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Ethical & Professional Standards

The American Counseling Association is responsible for providing access to, and interpretation of, the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics. This web page provides ACA members and members of the public with the necessary tools to ensure compliance with the ethical standards of the counseling profession.
Bingo Tile 9 ACA Code of Ethics

ACA Code of Ethics

The 2014 update to the ACA Code of Ethics includes new or expanded guidelines on the use social media with clients; distance counseling; confidentiality; extending boundaries; multiculturalism and diversity; the use of technology; record keeping; diagnosis; end-of life care; the selection of interventions; and preventing the imposition of counselor personal values.

Download the Code 2014 ACA Código de Ética

To view previous editions of the Codes of Ethics, visit our Ethics Archive.

Ethics Consultation Services

The American Counseling Association is pleased to help ACA members with inquiries on ethical practice, career counseling and advice regarding the profession.

NOTE: This service is not designed to function as a real-time hotline. Inquiries are prioritized, and we typically respond to requests within three business days of receipt.

Although ethics and risk management are related, ACA does not offer risk management services such as advice to minimize risk in the event of lawsuits and/or criminal charges. ACA believes that whenever questions arise, counselors should consult with a lawyer licensed in the jurisdiction in which they practice.

Ethics Complaints

The ACA Ethics Committee is responsible for processing complaints of alleged violations of the ACA Code of Ethics. To file a complaint against a counselor who is an active ACA member, please review the  Policies and Procedures for Processing Complaints of Ethical Violations. After reviewing the Policies and Procedures for Processing Complaints of Ethical Violations, begin the complaint process by sending an email to

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