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RULE §121.75Code of Ethics

(a) Individuals certified by the BACB are required to comply with the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts .

  (1) The department may consult the requirements of the certifying entity or the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts in the application and enforcement of the ethical standards included in this section.

  (2) The department will apply the requirements of this section consistent with the requirements, guidance, and interpretations of the certifying entity unless an alternate interpretation is reasonably necessary or required.

(b) A license holder shall comply with the following ethical standards when providing behavior analysis services. A license holder shall:

  (1) comply with all provisions of the Act and this chapter, as well as any other state or federal law or rule that applies to the provision of behavior analysis services by, or the regulation of, a license holder.

  (2) provide behavior analysis services without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or disability.

  (3) offer to perform or perform only behavior analysis services for which a license holder is qualified and that are within the scope of a license holder's certification, license, or competence, considering level of education, training, and experience.

  (4) accurately and truthfully represent the license holder's education, training, credentials, and competence.

  (5) fully and accurately inform clients of the nature and possible outcomes of services rendered.

  (6) be knowledgeable of all available information relevant to the behavior analysis services being provided to a client.

  (7) take reasonable measures to ensure a safe environment for clients.

  (8) maintain objectivity in all matters concerning the welfare of a client.

  (9) not guarantee, directly or by implication, the results of any behavior analysis services, except that a reasonable statement of prognosis may be made. A license holder shall not mislead clients to expect results that cannot be predicted from reliable evidence.

  (10) obtain written consent from a client in order to use a client's data or information for research or teaching activities.

  (11) reveal confidential or personal information about a client only with authorization unless:

    (A) required by law or compelled by a court to reveal the information;

    (B) required by the certifying entity to reveal the information; or

    (C) revealing the information is necessary to protect the welfare of a client or of the community.

  (12) document any confidential or personal information disclosed, the person or entity to whom it was disclosed, and the justification for disclosure in a client's record if a license holder reveals such information about a client without authorization.

  (13) if requested, provide an explanation of the charges for behavior analysis services previously made on a bill or statement in writing and in plain language.

  (14) if requested, accurately represent and describe any product created or recommended by a license holder that is used or will be used in providing behavior analysis services to a client.

  (15) not offer to pay or agree to accept any remuneration directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to or from any person, firm, association of persons, partnership, or corporation for securing or soliciting clients or patronage.

  (16) not overcharge a client or third party.

  (17) not over treat a client.

  (18) terminate a professional relationship when it is reasonably clear that a client is not benefitting from the services being provided or when it is reasonably clear that a client no longer needs the services.

  (19) seek to identify competent, dependable referral sources for clients and shall refer when requested or appropriate.

  (20) not sell, barter, or offer to sell or barter a license.

  (21) refrain from practicing behavior analysis if, due to illness or use of alcohol, drugs or medications, narcotics, chemicals or other substances, or from mental or physical conditions, a license holder is incapable of practicing with reasonable skill and safety to clients in the provision of behavior analysis services.

  (22) refrain from engaging in sexual contact, including intercourse or kissing, sexual exploitation, or therapeutic deception, with a client. Sexual contact and sexual intercourse mean the activities and behaviors described in Penal Code, §21.01. Sexual exploitation means a pattern, practice, or scheme of conduct, which may include sexual contact, that can reasonably be construed as being for the purposes of sexual arousal or gratification or sexual abuse of any person. Therapeutic deception means a representation by a license holder that sexual contact with, or sexual exploitation by, the license holder is consistent with, or part of, the behavior analysis services being provided to a client.

  (23) refrain from participating in inappropriate or exploitative multiple relationships. Inappropriate or exploitative multiple relationships are prohibited.

    (A) Inappropriate or exploitative relationships include, but are not limited to, relationships in which:

      (i) a license holder's objectivity is impaired or likely to be impaired;

      (ii) a license holder's ability to provide competent services is impaired or prevented;

      (iii) the relationship is or reasonably could be harmful to the well-being of a client, supervisee, employee, student, or other person involved in the provision of behavior analysis services with a license holder, including the person's emotional, psychological, physical, social, or financial well-being;

      (iv) the relationship creates or could create a conflict of interest among a license holder and a client or any person or entity involved in or connected with the provision of behavior analysis services to a client, unless the conflict of interest has been addressed in accordance with §121.71(a)(2); or

      (v) a license holder receives an advantage, benefit, or thing of value other than regular compensation for behavior analysis services provided.

    (B) Inappropriate or exploitative relationships may include unprofessional behavior such as: deception; trickery; undue pressure or influence, including giving or acceptance of gifts; intimidation; or threats; but need not be accompanied by such behaviors to be inappropriate or exploitative.

    (C) Multiple relationships, other than those related to the provision of behavior analysis services or that have been addressed in accordance with §121.71(a)(2), between a license holder and the following may be considered inappropriate or exploitative unless evidence demonstrates otherwise:

      (i) client;

      (ii) authorized representative of a client;

      (iii) spouse or significant other of a client;

      (iv) cohabitants of a client;

      (v) first-degree and second-degree relatives of a client; and

      (vi) persons with whom a client shares a close personal, business, or financial relationship.

    (D) Except as provided in §121.71(a)(2), multiple relationships are prohibited:

      (i) during the provision of behavior analysis services to a client;

      (ii) for a minimum of two years after behavior analysis services have ended;

      (iii) at all times after behavior analysis services have ended if behavior analysis services for the same client are reasonably expected to be requested from a license holder again; and

      (iv) indefinitely until there is reasonable certainty that the potential for harm to a client is unlikely.

(c) Information used by a license holder in any advertisement or announcement shall not contain information that is false, inaccurate, misleading, incomplete, out of context, deceptive or not readily verifiable. Advertising includes, but is not limited to, any announcement of services, letterhead, business cards, commercial products, and billing statements. False, misleading, or deceptive advertising or advertising not readily subject to verification includes advertising that:

  (1) makes a material misrepresentation of fact or omits a fact necessary to make the statement as a whole not materially misleading;

  (2) makes a representation likely to create an unjustified expectation about the results of a professional service;

  (3) compares a professional's services with another professional's services unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;

  (4) causes confusion or misunderstanding as to the credentials, education, or licensing of a professional;

  (5) makes a representation that is designed to take advantage of the fears or emotions of a client; or

  (6) represents in the use of a professional name, a title or professional identification that is expressly or commonly reserved to or used by another profession or professional, unless a license holder is licensed or otherwise authorized to use the title or professional identification.

Source Note: The provisions of this §121.75 adopted to be effective May 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 2570; amended to be effective August 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 5192; amended to be effective June 1, 2021, 46 TexReg 3389; amended to be effective February 29, 2024, 49 TexReg 1085

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