Professional ethics versus institutional expectations


  • Jessica Kean Lecturer at the programme area of Social Services, North Tec, Te Tai Tokerau Wananga.


mental health, professional ethical codes, mental health stigma,


This article examines an ethical dilemma that emerged during the journey of accreditation and approval for the Bachelor of Applied Social Services degree at North Tec. The degree accreditation process demonstrated how prejudiced belief systems concerning mental illness still exist within institutions. It examines the debate that occurs in many organisations and institutes as they attempt to meet professional ethical codes whilst also meeting organisational and institutional expectations.


Canadian Mental Health Association (2007). Violence and Mental Illness Retrieved 24 March 2007 from

Mental Health Commission. (2005). Reducing discrimination against people with mental illness. Te Hekenga: Whakamana i te Tangata Whaiora Multi-Agency Plan 2005–2007. Wellington: Author.

Mental Health Commission. (2002). Mental illness and violent crime [Factsheet]. Wellington: Author.

Newbold, G. (1992). Crime and deviance. New Zealand: Oxford University Press.

Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers. (2004). Code of Ethics. Christchurch: Author.

New Zealand Human Rights Act 1993.

Oliver, M. (1992). Changing the social relationships of research productions. Disability, Handicap and Society, 7(2), 101-114.

Sayce, L. (2002). Working for inclusion: Making social inclusion a reality for people with severe mental health problems. Nurse Education Today, 23(6), 470.




How to Cite

Kean, J. (2022). Professional ethics versus institutional expectations. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 19(2), 37–41. Retrieved from