Professional Ethics : Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 632

Professional Ethics (Revision 2)


Revision 2 is closed for registrations, see current version

Delivery Mode: Paced study; online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: GCAP 631, GCAP 633 or by permission.

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology

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GCAP 632: Professional Ethics addresses personal and professional ethical issues in counselling. The perspectives of different ethical theories will be used to highlight commonalities and differences. Students will reflect critically on both personal and collective worldviews/values and will explore the impact of those perspectives on counselling processes and contexts. Basic ethical issues in counsellor-client relationships will be considered, as well as emerging issues, social justice, and relational ethics. Integrity in teaching and scholarship will be addressed. The role of regulatory and collegial professional associations in enhancing the quality of counselling services and protecting the public from unethical and incompetent practices will be presented. The content of the course will integrate knowledge, practical skills, and student self-awareness.


  • Lesson 1: Ethical Theory and Personal Values
  • Lesson 2: Professional Regulation and the History and Purposes of Professional Codes of Ethics
  • Lesson 3: Law and the Legal System
  • Lesson 4: Ethical Decision-Making
  • Lesson 5: Informed Consent
  • Lesson 6: Confidentiality and Record Keeping
  • Lesson 7: Professional Boundaries
  • Lesson 8: Competence and Self-Care
  • Lesson 9: Ethics and Culture
  • Lesson 10: Social Justice and Responsibility to Society
  • Lesson 11: Research, Teaching, and Scholarship
  • Lesson 12: Special Issues
  • Lesson 13: Relational Ethics

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GCAP 632, students must submit all of the course assignments. The passing grade for the course is B- (70%). The weighting of assignments is as follows.

Course Activity Weight
Participation in Online Discussions 20%
Assignment 1: Personal Edublog 15%
Assignment 2: Ethical Decision-Making Exercise 20%
Assignment 3: Integrative Essay 25%
Assignment 4: Multiple Choice Exam 20%
Total 100%

Course Materials

Other Materials

All other materials are available to students online.

Other Information

Students with a disability, who require academic accommodation, need to register with the Access to Students with Disabilities Centre at Athabasca University. Notification of the need for academic accommodation must normally be provided to the program office no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of class. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Centre to request academic accommodation if required and to notify the instructor that such accommodation has been requested. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate individual student needs. However, because GCAP courses are paced, all student are required to participate weekly in the online discussion forums. There are also several courses where online exams are required.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, January 2011.

View previous syllabus