The Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers (ATSP) believes that equal access to communication is a fundamental right of all people. To promote high standards of professionalism and integrity in the delivery of speech-to-text services, ATSP has published the following Code of Professional Conduct, which encompasses the ethical delivery of TypeWell Transcription and C-Print Captioning.
The guiding tenets of this document are designed to educate and support a variety of stakeholders, as follows:
- Service providers self-employed as freelancers
- Service providers employed as independent contractors for agencies or schools
- Service providers employed as part-time or full-time staff of agencies or schools
- Service coordinators working on behalf of agencies or schools
- Speech-to-text agencies and companies
- K-12 and University disability services offices
- Clients and consumers
By outlining clear and reasonable expectations in the following areas, we empower these stakeholders to make informed decisions about their services and to have rich discussions about the profession. The corresponding behaviors listed in each tenet provide illustrative (not exhaustive) examples of professional conduct in the practice of speech-to-text service provision.
- Tenet I: Confidentiality
- Service providers keep communication private and confidential. This tenet establishes guidelines regarding how information disclosed during an assignment should be treated with respect to outside parties.
- Tenet II: Competence
- Service providers cultivate necessary skills, knowledge, and competence. This tenet establishes standards for service provider competence to ensure consistent, high-quality services.
- Tenet III: Impartiality
- Service providers remain neutral and impartial. This tenet establishes expectations that source material be presented completely and without bias, and that service providers maintain professional boundaries and avoid performing dual roles.
- Tenet IV: Respect
- Service providers conduct themselves in a respectful, professional manner. This tenet establishes acceptable and expected behavior within the profession.
- Tenet V: Integrity
- Service providers and service coordinators maintain ethical business practices. This tenet establishes fair-minded business practices with respect to service providers and their working conditions provided. It also outlines honest and principled business practices that consumers and clients should expect from agencies, companies, and schools.
- This section provides useful definitions to promote a clear and consistent understanding of the ATSP Code of Professional Conduct.
What is the ATSP Code of Professional Conduct?
ATSP’s Code of Professional Conduct is a foundational set of standards designed to promote professionalism and integrity in the delivery of speech-to-text services.
Why do we need a Code of Professional Conduct?
Having clear professional standards is important in any occupation or field. The ATSP Code of Professional Conduct unifies existing professional standards and provides a basis for consumers, clients, service coordinators, and speech-to-text providers to conduct business in a fair and ethical manner.
How was it designed?
The Code of Professional Conduct was drafted by a volunteer Ethics and Standards Committee, reviewed by outside subject matter specialists, and revised by the ATSP Board after a 30-day public comment period. It remains a living document and is therefore subject to change over time to meet the evolving needs of the profession. Any substantial revisions will be drafted by special committee and/or the ATSP Board, and will be subject to Board approval.
How will it benefit speech-to-text service providers?
As transcribers and captionists know, many incidents and situations that occur on the job do not fall into black and white categories. The ATSP Code of Professional Conduct serves as a resource for speech-to-text providers working in the field. It is not designed to address every possible scenario, nor does it eliminate the need for real-time problem solving. Rather, it helps to define the basic ethical principles on which our field is founded, and it provides illustrative examples to help guide providers in their professional decision making. When upholding these professional standards, it is imperative that all service providers think critically, employ reasoned judgement, exercise rational decision making, and draw from learned experience, and it is the responsibility of service coordinators to establish and enforce clear and consistent policies on behalf of clients and consumers who use speech-to-text services. This Code of Conduct also serves as a powerful resource for service providers when advocating for professional wages, prompt compensation, and safe working conditions conducive to the effective delivery of services.
How will it benefit agencies, companies, and schools?
Service coordinators and supervisors may refer to this document when designing, revising, and enforcing the in-house policies that govern their offices, agencies, and companies. Employers are able to vet their own policies with this Code to promote increased consumer confidence. When challenging situations arise, the ATSP Code serves as a resource for working with employees to determine the best course of action and development.
How will it benefit consumers and clients?
By establishing a reliable set of expectations, the ATSP Code of Conduct serves as a powerful resource for clients and consumers when advocating for high standards of excellence in the speech-to-text services they receive.
What do some of these terms mean?
To promote clarity and consistency, we have created a helpful definitions page.
Where can I find a copy of the Code?
The ATSP Code of Professional Conduct is available on this page and as a downloadable PDF. Please share this information with your colleagues.
What if I have a question about the Code or need clarification?
Questions about the ATSP Code of Professional Conduct, and requests for clarification, should be directed to [email protected].