Ethics and Law in Florida Psychology – APA Code of Ethics

By Dr. Leo Christie, PhD

Ethics and Law in Florida PsychologyEthics and Law in Florida Psychology is a 3-hour online course for Florida psychologists. The purpose of this course is to ensure that Florida-licensed psychologists are fully aware of the ethical and legal privileges and constraints under which they are licensed to practice in the State of Florida.

Excerpt from Ethics and Law in Florida Psychology

APA Code of Ethics
The current version of the Code, which was adopted by the American Psychological Association on August 21, 2002, has been in force since June 1, 2003. APA requests that inquiries concerning the substance or interpretation of the Code be addressed to the Director, Office of Ethics, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.

The standards in this Ethics Code are used to adjudicate complaints brought concerning alleged conduct occurring on or after June 1, 2003. Complaints regarding conduct occurring prior to that date are adjudicated on the basis of the version of the Ethics Code that was in effect at the time the alleged conduct occurred.
The Code can be found on the APA web site, It is available in HTML, PDF, and MS Word formats. It is suggested that you open or retrieve the Code from the APA site for reading in conjunction with this course.
The Code is comprised of four major sections: an introduction, a preamble, five general principles, and ten categories of specific ethical standards. The introduction discusses the intent, organization, procedural considerations, and scope of application of the Code. The preamble and general principles are described as offering “aspirational” goals, which are intended to encourage psychologists to aspire to the highest ideals of psychology practice. Even though the preamble and general principles are not themselves enforceable rules, APA suggests that they be considered by psychologists in arriving at an ethical course of action.

The five general principles are these:
1. Beneficence and Nonmaleficence. Within this principle, psychologists are urged to strive to benefit individuals with whom they work, to do no harm, and to safeguard their welfare and rights.
2. Fidelity and Responsibility. Psychologists are urged to uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and seek to manage conflicts of interest that could lead to exploitation or harm.
3. Integrity. Psychologists are urged to seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology.
4. Justice. Psychologists are urged to recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.
5. Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity. Psychologists are urged to respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination.

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Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Psychology and the Office of School Psychology and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635).


Florida Psychologists – Additional Required CE Courses


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