Dr Wayne Warburton, Wesley Mission

Department of Psychology
Children and Families
Research Centre
The Australian Financial Counselling
Code of Ethical Practice
Photo © Graham
Weule 2012
The big picture
• Why do we need a national code of ethics?
• Professionalism: National standards crucial for
oTraining: Purpose-built, stand alone course.
oEthical practice.
Progress in all three areas, but this code helps
establish an Australia-wide approach
• Reputation of the profession
Standing with regulatory bodies
Day to day practice
• Why do we need a national code of
ethical practice?
• Ethics are important (more from panel)
• Guidance important in day-to-day practice –
we face ethical dilemmas frequently
Ethical practice benefits ourselves, our
clients, the profession and wider society
How was the code developed?
• Funding from FCA (AFCCRA Foundation)
• Team:
• Wayne Warburton
• Danya Braunstein
• Lyn Brailey
• Lynne Flynne
• Richard Brading
How was the code developed?
• Examined
• Principles of ethical practice (St James Ethics)
• National Guidelines: Australian Standard for
Organisational Codes of Conduct
Relevant legislation (Privacy; NMHPS etc.)
Relevant Existing Codes
o FC Codes from AFCCRA and each state
o Australian Association of Social Workers
o Problem Gambling (NSW RGF)
How was the code developed?
• Draft code
• Basic principles – code of ethics
• Code of practice
• Starting with obligations to self, then to clients and
outwards to wider social concerns
• 2 day summit
• Reps from FCA + each state and territory
• Ethics and legal professionals
• Discussed the issues; consensus approach
How was the code developed?
• Revisions
• Back and forth between delegates until final
draft completed
Examined by FCA and comments by other
FCs; final revisions
• Strong acceptance by FC community
• Adopted by FCA
• Up to each State and Territory Association
to decide whether to adopt Code.
Code of Ethics
• Overarching principles
• Return to these if no specific guidance
in Code of Practice
Community engagement
Conflicts on Interest
Social Justice
Code of Practice
• Responsibilities
• To self (self care, skills, supervision)
• To clients (boundaries, case management)
• To colleagues (referrals, boundaries, conflicts)
• To the workplace (policies, OH&S, data)
• To the profession (integrity, professionalism)
• To the wider community (legal, contribution)
The Code of Ethical Practice
• A living document
• An important first step
• Thanks to FCA, the project team, and the large
number of FCs and others who contributed
Photo © Graham
Weule 2012