ACVA Ethics and Standards Guidelines

Section A: Professional Responsibility

a. Advance Understanding: Astrologers clearly explain to clients, prior to entering the counseling relationship, all financial arrangements related to professional services.

b. Establishing Fees: In the event that the established fee structure is cost-prohibitive for the client, assistance is provided in attempting to find comparable services of acceptable cost.

c. Bartering: Astrologers may accept goods or services in return for astrological services provided that the relationship is not exploitative, if the client requests it, and if astrologer and client make a clear agreement about their bartering arrangement.

d. Referral Fees: Astrologers should be aware of the potential conflict of interest involved in accepting a referral fee from other professionals including but not limited to fee splitting, credit or commissions from related service providers.

e. Pro Bono Service: Astrologers strive to contribute to society by devoting a portion of their professional activity to services for which there is little or no financial return (pro bono).

a. Charts of Public Figures: Interpretations of the charts of public figures are confined to areas that are considered public domain due to specific achievements or notoriety as revealed in interviews, published documents, or recorded observations. When interpreting charts of public figures, astrologers refrain from making slanderous comments. Information should be presented in a manner that is respectful to the individual whose chart is being discussed.

b. Mundane, economic, or political predictions: When interpreting charts that refer to large groups of people, whether financial, social, political, or geophysical, astrologers avoid extreme statements of imminent disaster that could cause public alarm. Astrological variables can manifest in differing events of similar meaning, and astrology cannot predict with absolute certainty the outcome of future astronomical events.

c. Sexual Harassment: Astrologers do not engage in sexual harassment, which is defined as sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature, that occurs in connection with professional activities or roles, and that either: (1) is unwelcome, is offensive, or (2) is sufficiently severe or intense to be perceived as harassment to a reasonable person in the context. Sexual harassment can consist of a single intense or severe act or multiple persistent or pervasive acts.

d. Media Presentations: When astrologers provide advice or comment by means of public lectures, demonstrations, radio or television programs, prerecorded tapes, printed articles, computer reports, mailed material, or other media, they take reasonable precautions to ensure that (1) the statements are based on appropriate professional astrological literature and practice; (2) the statements are otherwise consistent with the Ethical Standards and Guidelines; (3) they do not represent themselves as spokespersons for an organization without the proper authorization from that organization; and (4) the recipient of the information is not encouraged to infer that a professional counseling relationship has been established.

e. Unreasonable Claims: Astrologers do not exploit the anxieties and gullibility of the public by inducing people to purchase astrological services on the basis of unrealistic claims, such as the promise of love, happiness, or prosperity. Neither do astrologers exploit the vulnerability of clients to purchase services on the premise of protecting them from negative future events that the astrologer claims to see.

a. Current Clients or Students: Astrologers do not have any type of sexual intimacies with clients or students before, during, or immediately following a consultation.

b. Former Clients or Students: Astrologers do not date or engage in sexual intimacies with current or former clients or students within a minimum of six months following a consultation. If any sort of dating relationship is initiated, then any professional relationship should be terminated.

a. Different Approaches: Astrologers are respectful of approaches to professional astrology that differ from their own. Astrologers know and take into account the traditions and practices of other professional groups with which they work.

b. Personal Public Statements: When making personal statements in a public context, astrologers clarify that they are speaking from their personal perspective and that they are not speaking on behalf of all astrologers or the profession.

c. Clients Served by Others: If a client is receiving services from a mental health professional, and the astrologer contracts to see the client for regular sessions, e.g., once monthly, the astrologer, with client consent, may inform the professional persons already involved and develops clear agreements to avoid confusion and conflict for the client. However, the client should be encouraged to inform all the professionals involved.