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According to BusinessDictionary.com, professional ethics are standards of personal and business behavior, values, and principles (“Professional Ethics”). Professional organizations establish codes of these standards to help members carry out their job while following the expected principles (“Professional Ethics”).
Professional ethics are an essential part of every job; they help and develop moral standards (“Defining Professional Ethics…). An example of being professionally ethical, or having ethical responsibility, is when a personal trainer, the name given to the person whose professional services are being asked of, practices their profession on the client, knowing they are a qualified professional. If the “professional” is presenting and marketing themselves as having a valid certified status, that not only is illegal, but unethical (“Defining Professional Ethics”).
There are four common cases that fall in this situation: taking an open book or online test, failing a certification test yet using false credentials, letting certification expire or not being updated with a change in professional status, and being part of a continued education course and claiming it as a certification (“Defining Professional Ethics”). A great example of this would be learning how to swim, and claiming to be a certified lifeguard (“Defining Professional Ethics”). Poor practices could discredit the certain credential being claimed (“Defining Professional Ethics”).
Not going by professional ethics can affect the client, employer, and even the organization (“Defining Professional Ethics”). As a matter of fact, professionally unethical acts go against some codes of all legitimate organizations, and they could fall under a disciplinary category and lead to sanctions of great significance (“Defining Professional Ethics”).
As we specialize in our jobs, problems become more and more complex and difficult (Strahlendorf, Peter). That is why professional ethics have become more important and needed over time, professional bodies working on developing, revising, and retouching ethic codes have increased tremendously (Strahlendorf, Peter). More detailed codes allow professionals to have greater guidance, especially since professional conduct standards drift higher and higher (Strahlendorf, Peter). As stated by Dr. Peter Strahlendorf, when a professional is faced with a problem that raises a moral issue, professional ethics can help that person decide what to do.
If an action is not illegal, it does not mean it’s unethical. The main focus of professional ethics is actually to deal with cases that have nothing to do with illegality, because law does not nearly cover as many issues as professional ethics does (Strahlendorf, Peter). Ethical issues are also a bit more difficult to identify than legal ones, ethical issues are more complex situations (Strahlendorf, Peter). Having a set of professional code of ethics to follow helps professionals identify issues in professional ethics much easier.
The dictionary defines ethics as the study of standards of conduct and judgment. Ethical dilemmas are situations in which two ideas might seem ethical, and it might be extremely tough to choose which one is the best action (Strahlendorf, Peter).
“Defining Professional Ethics – Online Articles: National Council on Strength and Fitness.”Defining Professional Ethics – Online Articles: National Council on Strength and Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ncsf.org/enew/articles/articles-definingprofessionalethics.aspx>. “Professional Ethics.” What Is ? Definition and Meaning. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/professional-ethics.html>. Strahlendorf, Peter. “Professional Ethics.” Bcsp.org. Board of Certified Safety Professionals, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.bcsp.org>.