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Guidance on Teaching and Assessment of Ethical Competence in Psychology Education (2015)

07 December 2016

The BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct (2009) states that "Thinking about ethics should pervade all professional activity." As a result this document has been designed to provide a framework for good practice in the teaching and assessment of ethical competence in psychology education.

The aim of this document, which has been produced by The Ethics Committee of the British Psychological Society, is:

  • to enable approrpiate ethical knowledge and practice at all levels of study in psychology;
  • to provide guidance that cultivates an ethical mindset in psychology students;
  • to provide practical resources to aid in the teaching of ethics.

The guidance which this document provides is based on the Four Component Model (Rest, 1982) which identifies the sequence of thoughts and actions which result in ethical behaviour:

  • Ethical Sensitivity
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Ethical Motivation
  • Ethical Implementation

This model provides a good foundation for educators to assess and improve the ethical competency of their students, at varying levels of study.


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