Ethics in Practice: Staying Ethically Awake with Good Record Keeping of our Client’s Story

Janine Kendall (Counselling Psychologist : Senior lecturer at Pearson Institute)

Feedback from attendees in Pretoria: I have been in private practice for 28 years and had to find my own way between report writing taught at University and what was doable in practice.  Ethics in report writing gave me new frameworks for process and progress notes. I received new information on clients rights and know how to contract more clearly before engaging in the process. Excellent presenter; relevant content; practical application.

The records we keep show respect for our client’s sensitive and private information. Record keeping is indeed not only an ethical requirement, but also a legal one required by the Constitution. People in helping professions are often confronted with ethical dilemmas.  However we seldom reflect on the ethical principles and procedures that inform our daily practice – which could also have profound ethical implications for both ourselves and our clients. 

In certain professions, such as pastoral counseling, guidelines are often lacking.   In  this workshop we will not only address the “why”, but also the “how” of  the following:  Process and progress notes – what is the difference and how do we generate them? How long should we keep them? What information do we need to supply to clients before the first session in the information pack? Should I consider a professional will?  What happens to my clients confidential information if I die?  Issues that will flow from the two topics above are: consent; confidentiality; release of confidential information to 3rd parties; working with minors.  Being ethically awake when working with private and confidential records can save us a world of trouble should ethical dilemmas arise.

Saturday morning, 11 Aug – Akeso Crescent Clinic, Randburg. Registration 09.00. Workshop 9.30 – 12.45 (15 min coffee break in-between). Cut off date for registrations: Wed 8 Aug at 12 noon.

Psychologists and health professions (3 CPD points approved): R500
Social workers (3 CPD points applied): R500
CPSC, Ministers of religion (3 CPD points approved): R500

Contact Annette de la Porte if you need to clarify any information. Tel 083 794 3537.  Email

Our registration number on the Department of Health database is Supplier No MAAA0529060