AHAF Code of Ethics

ARTICLE 1. Definitions

ANALYST: AHAF member who analyzes handwriting.

CLIENT: One who requests an analysis, whether paid or gratis.

COMPLAINANT: Member bringing infraction to Ethics Committee.

DEFAMATORY: Derogatory, untrue, and with malicious intent.

ETHICS COMMITTEE: Past Presidents Advisory Board and present AHAF president. Chair chosen by the Committee, serves on the Board of Directors.

HEARING: Written presentation of evidence and arguments.

MEMBER: AHAF member who may or may not analyze handwriting.

PROFESSIONAL ANALYST: One certified by AHAF or AHAF-approved organization to analyze handwriting, whether paid or gratis.

RESPONDENT: Member accused of infraction of Code of Ethics.

SAMPLE: Handwritten item to be analyzed.

THIRD PARTY: Client requesting an analysis of another person's writing.

WRITER: One who provides a handwriting sample.


ARTICLE II. Competence

A. Member shall maintain high standards of graphological competence through continuing education such as seminars, classes and conferences.

B. Member may NOT use the AHAF logo on personal or business stationery, but may make reference to membership and/or certification when appropriate.

C. Member is encouraged to become certified. AHAF does not consider professional those analysts who are not certified by AHAF or AHAF-approved organization. Member may use C>G> only after receiving official notice of certification.

D. Member will not undertake any specialized service, diagnosis or treatment (legal, medical, psychological, counseling, etc.) without the necessary qualifications and/or licenses. If assisted by specialists, analyst will identify such assistants to client.

ARTICLE III. Ethical Responsibilities

A. To writer and client:

1. The primary responsibility is to the legitimate interest of the client. However, analyst will be sensitive to possible effects of the analysis on the writer.

2. Privacy of the writer shall be protected by:

a. Maintaining strict confidentiality of records and analyses.

b. Removing identification where necessary from samples shared with other analysts.

c. Obtaining permission from writer where possible and practical before sharing and/or publishing samples or information identifying the writer.

3. Quality of professional services shall be accorded equally to all clients regardless of race, creed, gender, color, or country of origin.

4. Analyst must refuse professional services when judging such services would not conform to ethical standards.

5. Third party analyses

a. Analyst requires permission from the writer except for the following:

1). Under contractual agreement with client to release analyst from any consequences if client does not wish to obtain permission for analysis from writer.

2). When a parent/guardian requests analysis of a minor child or non-competent person.

b. Third party must have a legitimate reason for analysis.

c. Third party shall agree, preferably in writing, to keep information about writer confidential.

d. Analyses are presented in a timely manner as opinion and based on the writing and not represented as indisputable fact.

B. To public

1. Member shall not exaggerate or make false claims regarding:

a. Personal expertise or competence.

b. Validity or uses of graphology.

2. Member shall maintain high standards of personal and professional integrity.

3. Member shall not make defamatory remarks, personal or professional, about other graphological organizations or their members.

4. member shall stay informed of pending legislation and local, state and federal ordinances and laws relating to the practice of graphology.

C. To other members

1. Member shall abide by AHAF Bylaws.

2. Member shall not make defamatory remarks, personal or professional, about other AHAF members.

3. Member shall follow procedure for dispute resolution as outlined in this Code.

ARTICLE IV. Dispute Resolution

A. Procedure

1. Member reports infractions of the AHAF Code of Ethics in writing to Chair of Ethics Committee.

2. Chair informs both parties to the dispute of their rights and responsibilities according to the MOP including procedure for mediation.

3. Chair collects evidence and arguments from both parties to present to the Committee.

4. Ethics Committee reviews evidence and arguments and sends recommendation to Executive Board.

5. Executive Board votes on recommendations for resolution of dispute.

6. Respondent may request full Board hearing as appeal.

B. Voting

1. Ethics Committee member or Board member involved in the dispute in any way is precluded from the voting process

2. Two-thirds vote necessary.

C. Appeal

1. All evidence, arguments, and recommendations are presented to full Board of Directors.

2. Two-thirds vote necessary.

D. Recommendations for Resolution

1. Allegations not warranted, dismiss charges.

2. Letter of warning and order to cease.

3. Letter of reprimand.

4. Request for resignation from AHAF.