Ethical Standards

Ethical Standards for all Certification Board Inc. Credentials & Applicant Recognition Statement

The Addiction Profession Certification Board, Inc. (APCB,Inc.) expects all Certified Professionals to adhere to its ethical standards. All applicants for certification will need verify that they have read and understood this statement of ethical standards.

Specific Principles:

Principle 1: Non-Discrimination: The Credentialed Professional shall not discriminate against clients or professionals based on race, religion, age, gender, disability, national ancestry, sexual orientation, or economic condition.

A. The Credentialed Professional  shall avoid bringing personal or professional issues into the counseling relationship.  Through an awareness of the impact of stereotyping and discrimination, the Credentialed Professional   guards the individual rights and personal dignity of clients.

B.   The Credentialed Professional   shall be knowledgeable about disabling conditions, demonstrate empathy and personal emotional comfort in interactions with clients with disabilities, and make available physical, sensory, and cognitive accommodations that allow clients with disabilities to receive services.

Principle 2: Responsibility: The Credentialed Professional   shall espouse objectivity and integrity, and maintain the highest standards in the services the member offers.

A.   The Credentialed Professional shall maintain respect for institutional policies and management functions of the agencies and institutions within which the services are being performed, but will take initiative toward improving such policies when it will better serve the interest of the client.

B.   The Credentialed Professional   , as educator, has primary obligation to help others acquire knowledge and skills in dealing with the disease of alcoholism and drug abuse.

C.   The Credentialed Professional   who supervises others accepts the obligation to facilitate further professional development of these individuals by providing accurate and current information, timely valuations, and constructive consultation.
D.   The Credentialed Professional   who is aware of unethical conduct or of unprofessional modes of practice shall report such inappropriate behavior to the appropriate authority.

Principle 3: Competency: The Credentialed Professional   shall recognize that the profession is founded on national standards of competency which promote the best interests of society, of the client, of the member and of the professional as a whole.  The Credentialed Professional   shall recognize the need for ongoing education as a component of professional competency.

A. The Credentialed Professional   shall recognize boundaries and limitations of their competencies and not offer   services or use techniques outside of these professional competencies.

B. The Credentialed Professional   shall recognize the effect of impairment on professional performance and shall be   willing to seek appropriate treatment for oneself or for a colleague.  The Credentialed Professional   shall support peer assistance programs in this respect.

Principle 4: Legal and Moral Standards: The Credentialed Professional   shall uphold the legal and accepted moral codes which pertain to professional conduct.

A. The Credentialed Professional   shall be fully cognizant of all federal and New Jersey laws governing the practice of alcoholism and drug abuse counseling.

B. The Credentialed Professional   shall not claim either directly or by implication, professional qualifications/affiliations that they do not possess.

C. The Credentialed Professional   shall ensure that products or services associated with or provided by the Credentialed Professional   or means of teaching, demonstration, publications or other types of media meet the ethical standards of this code.

Principle 5: Public Statements: The Credentialed Professional   shall honestly respect the limits of present knowledge in public statements concerning alcoholism and drug abuse.

 A. The Credentialed Professional   , in making statements to clients, other professionals, and the general public shall state as   fact only those matters which have been empirically validated as fact.  All other opinions, speculations, and conjecture concerning the nature of alcoholism and drug abuse, its natural history, its treatment or any other matters which touch on the subject of alcoholism and drug abuse shall be represented as less than scientifically validated.

B. The Credentialed Professional   shall acknowledge and accurately report the substantiation and support for statements made concerning the nature of alcoholism and drug abuse, its natural history, and its treatment.  Such acknowledgement should extend to the source of the information and reliability of the method by which it was derived.

 Principle 6:  Publication Credit: The Credentialed Professional   shall assign the credit to all who have contributed to the published material and for the work upon which the publication is based.

A. The Credentialed Professional   shall recognize joint authorship and major contributions of a professional nature made by one or more persons to a common project.  The author who has made the principal contribution to a publication must be identified as first author.

B. The Credentialed Professional   shall acknowledge in footnotes or in an introductory statement minor contributions of a professional nature, extensive clerical or similar assistance and other minor contributions.

C. The Credentialed Professional   shall in no way violate the copyright of anyone by reproducing material in any form whatsoever, except in those ways which are allowed under the copyright laws. This involves direct violation of copyright as well as the passive assent to the violation of copyright by others.

 Principle 7: Client Welfare: The Credentialed Professional   shall promote the production of the public health, safety, and welfare and the best interest of the client as a primary guide in determining the conduct of all Credentialed Professional’s.

  1. The Credentialed Professional   shall disclose their code of ethics, professional loyalties, and responsibilities to all clients.
  2. The Credentialed Professional   shall terminate counseling or consulting relationship when it is reasonably clear that the client is not benefiting from the relationship.
  3.  The Credentialed Professional   shall hold the welfare of the client paramount when making any decisions or recommendations concerning referral, treatment procedures, or termination of treatment.
  4. The Credentialed Professional   shall not use or encourage a client’s participation in any demonstration, research or other non-treatment activities when such participation would have potential harmful consequences for the client or when the client is not fully informed.

E.    The Credentialed Professional   shall take care to provide services in an environment which will ensure the privacy and safety of the client at all times and ensures the delivery of safe and private services.

Principle 8: Confidentiality: The Credentialed Professional   working in the best interest of the client shall embrace, as a primary obligation, the duty of protecting client’s rights under confidentiality and shall not disclose confidential information acquired in teaching, practice or investigation without appropriately executed consent.

A. The Credentialed Professional   shall provide the client his/her rights regarding confidentiality, in writing, as part of informing the client in any areas likely to affect the client’s confidentiality.  This includes the recording of the clinical interview, the use of material for insurance purposes, the use of material for training or observation by another party

B. The Credentialed Professional   shall make appropriate provisions for the maintenance of confidentiality and the ultimate disposition of confidential records.  The Credentialed Professional   shall ensure that data    obtained, including any form of electronic communication, are secured by the available security methodology.  Data shall be limited to information that is necessary and appropriate to the services being provided and be accessible only to appropriate personnel.

C. The Credentialed Professional   shall adhere to all federal and New Jersey laws regarding confidentiality and the Cap’s responsibility to report clinical information in specific circumstances to the appropriate authorities.

The Addiction Professionals Certification Board, Inc. (APCB, Inc.) wishes to thank the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for the development of these Ethical Standards and for permission to use this amended version.

Principle 9: Client Relationships


It is the responsibility of the  Credentialed Professional to safeguard the integrity of the counseling relationship and to ensure that the client has reasonable access to effective treatment. The Credentialed Professional shall provide the client and/or guardian with accurate and complete information regarding the extent of the potential professional relationship.  The Credentialed Professional  shall inform the client and obtain the client’s agreement in areas likely to affect the client’s participation including the recording of an interview, the use of interview material for training purposes, and/or observation of an interview by another person.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not engage in professional relationships or commitments that Conflict with family members, friends, close associates, or others whose welfare might be jeopardized by such a dual relationship.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not exploit relationships with current or former clients for personal gain, including social or business relationships.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not under any circumstances engage in sexual behavior with current or former clients.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not accept as clients anyone with whom they have engaged in sexual behavior.

 Principle 10: Inter-professional Relationships

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall treat colleagues with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith and shall afford the same to other professionals.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall refrain from offering professional services to a client in counseling with another professional except with the knowledge of the other professional or after the termination of the client’s relationship with the other professional.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall cooperate with the APCB, Inc. Ethics Committee and promptly supply necessary information unless constrained by the demands of confidentiality.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not in any way exploit relationships with supervisees, employees, students, research participants or volunteers.

Principle 11: Remuneration

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall establish financial arrangements in professional practice and in accord with the professional standards that safeguard the best interests of the client first, and then of the counselor, the agency, and the profession.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall inform the client of all financial policies. In circumstances where an agency dictates explicit provisions with its staff for private consultations, clients shall be made fully aware of these policies.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall consider the ability of a client to meet the financial cost in establishing rates for professional services.

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not engage in fee splitting. The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall not send or receive any commission or rebate or any other form of remuneration for referral of clients for professional services.

 Principle 12: Societal Obligations

The CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONALS shall to the best of their ability actively engage the legislative processes, educational institutions, and the general public to change public policy and legislation to make possible opportunities and choice of service for all human beings of any ethnic or social background whose lives are impaired by alcoholism and drug abuse.


The applicant acknowledges that the applicant is seeking certification from the Addiction Professionals Certification Board, Inc. (hereinafter “The Board”). The applicant hereby recognizes and agrees as follows:
Applicant agrees to observe and abide by the Ethical Standards adopted by The Board as same may be amended from time to time.

·        Applicant acknowledges that the present form of ethical standards attached hereto and that the applicant has read and understood same.

·        Applicant recognizes and agrees that any certification, or renewal thereof, granted by The Board to the applicant constitutes recognition by The Board that the applicant is qualified, based on the information before The Board, for the certification granted.

·        Applicant recognizes and agrees that any certification, or renewal granted by The Board, does not constitute a property right or interest of the applicant.

·        The applicant specifically recognizes and agrees that the certification or renewal is specific to suspension, revocation or other limitation or condition in the discretion of The Board. The applicant specifically recognizes the authority of The Board to suspend, revoke or otherwise impose limitations, restrictions and conditions on any certification granted applicant agrees to cooperate in connection with any investigation conducted by The Board with respect to the applicant’s certification, and continued qualification to hold same.

·        The applicant further agrees that the applicant’s failure to cooperate with any such investigation;

o    Shall in itself constitute an ethical violation for which discipline may be imposed and

o    May be considered by The Board as an admission of wrongdoing.

·        I understand that I have a right to an appeal from any Ethics Committee decision regarding my status as an APCB certified professional and that I have 180 days from the time of my denial.

·        The appeal will first be heard by the Board’s Ethics Committee and, if not found in your favor, be appealed to the full Board for an appeal hearing .Appeals must be addressed in writing and sent to the Executive Director at the Board’s office. We suggest that you send appeals via registered mail.