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by Stephany Schings Below

SIOP Offers New Online CE Ethics Course

By Stephany Schings Below, Communications Manager

SIOP is pleased to announce the launch of an online learning opportunity tailored specifically to meet the continuing education (CE) and ethics-related needs of I-O psychologists.

Ethics and Values in I-O Psychology” is presented by Joel Lefkowitz, PhD, ABPP, emeritus faculty at Baruch College, CUNY. Lefkowitz is a well-known researcher, author, and practitioner in the area of professional ethical behavior. For a complete bio, please click here.

This intermediate-level course encompasses discussion of issues relevant to guiding one's own professional behavior, as well as approaching the topic from the standpoint of a scientist-practitioner who may be called upon to develop and implement organizational policies in the area. For a limited time, SIOP is offering this course at the special launch rate of $60, a discount of $15.

For complete details and to purchase the course, please visit the CE ethics page here.

The course was originally presented at the 2011 SIOP Annual Conference in Chicago, Lefkowitz explained.

“After writing an ethics book and teaching a graduate course in ethical and professional issues for many years, SIOP asked me to do a regular preconference workshop, which I did in 2010 (with Rob Silzer as co-presenter),” he added. “Then, SIOP asked me to do this online workshop, which we recorded at the 2011 conference.”

SIOP has synched the original audio, visual, and slides from the presentation and now offers it as an online credit module with 3 CE credits available.* The course includes 3 hours of content, broken down into five units, for viewing at your own pace. A pretest and posttest are required. A certificate of completion/verification of credit is awarded after all five units are viewed and both tests are successfully completed.

Jacquie Wall, CE Co-Chair, along with Kevin Smith, said the committee asked Lefkowitz to lead the course after research showed this was an offering SIOP members want and need.

“In 2009, the CE Committee, chaired by Dr. Jolene Skinner, conducted a member needs assessment survey,” Wall explained. “We received feedback from 11% of the SIOP membership, with representation from those in academia, the private sector, and consulting organizations, as well as other types of employment. In addition, we received feedback from professional members and students, those with licenses/certifications and those without such credentials, and persons with both doctorate and master’s degrees. We also had fairly equal gender representation. One of the things we learned was that most of our members preferred receiving CE credits at the annual conference and in ways that were convenient for them, such as programs using distance learning technologies.”

This course provides a guide for understanding ethical and unethical behavior, and includes a discussion of the cognitive and motivational components of ethical behavior and a general decision-making strategy for coping with ethical dilemmas.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand views from philosophy and psychology in order to analyze and respond to ethical challenges
  • Explain the nature of ethical and unethical behavior and how they differ from other forms of organizational misconduct and corruption
  • Recognize the basic forms (types) of ethical dilemmas one may encounter
  • Anticipate an ethical problem, minimize its likelihood, and, if necessary, apply a model of ethical reasoning or problem solving
  • Assess the role of your own values in responding to ethical situations

Wall said the research showed that ethics is a sought-after topic area for CE credit.

“One of the things that we learned, both from the member needs survey and from other sources—like using the content experts involved in planning the annual conference and feedback from conference attendees—was that ethics was a topic of interest,” Wall explained. “In addition, we knew that ethics is often a requirement for members who hold licensure as a psychologist and that there are few programs available that present this topic with an I-O focus. Lastly, we were extremely fortunate to have Dr. Joel Lefkowitz, an expert in the area, willing to participate in the development of this program.”

Wall said she believes the course offering will also save I-Os time and money.

“Being able to obtain continuing education when it is needed, listening to expert presenters, and being able to obtain education without the costs that are often associated—time, travel, lost income—of attending a face-to-face program that is often held in an out-of-town venue are the major benefits we see in taking an online course,” Wall explained.

Lefkowitz added that the online course is a convenient way for I-O psychologists to gain the knowledge and credits they need.

“The purpose of this course is primarily as a convenience for members who need the CE credit and who typically find it difficult, inconvenient, and/or expensive to find a ‘live’ course--especially because most such courses are not geared for I-O,” he explained. “I believe SIOP started with the topic of ethics because of its generality—all states that require CE at all require refreshers in ethics.”

However, he explained that taping the live course helps make it seem like a face-to-face workshop.

“We tried to make it as close to an in-person experience as possible by taping it as an actual workshop with live participants,” he added.

Unlike other ethics courses, this one takes an I-O perspective. For example, the topic is approached not just from the standpoint of guidance for individual professional behavior but from the standpoint of a scientist-practitioner who needs to understand the nature of organizational misconduct and how to promote more ethical organizations. Participants will learn and practice applying a model of ethical reasoning to ethical challenges.

“This course will benefit those who want to reconceptualize issues related to ethical practice in organizational settings,” Wall explained. “Additionally, we hope that our licensed members will find this course useful, not only for its educational value but also for meeting CE requirements in ethics to maintain licensure. SIOP is an approved American Psychological Association sponsor of continuing education for psychologists.”

Wall said the CE Committee is hoping to launch more online courses in the future.

“We are considering more courses like this in the future,” she said. “And we would welcome additional input from the membership on preferred topics and presenters.”

*SIOP is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SIOP maintains responsibility for this program and its content.