CQUniversity Unit Profile
PSYC14050 Ethics & Professional Issues in Psychology
Ethics & Professional Issues in Psychology
All details in this unit profile for PSYC14050 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit will provide you with comprehensive training in Research Ethics and the Ethics of Professional Practice. This unit will develop and assess your ability to apply ethical concepts in real life situations and scenarios, with emphasis placed on the provision of evidence-based reasoning and justifications. As an advanced level unit there is a high level of expectation regarding independent study and self-directed learning. You are expected to be an active participant in the learning process, to independently research and read widely and to reflect upon multiple perspectives and opinions about best ethics practice in psychology, both in research and in professional practice. The unit is split into two six-week modules. Module 1 - Research Ethics will provide you with an understanding of the necessity for, and the processes which underpin, research ethics within the Psychology discipline. This module has a focus on, and will acquaint you with, the human research ethics procedures set by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Module 2 - Professional Practice aims to equip you with the knowledge necessary for practicing as a psychologist in a professional manner. The focus of this module is on the identification of ethical issues in practice and the development of professional decision-making skills. This module will acquaint you with the Code of Ethics and the Ethical Guidelines set by the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 4
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Students must be enrolled in CC42 Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2021

Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Residential Schools

This unit has a Compulsory Residential School for distance mode students and the details are:
Click here to see your Residential School Timetable.

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Group Work
Weighting: 35%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 35%
3. Online Test
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student evaluation, student communication.

Feedback

Retain the Residential School.

Recommendation

Retain the Residential School as an essential component of the Ethics unit.

Feedback from Student evaluation.

Feedback

Change the asessment date for Assessment 2 so that it does not coincide with the submission date of the research proposal for the Research Project unit.

Recommendation

Coordinate assessment items across all of the Honours units to ensure that deadlines do not clash.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Identify and apply the ethical requirements of psychological research in an Australian context, particularly as they relate to the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Human Research
  2. Critically evaluate research from an ethics perspective and propose changes to a research approach and/or design to address the ethical issues identified
  3. Apply and evaluate ethical decision making strategies across multiple professional contexts, particularly as they relate to applications of the Code of Ethics and the Ethical Guidelines of the Australian Psychological Society.

Learning outcomes fulfil the level 2 pre-professional core competencies required by the updated Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) guidelines. The learning outcomes also meet the study criteria as specified by the Psychology Board of Australia (PsyBA) and as appropriate for study at level 8 as stated by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Group Work - 35%
2 - Written Assessment - 35%
3 - Online Test - 30%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Group Work - 35%
2 - Written Assessment - 35%
3 - Online Test - 30%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

APS Code of Ethics N/A (N/A)

Authors: Australian Psychologcial Society
Australian Psychological Society
Melbourne Melbourne , Victoria , Australia
ISBN:
Binding: eBook
Prescribed

APS Ethical Guidelines N/A (Latest - most currently available)

Authors: Australian Psychological Society
Australian Psychological Society
Melbourne Melbourne , Victoria , Australia
ISBN:
Binding: eBook
Prescribed

Ethical Practice in Applied Psychology (2014)

Authors: Christopher Boyle and Nicholas Gamble
Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand
South Melbourne South Melbourne , Victoria , Australia
ISBN: 9780195523102
Binding: Paperback
Prescribed

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research N/A (2018)

Authors: National Health and Medical Research Council
Australian Government
Australia
ISBN:
Binding: Website Link
Supplementary

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association 7th Edition (2019)

Authors: American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
Washington Washington , , USA
ISBN: 9781433832161
Binding: Paperback

Additional Textbook Information

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC) is freely available on-line.

The APS Code of Ethics and the APS Ethical Guidelines are available as on-line documents. If you join the APS as a student member then these are free to students.

If a newer version of the Boyle and Gamble textbook becomes available, please feel free to purchase the newer version (but you do not have to).

The 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association will be useful across all of your honours units.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Tina McAdie Unit Coordinator
t.mcadie@cqu.edu.au
Sarah Blunden Unit Coordinator
s.blunden@cqu.edu.au
Grace Vincent Unit Coordinator
g.vincent@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1: Introduction to the Unit and Research and Professional Ethics. Begin Date: 08 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Introduction to the unit

Introduction to Ethics in Professional Practice

Introduction to Research Ethics

Discussion of Assessments

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 1

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 9

Australian Psychological Society (APS) Code of Ethics


Resources on Moodle:

  1. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Website)


Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2: Research Ethics - The Terrible History Begin Date: 15 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Introduction, historical background

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 9


Resources on Moodle:

1. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Website)

2. Helsinki Declaration

3. The Nuremberg Code

4. Stanford Prison Experiment - links and documents

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3: Residential School Begin Date: 22 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Tuesday: Research Ethics: Evaluation of a Research Project (Group Presentation Assessment)


Wednesday: Ethics in Professional Practice: What is an ethical and moral psychologist? Introduction to models of ethical decision making (EDM)


Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 3

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 9


Resources on Moodle:

  1. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Website)
  2. Australian Psychological Society (APS) Ethical Decision Making (EDM) model
  3. Week 3 Case Studies
  4. Eight core competencies (Morrissey & Reddy, 2006)
  5. Videos on Married at First Sight

Events and Submissions/Topic

Residential School: Tuesday and Wednesday (Ethics)

Group Presentation assessment due this week (Tuesday the 23rd of March).

PSYC14051 Research project information (Thursday and Friday) - ethics students are welcome to attend this


Group Presentation Due: Week 3 Tuesday (23 Mar 2021) 1:00 pm AEST
Week 4: Research Ethics - Key Concepts Begin Date: 29 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

Research merit and integrity, benefice, justice, respect, consent, vulnerability, confidentiality

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 9


Resources on Moodle:

1. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Website)

2. Bracken-Roche, D., Bell, E., Macdonald, M.E. et al. (2017). The concept of ‘vulnerability’ in research ethics: an in-depth analysis of policies and guidelines

3. World Health Organisation (WHO) informed consent - links and documents

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5: Research Ethics - Your thesis! Begin Date: 05 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Processes involved in seeking ethical approval. Hints, tips and pitfalls

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 9


Resources on Moodle:

1. NHMRC - Summary of national statement on ethical conduct in human research

2. Relevant thesis documents (such as Information sheet, Ethics application form)

Events and Submissions/Topic

5pm Friday 9th April: Return of feedback and marks for Assessment 1 (Group Assessment)

Vacation Week Begin Date: 12 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Rest, recover, and read!

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6: Research with Specific Populations Begin Date: 19 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Issues and risks associated with research on/to/with populations which could be considered vulnerable. Potential solutions will also be discussed

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 9


Resources on Moodle:

1. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (Website)

2. Bracken-Roche, D., Bell, E., Macdonald, M.E., et al. (2017). The concept of ‘vulnerability’ in research ethics: an in-depth analysis of policies and guidelines

3. Witham, Beddow and Haigh (2015). Too vulnerable to research

4. Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies

Events and Submissions/Topic

 


Week 7: Professional Practice Ethics - Privacy, Confidentiality, Legality and Consent Begin Date: 26 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Privacy, confidentiality and consent

Mandatory reporting requirements and legality

Child protection issues

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapters 2 and 5


Resources on Moodle:

1. Confidential health care for adolescent (Sanci et al., 2005)

2. Legal and ethical aspects of working with young people

3. Ethical guidelines on reporting abuse and neglect and criminal activity

4. Ethical guidelines on confidentiality

5. Ethical guidelines for providing psychological services and products using the internet and telecommunications

6. Social work in the digital age

7. Mandatory reporting for abuse and neglect

8. Legal issues in Psychology (Youngstrom, 2000)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8: Professional Practice Ethics - Boundaries, Dual Relationships, Advertising, Legality and Rural Practice and Advertising Begin Date: 03 May 2021

Module/Topic

Advertising and ethics

Boundaries and dual relationships

Working in small and regional communities

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 4


Resources on Moodle:

1. APS Ethical guidelines for managing professional boundaries and multiple relationships

2. APS Ethical guidelines for psychological practice in rural and remote settings

3. What's in a name: Psychologists' Titles

4. The Practice of Psychology in Rural Communities: Potential Ethical Dilemmas. (Helbok, 2010)

5. Managing Multiple Relationships in Rural Communities: Neutrality and Boundary Violations (Faulkner & Faulkner, 1997)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9: Professional Practice Ethics - Working with Diversity and Indigenous Clients Begin Date: 10 May 2021

Module/Topic

Gender and cultural diversity

Cultural ethics

Working with Indigenous clients

Discuss Assessment

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapter 6


Resources on Moodle:

1. APS Ethical guidelines on working with sex and/or gender diverse clients

2. APS Ethical guidelines for psychological practice with lesbian, gay and bisexual clients

3. APS Ethical guidelines for psychological practice with clients with an intellectual disability

4. APS Ethical guidelines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

5. Ethical professional practice: exploring the issues for health services to rural Aboriginal communities (Malone, 2012)

6. An Interdisciplinary Approach to LGBTI professional training and Ethical Care (Bidell, 2017)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Prepare for submission of Assessment 2 (Professional Ethics).

Due Week 10: Monday, May 17th, 2021; 9am AEST.

Week 10: Professional Practice Ethics - Managing risky clients Begin Date: 17 May 2021

Module/Topic

Assessing the ethical responsibilities with clients at risk to themselves or others

Suicide and suicide prevention

Chapter

Boyle and Gamble - Chapters 7 and 8


Resources on Moodle:

1. Assessing suicide and self-harm (Headspace)

2. Responding to serious antisocial behaviour, Day (2013)

3. APS Ethical guidelines for working with clients when there is a risk of serious harm to others

4. APS Ethical guidelines relating to clients at risk of suicide

5. Working with suicidal clients (Hawgood & De Leo, 2015)

6. De-escalation of aggressive behaviour (Hallett & Dickens, 2017)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Submission of Assessment 2 (Professional Ethics).

Due Week 10: Monday, May 17th, 2021; 9am AEST.


Written Assessment Due: Week 10 Monday (17 May 2021) 9:00 am AEST
Week 11: Animal Research and Ethics Begin Date: 24 May 2021

Module/Topic

Issues with using animals for research - who benefits?

 The 3 Rs

Chapter

Resources on Moodle:

1. Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition (2013)

2. Links to some animal research sites

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12: Review and summary week, test preparation Begin Date: 31 May 2021

Module/Topic

Review of the material covered this term, preparation for the online test

Wrap up of Research Ethics

Wrap up of Professional Ethics

Chapter

No additional readings this week

Events and Submissions/Topic

5pm, Friday 6th June: Feedback and marks due back for Assessment 2 (Professional Ethics).

Review Week/Exam Week Begin Date: 07 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online test - date to be confirmed

Exam Week Begin Date: 14 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Online test Due: Exam Week Monday (14 Jun 2021) 11:45 pm AEST
Assessment Tasks

1 Group Work

Assessment Title
Group Presentation

Task Description

You will be critiquing a Research Ethics application and will be providing solutions to the ethical issues identified. The assessment will be presented as a Group Oral Presentation at the online Residential School in Week 3. You will also submit the accompanying powerpoints/slides.


Assessment Due Date

Week 3 Tuesday (23 Mar 2021) 1:00 pm AEST

The Group Presentation will be given at the Residential School


Return Date to Students

Week 5 Friday (9 Apr 2021)

Feedback and the mark will be returned to the students via Moodle.


Weighting
35%

Assessment Criteria

Your task will be to conduct an ethical critique of an ethics application, and develop a presentation based on the aspects you consider need addressing by the researcher. Your critique should focus on requirements according to the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

  • Identify and explain the problem (with reference to the specific NHMRC guidelines and other appropriate empirical sources).
  • What alternatives are there to the proposed approach and how might these lead to better ethical conduct of this specific research project (again with reference to both the NHRMC guidelines and the provision of other empirical evidence to justify your assertions and propositions).
  • Focus on issues such as the clarity of the research question, identification of risk, and participant confidentiality.
  • Provide some solutions to the problems identified - what would need to be changed to ensure the project meets the required ethical standards?

Together you should develop a PowerPoint (or similar) presentation that explains and addresses at least three (3) of the issues your group identifies.

Each group will present their critique and solutions at the Residential School, and each group member should participate fully in the development of the presentation as well as the presentation itself.


Referencing Style

Submission
Offline Online Group

Submission Instructions
Please submit the powerpoints on Moodle, individually

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Identify and apply the ethical requirements of psychological research in an Australian context, particularly as they relate to the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Human Research
  • Critically evaluate research from an ethics perspective and propose changes to a research approach and/or design to address the ethical issues identified


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Team Work
  • Ethical practice
  • Social Innovation

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Written Assessment

Task Description

Students will choose one of four (4) professional ethical dilemmas which will be made available on Moodle. Students will then apply the revised Australian Psychological Society (APS) ethical decision making model (EDM) discussed and practiced during the residential school and during the lectures.

The assessment will be a discussion of an ethical dilemma that would be encountered in Professional Practice written in essay form. Essay length is 1250-1500 words and students should refer to the Marking Rubric to ensure the sections of the EDM model are addressed.


Assessment Due Date

Week 10 Monday (17 May 2021) 9:00 am AEST

Submission via Moodle


Return Date to Students

Week 12 Friday (4 Jun 2021)

Assignments will be returned via Moodle.


Weighting
35%

Assessment Criteria

Assessment will be based on the following:

Content of the essay ( /20) including:

  • Identification and explanation of relevant ethical issues.
  • Detailed explanation of possible negative and positive implications of potential actions.
  • Rationale for choice of preferred action - Definite conclusions (clear stance).
  • Review and integration of valid and current research.
  • Referral to relevant sections of the Australian Psychology Society (APS) Code of Ethics and the Australian Psychology Society (APS) Ethical Decision Making model (EDM).

Structure and style of the essay (/10) including:

  • Demonstration of high level critical and analytical thinking.
  • Appropriate language and style for a professional / academic audience.
  • Good sentence structure, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Format and layout (/5) including:

  • Accuracy of in-text citations.
  • Appropriate use of in-text citations.
  • Correct APA formatting for in-text citations and reference list.
  • Overall adherence to APA (Version 7) requirements


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
To be submitted via Moodle by Monday 17th May (Week 10) at 9am AEST

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Apply and evaluate ethical decision making strategies across multiple professional contexts, particularly as they relate to applications of the Code of Ethics and the Ethical Guidelines of the Australian Psychological Society.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ethical practice

3 Online Test

Assessment Title
Online test

Task Description

Your knowledge of research ethics and professional ethics will be assessed in this online test. You will be required to apply your knowledge of the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines and the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Ethical Guidelines to examples of research studies and professional situations.


Assessment Due Date

Exam Week Monday (14 Jun 2021) 11:45 pm AEST

This test will be scheduled in the exam weeks


Return Date to Students

Marks will be returned on the certification of grades day


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

The purpose of this test is to gauge your ability to think ethically “on the fly”. That is, we would like you to apply the knowledge you have gained relating to research and professional ethical issues.


We do not require you to be able to cite specific sections of the NHMRC guidelines, or APS code of conduct etc., but rather, be able to identify issues and how you might deal with them using your working knowledge.

Following from the structure of this unit, the test consists of two sections/parts. ONE on research ethics, and ONE on professional ethics (see instructions below)


There will not be a word limit set- this will depend on the number of words you need to satisfactorily make your point and address the criteria.


Please note, the topic in Week 11 relating to Animal Ethics will not be part of the test.



Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Access this test via Moodle during the exam weeks (day/time to be announced)

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Identify and apply the ethical requirements of psychological research in an Australian context, particularly as they relate to the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Human Research
  • Critically evaluate research from an ethics perspective and propose changes to a research approach and/or design to address the ethical issues identified
  • Apply and evaluate ethical decision making strategies across multiple professional contexts, particularly as they relate to applications of the Code of Ethics and the Ethical Guidelines of the Australian Psychological Society.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?