Workplace wellness professionals come from varying backgrounds and experience, which may include health education and promotion, public health, fitness or athletic training, diet and nutrition, human resources, insurance, or complementary and alternative medicine professions (such as acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, homeopathy). Workplace wellness professionals deliver services in a variety of settings, including large and small private companies, schools and colleges, health care systems, government agencies, and others. Workplace wellness professionals may belong to or have credentials issued by other organizations, such as National Wellness Institute (NWI), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Medical Fitness Association, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), WELCOA, and the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), to name a few. Each of these organizations may have their own standards of practice, professional competencies, and/or code of ethics. Some workplace wellness professionals may be guided by state-issued license requirements, such as for dietitians, insurance agents/brokers, chiropractors, acupuncturists, or massage therapists. Other workplace wellness professionals may not be guided by any code of conduct, or at least by a code that applies specifically to individuals involved with workplace wellness programming.
The Wellness Compliance Institute (WCI) supports the codes of ethics, standards of practice and professional competencies of all organizations to which workplace wellness professionals belong. WCI also supports the Code of Ethics developed by Ethical Wellness.
Despite the existences of all these standards, competencies and codes, workplace wellness professionals lack a unifying code that all professionals, regardless of their credentials or experience, can adhere to. Workplace wellness professionals share the goal of promoting wellness, which the National Wellness Institute defines as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” Workplace wellness professionals should also recognize that achieving wellness depends not only on individual behaviors and choices, but also organizational culture, mental and spiritual well-being, and environmental and social factors.
Using this framework for workplace wellness, this document provides guidance on professional expectations and proper behaviors for workplace wellness professionals, regardless of one’s setting, education, certification or experience. The Code of Conduct is founded upon ethical principles that focus on the ideal rather than obligatory rules (although following rules is part of acting ethically). The Code of Ethics emphasizes the character of professionals and their relationships with whom they work rather than on solving a specific problem. It is the responsibility of wellness professionals to aspire to meeting this Code of Conduct and to encourage other workplace wellness professionals to do the same. Those who subscribe to this Code of Conduct will help advance workplace wellness as a discipline and a concept that is not only possible, but worth expending resources to achieve.
A workplace wellness professional shall:
The courses, resources, and information provided on this website are designed for educational purposes only and should never be considered or construed to be the provision of legal advice. For individual legal advice, it is necessary to obtain legal counsel in the jurisdiction where such appropriate advice can be provided.