Value system and basic tenets of SASHA:
SASHA is a registered NGO and Non Profit Company and professional organisation. Therefore, the Association is a hybrid of voluntary and professional body. SASHA exists to provide information and education on sexual health issues to the public, media and health care professionals. It is imperative that all initiatives and projects of the Association are in line with this mission.
The Association places high value on being multi-disciplinary, non-discriminatory, sex positive, pro-choice, accessible, open, responsible and confidential. SASHA fully supports and endorses the sexual rights as set out by die Sexual Rights Declaration published by the World Association of Sexual Health (WAS) www.worldsexology.org
The guiding principles of the Association, as laid down in its memorandum of incorporation, are transparency and high quality service to the above-mentioned constituencies. Adherence to constitution, statutes, policies and plans (short / long – term and strategic) of the Association is essential. Service to above-mentioned population groups are important and should not be jeopardised by conflict of interest. To achieve the high standards of service SASHA aims to provide, it is essential that members agree to adhere to the Code of Conduct.
This Code of Conduct is supplementary to the code of conduct and ethics of the professional body the member belongs to.
- FULL MEMBERS CONDUCT
Professional conduct is based primarily on the member’s own sense of integrity in relationships not only with those to whom professional services are rendered, but also with other members of the health care profession and with other members of the Association and the public at large. In all these relationships every member is therefore concerned not only with his / her own behaviour and how it reflects on him / her but also with its impact upon colleagues, clients, patients and the Association. Membership of SASHA does not represent a qualification or certification in the field of sexuality.
- Professional Misconduct
All SASHA members are obliged to report any professional misconduct charges of which they have been found guilty by any professional bodies with which they are registered within 7 (seven) days of the professional body’s decision. Charges of professional misconduct by members, which are brought to the attention of the SASHA board, shall result in an internal enquiry by the board, irrespective of any other processes pending, be they with a statutory body or civil or criminal processes. The SASHA Board of Directors or its appointees will review the charges and have the right to, without prejudice, suspend or terminate the membership to SASHA and to take any other legal course of remedial action.
Membership to the Association does not entitle members to represent the Association unless they hold a specific portfolio / office or have been approved to do so by the Board of Directors. Members who wish to represent the Association for a particular event, interview, consultation or similar occasion are required to submit a request to the Board of Directors timeously before the event, interview, consultation etc.
- INDEPENDENCE AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
2.1.1 A member must make full and timely disclosure to the Executive Board of the Association of any financial interest that he/she, his/her company or the company he/she is a partner of may have in any project or proposal that he/she proposes to the Association or which may be initiated by the Association.
2.1.2 A member must make full and timely disclosure to the Executive Board of the Association of any financial interest that he/she, his/her company or the company he/she is a partner of may have in any tender for any project / proposal of the Association.
2..1.3 Should a member wish to initiate or tender for projects / proposals of the Association which would result in this particular individual’s financial gain, he/she must:
126.96.36.199 Submit a written declaration to disclose his/her involvement in the company proposing a project or tendering for a project
188.8.131.52 Recuse himself/herself from all relevant decision-making at Board Meetings
2.1.4 The Association must ensure that at least three quotations or tender submissions are obtained before deciding on a provider for a project. The decision must be based on the best interests of the association.
2.1.5 If the Association considers awarding a project / tender to a sole provider, the Association has to ensure fair procedures by obtaining a peer review evaluation of the proposal by the sole provider.
- STUDENTS/ASSOCIATED/ORGANISATIONS/INSTITUTION MEMBERS.
The association requires that Students/Associated/Organisations/Institution members shall be subject to the same ethical rules as professionals registered with a statutory body. To this extent the Rules of conduct and the ethical rules of Health Professions Council of South Africa, The South African Council for Social Service Professions and the South African Nursing Council, as amended from time to time, shall apply. Non-professional and student members who are found guilty of any criminal or civil offence which could bring the reputation of the Association into disrepute are required to report such cases to the Board of directors in writing within 7 (seven) days of the sentence. Charges of professional misconduct by Students/Associated/Organisations/Institution members, which are brought to the attention of the SASHA board, shall result in an internal enquiry by the board, irrespective of any other processes pending, be they with a statutory body or civil or criminal processes. The SASHA Board of Directors or its appointees will review the charges and have the right to, without prejudice, suspend or terminate the membership to SASHA and to take any other legal course of remedial action. Membership of SASHA does not represent a qualification or certification in the field of sexuality.
- GUIDING ETHICAL VALUES AND PRINCIPLES
The guiding ethical values and principles relate to the general approach as is reflected in the membership guidelines relating to the Code of Conduct to be followed by SASHA members (members being defined in the Membership Rules) as defined in the MOI and Code of Ethics and Conduct as defined by their respective governing bodies.
SASHA members respect the dignity and worth of individuals, families, groups and communities and strive towards providing quality services. Practitioners strive to uphold and protect the fundamental human rights of client systems and themselves, as enshrined in the South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In pursuit of quality services, SASHA members aspire and subscribe to the following ethical values/principles.
4.1. Social Justice
SASHA and its members challenge social injustice. They pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and communities. These efforts seek to promote insight and sensitivity regarding cultural and ethnic diversity. They strive to ensure access to needed sexual health and psychological health information and services.
- Respect for People’s worth, Human rights and Dignity
SASHA members accord appropriate respect to the fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of all human beings. They respect the rights, privacy, confidentiality, self-determination and autonomy of any person/client/patient and are mindful that legal and other obligations may lead to inconsistency and conflict with the exercise of these rights. SASHA members are aware of differences relating for example to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status. They strive to eliminate the effect of biases based on these factors in their work and they do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.
SASHA members strive to maintain high standards of competence in their service rendering to the public. They recognise the boundaries of their particular competencies and the limitation of their expertise. They provide only those services and use only those techniques in which they are qualified by education, training or experience. In areas where recognised standards do not yet exist, they exercise careful judgement and take appropriate precautions to protect client systems. They maintain their knowledge of relevant scientific, researched based and internationally recognised information in the field.
They recognise the need for continuous education and development in the field. SASHA members make appropriate use of scientific, sexological, sexual medicine and a multi-professional approach to sexual problems and aspire to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
SASHA members behave in an honest manner. They seek to promote integrity in the science, teaching and practice of the profession. In these activities they are honest, fair and respectful of others. They strive to be aware of their own belief systems, values, needs and limitations as well as the effect it has on their work. Wherever feasible, they clarify their roles to those involved and function appropriately in accordance with these roles.
4.1.3. Professional Responsibility
SASHA members uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behaviour and adapt their methods to the needs of different client systems. They cooperate with other professionals and institutions as needed in order to serve the best interest of their clients/patients. They are also concerned about the ethical compliance of their colleagues’ conduct. When appropriate, they may consult the Health Care Professions Council of South Africa, The South African Council for Social Service Professions or The South African Nursing Council when faced with ethical dilemmas.
4.1.4 Show Care and Concern for Others’ Wellbeing
SASHA members recognise the importance of human relationships. They do not exploit or mislead other human beings during or after termination of a professional relationship. They engage people as partners in the helping process and seek to strengthen relationships among human beings in a purposeful effort to promote, restore, maintain and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, communities.
- GENERAL ETHICAL STANDARDS
The following ethical standards are relevant to all the activities SASHA members, irrespective of their practice setting. These standards concern ethical responsibilities towards clients/patients, colleagues, other professionals and the broader society.
5.1 A SASHA member:
- Works toward the maintenance and promotion of high standards of practice.
- They uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge and mission of the profession. SASHA members protect, enhance and improve the integrity of the profession through appropriate study and research, active discussion and responsible criticism of the profession.
- SASHA members contribute time and expertise to activities that promote respect for the value, integrity and competence of the profession.
- SASHA members contribute to the knowledge base of the profession and share with colleagues their knowledge related to practice, research and ethics. SASHA members should seek to contribute to the profession’s literature and to share their knowledge at meetings and conferences.
- SASHA members act to prevent the unaccredited and non-peer reviewed use of the term Sexologist/Sexual Health Care Professional/Sex Therapist in the profession.
5.2.1 The negligent performance of professional duties and services to the public could be regarded as unethical. SASHA members should conduct professional services as regulated by their respective governing bodies and should carry put their duties in a manner that complies with generally accepted standards of practising within the profession.
5.2.2 A SASHA member’s behaviour must not, with due regard to the prestige, status and dignity of the profession be detrimental to the position of the practitioner as such.
5.2.3 Being guilty of, or participating dishonesty in the execution of professional duties could be regarded as unprofessional behaviour.
5.2.4 A SASHA member should not be guilty of, participate in or associate with any dishonest activity in the carrying out of their professional services.
- CHANGES TO THE SASHA CODE OF CONDUCT
SASHA may, in order to accommodate changes in its environment, add, delete or amend this Code of Conduct. Such changes shall be communicated to the membership and shall be binding on individual members.
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