IAABC Code of Ethics

Principle I: Responsibility to Clients

Animal behavior consultants respect the rights of those seeking their assistance, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that their services are used appropriately. Core values of the profession include respect of a client's right to self-determination and a non-judgmental approach.

1.1 Animal behavior consultants provide professional assistance to persons without discrimination on the basis of race,age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, gender, health status, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.

1.2 Animal behavior consultants comply with applicable laws regarding the reporting of animal bites and possible neglect/abuse.

1.3 Animal behavior consultants embrace a non-judgmental approach that includes respect for the rights of client families to make decisions and help them to understand the consequences of these decisions. Consultants clearly advise the clients that clients have the responsibility to make decisions regarding their animal(s).

1.4 Animal behavior consultants continue working with a client only as long as it is reasonably clear that the client is benefiting.

1.5 Animal behavior consultants obtain written informed consent from clients before videotaping, audio recording, or permitting third-party observation.

1.6 Animal behavior consultants upon agreeing to provide services to a person or entity at the request of a third party, clarify, to the extent feasible and at the outset of the service, the nature of the relationship with each party and the limits of confidentiality.

Principle II: Confidentiality

Consultants respect and guard the confidences of clients.

2.1 Animal behavior consultants inform clients and other interested parties, the nature of confidentiality; possible limitations of the client's right to confidentiality; circumstances where confidential information may be requested and where disclosure of confidential information may be legally required. This may be done in writing or in an verbal review.

2.2 Animal behavior consultants do not disclose client confidences except by written authorization or waiver, or where mandated or permitted by law.

2.3 Upon moving from an area or closing a practice, an animal behavior consultant arranges for the storage, transfer or disposal of client records in a manner that maintains confidentiality and safeguards the welfare of clients

2.4 Animal behavior consultants, do not share confidential information that could reasonably lead to the identification of a client or prospective client, research participant, or other person with whom they have a confidential relationship, unless they have obtained the prior written consent of the client, research participant, or other person with whom they have a confidential relationship.

Principle III: Professional Competence and Integrity

3.1 Animal behavior consultants work to minimize the use of aversive stimuli and maximize the effective use of positive reinforcement to modify animal behavior.

3.2 Animal behavior consultants pursue knowledge of new developments and maintain competence in animal behavior consulting through education, training, or supervised experience.

3.3 Animal behavior consultants maintain adequate knowledge of and adhere to applicable laws, ethics, and professional standards.

3.4 Animal behavior consultants, as presenters, teachers, supervisors, consultants and researchers, present accurate information, and disclose potential conflicts of interest.

3.5 Animal behavior consultants maintain accurate and adequate records.

3.6 While developing new skills in specialty areas, animal behavior consultants practice in specialty areas new to them only after appropriate education, training, or supervised experience.

3.7 Animal behavior consultants do not engage in the exploitation of clients, students, supervisees,trainees, employees,colleagues, or research subjects.

3.8 Animal behavior consultants do not advise on problems outside the recognized boundaries of their competencies.

3.9 Animal behavior consultants, because of their ability to influence and alter the lives of others, exercise special care when making public their professional recommendations and opinions through testimony or other public statements.

3.10 Animal behavior consultants are in violation of this Code and subject to termination of membership or other appropriate action if they: (a) are convicted of any felony; (b) are convicted of a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or functions; (c) engage in conduct which could lead to conviction of a felony, or a misdemeanor related to their qualifications or functions;(f) fail to cooperate with the Association at any point from the inception of an ethical complaint through the completion of all proceedings regarding that complaint.

Principle IV: Responsibility to Students and Supervisees

4.1 Animal behavior consultants do not permit students or supervisees to perform or to hold themselves out as competent to perform professional services beyond their training, level of experience, and competence.

Principle V: Responsibility to the Profession

5.1 Animal behavior consultants who are the authors of books or other materials that are published or distributed do not plagiarize or fail to cite persons to whom credit for original ideas or work is due.

5.2 Animal behavior consultants are respectful of colleagues and other professionals and do not condemn the character of their professional acts, nor engage in public commentary, including commentary in public presentations, written media or on websites, Internet discussion lists or social media, that is disrespectful, derisive or inflammatory. This includes cyberbullying, that is, the use of electronic media for deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior against colleagues.

Principle VI: Financial Arrangements

6.1 Animal behavior consultants do not offer or accept kickbacks, rebates, bonuses, or other remuneration for referrals; fee-for-service arrangements are not prohibited.

6.2 Prior to entering into the consulting relationship, animal behavior consultants clearly disclose and explain to clients and students all financial arrangements and fees related to professional services, including charges for canceled or missed appointments. Once services have begun, consultants provide reasonable notice of any changes in fees or other charges.

6.3 Animal behavior consultants represent facts truthfully to clients and supervisees regarding services rendered.

Principle VII: Advertising

7.1 Animal behavior consultants accurately represent their competencies, education, training, and experience relevant to their practice of animal behavior consulting.

7.2 Animal behavior consultants do not use names that could mislead the public concerning the identity, responsibility, source,and status of those practicing under that name.

7.3 Animal behavior consultants do not use any professional identification (such as a business card, office sign, letterhead,Internet, or telephone or association directory listing) if it includes a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive.

7.4 Animal behavior consultants list bachelor, master, specialist and doctoral degrees only from recognized accredited colleges and universities.

7.5 Animal behavior consultants correct, wherever possible, false, misleading, or inaccurate information and representations made by others concerning the consultant's qualifications, services, or products.

7.6 Animal behavior consultants do not represent themselves as providing specialized services unless they have the appropriate education, training, or experience.

Principle VIII Ethics Education

The Ethics Committee shall design and administer an education program regarding ethics and shall make said program available to the membership.

Process for Filing Ethics Concern

The process for filing, investigating, and resolving complaints of unethical conduct is described in the Procedures for Handling Ethical Matters of the IAABC. For matters requiring these procedures, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Adopted: 9/30/14


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Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC)


565 Callery Road
Cranberry Township, PA 16066


©2018 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants