NTRS Code of Ethics (1990)
Therapeutic Recreation Society
(editors note- NTRS closed in 2010)
- Code of Ethics (Revised, 1990)
recreation, and play are inherent aspects of the human experience,
and are essential to health and well-being. All people, therefore,
have an inalienable right to leisure and the opportunities it
affords for play and recreation. Some human beings have disabilities,
illnesses, or social conditions which may limit their participation
in the normative structure of society. These persons have the
same need for and right to leisure, recreation, and play.
the purpose of therapeutic recreation is to facilitate leisure,
recreation, and play for persons with physical, mental, emotional
or social limitations in order to promote their health and well-being.
This goal is accomplished through professional services delivered
in clinical and community settings. Services are intended to develop
skills and knowledge, to foster values and attitudes, and to maximize
independence by decreasing barriers and by increasing ability
Therapeutic Recreation Society exists to promote the development
of therapeutic recreation in order to ensure quality services
and to protect and promote the rights of persons receiving services.
The National Therapeutic Recreation Society and its members are
morally obligated to contribute to the health and well-being of
the people they serve. In order to meet this important social
responsibility, the National Therapeutic Recreation Society and
its members endorse and practice the following ethical principles.
- I. The Obligation of Professional
possess and practice the virtues of integrity, honesty, fairness,
competence, diligence, and self-awareness.
- Integrity: Professionals
act in ways that protect, preserve and promote the soundness
and completeness of their commitment to service. Professionals
do not forsake nor arbitrarily compromise their principles.
They strive for unity, firmness, and consistency of character.
Professionals exhibit personal and professional qualities
conducive to the highest ideals of human service.
- Honesty: Professionals
are truthful. They do not misrepresent themselves, their knowledge,
their abilities, or their profession. Their communications
are sufficiently complete, accurate, and clear in order for
individuals to understand the intent and implications of services.
- Fairness: Professionals
are just. They do not place individuals at unwarranted advantage
or disadvantage. They distribute resources and services according
to principles of equity.
- Competence: Professionals
function to the best of their knowledge and skill. They only
render services and employ techniques of which they are qualified
by training and experience. They recognize their limitations,
and seek to reduce them by expanding their expertise. Professionals
continuously enhance their knowledge and skills through education
and by remaining informed of professional and social trends,
issues and developments.
- Diligence: Professionals
are earnest and conscientious. Their time, energy, and professional
resources are efficiently used to meet the needs of the persons
- Awareness: Professionals
are aware of how their personal needs, desires, values, and
interests may influence their professional actions. They are
especially cognizant of where their personal needs may interfere
with the needs of the persons they serve.
Obligation of the Professional to the Individual
- Well-Being: Professionals'
foremost concern is the well-being of the people they serve.
They do everything reasonable in their power and within the
scope of professional practice to benefit them. Above all,
professionals cause no harm.
- Loyalty: Professionals'
first loyalty is to the well-being of the individual they
serve. In instances of multiple loyalties, professionals make
the nature and the priority of their loyalties explicit to
everyone concerned, especially where they may be in question
or in conflict.
- Respect: Professionals
respect the people they serve. THey show regard for their
intrinsic worth and for their potential to grow and change.
The following areas of respect merit special attention:
- Freedom, Autonomy,
and Self-Determination: Professionals respect the
ability of people to make, execute, and take responsibility
for their own choices. Individuals are given adequate
opportunity for self-determination in the least restrictive
environment possible. Individuals have the right of informed
consent. They may refuse participation in any program
except where their welfare is clearly and immediately
threatened and where they are unable to make rational
decisions on their own due to temporary or permanent incapacity.
Professionals promote independence and avoid fostering
dependence. in particular, sexual relations and other
manipulative behaviors intended to control individuals
for the personal needs of the professional are expressly
- Privacy: Professionals
respect the privacy of individuals. Communications are
kept confidential except with the explicit consent of
the individual or where the welfare of the individual
or others is clearly imperiled. Individuals are informed
of the nature and the scope of confidentiality.
- Professional Practices: Professionals provide quality services based on the highest
professional standards. Professionals abide by standards set
by the profession, deviating only when justified by the needs
of the individual. Care is used in administering tests and
other measurement instruments. They are used only for their
express purposes. Instruments should conform to accepted psychometric
standards. The nature of all practices, including tests and
measurements, are explained to individuals. Individuals are
also debriefed on the results and the implications of professional
practices. All professional practices are conducted with the
safety and well-being of the individual in mind.
Obligation of the Professional to Other Individuals and to Society
- General Welfare: Professionals make certain that their actions do not harm
others. They also seek to promote the general welfare of society
by advocating the importance of leisure, recreation, and play.
- Fairness: Professionals
are fair to other individuals and to the general public. They
seek to balance the needs of the individuals they serve with
the needs of other persons according to principles of equity.
Obligation of the Profession to Colleagues
- Respect: Professionals
show respect for colleagues and their respective professions.
They take no action that undermines the integrity of their
- Cooperation and Support: Professionals cooperate with and support their colleagues
for the benefit of the persons they serve. Professionals demand
the highest professional and moral conduct of each other.
They approach and offer help to colleagues who require assistance
with an ethical problem. Professionals take appropriate action
toward colleagues who behave unethically.
Obligation of the Professional to the Profession
- Knowledge: Professionals
work to increase and improve the profession's body of knowledge
by supporting and/or by conducting research. Research is practiced
according to accepted canons and ethics of scientific inquiry.
Where subjects are involved, their welfare is paramount. Prior
permission is gained from subjects to participate in research.
THey are informed of the general nature of the research and
any specific risks that may be involved. Subjects are debriefed
at the conclusion of the research, and are provided with results
of the study on request.
- Respect: Professionals
treat the profession with critical respect. They strive to
protect, preserve, and promote the integrity of the profession
and its commitment to public service.
- Reform: Professionals
are committed to regular and continuous evaluation of the
profession. Changes are implemented that improve the profession's
ability to serve society.
Obligation of the Profession to Society
- Service: The profession
exists to serve society. All of its activities and resource
are devoted to the principle of service.
- Equality: The
profession is committed to equality of opportunity. No person
shall be refused service because of race, gender, religion,
social status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or inability
to pay. The profession neither conducts nor condones discriminatory
practices. It actively seeks to correct inequities that unjustly
- Advocacy: The
profession advocates for the people it is entrusted to serve.
It protects and promotes their health and well-being and their
inalienable right to leisure, recreation, and play in clinical
and community settings.
Approved by the NTRS Board of Directors in 1990. The National Therapeutic Recreation Society
is a branch of the NRPA- National
Recreation and Park