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Ethics Commission: What Is Its Role?

Overview of the Ethics Commission (EC)

  • One of the primary roles of the EC is ethics education. Accordingly, the EC periodically issues Advisory Opinions on topics with current ethical implications; provides an "Everyday Ethics" Workshop at the AOTA Annual Conference & Expo; and develops and provides other educational materials including Continuing Education products on ethics  and the Reference Guide to the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics  in response to member needs, inquiries, and ethical trends.
  • The Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics is an official document of the Association and can assist in identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas for practitioners, educators, researchers and students.
  • The EC reviews and investigates ethics complaints filed against AOTA members. Disciplinary actions that may be recommended by the EC include reprimand, censure, probation, suspension, and revocation.
  • For specific information about the disciplinary process used by the EC, see the Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics in the Disciplinary Action section of this website under Ethics.
  • The EC meets by monthly conference calls. Other agencies that have oversight over the occupational therapy profession include State Regulatory Boards (SRBs) and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Along with AOTA, each has a defined jurisdiction and areas of specific concern. For more information on the ethical jurisdictions of AOTA, NBCOT, and SRBs, consult the Reference Guide to the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards

Ethics Commission Roles

  • Develops and revises the AOTA Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics [Code] and submits such revisions to the Assembly for approval. 
  • Provides a process whereby existing and proposed Association documents can be reviewed and monitored from an ethical perspective for consistency with the Code and Ethics Standards.
  • Informs and educate Association members and consumers regarding the Code
  • Establishes and maintains procedures for considering and reviewing allegations of non-compliance with the Code.
  • Serves as a resource for any Association body requiring interpretation of the Code.
  • Issues Advisory Opinions on the interpretation and application of the Code as well as ethical trends.
  • Provides members and the Association bodies with descriptions of the roles of regulatory or associated agencies or bodies (e.g., NBCOT, State Regulatory Boards) which oversee the delivery of occupational therapy services and educational programs.

Ethics Commission Roster of Members