Rules and Regulation of Ethics Committee

RULES AND PROCEDURES OF MSCP ETHICS COMMITTEE (REVISED)
 

Date: March 8th, 2022


PREAMBLE


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 (amended 2022).
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.


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
duties.


This Document which comes into effect on March 8th, 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.

PART A
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. JURISDICTION

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
membership

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

necessary

  • To advise and assist the EXCO in resolving complaints of unethical conducts, either

through consultation with the Committee or by initiating investigation on such
complaints

  • To take corrective action or 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 EXCO, which is as follows:

  • To initiate investigation into alleged misconduct (if deem 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

an outcome

  • To recommend corrective action in resolving the complaints to the EXCO.

  • For member’s self-reported misconduct, 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

5. MEMBERS

5.1. The Committee shall consist of the following four (4) members:

  • 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)

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
year

5.3. No committee members shall serve more than two consecutive terms.

5.4. The EXCO shall appoint one of its office bearers to be one of the three committee
members as stated in paragraph 5.1 above.

5.5. Other than the member stated in 5.4 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 shall invite one qualified mental health professional from a non-clinical psychology discipline to attend all Committee meetings

  • The non-members mentioned above must have been approved by the EXCO

  • 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

7. VOTING

  • 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.

  • Non-members who are invited to the meetings do not have voting privileges

8. QUORUM

A quorum consisting of at least half the Committee members AND one invited non-member as stated in paragraph 6 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 on 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, including the invited non-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).           

PART B


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

  • Self-reported misconducts by members can be initiated by Ethics Committee 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

following:

  • Determine the nature and motive of the complaint and background 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

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 (including self-reported action). the Chairperson

shall establish the charge and notify both the complainant and the alleged
member of the charge within 60 days of receiving 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.


3.5. The investigation team will consist of 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 enlist by both sides, and other deemed appropriate approaches.

 

3.6. The investigation team shall be given full access to all document related to the charge and is

authorised to contact the complainants, the alleged member and other relevant parties for purpose of the investigation.  

 

3.7. In the process of investigation, the investigation team will remind the alleged member that the

burden of breaking any confidential binding during the investigation process lies in the alleged member if they decide to utilize those private or confidential info in the justification of their stance.


3.8. 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-CP member to carry out the investigation, under approval of EXCO. 

3.9. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigation team shall produce a report including

investigation log, and recommended actions to the Chairperson. 

3.10. The internal investigation report shall not take longer than 60 days from the date of appointment.

4. Action by the Committee


4.1. Upon receiving of the investigation report, the Chairperson shall call for full review meeting with

the Committee.

4.2. The Committee shall deliberate on 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:

4.3. Adoption of Ethics Committee recommendation of corrective Actions (other than Suspension and Expulsion)

 

4.3.1. 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) Minor Violation/Reprimand/censure. When the alleged member indicates acceptance of the corrective action either explicitly or by a lack of response as provided in paragraph 3.3 above, or after all appeal process has been exhausted.

 

4.3.2. A confidential Educative letter will be drafted by Ethics Committee and issued by the EXCO to

the alleged member within 30 - 60 days of the decision. 

4.3.3. The EXCO shall notify the complainant of the finding of the Ethics Committee and the adoption

of the recommendation within 30 - 60 days.     
 

4.4. Adoption of the recommendation of Suspension and Expulsion of members

4.4.1. In the case where corrective actions of suspension/expulsion are recommended as the

corrective action, the EXCO shall adopt the corrective action upon occurrence of the following:
a) When the alleged member indicates 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

4.4.2. 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.

4.5. Appeal Process 

4.5.1. The EXCO shall notify the alleged member of the recommended corrective actions of

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.

4.5.2. 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.

4.5.3. 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

4.5.4. If the EXCO finds that there is sufficient ground for non-acceptance, it shall remand the case

back to the Ethics Committee for further investigation.

- END-