Rules and Regulation of Ethics Committee

RULES AND PROCEDURES OF MSCP ETHICS COMMITTEE
 

Date: 9th February 2020


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 2015).
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 16th March 2020 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 6.6 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.

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 except for Sua Sponte action 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 take corrective action in resolving the complaints except for expulsion or suspension,

whereby the rights to take such actions lie only with the EXCO.

  • For Sua Sponte action, 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​

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 other than a clinical

psychologist 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 he 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.

 

9. CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

No Committee members shall vote on any particular case in which the Committee member
has a conflict of interest, whether because of personal knowledge of the charged member,
or for any other reason.


10. MEETING ALLOWANCE

  • Each Committee member , including the invited non-member and the legal counsel who

attends the Ethics Committee meeting shall be paid an allowance of RM100 each

  • 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), the complainant and respondent and their
legal representative, if any.​

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

  • Sua sponte action 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 shallcarry 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 at least 1 (one) member 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 Sua Sponte action). the Chairperson

shall establish the charge and notify both the complainant and the alleged
member of the charge

3.2. The 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 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. Within 30 days upon receiving the rebuttal by the alleged member, the Chairperson

shall initiate investigation.


3.5. The Chairperson may appoint an investigative team of minimum 2 persons who are full

members of the Society to carry out the investigation.

 

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

the Chairperson.


3.8. The investigation shall not take longer than 90 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

Committee meeting

4.2. The Committee shall deliberate on the investigation findings and determine 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. Appeal Process

 

4.3.1. 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.

 

4.3.2. The alleged member may appeal against the recommended corrective action by

submitting to EXCO a written request for a review of the case and the rationale
of non-acceptance of the recommended corrective actions.

 

4.3.3. If the appeal is rejected, the alleged member has the right to make a second

appeal within 30 days of being notified of the rejection by providing additional
rationale of non-acceptance of the recommended corrective actions.

 

4.3.4. the EXCO shall in consultation with the Chairperson decide on whether to accept

or reject appeals received and to respond to the alleged member within 90 days

upon receipt of the appeals

 

4.3.5. If the EXCO finds that there is sufficient ground for acceptance, it shall remand

the case back to the Chairperson for further investigation.

 

4.4. Adoption of Ethics Committee recommendation of corrective Actions (other than Suspension and

Expulsion)

4.4.1. Except for Suspension and expulsion, the Chairperson 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) 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, or after all appeal process has been exhausted.

4.4.2. The Chairperson shall notify the complainant the finding of the Committee and

the adoption of the recommendation within 30 days of the decision to adopt the
recommendation. A confidential Educative letter may be issued jointly by the
Chairperson and the EXCO to the alleged member if deemed appropriate by the
Committee.

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

 

4.5.1. In the case where 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

4.5.2. 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.

- END-

© Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology

  • Facebook Social Icon