Assessment of Professional Competence
By: Catherine Snowden
Facilitator: Dr. James Siebold, PhD LMFT
Ethic and Values for Human Service Professionals
In the helping profession, it is essential to prove and uphold one's competency in a number of ways. Professional must be able to maintain accurate and complete client records. It is the responsibility of the professional to stay current in their area of expertise and receiving continuing education. These professionals must understand the procedures, methods and rationale for making appropriate referrals to other professionals, when the needs of the client are out of their scope of competency. Also, professionals must have the ability to identify and manage dual-relationships. In this paper, I will go more in depth with these issues. The purpose of this paper is to give an understanding of how these processes work and in what is appropriate when dealing with these different aspects of the profession.
APA's Record Keeping Guidelines outline three categories: general file information, documentation of service and other information. General file information is comprised of contact information, diagnosis, history of client, treatment plan. Billing information, fee agreement, and informed consent documentation (Ethics Code, 3.10). Also authorization for release of information (Ethics Code, 4.05) and mandated disclosures of confidential information may be included. Documentation of service is comprised of type of service, date, and duration of services rendered. Documentation of service should be kept current for each applicable encounter with a client. These records may contain descriptive content pertaining to the type of treatment, intervention, and client's assessment and their function level. Acknowledging others may have access to such record, a professional should use show sensitivity in the language describing the client. Other types of information may also be kept on records, such as consultations from previous professionals, crisis management documentation, and data from assessment. Telephone and email contact information may also be included.
Psychology professions require one to stay up-to-date in their career field. This could involve a variety of things, such as applying the latest research in one's professional practice, grasping and accounting for all of the current guidelines and their inferences, retaining your certification and specialized licensing or obtaining further instruction to sustain the necessities of clients. A professional should look into resources that will foster growth and career management in order to continue to exercise quality care as well as improve the services they give to persons, family units, and groups. The foundation of professional growth is maintaining one's training. Professional can expand their expertise and skillset by joining direct methodical training curriculums. This will allow them to obtain significant and appropriate material pertaining to the clients and areas they assist. This could mean the professional completes a virtual program right in their home or office. It is imperative for very professional to maintain their education in order to enrich their profession.
"The counseling process can be unpredictable at times, and you may encounter situations in which the ethical path is to refer your client (Corey, 2011)." Holding the skill to efficiently assist with a client's issues is one criterion, however in some situations one may have to consider that a recommendation to another professional is the appropriate thing to benefit the client. A professional and client may equally agree that a referral is in order due to conflicting values or a lack of productivity in the professional- client relationship. Professionals cannot be too quick to suggest a referral as this may have a harmful effect on the client....
References: American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (2010). Code of Ethics. Retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/legal_ethics/code_of_ethics.aspx.
American Psychological Association. Sturm, Cynthia Dr. (2012). Record keeping for practitioners-APA 's guidelines help psychologists steer through the sometimes murky waters of how best to document and protect patient information. Retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/02/ce-corner.aspx.
Corey, G., Schneider Corey, M., & Patrick, C. (2011). Issues and ethics in the helping professions (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage.
National Association of Social Workers (2014). Professional Education & Training. Retrieved on November 16, 2014 from http://careers.socialworkers.org/default.asp.
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