GEN PRAC 5006HO - Ethics in the Workplace

Teaching Hospitals - Semester 2 - 2014

This subject aims to provide scope for the application of knowledge and skills either in the context of the student's own workplace or that of a suitable agency, institution or service in which the counselling of clients can occur. The course orients students toward issues that are important in professional counselling, including: - Ethical issues; - Accountability; - Legal issues, including professional indemnity; - Mandatory reporting and working with children who need protection; - Record keeping and report writing; - Supervision; - Professional counselling organisations; - Qualities of effective counsellors and the needs of counsellors; - Professional issues around establishing the counselling relationship, assessment, therapy and termination; - Ongoing development and maintenance of counselling skills.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEN PRAC 5006HO
    Course Ethics in the Workplace
    Coordinating Unit General Practice
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Teaching Hospitals
    Units 3
    Contact 3 day intensive
    Course Description This subject aims to provide scope for the application of knowledge and skills either in the context of the student's own workplace or that of a suitable agency, institution or service in which the counselling of clients can occur.
    The course orients students toward issues that are important in professional counselling, including:
    - Ethical issues;
    - Accountability;
    - Legal issues, including professional indemnity;
    - Mandatory reporting and working with children who need protection;
    - Record keeping and report writing;
    - Supervision;
    - Professional counselling organisations;
    - Qualities of effective counsellors and the needs of counsellors;
    - Professional issues around establishing the counselling relationship, assessment, therapy and termination;
    - Ongoing development and maintenance of counselling skills.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Jaklin Eliott

    Course Coordinator: Dr Jaklin Eliott
    Phone: +61 8313 3855
    Location: Level 11, 178 North Terrace

    Learning and Teaching Team
    Phone: +61 8313 2128
    Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Successful completion of this course will enable the student to:

    1 Identify and apply the ethical theories, codes of ethics, and legislation relevant to counselling and psychotherapy.
    2 Recognise and critically reflect on a range of ethical issues, and ethical dilemmas in contemporary counselling practice.
    3 Clearly articulate the ethical basis of their own values and preferences in counselling practice.
    4 Recognise and respond correctly and contextually to indicators of unethical or harmful behaviour in a professional counselling role.
    5 Develop and demonstrate their capacity to communicate ethical concepts and justify informed clinical decisions through reference to appropriate ethical theories, models and/or principles.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 4, 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-5
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    The following textbooks are recommended
    Carroll, M. & Shaw, E. (2012). Ethical maturity in the helping professions. Kew, Victoria: PsychOz publications.
    Pope, K. S. & Vasquez, M. T. (2011) Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counselling, A Practical Guide. (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Copies of readings (relevant journal articles) will be made available via MyUni. A range of videos and YouTube clips will be recommended for students to study.

    Online Learning
    3.3.1 MyUni
    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework program have access to a Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. This course is available on MyUni at .
    Please check the website regularly as it may contain announcements that are relevant to your study in the course. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site:
    Discussion Board – Users can post discussion items and reply to other posts. Note: If you would like to have a specific Discussion Board Forum created, please send your request to
    Send Email – This feature enables users to send email to fellow students.
    Group Pages – Groups enable Users to collaborate with each other. Groups usually consist of a smaller group of Users in a course or organisation, such as study groups or project groups. From a Group Page, users may send email, exchange files, enter discussion forums or enter collaboration sessions.
    Note: Only members of a particular Group can access the Group communication features (discussion forums, email, etc.). If you would like to have a specific Group Page created, please send your request to . For example, Group Pages can be created to include students living in the same geographical area or students working for the same organisation.
    Please note that you also have access to individual MyUni sites for EACH course you are enrolled in. Please check the sites regularly as they may contain important announcements that are relevant to your study in the course.

    3.3.2 Access Adelaide
    Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows you to access and, in some cases, amend your records. It can be found at:
    You can log into Access Adelaide to view:
    your enrolment details for any term
    your academic results
    your unofficial academic transcript
    your personal details
    the fees, charges and payments on your University account
    your exam schedule
    your graduation eligibility details.
    As a student you can:
    change your address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as well) change your password
    set a password clue to help you remember your password.

    3.3.3 Student email
    It is important that you set up your student email and check it regularly. Information from your course coordinator and student administration will be sent to you at your University of Adelaide email address. It is your responsibility to check your email. You will need your student number located on your student card to log in.

    3.3.4 Computers
    Where can I use a computer in the University?
    Computing facilities are provided to students by the University, and there are several suites of computers available, including at the Barr Smith Library and in Hub Central. The University web site has a list of computer labs at:

    3.3.5 Internet access
    The University provides a free dial-up service to students without the need for a commercial ISP account. This service is available at the cost of a local call to students residing within Adelaide (please refer to your telecommunications provider for confirmation of call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates ( Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be an experiential and interactive one, with twelve 2 hour sessions, plus a single 6-hour day intensive offered over a semester. The course will additionally require that students engage with materials presented online, undertake readings, and complete online quizzes. Sessions will be constructed as lecture/workshops and will include didactic sessions, small group, and large group discussions as well as personal reflection on ethical materials. Lecturers will use illustrations from their own work, along with structured exercises and group discussion, as a way of supporting participants to engage with the various ethical theories, clarify professional legal and ethical responsibilities, and develop an understanding of the ethical foundations of their own practice. The didactic and other face-to-face sessions will be supported by readings and videos, and assessment designed to assist integration of learning and development of skills.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course comprises two hours every week, plus one 6-hour intensive. Sessions will be seminar/workshop format, with a mixture of lectures and interactive exercises, and it is compulsory for all students to attend. Essential readings or on-line video material will be set every week, and we expect that all students will have read or viewed these before each session. If students do not do the essential reading/s, they will find it difficult to follow the theory section of the session.
    Face to Face lectures and practicals: 2 hours / week
    Core/background readings: 6 hours / week
    Preparation of assignments: 4 hours / week
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will introduce students to the key philosophical and theoretical approaches which guide current ethical practice. Areas covered include
    general ethical theories and approaches that can inform ethical behaviour,
    relevant codes of professional conduct and ethics, plus legislation
    consent, confidentiality and privacy,
    case-note and record keeping
    comon ethical issues and dilemmas which may arise in practice.
    ethical practice in working with vulnerable/marginalised populations
    The majority of sessions will include the application of theoretical perspectives in practice.
    Classwork will be supported by reading and reflection, including engagement with online materials and an online quiz. Written assignments will assist in the integration of theoretical and experiential perspectives, with specific focus on increasing critical appraisal of one's own ethical stance and decision-making, and the foundation for these.

    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Ethical Practice Introduction to ethics and ethical thinking
    Week 2 Professional codes and relevant legislation Mental Health Act and codes of ethics
    Consent, confidentiality, and privacy
    Week 3 Competent practice The counsellor-client relationship
    Week 4 Competent practice Changing others
    Working with GLBTQ clients
    Week 5 Competent practice Working with Indigenous clients

    Week 6

    Competent practice Working with CALD/immigrants
    Week 7 Competent practice Suicidality
    Week 8 Ethical practice Working with the young and elderly
    Week 9 Ethical practice Religion and spirituality
    Knowing your limits
    Week 10 Ethical practice Ethical issues at the end of life
    Week 11 Ethical practice Organisations, and you
    Week 12 Ethical problem solving Problem solving with ethical dilemmas
    Week 13 Child-safe environments Child-Safe Environment Training
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Class participation Summative 10% 1-3, 5
    Online Quiz: Codes and legislation Summative 10% 1, 4
    Essay: Knowing Yourself: Preferences and Values Summative 40% 3, 5
    Essay: Written ethical analysis Summative 40% 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    This course is based on experiential learning, specifically in engagement with others, and this is reflected in the assessment of class participation. If special circumstances arise which prevent you from attending any sessions, you should discuss these with the Course Coordinator. If you nominate illness as the reason for missing these sessions, a medical certificate will be required. You may also be asked to write a summary of the missed unit content to demonstrate your familiarity with the presented material.

    Assessment instructions and marking rubric/criteria will be made available online through MyUni.

    To pass this course, you must obtain a pass for each assessment task.
    Assessment Detail
    Class Participation: students are expected participate in class according to established group norms
    Online quiz: students are required to complete a short multiple choice online quiz assessing knowledge of legal and professional requirements pertaining to counselling practice.

    Essay Knowing Yourself: Preferences and Values 1: Students are required to complete a short quiz, and, in an essay (2500-3000 words), reflect on their own beliefs, preferences, and abilities with reference to therapeutic engagement with a general and specific population, demonstrating awareness of relevant ethical, legal, personal, practical, and professional constructs.

    Essay: Written Ethical Analysis: Students will submit an essay (2500-3000 words) in which they will analyse a case-study of an ethical dilemma, using a structured analytical framework to arrive at, defend, and outline how they would implement a chosen course of action that comprises an ethically informed decision.
    Submission of Assignments
    Assignments should be submitted through the “Assignments” section of MyUni. Instructions on how to submit an assignment in this way can be found at:
    Assignments must be submitted by 11.59 pm on the day that they are due. (note that MyUni will accept your assignment after this time but it will be marked Late.
    Feedback on assignments will be provided to students within 4 weeks of completion of the task so that students can take advantage of this feedback.

    Extension of Time for Assessment Items
    Up to one week
    It is expected that all assessments will be submitted by the specified time on the specified due date.
    However, students may apply for an extension of time to submit an assessment, if they are experiencing difficulty. Applications for extension must be made to the Course Coordinator and copied into the Program Administrator, in writing (e.g. email) prior to the due date lodgement of the assignment. Anticipate that it may take a few days to receive a reply. The grounds for granting an extension include health problems, compassionate reasons and other extenuating circumstances. Extensions will usually only be granted for a maximum of one week, but can be longer at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Academic Progress Committee if substantiated with evidence such as a medical certificate. Only original documents or certified copies of originals will be accepted.
    You will be notified by email to your University of Adelaide student email account of the outcome of your application. If your extension is granted then it is your responsibility to keep in contact with the course coordinator and to hand in the assessment with a copy of the email (or other document) approving the extension. Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Longer than one week
    If you require an extension for longer than one week, please contact the Course Co-ordinator Jaklin Eliott on to discuss your request. Please submit any applications copied into the Program Administrator If you require an extension for longer than a week due to illness, a medical certificate will be required.
    Failure to submit an assessment item on time without an approved extension will incur a penalty as detailed under ‘Late Submission of Work’.

    Late Submission of Work
    All assignments should be submitted by 11.59pm on the due date.
    Late submission without an approved extension will be penalised at the rate of 10% of available marks for each day after the due date. Work submitted more than ten days after the due date may be returned unmarked. This action will be taken to prevent students who do get their work in on time being disadvantaged.

    Word Limit
    You are advised to comply with word limits. You are, of course, not expected to achieve exactly the required length and a 10% leeway on either side is acceptable. However, a penalty of 5% of available marks will apply for word limit in excess of the 10% leeway.

    It is essential that you reference all written work accurately and consistently. We ask that use the American Psychological Society Referencing Format (APA 6) and information regarding this system can be found at .
    A Guide to APA 6th Edition, developed by Monash University will also be provided in MyUni.

    EndNote bibliographic software is a very useful tool for managing your references and it is provided free of charge through the university. Information about EndNote can be found at:

    Be aware that marks will be deducted for incorrect referencing in all assignments.

    Requesting a Re-Mark
    Any student who, after discussion of the result with the lecturer in charge, is still dissatisfied with the final grade awarded for a course, or with the mark awarded for a particular piece of assessment work, and who has specific grounds for objecting to the grade/mark, may lodge a written request for a review of the result or an independent second assessment with the Head of Discipline within 10 University business days from the date of notification of the result. Such a written request must contain details of the grounds on which the objection is based.

    Requests must include a summary of the reasons the student believes his or her assessment work deserves a higher mark. These reasons must be directly related to the academic quality of the work. Re-marks, for example, will not be granted where the grounds are that the student has paid tuition fees or incurred liability under HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, or needs one or two additional marks to get a higher overall grade for the course. The Head of Discipline may seek the advice of the Academic Progress Committee, and will make a determination on review or second assessment and inform the student of his or her decision in writing.

    The mark awarded to a piece of work following review or second assessment as provided for in this policy or as a consequence of appeal to the Student Appeals Committee will usually stand as the final mark for the work, regardless of whether this mark is higher or lower than the mark originally awarded.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    Following student feedback on the previous Ethics course, this course has been changed from an intensive format to a 12 week structure, with an additional 6-hour intensive included to provide requested certification in Child-safe environment training.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.