Code of Ethics

Members who stand behind what we believe in the AHTA Code of Professional Ethics describes the organization's expectations of standards of conduct for professional horticultural therapists and applies to members who hold HTA, HTR, or HTM voluntary professional registration credentials.

Code of Professional Ethics
The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) is dedicated to promoting all levels of interest in the development of horticulture and related activities as a therapeutic and rehabilitative medium. The AHTA strives to improve the performance of programs utilizing horticultural activities in human development through communications, coordination, knowledge dissemination, and promotion of education and training. Furthermore, AHTA is dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of horticultural therapists. This service is predicated on a basic belief in the intrinsic worth, dignity, and potential of each human being. Respect for this belief shall guide the member's professional conduct.

A member's primary responsibility is to the client served. A member shall be continuously aware of the relationship between responsibilities to the clients served, to the profession, and to the employer. A member shall model, encourage, and expect ethical and competent behavior from colleagues, whether or not they are members of this association, and shall attempt to rectify behavior which is contradictory.

Professional Competence

A member shall demonstrate competency gained through education and experience with particular emphasis on the utilization of the horticultural environment in therapy and rehabilitation. A member shall be familiar with the studies and processes of human and plant interactions, thereby understanding and interpreting information acquired during the therapeutic activity.

A member shall respect the privacy of the client served and shall safeguard all information and materials obtained during the therapeutic horticultural activity process. To the extent consonant with employer methodologies, a member shall inform the client served, or the client's agent, about the purpose of any professional service being contemplated. Information generated during the administration of such services shall only be communicated to those with an essential need to know as part of the therapeutic horticultural activity process and the client served shall be made aware of who is in receipt of such information. If such information is used in teaching, research, or writing, the identity of the client served shall be protected.

Inter-professional Relationships
A member shall be cognizant of the relationship to other professionals involved in the service to clients and shall be aware that the welfare of clients receiving services depends on the capacity of all professional personnel to integrate their efforts. As part of this awareness, a member shall avoid practicing in areas not within the member's professional competence. Likewise, a member shall encourage other professionals to respect each other's roles and expertise and be prepared to respond when others seek assistance.

A member shall communicate to other members through publications, seminars, workshops, or other appropriate means, information the member believes will contribute to improve or expand the existing knowledge base of the profession. In such instances, the member shall adequately acknowledge the contributions of all individuals or organizations.

A member shall ensure and be able to document competency in all areas related to acceptance of consulting assignments. Information regarding either the organization or clients served shall be regarded as confidential and shall not be used for unethical purposes or personal advantage.