Principle VI: Fees
When setting or administering contracts for services, College registrants shall inform clients fully about fees, charges and collection procedures.
6.1 College registrants shall not charge or accept payment for any fees unless the basis for those fees was fully disclosed to the client before the College registrant began providing the services to which the fees relate. When establishing service contracts with clients, College registrants shall:
- Explain in advance or at the beginning of service the basis for all charges, giving a reasonable estimate of projected fees, and disbursements, pointing out any uncertainties involved so that clients may make informed decisions with respect to using the registrant’s services. Factors which may influence the amount charged include:
– the time and effort spent;
– the complexity of the issues; and
– the skills and expertise required.
- Ensure that they do not charge fees that are excessive in relation to the services performed.
- Discuss and renegotiate the service contract with clients when changes in the fees are anticipated.
- Ensure that contracts for service clearly describe billing procedures, reasonable penalties for missed and cancelled appointments or late payment of fees, the use of collection agencies or legal proceedings to collect unpaid fees and third-party fee payments. (See also Interpretation 5.2.6 )
6.2 College registrants may reduce, waive or delay collecting fees in situations where clients are facing financial hardship, or they may refer clients to appropriate alternative agencies so that clients are not deprived of social work or social service work services.
6.3 College registrants may provide services without remuneration, so long as these services adhere to College standards and do not constitute a conflict of interest.
6.4 College registrants may accept culturally relevant recognition for services, as long as those services adhere to College standards and do not put the registrant in a conflict of interest.
6.5 College registrants may ask a client to notify them immediately if circumstances arise that may interfere with the client’s ability to continue with the normal payment of fees.
6.6 College registrants shall not accept or give commissions, rebates, fees, other benefits or anything of value for receiving or making a referral of a client to or from another person.