Code of Ethics

All VAISEF Members must agree to and sign the VAISEF Code of Ethics annually as a basis for membership. It may also be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document here.


Members shall strive to uphold these practices, assist colleagues in upholding these ethics, and be available to VAISEF to work with other members in meeting these practices in order to provide the best possible care to students for whom they are responsible.

 Section 1:  Member Responsibilities to VAISEF

  1. Members shall support the philosophy, organization and function of VAISEF.
  2. Member’s right to privacy will be observed.
  3. Members shall maintain helpful and cooperative relationships with other member organizations.
  4. Members shall respond to requests for information from the VAISEF administrative office in a timely manner.
  5. Members shall honor all financial commitments.
  6. Members shall advocate for the education of the public regarding issues and trends in specialized education.  They shall share expertise and materials and welcome professional visitations.
  7. Members shall have at least one representative actively serving on a committee or member of a statewide entity as the designated VAISEF representative or as an officer of the Association.

Section 2:  Member Responsibilities For Their Own Facility/Organization

  1. Members shall represent truthfully and fairly their facility/organization.
  2. Members shall guard against conflicts of interest and shall neither accept nor give gifts, fees or other forms of gratuity for giving or receiving specific referrals.
  3. Members shall not discriminate on any basis prohibited by law.
  4. Members shall uphold and maintain in all possible ways the highest professional standards.
  5. Members shall honor financial commitments to all parties involved with the facility/organization.

Section 3:  Member Responsibilities to the Students

  1. Members shall follow accepted patterns of professional conduct in relations with students that they serve.  They may not guarantee results or make false claims.
  2. Members shall have policies and procedures that guarantee confidentiality of all students and their families.
  3. Members shall possess a current license or certificate to operate and abide by and adhere to rules of regulatory agencies.
  4. Members shall protect the well being of students and avoid accepting or continuing a program of treatment with those that cannot reasonably be expected to benefit from the program.
  5. Members must deliver the services in accordance with any oral and/or written agreements, and they shall honor their financial commitments to all parties involved with the facility/organization.
  6. Members shall strive to improve their knowledge and skill in the education and treatment of students and make available to the students, to those closely associated to the students, and to colleagues, the benefits of their professional expertise.


If a member’s DOE license (and/or DSS or DBHDS license if the program is identified as residential) is downgraded*, it will report this change directly, in writing, to the VAISEF Board of Directors within 30 days along with documentation of any program change or citations resulting in the downgrade.

Upon notification of the downgraded license, the Accreditation Committee will review issues resulting in the downgrade to determine if the downgrade may impact membership or accreditation status and/or require a new accreditation review.  A recommendation will then be made to the Executive Committee.  Downgrade of a DOE license to a provisional status will result in revocation of accreditation.

If a member believes that another member has violated part of the statement, the member may write to the VAISEF President and state the problem and identify the member involved. The Executive Committee will consider all complaints and investigate if needed.

If the Executive Committee deems an on-site investigation or accreditation review is necessary, there will be a cost to the facility.

One of the following options will be presented to the VAISEF Board of Directors:

  • Dismissal of the complaint.
  • Provisional membership with appointment of a technical advisor,
  • Termination of membership. If recommended, notify member and give option to appear before full Board to appeal this recommendation.

The VAISEF Board of Directors will issue the final decisions.

* Downgrade includes placement on a provisional license or a reduction in the term of a license