By the Division of Professional Licensure

8.01: Ethical Codes

The Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions adopts as its official guides the ethical codes and standards of conduct listed in 262 CMR 8.01(1) through (7), except as such codes deviate in any way from the provisions of 262 CMR or M.G.L. c. 112 §§ 163 through 172:

(1) (a) Ethical Standards of the American Counseling Association;

(b) Ethical Standards and Code of Ethics of the American Mental Health Counselors Association;

(2) Model Code of Ethics for Marriage and Family Therapists of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulations Boards;

(3) (a) Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification; and

(b) Code of Professional Ethics of the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission; and

(4) Professional Conduct Manual of the National Association of School Psychologists.

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8.02: Standards of Conduct

(1) Patient Records:

(a) An Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professional shall maintain a record for each client which meets the standards of usual and customary practice, and which is adequate to enable the licensee to provide proper diagnosis and treatment. The licensee must maintain a client's record for a minimum period of five years from the date of the client's last professional encounter with the licensee and in a manner which permits the former client or a successor licensee access to the record within the terms of 262 CMR. In the event that the client is a minor, the licensee must maintain the client's record for at least one year after the client has reached the age of majority as defined in M.G.L. c. 4, § 7, but in no event shall the record be retained for less than five years.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by law, a licensee shall permit inspection of records maintained for a client by such client or the authorized representative of the client, and upon request, and within a reasonable period of time, shall make a copy of such client's records available to such client or representative.

(c) A licensee may charge a reasonable fee for the expense of providing the client's records to the client or authorized representative as provided for in 262 CMR 8.02(1)(b); however, the licensee may not require payment of any balance due for prior professional services rendered to the client as a pre-condition for making the records available.

(2) Client Relationship. In matters pertaining to boundaries, dual, personal or sexual relationships, an Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professionals' relationship with a client shall be presumed to extend to a minimum of two years from the date of the rendering of the last professional service within the definitions of the licensees practice pursuant to M.G.L. c. 112, § 163.

(3) Confidential Communications. Except as otherwise provided by law, all communications between any Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professional and the individual(s) to whom the licensee has rendered professional services shall be deemed to be and treated as confidential information in perpetuity.

Notwithstanding the provisions of M.G.L. c. 112, § 172 (d), information which is acquired by a licensee pursuant to the professional practice, whether directly or indirectly, may be disclosed, without client consent, written or otherwise, to another appropriate licensee as part of a consultation which is designed to enhance the services provided to a client or clients. In disclosing such information, licensees shall use their best efforts to safeguard the clients privacy by not disclosing the clients name or other identifying demographic information, or any other information by which the client might be identified by the consultant, unless such information is, in the licensee's professional judgment, necessary for the consultation to be successful.

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REGULATORY AUTHORITY
262 CMR 8.00: M.G.L. c. 112, §§ 163 through 172; c. 13, §§ 88 through 90