Advancing health through science, education and medicine

Code of Ethics

A. Principles and purposes:
Preamble: These principles are intended to aid Fellows and members of the College individually and collectively to maintain a high level of ethical conduct. These are not laws but standards by which a Fellow or a member may determine the propriety of his/her conduct, relationship with colleagues, with members of allied professions, with the public, and with all persons in which a professional relationship has been established. The principal purpose of the College is the generation and dissemination of knowledge concerning all aspects of persons engaged in exercise with full respect for the dignity of people.

Section 1: Members should strive continuously to improve knowledge and skill and make available to their colleagues and the public the benefits of their professional expertise.

Section 2: Members should maintain high professional and scientific standards and should not voluntarily collaborate professionally with anyone who violates this principle.

Section 3: The College, and its members, should safeguard the public and itself against members who are deficient in ethical conduct.

Section 4: The ideals of the College imply that the responsibilities of each Fellow or member extend not only to the individual, but also to society with the purpose of improving both the health and well-being of the individual and the community.

B. The statement of principles of ethical behavior for ACSM members reads:
Members and affiliates of the American College of Sports Medicine are committed to the highest standards of conduct.  As advocates for athletes’ health and performance, all ACSM members assume an obligation to train, treat and support athletes with the highest ethical standards.  Avoiding inappropriate treatment of athletes as well as the appearance of inappropriate treatment is of the utmost importance.  I hereby affirm:

1. Members should treat or train athletes with the objective of maintaining the integrity of competition and fair play.

2. Members should treat or train every athlete with the utmost care and to the highest level of their professional competence.

3. Members should acknowledge that they are aware of international doping control standards as determined by the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods published by the World Anti-Doping Program or by the relevant Anti-Doping Authority.

4. Members should treat athletes only as their medical conditions warrant and will observe the rules of the appropriate anti-doping organizations regarding use of prohibited substances or methods.

5. Members should not advise, aid, or abet any athlete to use prohibited substances or methods of doping.

6. Members should use all means possible to deter doping by athletes.

7. Members should maintain confidentiality of personal medical information and will protect the right of the clean athlete to compete.

8. Members should agree that departure from these principles of ethical behavior in treating athletes may result in sanctions by ACSM and will accept those sanctions as determined.

C. Maintenance of Good-standing in Regulated Professions: Any Fellow or member required by law to be licensed, certified or otherwise regulated by any governmental agency in order to practice his or her profession must remain in good-standing before that agency as a condition of continued membership in the College. Any expulsion, suspension, probation or other sanction imposed by such governmental agency on any Fellow or member is grounds for disciplinary action by the College.

D. Public Disclosure of Affiliation: Other than for commercial venture, any member or Fellow (FACSM) may disclose his/her affiliation with the College in any context, oral or documented, provided it is currently accurate. In doing so, no member or Fellow may imply College endorsement of whatever is associated in context with the disclosure, unless expressly authorized by the College. Disclosure of affiliation in connection with a commercial venture may be made provided the disclosure is made in a professionally dignified manner, is not false, misleading or deceptive, and does not imply licensure for the attainment of specialty or diploma status. Members who are currently ACSM Certified or Registered may disclose their certification status and Fellows may disclose their Fellow status. Because membership and fellowship in ACSM is granted to individuals, disclosure of affiliation and/or use of the initials ACSM are not to be made as part of a firm, partnership or corporate name. Violation of this article may be grounds for disciplinary action.

E. Discipline: Any Fellow or member of the College may be disciplined or expelled for conduct which, in the opinion of the Board of Trustees, is derogatory to the dignity of or inconsistent with the purposes of the College. The expulsion of a Fellow or member may be ordered upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board of Trustees present at a regular or a special meeting, and only after such Fellow or member has been informed of the charges preferred against him and has been given an opportunity to refute such charges before the Board of Trustees. Other disciplinary action such as reprimand, probation, or censure may be recommended by the Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct and ordered following the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board of Trustees present at a regular or special meeting or by mail ballot, provided a quorum takes action.

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