Standards, Ethics and Principles
These documents set forth the IACP Principles of Collaborative Practice, the IACP Standards for Collaborative Practitioners, the IACP Standards for Collaborative Basic Training, the IACP Ethical Standards for Collaborative Practitioners and the IACP Standards for Collaborative Trainers.
The Standards for Collaborative Trainers, Trainings and Practitioners printed here have been in place since 2005.
The Ethical Standards for Collaborative Practitioners have been restated. The draft now posted on this website was approved by the IACP Board of Directors in January 2008. The documents set forth on this website reflect more than five years of ongoing effort in the development, revision, and adoption of these Standards. Experienced Collaborative practitioners from the fields of law, mental health, and finance serving on the Standards Committee have contributed their knowledge, perspective, and experience to this evolving work. The restated Ethical Standards reflect a reorganization of the previous Standards and do not intend to create a substantive change in the Standards. Several important points about these Standards should be made clear:
- These Standards are voluntary guidelines; they are aspirational in nature, and not intended to set "gatekeeper" standards or a "standard of care." We offer them to our community as an invitation to better practice. We offer them more generally to build confidence about Collaborative Practice in practitioners, the public, consumers, and the judiciary. They represent the best thinking of your most experienced colleagues.
- The Standards are a work-in-process. While they reflect wide agreement across our membership about what our minimum Standards should be, we expect the Standards to evolve and change over time. The Standards address the Collaborative community's desire for guidelines within which to offer our unique practice. We fully expect to continue to refine these Standards as need and experience suggest. The IACP Standards Committee welcomes your comments and suggestions.
- The Ethical Standards do not preempt the ethical standards of various disciplines; rather, they supplement them by addressing unique challenges posed by Collaborative Practice. Trainers and trainings that meet IACP Standards should help new practitioners understand how to address these challenges effectively.
- We hope that the Standards will offer guidance both to practitioners and to trainers in the development of training programs. Collaborative Practice is substantially different from traditional practice as well as from other alternate dispute resolution modalities, and presents specific challenges not necessarily addressed by the ethical standards of individual disciplines.
- Practitioners who choose to comply with these voluntary Standards may identify themselves as having met IACP minimum Standards for Collaborative Practice. The IACP will not police or certify compliance. The IACP is not a disciplinary organization, and although we strongly urge all practitioners to incorporate these minimum Standards into their work, failure to comply with the Standards will not bar a person from IACP membership. We expect that practice groups may decide to incorporate these Standards into their membership expectations, however, and this organization plans to offer IACP members opportunities to inform clients seeking collaborative representation and assistance that they have voluntarily met these minimum Standards.
We invite each of you to read, absorb, and apply the Standards in your own Collaborative Practice with clients and colleagues. And we urge practice groups to use these Standards intelligently as part of practice group membership expectations, thereby contributing in a particularly effective way toward fostering a consistent, shared understanding of what it means to be a competent Collaborative practitioner.