Description: The objective of this introductory course on ethics is to help the mental health clinician understand the key components of the process of making ethical decisions, using a number of scenarios to highlight some of the common ethical dilemmas that counselors are likely to face. When the trainee completes this course, he or she will know:

-The principles of ethical decision making
-The steps and stages of making an ethical decision
-What principles and interests are being balanced when making an ethical decision
-How these principles and interests work in the complex relationships that are created when a clinician works with clients
- Important leadership principles related to ethical practice

This course is primarily designed for clinicians in the earlier stages of their career, or for more advanced clinicians reviewing basic concepts of ethical decision making.

Course length:  3 contact hours

This course was written by Charles D. Safford, LCSW, President of, Inc. Mr. Safford has over 20 years of post-master’s experience as a clinician, and has over fifteen years of experience as a training developer and trainer in business and clinical settings. Scenarios studied in this course were presented at the 2001 annual conference of NASW GA.

Approvals: has been approved by NBCC as an approved continuing education provider, ACEP No. 6071. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs., Inc., provider #1104, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit., Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ASWB Approval Period: 11/15/2020 to 11/15/2023. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 clinical continuing education clock hours. 


This course is approved for 3 contact hours in core or ethics by the following certifying bodies:

The National Association of Social Workers through approval by NASW GA

Ethics courses taken online may not be counted towards the 5 hour ethics requirement under licensure in the state of Georgia, but may be applied to core continuing educational requirements.

States with their own approval process:

Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling Provider Number, BAP #50-2193