Rules and Regulation of Ethics Committee
RULES AND PROCEDURES OF MSCP ETHICS COMMITTEE (REVISED)
Date: December 14th, 2022
Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (hereinafter referred to as “the Society) has formulated
the Society’s Code of Ethics which came into effect on 18th December 2010.
The main objective of the Code of Ethics is to set and uphold the highest standards of
professionalism, and to promote ethical behaviour, attitudes and judgements among clinical
psychologists in Malaysia.
The Executive Council (hereinafter referred to as “the EXCO”) has on 9th February 2020 resolved
to form a subcommittee in accordance with clause 8.12 of the Society’s Constitution and name it
the Ethics Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to assist the EXCO in achieving
partly the above objectives, in particular relating to ethical behaviour of clinical psychologists in
Malaysia. However, when the Society's Constitution was revised in late 2020, the Ethics Committee came under clause 9a of the Society's Constitution.
The Rules and Procedure of MSCP Ethics Committee (hereinafter referred to as “the Document”)
outlines the objectives, responsibilities and operating rules and procedures of the Ethics
Committee and serves as a guide for the members of the Ethics Committee to perform their
This Document which comes into effect on December 14th, 2022 shall be read in conjunction with the
Society’s Code of Ethics 2015 and it supersedes the procedures stipulated in the “Complaints
Alleging Violation of Ethics Code” section of the Society’s Code of Ethics (pages 34, 35, 36).
THE ETHICS COMMITTEE
1. OBJECTIVES OF THE ETHICS COMMITTEE
To maintain a high level of ethical conduct among clinical psychologists in Malaysia
To educate clinical psychologists in Malaysia concerning ethical standards
To protect the public against harmful conduct by clinical psychologists.
2.1. the Committee has jurisdiction on all membership types stipulated in clause 4 of the
Society’s constitution, with specific limitations in relation to the following:
for International members and affiliates, the jurisdiction is limited to alleged
misconduct occurring within Malaysia
for Student members, the jurisdiction is limited to the extent that the alleged misconduct is NOT under the direct supervision of the student’s educational program
2.2. the Committee continues to have jurisdiction over members who have resigned or
whose memberships have lapsed in accordance to clause 9.1 the Society’s Constitution,
PROVIDED that the alleged misconduct occurred before the resignation or lapse of
3. RESPONSIBILITIES OF ETHICS COMMITTEE
To review the Society’s code of ethics and recommend amendment for approval of the
EXCO where deem necessary;
To review and formulate rules and procedures stipulated in this Document where deem
To advise and assist the EXCO in resolving complaints of unethical conducts, either
through consultation with the Committee or by initiating investigation on such
To recommend to the EXCO on corrective actions to be taken in resolving the complaints.
Notes: Ethics committee is NOT responsible in the event of lawsuit from alleged member or complainant
4. POWER OF THE ETHICS COMMITTEE
The power of the Committee is limited to that granted by the Constitution, which is as follows:
To initiate investigation into alleged misconduct (if deemed necessary) when presented with such complaints by the EXCO unless the alleged misconduct was reported voluntarily by the members themselves, which is addressed below
To appoint an investigating team to assist the Committee if and when necessary
To conduct enquiries with all relevant parties involved in the alleged misconduct
To carry out any other procedures necessary to expedite the investigation and to reach
To recommend corrective action in resolving the complaints to the EXCO.
To the Committee may initiate an investigation without prior presentation from the EXCO, on a member of the Society whose behaviour may have violated the Society’s Code of Ethics upon notifying the Exco.
5.1. The Committee shall consist of the following six (6) members in good standing:
Chairperson who is a member of the Society
Three (3) Committee members who are members of the Society (including the vice president of MSCP who is also a committee member)
Two (2) qualified mental health professionals who are not clinical psychologists
5.2. Members of the committee including its Chair shall be appointed by the EXCO every
alternate year at the first EXCO meeting after the Annual General Meeting of an election
5.3. No committee members shall serve more than two consecutive terms.
5.4. Other than the member stated in 5.1 above, none of the office bearers of the EXCO shall
be a member of the Ethics Committee
6. INVITATION OF NON-MEMBERS TO COMMITTEE MEETINGS
The Chair may invite a qualified legal counsel to attend the Committee meetings for
consultation if and when such expertise is required to assist in the process of resolving
the complaints of misconducts
All Committee members shall have full voting privileges.
All actions by the Committee shall be made by two-third majority of those Committee
members present and voting. If there is a tie vote, the Chairman will cast the deciding vote.
A quorum consisting of at least half the Committee members is required before the Committee can vote on any action related to case investigation and decision.
9. CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
Any committee member shall not participate in any particular case in which the Committee member has a conflict of interest, whether because of personal knowledge of the alleged member, or for any other reason.
10. MEETING ALLOWANCE
Each Committee member who attends the Ethics Committee meeting shall be paid an allowance of RM100 each for each meeting.
The amount is subject to change by the EXCO as and when deem necessary
11. REQUIREMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY.
All information concerning investigations or complaints against members of the Society shall be confidential and may only be shared with the EXCO, members of the Ethics Committee, invited professionals (as in paragraph 6) and members of the Society involved in the review of ethics complaints (e.g. the investigation team).
PROCEDURES IN HANDLING COMPLAINTS ALLEGING VIOLATION OF ETHICAL CODES
1. Initiation of Action
Complaints about misconduct of members of can be filed by members of MSCP, or any member of the public through a complaint form submitted to the EXCO
In the absence of a formal lodged complaint, the Ethics Committee may still initiate an investigation on an alleged member's misconduct, if sufficient information has been received, and if proven factually, would constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics.
2. Initial Determination
2.1. Upon receiving of complaints on alleged misconduct of a member, the EXCO shall carry out the
Determine the nature of the complaint and background and motive of the complainant,
Determine whether the person about whom the complaint has been made is
within the jurisdiction of the Committee
Obtain consent from the complainant on disclosure of complainant’s name with justification
2.2. EXCO shall take following action based on the outcome of initial determination
3. Action by the Chairperson of the Committee
3.1. Chairperson of the Committee shall examine materials received from EXCO and in
consultation with members of the Committee, decides on action to be taken:
3.1.1. Insufficient ground to open a case. the Chairperson shall inform the EXCO of the
decision and the EXCO shall notify the complainant in writing
3.1.2. Sufficient ground to open a case. the Chairperson shall establish the charge and notify both the complainant and the alleged member of the charge within 60 days of receiving from EXCO
3.2. The written notification of the charge to the alleged member shall include: (a) the alleged
misconduct, (b) the sections of the Society’s code of ethics that allegedly have been violated, and (c) the name of the complainant, if the permission has been granted by the complainant
3.3. The alleged member shall be given 30 days to file a written rebuttal. Failure to respond by the
alleged member may be considered as admission of the alleged misconduct which will
result in recommended corrective actions by the Committee as provided in paragraph
4 below. At the discretion of the Chairperson, an extension of time may be granted for
the alleged member to respond.
3.4. Upon receiving the written rebuttal by the alleged member, the Chairperson shall initiate
investigation (if warranted) in the next review meeting.
4. Action by the Investigation Team
4.1. The Chairperson will appoint an investigation team leader from the ethics committee, if there is any potential conflict of interest between the Chairperson and the case. If there is any potential conflict of interest between the ethics committee and the case, the chairperson may appoint other full members of the Society or a non-Clinical Psychology member to carry out the investigation and notify the EXCO of the appointment.
4.2. The investigation team will consist of a minimum 2 persons from the ethics committee. The investigation will take in the forms of document review or independent interview, with key persons such as complainant, alleged members, or any witness enlisted by both sides, and other deemed appropriate approaches.
4.3 The investigation team shall be given full access to all documents related to the charge and is authorised to contact the complainants, the alleged member and other relevant parties for the purpose of the investigation.
4.4 In the process of investigation, the responsibility of disclosing any confidential information (e.g. case note, assessment report) in compliance with ethical standards, lies with the alleged member if they decide to utilize those confidential information in the justification of their stance.
4.5 At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigation team shall produce a report including investigation log and recommend actions to the Chairperson.
4.6 The internal investigation report shall not take longer than 60 days from the date of appointment.
5. Action by the Committee
5.1 Upon receiving the investigation report, the Chairperson shall call for a full review meeting with the Committee
5.2 The Committee shall deliberate over the investigation findings and determine by majority vote whether there are violations of the Society’s code of ethics by the alleged member and to recommend corrective actions to the EXCO as follows:
5.3. Adoption of Ethics Committee recommendation of corrective Actions (other than Suspension and Expulsion)
5.3.1. Except for Suspension and expulsion, the EXCO shall adopt the corrective actions
recommended by the Ethics Committee at the occurrence of the following:
a) Dismissal. Upon arriving at such decision in the Ethics Committee meeting
b) Remediation/Reprimand/Censure. When the alleged member indicates acceptance of the corrective action either explicitly or by a lack of response as provided in paragraph 5.5 below, or after all appeal process has been exhausted.
5.3.2. A Decision Letter will be issued by the EXCO to the alleged member within 60 days of the decision.
5.3.3. The EXCO shall notify the complainant of the finding of the Ethics Committee and the suggested recommendation within 60 days.
5.4. Adoption of the recommendation of Suspension and Expulsion of members
5.4.1. In the case where suspension/expulsion are recommended, the EXCO shall adopt the recommendation upon occurrence of the following:
a) When the alleged member indicates non-acceptance of the corrective action either explicitly or by a lack of response as provided in paragraph 3.3 of this Document, or after all appeal process has been exhausted, AND
b) When the EXCO is satisfied that the Ethics Committee has acted in accordance with the Society’s code of ethics and relevant rules and procedures after examining all materials presented by the Ethics Committee in arriving at the recommendation
5.4.2. Upon adopting the recommendation, the EXCO shall notify the alleged member of the
decision, notify all members and any relevant bodies of the suspension/ expulsion and remove the member from the registry.
5.5. Appeal Process
5.5.1. The EXCO shall notify the alleged member of the recommended corrective actions of
remediation/reprimand/censure/suspension/expulsion and that the alleged member has 30 days upon receipt of the notification to file an appeal. Failure to response within 30 days shall indicate acceptance of the corrective actions.
5.5.2. The alleged member may appeal against the recommended corrective action by submitting to
EXCO a written request for a review of the case and provide additional rationale of non-acceptance of the recommended corrective actions.
5.5.3. The EXCO shall in consultation with the Chairperson decides on whether to accept or reject
appeals received and to respond to the alleged member within 90 days upon receipt of the appeals
5.5.4. If the EXCO finds that there is sufficient ground for non-acceptance of the recommended
corrective actions, it shall remand the case back to the Ethics Committee for further review or investigation.
5.5.5 Each alleged member is only eligible for one-time appeal, with reasonable new evidence presented to the Committee. However, if there are new significant factual evidence not presented previously, then a fresh appeal may be granted.