Code of Ethics

Virginia Association of Activity Professionals (VAAP)

Code of Ethics


The Virginia Association of Activity Professionals (VAAP) is a professional organization committed to promoting quality of life in geriatric settings. All active members are expected to adhere to the standards listed here in addition to the general principles of ethical conduct endorsed by all other health-related disciplines. As the code of ethics of this organization, this document establishes principles that define the ethical behavior of its members. All members of the Virginia Association of Activity Professionals are required to adhere to the Code of Ethics. The following declaration establishes principles that define the ethical behavior of members and is called the VAAP Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics will serve as the basis for processing ethical complaints initiated against members of the association.

I. Professional Responsibility

All members have a responsibility to read, understand, and follow the Code of Ethics. They are expected to adhere to these standards in their professional practice in order to maintain their membership.

II. General Standards

The member strives to enhance the development of the profession by seeking to improve professional practices through teaching, service, advocacy and leadership
The member recognizes the need for professional growth and continuing education.
The member neither claims nor implies professional qualifications exceeding those possessed.
The member applies continuous Quality Improvement practices.
The member provides only those services for which they are qualified by training or experience.
The member shall honor all financial commitments made to the VAAP, i.e. membership fees, education/conference fees, and ways & means.

III. Resident/Client Relationship

The member guards the rights and individual dignity of the resident/client and promotes their welfare.
The member does not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, or socioeconomic status.
The member does not bring personal issues to the resident/client relationship.
The member shall advocate on behalf of the resident/client to receive appropriate activity services.
The member must ensure that residents/clients of various functioning ability levels have equal access and are provided appropriate activity services.
The member respects their resident/client’s right to privacy and confidentiality.

IV. Professional Relationship Standards

The member has a responsibility to the institution in which s/he performs service to maintain the highest standard of professional conduct and services to their clients. The acceptance of employment implies that the member is in agreement with their general policies and objectives, and therefore, provides services that are in accordance with them. If the member finds that the institutional policy and service systems hampers residents/clients potential and/or prevents access to service, the member must seek to cause the employer to change such policy and/or systems.
Ethical behavior among professional associations is expected at all times.
The member must seek professional review and evaluation on a regular basis.
The member must establish interpersonal relations and working agreements with other department personnel and define relationships, responsibilities and accountability in regard to their common residents/clients.
The member, who supervises activity staff, must be responsible for in-service development for activity staff, inform their staff of department ethics, and core value and program goals, and provide staff with practices that guarantee the rights and welfare of each resident/client who receives their services.
The member who supervises activity staff must be just and fair with staff, give credit when it is due and give counsel when work performance is below standard.

V. Educational Standards

The member shall continue to complete educational sessions both academic and continuing education, in order to keep abreast of quality activity programming, and if certified to meet education standards set forth by certifying organization.
The member shall report accurately and fairly the educational sessions attended and the credit received.
The member shall refuse to participate in falsification of any educational documents.

VI. Experiential Standards

The member shall meet federal and state regulations regarding standards to be a qualified director of an activity program before marketing oneself as a professional in the provision of activities programming.
The member will avoid any falsification or misrepresentation of one’s employment record.
The member shall function at the highest practical level of one’s ability and skill to the benefit of the residents/clients.

VII. Resolving Ethical Issues

Members are responsible for understanding and following this Code of Ethics. Lack of knowledge or misunderstanding of an ethical responsibility is not a defense against a charge of unethical conduct. It is the responsibility of the VAAP Board of Directors to review such charges. If it is found that a member is not adhering to the VAAP Code of Ethics the membership may be rescinded or denied. If the member is also a certified professional through a national accreditation organization the member’s unethical conduct will be reported to their certifying organization.