Ethical guidelines inform professional conduct for guidance service staff and provide a framework within which guidance counsellors can make appropriate decisions relating to client issues, work practices, and referrals. Ethical practice and professional conduct within a guidance service helps to ensure quality service provision to clients.
Each staff member of the Adult Educational Guidance Services who is engaged in the delivery of guidance to clients is encouraged to become a member of a professional organisation. The Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) is one such professional body, which currently represents over 1,200 practitioners www.igc.ie. The IGC Code of Ethics covers principles concerning competence, conduct, confidentiality, consent and research. The Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland is the association that represents guidance counsellors and adult guidance information officers working within the Adult Educational Guidance Initiative. The Adult Educational Guidance Association of Ireland (AEGAI) has formally adopted the IGC Code of Ethics. IGC Code of Ethics
The area of ethics in research is addressed in the NCGE publication Research Code of Ethics, July 2008.
Some managing agencies have developed their own Code of Ethics / Practice for Guidance Counsellors. Where AEGS staff are employed by such agencies, they must also remain conscious of such guidelines and address any differences or conflicts which may arise between different Codes of Ethics and/or practice.