Activity

a. PAVA members shall conduct research according to ethical, moral, medical, and legal guidelines established by state, national, and professional organizations that regulate their professional practice. (see; consortium of independent review boards)

b. PAVA members shall seek approval for the conduct of research in compliance with local, state, federal, national, and professional regulations, including boards for animal research, as required. 

c. In parallel with statement 2b above, PAVA members shall not alter the conduct of research and scholarly activities on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, deficit, disability, cultural background, or socioeconomic status, unless the research is specifically targeted to a better understanding of one or more of these groups. 

d. PAVA members conducting research shall only enroll participants if their participation is voluntary, without coercion, and with their informed consent. At institutions where human subject research review boards allow the use of de-identified retrospective data collected without consent, the institution’s rules would take precedence.

e. In parallel with statement 2i above, PAVA members conducting research shall protect the right of privacy for research participants.

f. PAVA members conducting research shall adequately maintain and appropriately secure records of research and scholarly activities according to institutional, state, and federal regulations.

g. In parallel with statement 2c above, PAVA members shall not engage in sexual activities with research participants over whom they exercise professional authority or power. In the rare event of the participation of a PAVA member’s spouse or partner in a research protocol, the researcher’s institutional review board’s rules on potential conflicts would take precedence. 

h. Publications or communications of research to the public by PAVA members shall not convey false, untrue, deceptive, or misleading information.

5. PAVA Members and Conflicts of Interest

a. Purpose:

i. To ensure that the work of PAVA members and policies of the Association remain independent from any other professional relationships with companies and organizations and are never a means of personal gain or gain for someone else;

ii. To ascertain that PAVA members’ paid or unpaid professional relationships do not influence decisions so that such parties (any person or organization with whom they are affiliated) do not unfairly benefit;

iii. To avoid any impression of impropriety or harm to the reputation and image of PAVA. 

PAVA requires its members follow the Association’s Code of Ethics when involved in any aspect of service. For all involvement with PAVA in any area indicated below or otherwise, if a conflict of interest cannot be resolved, the member should withdraw from the relationship in a timely, appropriate manner.

The following are PAVA’s policies for the resolution of conflicts of interest in its main areas of service:

b. Practitioners, Researchers, and Interdisciplinary Collaborations:

i. PAVA members shall not allow their name or image to be used as an endorsement by non-PAVA members or other non-qualified persons, to promote services (e.g., treatment, training) or products (medications, devices, publications). 

ii. PAVA researchers shall disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest to patients, clients, students, and research participants, including but not limited to, fee arrangements and professionally related commercial interests.

iii. PAVA Members should endeavor to avoid any venture that creates a conflict of interest between personal financial interests and the best interests of the patient, client, student, research project, or research participants. Conflicts that develop between a member’s financial interests and their responsibilities to the above mentioned parties should be resolved to the benefit of the disinterested parties.

iv. The mere appearance of a conflict may be just as serious and potentially damaging as an actual distortion of objectivity. Reports of conflicts based on appearances can undermine public trust in ways that may not be adequately restored even when mitigating facts of a situation are brought to light. Apparent conflicts, therefore, should be evaluated and managed with the same vigor as known conflicts.

PAVA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization136 S. Main St., Ste. 320, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

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