Details for Ethical and Professional Issues

Note: This subject was re-named and re-coded from 'SSC220 Professional Consideration' to SSC222 Ethical and 'Professional Issues' in March 2023.

This subject looks at the legislative framework of human services practice and professional ethical codes of conduct as they apply to counselling, ministry and related fields of practice within Australia. This subject will familiarise you with the ethical standards expected in professional practice involving work with others as individuals or communities, the requirements of documentation, and the appropriate ways to respond to legal and/or ethical dilemmas.  It will also explore a range of related professional issues with a focus on self-care.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: SSC222
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Catrina Henderson


The following courses are prerequisites:

Awards offering Ethical and Professional Issues

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content


  1. Explain the need for ethics and legal codes; explore how ethics, law and your worldview intersect; and debate on the impact each of these has on the organisation and regulation of professional practice;
  2. Use ethical and legal language contextually and use this to record and report on cases and/or client encounters objectively; articulate the value of this to both client and practitioner;
  3. Discuss models of ethical and legal decision-making and apply these to issues of relevance to their daily lives and fields of study;
  4. Articulate the necessity for and benefits of professional codes of practice, supervision, self-care and on-going professional development and begin applying these areas to their own practices.

Subject Content

  • Introduction to Unit
  • Professional Ethics: Ethical Codes in Australia, Legal Issues and Mental Health
  • Ethical Decision Making & Ethical Frameworks
  • Community and Social Justice: Advocacy, System impact
  • Socio-Cultural Perspectives & Diversity Issues
  • Personal & Professional Matters, including needs, values and responsibilities
  • Clients Rights & the Professional’s Responsibilities, including Informed consent & confidentiality
  • Theory and Practice: Planning, case load, goals of counselling
  • Theory and Practice: Commencement to Termination of Treatment / Support
  • Ethical Issues in Counselling & Support: Legal, Mandatory Reporting, Referrals, Cooperation with other services
  • Professional Issues, including Record Storage & Telehealth
  • Boundaries and Dual Relationships
  • Supervision
  • Counselling & Care Contexts: Individual, Couple/Family, Group 
  • Professional Competence, Care & Development
  • Case Studies and Analysis

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Onsite (face-to-face)
  • Online (eLearning)
  • Intensives
  • Extensives

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis University College.

Assessment Methods

  • Major Essay (40%)
  • Case Studies (30%)
  • Critical Reflection (30%)

Prescribed Text

  • Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Corey, C. (2019). Issues and ethics in the helping professions (10th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. (2017). Code of Ethics. North Fitzroy, VIC: PACFA. (available online).

Please consult your instructor prior to purchasing any textbooks.