Ethics and Grievances
Introduction to the BCATA Code of Ethics
Art Therapists shall maintain objectivity, integrity, and competence in meeting the highest standards of the profession. The ethical standards contained in this document should be viewed as the minimum acceptable standards of practice and those to which art therapists shall be held accountable by public and peers. This Code of Ethics governing the standards of practice of the BCATA membership may be amended as experience reveals areas of concern that are perhaps not yet covered.
This document has been adopted by the British Columbia Art Therapy Association (BCATA) as a definition of standards to be followed by our members. The BCATA respectfully acknowledges the influence of the following professional organizations and their ethics statements in the preparation of this document: The American Art Therapy Association, Association art-thérapeutes du Québec and the Feminist Therapy Institute.
BCATA has prepared a comprehensive package outlining the association’s code of ethics. This package includes the BCATA Competency, Complaints, and Disciplinary Procedures. At the back of the package, you will find a two-page Ethics Committee Complaint and Inquiry Form.
The Grievance Process
It is part of the mandate of the BCATA to serve the public and to protect it from the professional or ethical misconduct of its members. If a member of the public has questions or concerns about the services received from an art therapist, these situations may be handled initially by discussing the matter with the art therapist.
If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, however, and the art therapist is believed to be a member of the BCATA, the BCATA Ethics Chair may be contacted. The BCATA Ethics Committee has both formal and informal investigation and resolution processes available to investigate concerns and complaints and take appropriate action.
What is the complaint process?
All complaints delivered to the Ethics Committee must be investigated according to the process laid out in the BCATA Competency, Complaints, and Disciplinary Procedures upon receipt of a complaint, the Ethics Chair conducts an initial review to establish whether the Ethics Committee has jurisdiction and to assess any immediate public protection issues. He will receive verification from the BCATA Membership Chair that the art therapist is a current member of BCATA. The complaint will be further processed only if the art therapist is a current member of BCATA; otherwise the Ethics Committee has no jurisdiction.
How long will it take?
The time frame for the complaint varies depending on a number of factors. These include the complexity of issues involved in the complaint and the availability and volume of materials to be reviewed. You may expect to receive acknowledgement of your Complaint Form from the Ethics Chair within 21 days of sending it.