Ethics Committee Policy/Procedure

Preamble

The National Association of Nutrition Professionals (hereafter referred to as NANP) is dedicated to excellence, and advocates and empowers a flourishing community of professionals, dedicated to the principles of holistic nutrition. We support and acknowledge the right of all people to choose food as their medicine and pursue a holistic approach to health and wellness. The Code of Ethics provides a basis of shared values under which natural/functional/holistic health is practiced. The responsibility of all NANP members is to aspire to the highest possible standards, adhering to the NANP Code of Ethics and Scope of Practice and Standard of Care, and to encourage the ethical behavior of all those with whom they work.

Refer to documents: Nutrition Professionals Scope of Practice and Standard of Care and Code of Ethics

Committee Purpose

The Ethics Committee shall promote and help sustain a culture of ethical conduct throughout the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). The Ethics Committee shall review all NANP codes of conduct, conflict of interest regulations and disclosures, and other policies and reports addressing prescribed and recommended standards of behavior of NANP members and those applying for membership in NANP.

The Ethics Committee shall prescribe standards and forms for the disclosure of actual, apparent, and potential conflicts of interest, and shall review such disclosures and make a report thereof to the NANP Board of Directors on an annual basis before the end of each calendar year. The Ethics Committee shall address inquiries regarding the applicability, compliance, or non‐compliance with promulgated ethical standards, shall review complaints alleging ethical violations that are referred to it by the Executive Director or Board of Directors or undertaken on its own initiative, and shall refer to the Board of Directors any recommendations for commencement of disciplinary proceedings that the Ethics Committee deems appropriate.

Reporting Process

When an ethical concern associated with an NANP member is identified, the concern is forwarded to the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee reviews and investigates the concern by interviewing, researching, and obtaining evidence, such as documents, videos, marketing materials, communication, and advertisements. Reports are prepared by the Ethics Committee Approved by the NANP Ethics Committee and the NANP Board of Directors from this material which is reviewed by legal counsel and options for a resolution are proposed. A summary, with resolution options, is prepared and, along with all of the collected documentation, is forwarded to the Board of Directors for voting and determination of the action.

Documentation Security

Documents regarding members and applicants shall be kept in a secure manner. NANP will use our best efforts to store documents securely regarding members and applicants and they shall be accessible only to authorized NANP Ethics Committee members. Such records may contain but are not limited to complaints from clients, responses to inquiries from NANP, procedural checklist (see appendix) documentation of legal action or inquiry, liability, malpractice, and felony action, dissemination of fraudulent information, or any other concerns raised internally or externally.

Committee Composition

The Ethics Committee shall consist of four members, three of whom shall be nominated and by majority vote selected by and from the Board of Directors (BOD), plus one member at large from NANP’s general membership. In addition to the three BOD members, the member at large will be selected in a manner specified by the BOD. Each member of the Ethics Committee shall serve a term of two (2) years, commencing with adjournment of the Annual Members Meeting of NANP; but shall continue to serve until his or her successor has been elected and qualified. If there is a vacancy on the Ethics Committee, the Board of Directors shall select a successor who qualifies for and meets the requirements of the vacant position. Selections will be determined by the BOD at a regularly scheduled BOD meeting following the vacancy of position.

Article I

Responsibility to the public. NANP members and applicants’ ultimate responsibility based on modality scope of practice is to educate individuals and the public for the purpose of promoting, maintaining, and improving individual, family, and community health. When a conflict of issues arises among individuals, groups, organizations, agencies, or institutions, NANP members must consider all issues and give priority to the client’s principles of self-determination and freedom of choice for the individual.

Section 1: NANP members support the right of individuals to make informed decisions regarding their health, as long as such decisions pose no risk to their health or the health of others.

Section 2: NANP encourages actions and social policies that promote maximizing health benefits and eliminating or minimizing preventable risks and disparities for all affected populations.

Section 3: NANP members accurately communicate the potential benefits, risks, and/or consequences associated with the services and programs that they provide.

Section 4: NANP members as independent practitioners accept the responsibility to act on issues that can affect the health of individuals, families, groups, and communities.

Section 5: NANP members are truthful about their qualifications and the limitations of their education, expertise, and experience in providing services consistent with their respective level of professional competence.

Section 6: NANP members are ethically bound to respect, assure, and protect the privacy, confidentiality, and dignity of individuals.

Section 7: The NANP may remove information pertaining to a member from its website, marketing materials, and Professional Member Directory at the organization’s discretion. If any members of NANP work or reside in the European Union (EU), said members have the right to request that NANP remove all or part of their information from the NANP records including all mentioned.

Article II

Responsibility to the profession. NANP members are responsible for their professional behavior, for the reputation of their profession, and for promoting ethical conduct among their colleagues.

Section 1: NANP members maintain, improve, and expand their professional competence through continued study and education; membership, participation, and leadership in professional organizations; and involvement in issues related to the health of the public.

Section 2: NANP members model and encourage non-discriminatory standards of behavior in their interactions with others.

Section 3: NANP members encourage and accept responsible critical discourse to protect and enhance the profession.

Section 4: NANP members are aware of real and perceived professional conflicts of interest, and promote transparency of conflicts.

Section 6: NANP members give appropriate recognition to others for their professional contributions and achievements.

Section 7: NANP members openly report ethics violations to colleagues, employers, and professional organizations when they suspect unethical practices that violate the profession’s Code of Ethics.

Article III

Responsibility in the delivery of health education. NANP members promote integrity in the delivery of health education. They respect the rights, dignity, confidentiality, and worth of all people by adapting strategies and methods to meet the needs of diverse populations and communities.

Section 1: NANP members are sensitive to social and cultural diversity and are in accord with the law when planning and implementing programs.

Section 2: NANP members remain informed of the latest advances in health education theory, evidence-based research, and practice.

Section 3: NANP members use strategies and methods that are grounded in and contribute to the development of professional standards, theories, guidelines, data, and experience.

Section 4: NANP members are committed to rigorous evaluation of both program effectiveness and the methods used to achieve results.

Section 5: NANP members promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles through informed choice rather than by coercion or intimidation.

Section 6: NANP members communicate the potential outcomes of proposed services, strategies, and pending decisions to all individuals who will be affected.

Section 7: NANP members actively collaborate and communicate with professionals of various educational backgrounds and acknowledge and respect the skills and contributions of such groups.

Section 8: NANP members protect the privacy of student education records and establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and European regulations established by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Article IV

Responsibility in research and evaluation. Health educators contribute to the health of the population and to the profession through research and evaluation activities. When planning and conducting research or evaluation, health educators do so in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, organizational and institutional policies, and professional standards. Members agree to practice only within their scope of practice outlined by credentialing bodies.

Section 1: NANP members adhere to principles and practices of research and evaluation that do no harm to individuals, groups, society at large, or the environment.

Section 2: NANP members ensure that participation in research is voluntary and is based upon the informed consent of the participants. All personal information and data collected from participants and stored in records will be protected according to the national regulations established by FERPA and European regulations established by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Section 3: NANP members respect and protect the privacy, rights, and dignity of research participants and honor commitments made to those participants.

Section 4: NANP members treat all information obtained from participants as confidential unless otherwise required by law. All personal information and data collected from participants and stored in records will be protected according to the national regulations established by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and European regulations established by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Participants are fully informed of the disclosure procedures.

Section 5: NANP members take credit, including authorship, only for work they have actually performed and give appropriate credit to the contributions of others.

Section 6: NANP members who serve as research or evaluation consultants maintain the confidentiality of results unless permission is granted or in order to protect the health and safety of others

Section 7: NANP members report the results of their research and evaluation objectively, accurately, and in a timely fashion to effectively foster the translation of research into practice.

Section 8: NANP members openly share conflicts of interest in the research, evaluation, and dissemination process.

Section 9: NANP members conduct research on human subjects ethically and according to the guidelines of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) where the research is being conducted.

Section 10: NANP members conduct research on animal subjects ethically and according to the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) where the research is being conducted.

Article V

Responsibility in professional preparation. Those involved in the preparation and training of nutrition professionals have an obligation to accord learners the same respect and treatment given to other groups by providing quality education that benefits the profession and the public.

Section 1: NANP members select students, interns, or apprentices for professional preparation programs based upon the equal opportunity for all, and the individual’s academic performance, abilities, and potential contribution to the profession and the public’s health.

Section 2: NANP members strive to make the educational environment and culture conducive to the health of all involved, and free from all forms of discrimination and harassment.

Section 3: NANP members involved in professional preparation and development engage in careful planning; present material that is accurate, developmentally, and culturally appropriate; provide reasonable and prompt feedback; state clear and reasonable expectations, and conduct fair assessments and prompt evaluations of learners.

Section 4: NANP members protect the privacy of students, interns, and apprentices’ records and establish the right for those to inspect and review their records according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and European regulations established by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Section 5: NANP members provide objective, comprehensive, and accurate counseling to learners about career opportunities, development, and advancement, and assist learners in securing professional employment or further educational opportunities, when able and appropriate.

Section 6: NANP members will refrain from the dissemination of negative information or public disparagement, (including on social media) of other nutritional professionals, students, training programs, and/or educational institutions as it is not professional or appropriate behavior.

Appendix: NANP Ethics Committee Procedural Checklist

The Ethics Committee shall review all NANP codes of conduct, conflict of interest regulations and disclosures, and other policies and reports addressing prescribed and recommended standards of behavior of NANP members and those applying for membership in the association by the following procedure. This procedure is reviewed annually.

____Confirm receipt of concern: Date, Type (written, oral)
____Person or source bringing concern to NANP (member, advertising, etc.)
____Date of review by Executive Director
____Date of submission to Ethics Committee
____Name of initial investigator(s) of concern
____Documentation of evidence of concern
____Report of concern reviewed by legal counsel
____Submission of report to Board of Directors
____Discussion of the report and proposed determination of the action
____Result of voting on the determination of the action
____Decision of determination delivered to all parties of concern

Approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals on August 10, 2018.

Ethics Committee Members:

Lisa Fraley (NANP Special Advisor)

Tammera Karr

Janet Ludwig

Kirstin Nussgruber

Barbara Rodgers