General Ethical Responsibilities
The ACAE Board of Directors and any person(s) representing the ACAE shall:
- Abide by the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) Code of Good Practice and the Code of Ethics of the American Academy of Audiology’s (AAA);
- Act to preserve the confidentiality of the personnel, students, programs, and institutions that are evaluated;
- Expeditiously handle all matters pertaining to accreditation;
- Not provide any service, whether paid or unpaid, to any institution or program in litigation with the ACAE or having an appeal of an ACAE action under active consideration; and
- Not disclose to any person, institution, or program any information related to ACAE actions, which is not publicly available.
Note: Each member of the ACAE Board of Directors is required to sign a Conflict of Interest Statement before joining the ACAE Board and on an annual basis thereafter.
Conflict of Interest with Individual Educational Programs: Criteria
Responsibility for the identification of the existence of a possible conflict of interest with any given educational program lies with the individual board member, public member, or evaluator. The ACAE has the final authority to determine whether a conflict of interest exists. In making a decision regarding conflict of interest, an ACAE Board member, staff member, public member, evaluator or consultant must consider the possibility of perceived conflict of interest as well as actual conflicts of interest as defined as follows:
- A close personal, professional, or financial interest, or other special relationship, including those of a negative nature, in any institution in question.
- A position as employee or consultant to a program, other than the program under review, that provides all or a significant portion of the institution’s funding (e.g., a state department of education or a federal or private agency providing significant grants or research funding).
- A current or former student or graduate, or parent of a current or former student or graduate of the program under review or its host institution.
- A current or former candidate for a paid position within the past five (5) years with the program under review.
- A position, whether paid or voluntary, current or within the past five (5) years, to or for the program under review. This includes positions as a consultant, advisor, or faculty member (including clinical or adjunct).
- A residence and/or place of employment in the same state or in close proximity to the program under review. Close proximity is determined by geographic, educational and economic spheres (communities of interest) of influence rather than strict political boundaries.
- A position whether paid or voluntary, current or within the past five (5) years, in a program that is generally viewed by peers as a major competitor to the program under review. This includes positions as a consultant, advisor, or faculty member (including clinical or adjunct).
- An ACAE appeals hearing panelist for the program under review.
Absenting Oneself from ACAE Deliberations
Members of the ACAE Board shall absent themselves from the ACAE’s deliberation on a program under review if any of conditions above exist. If any of these conditions apply, or if a member has any doubt or discomfort as to their applicability, the member must immediately request recognition from the ACAE Chair, and ask to be absent from any formal or informal discussion of the program under review. For conference call meetings, the individual should declare the conflict, receive acknowledgement from the Chair, and hang up the phone. When discussion of the program under review is completed, a staff member will call the individual with the conflict and instruct them to rejoin the conference call. The minutes of the official proceedings of the ACAE will reflect the absence, and the absent member will be permitted back into the room or permitted to rejoin the conference call only after discussion about the program ends.
Abstaining from a Vote During ACAE Meetings
Abstaining (or abstention) is a parliamentary term that means that a voting member chooses not to cast a vote. An abstention does not imply or indicate that a conflict of interest exists. Abstentions are to be used only when a voting member of the ACAE Board cannot make an informed decision based on the information presented. The minutes of the official proceedings of the ACAE will record all abstentions as a part of the vote count on all action items. 31 When a motion has been discussed to the satisfaction of the ACAE Board, and the question has been called, the Chair will ask for either a hand or voice vote from those in favor of the motion, those against the motion, and those abstaining from the vote.