Defining Professional Ethics
Professional ethics are an inherent part of every occupation and attempt to develop or evaluate moral standards for a defined group. Health-based professions have a unique relationship in the dynamics between patient and provider, the integrity of which must be protected in order to maintain the professional relationship between the individuals. Many medical based organizations have a written code of ethics for their constituents and members to follow, but ethics in personal training has only recently begun to realize the profession has many aspects that are affected by a moral code. At the onset, ethical focus centered on the trainer and his or her clients from a relationship and level of due care standpoint, but as the profession evolves more emphasis is being placed on the importance of preserving the integrity of the profession as a whole. This places added ethical responsibility upon the professional to serve the client, organization, profession, and society. Of course the foundation of any health-based profession is protecting the client’s best interests, but with prevention becoming a growing aspect of the future of health and wellness in this country, personal trainers will be further scrutinized for competency, peer interactions, and professional role delineation.