History

Ethics in EFPA

The European Federation of Professional Psychologists Associations (EFPPA) was founded in 1981, changing its title to EFPA (The European Federation of Psychologists Associations) in 2001.

In September 1988, the General Assembly decided to appoint a Task Force to “ explore the possibility of, and work towards the realisation of common European ethical codes for professional psychologists. The Ethical Principles for Scandinavian Psychologists will, as an example of codes that are well-developed and international, serve as an important point of reference for the Task Force. A report and possible proposals shall be presented at the next General Assembly”.

From Task Force and Standing Committee to Board

The first meeting of the  “Task Force on professional ethics” took place in Amsterdam,  in January 1990. Seven countries were represented -  France, The Netherlands,  Hungary,  Norway, Spain, Switzerland and The United Kingdom.

From the beginning it seemed difficult to write a European common code, so the purpose of the Task Force became to propose a meta-code on ethics, a common framework for the ethical codes in the member-countries. The Meta-code was adopted at the general Assembly in Athens in July 1995 and the Task Force became a Standing Committee. Since then a number of guidelines and recommendations have been produced and can be downloaded on our site.

The task of the Standing Committee was mostly

  • to give information to the national members associations writing or rewriting their ethical codes
  • to re-read, revise and support the ethical codes
  • to develop guidelines
  • to answer to questions of the General Assembly
  • since 2003 to organise regularly symposia on professional ethics

In 2008, Geoff Lindsay, Casper Koene, Haldor Ovreeide and Fredi Lang, all members of the Standing Committee on Ethics published Ethics for European Psychologists which provides useful guidance on many issues for any psychologist interested in a European perspective on practice.

In 2010, 18 countries were represented in the Standing Committee on  Ethics. In 2011 the name was changed to The Board of Ethics.

Convenors

Convenors of the Standing Committee on Ethics :

  • Geir Nielsen (Norway) , 1990 -1993
  • Casper Koene (The Netherlands), 1993 – 1999
  • Geoff Lindsay (United Kingdom), 1999 – 2009
  • Pierre Nederlandt (Belgium) now convenor of The Board of Ethics,  2009