National Career Development Association (NCDA)

NCDA Code of Ethics Preamble
~ David M. Reile, Co-Chair / NCDA Board Liaison

A code of ethics helps to define professional behavior and serves to protect the public, the profession, and those who practice within the profession. Ethical behavior involves incorporating the principles espoused in the code of ethics into your personal and professional life and using the code to help determine a course of action. At the same time, ethical behavior is about transparency. Can your behavior withstand the scrutiny of others? Will you be embarrassed, ashamed, or concerned if someone else knew that you did or said something? The NCDA Code of Ethics (Code) has been designed as a guide and resource for career practitioners. While it offers a set of principles that can be applied to a wide range of settings and situations, it is not (nor can it be) comprehensive. If you are concerned about whether or not a particular practice is ethical, then you should not engage in that behavior without getting competent advice. More succinctly, when in doubt—don’t; at least not without professional consultation. Peer review isn’t always going to give you perfect advice, but you can take comfort in knowing that you questioned your behavior before proceeding and allowed others to comment before taking action. There is safety and strength in the depth and breadth of opinions you seek before engaging in activities that may be untried or questionable.

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NOTE: Staci Kae Alter is not currently credentialed by the National Career Development Association (NCDA) but does strictly abide by its Code of Ethics. For any questions or concerns, please email