A Missouri Nonprofit Corporation




The International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) Code of Professional Conduct is a statement to the public of the principles used to cultivate and sustain the highest standards of conduct within the organization and the profession. Members of the IAOM are committed to earning the public’s trust through upholding the dignity of and the respect for the individuals served. This commitment extends beyond those served to include peers and the public – including professional colleagues, interns, educators, research participants, businesses, and the community.

Thoughtful review of issues (including lawful compliance and conduct of the organization, historical review, previous ethics cases, members’ questions and content of other professional codes of ethics) was utilized in the development of this document which is applicable to the affairs of the organization as well as to Certified Orofacial Myologists® and other professional members trained in the field of Orofacial Myology. The historical basis of this Code of Ethics 
is centered upon ethical reasoning involved with practice and professional issues, as well as empathetic reflection regarding interactions with others.

The IAOM Code of Professional Conduct is a guide to assist members when ethical issues arise within the organization or during the practice of Orofacial Myology. Ethical decision-making is a process that includes awareness of how the outcome will impact the organization as a whole, as well as Orofacial Myology clients in all areas. Applications regarding Professional Conduct are considered situation-specific and where a conflict does exist, IAOM members shall pursue all responsible efforts to resolve the conflicts internally. These principles apply to all IAOM members engaged in any professional role, especially those in elected and volunteer leadership positions.

The PURPOSE of the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) Professional Code of Conduct is to assist in recognizing and establishing the values and principles upheld by the Orofacial Myology profession.

  1. Inform and educate the general public and membership regarding established values and principles to which IAOM members are held accountable.
  2. Advise IAOM leadership and members toward expected standards of professional conduct.
  3. Guide IAOM leadership and members toward recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
  4. Require ethical responsibility in research.


Recipient of Service: Individuals receiving Orofacial Myology (OM) services.

  • Leadership: Elected and appointed IAOM officers and members of the Board of Directors.
  • Research participant: A person who has agreed to participate in an approved research project.
  • Employee: A person who is engaged by a business (facility or organization) that provides Orofacial Myology services.
  • Colleague: A person who provides services for the same or different business (facility or organization) to which a professional relationship exists or may exist.
  • Public: The community of people at large.
  • Evidence-Based Methodology: A therapeutic process based on best available evidence that has been consistent, systematically identified, evaluated and selected.

IAOM leadership, staff, and members shall act with honesty, prudence, and integrity in all of their dealings as representatives of the organization and as professionals practicing in the area of Orofacial Myology. IAOM leadership and members promote working environments that implement the principles of compassion, competence, and fairness.


To improve the health of the public by advancing the art and science of Orofacial Myology by means of:

  • Increasing awareness of and ensuring access to quality primary health care for the treatment for orofacial myology disorders;
  • Maintaining the highest professional standards possible through promotion of educational opportunities and administration of the certification process;
  • Increasing the body of knowledge through scientific research;
  • Representing the professional interests of orofacial myologists;
  • Promoting and encouraging interdisciplinary relationships with allied health professionals.

This section of the Professional Code of Conduct is directed toward the nonprofit organization to ensure that all members of the IAOM understand and maintain the highest ethical standards in conducting and participating in the affairs of the organization.

  1. Governance

The IAOM shall have an active governing body, the Board of Directors, which is responsible for setting the mission and strategic direction of the organization, oversight of its finances, daily operations, and policies of the organization. 

The Board of Directors:

  • Ensures that its board members have the requisite skills and experience to carry out their duties and that all members understand and fulfill their governance duties acting for the benefit of the organization and public purpose;
  • Enforces a conflict of interest policy that ensures that any conflicts of interest or the appearance thereof by leadership or membership are avoided or appropriately managed through disclosure, recusal or other means;
  • Reviews the performance of the President, and takes appropriate action if such performance is inadequate;
  • Requires that the President and appropriate staff provide the governing body with timely and comprehensive information allowing the governing body to effectively carry out its duties;
  • Ensures that the organization conducts all transactions and deals openly with honesty, integrity, and prudence;
  • Promotes working relationships among board members, staff, volunteers, and members that are based on compassion, competence, and fairness;
  • Ensures that the organization be fair and inclusive in vetting policies and practices for all board, staff, and volunteer positions;
  • Ensures that the resources of the organization are responsibly and prudently managed;
  • Ensures that the organization has the capacity to carry out its programs effectively;
  • Owes the nonprofit corporation they serve a duty of care, requiring them to exercise their authority, to make decisions for the organization with prudence;
  • Ensures that board meetings are held regularly and that each board member attend and participate in board meetings on a regular basis;
  • Exercises independent and unbiased judgment on all matters at hand;
  • Acts with loyalty to the best interests of the organization, and not their own personal interests or the interests of any third party;
  • Understands and upholds the obligation of confidentiality related to Board of Directors meetings.
  1. Legal Compliance

IAOM will be vigilant in compliance with laws, regulations, and applicable practices that govern and regulate the organization as a nonprofit entity.

  1. Responsible Stewardship

IAOM shall manage its funds responsibly and prudently. This shall include consideration of the following:

  • Spending a reasonable percentage of its annual budget on programs in pursuance of its mission;
  • Spending an adequate amount on administrative expenses to ensure effective accounting systems, internal controls, competent staff, and other areas critical to professional management;
  • Maintaining an appropriate level of funds to fulfill our mission and purpose without excessive accumulation of reserves;
  • Ensuring that all spending practices and policies are fair, reasonable and appropriately fulfill the mission of the organization;
  • Timely and accurate preparation and submittal of financial reports filings;
  • Prohibiting any member from acquiring organization funds for their personal benefit;
  • Permitting only authorized personnel to control contractual or monetary transactions for the organization.
  1. Disclosure

IAOM shall maintain transparency within the organization by providing comprehensive and timely information to the public and other parties as follows:

  • Responding in a timely manner to reasonable requests for information;
  • Ensuring that all information about IAOM fully and honestly reflects the policies and practices of the organization;
  • Ensuring that basic informational data about the organization, such as the Form 990, reviews and compilations, and audited financial statements are posted on the IAOM website or otherwise available to the public;
  • All promotional materials accurately represent the organization’s policies and practices and reflect the dignity of the program beneficiaries. These include:
  • Financial Reports
  • Organizational Reports
  • Program Reports
  1. Program Evaluation

IAOM is committed to improving its programs and organizational effectiveness, while developing mechanisms to promote learning from its activities and the practice methodology of its membership.


This section of the Professional Code of Conduct is directed toward addressing the most prevalent ethical concerns of the profession with regard to education, research, and clinical practice.

Fundamental to the mission of the Orofacial Myology profession, is the preservation of the highest ethical values and principles vital to the responsible discharge of the obligations by Certified Orofacial Myologists (COM®) and other IAOM professional members trained in the field of Orofacial Myology. Orofacial Myology personnel have an ethical responsibility primarily to the recipients of service and secondarily to their peers and the public. The concerns of others including the public, consumers, interns, colleagues, employers, research participants, researchers, educators, and practitioners are addressed in this document.

The Orofacial Myology profession is grounded in the values of Compassion, Competence and Fairness, implemented through the principles of Honesty, Prudence and Integrity. The three values are essential in a profession where the needs, desires and dignity of the client must guide the approach to intervention. The three principles enable the Orofacial Myologist to apply their knowledge, skills and judgment in a professional manner – clinically, socially and ethically. These values and principles are important not only during therapeutic interaction with clients, but also in the professional and social relationships with peers, colleagues, and society in general. As such, these values and principles form the basis for this Professional Code of Conduct.



Certified Orofacial Myologists (COM®) and other IAOM professional members trained in Orofacial Myology demonstrate a genuine concern for the wellbeing, safety and dignity of their clients and peers.

 IAOM members shall:

  • Respond to requests for OM services in a timely manner;
  • Provide appropriate evaluation and a plan of care for all recipients of OM services specific to their needs;
  • Acknowledge and take appropriate action related to interpersonal problems that might impede the ability to successfully complete the established plan of care.
  • Attempt to professionally resolve perceived grievances or perceptions of violation of the Professional Code of Conduct with another COM® other IAOM professional without implying harassment or threats.

IAOM members practice at an expected level of performance that results from an integration of knowledge, skills, abilities, education and judgment.

IAOM members shall:

  • Provide OM services that are within the IAOM Scope of Practice, within each member’s level of knowledge and training, and for members practicing independently, within their license and/or certification skill area.
  • Maintain appropriate international, national, state, or other requisite credentials for the OM services provided.
  • Reevaluate and reassess recipients of service in a timely manner to determine if goals are being achieved and whether intervention plans should be revised.
  • Avoid the inappropriate use of outdated or obsolete assessments or treatment materials in making intervention decisions or recommendations.
  • Develop an Evidence-Based Methodology to verify compliance through participation in continuing education, research, supervision and training.
  • Provide OM education, continuing education, instruction, and training that are within the IAOM’s approved instructor’s subject area of expertise and level of competence.
  • Maintain high standards in practice, education, and research by participating in professional development and educational activities to improve and update knowledge and skills.

IAOM members provide services and treat their peers in a fair and unbiased manner.

IAOM members shall:

  • Advocate for just and fair treatment for all recipients of service.
  • Terminate OM services in collaboration with the service recipient or responsible party when the needs and goals of the recipient have been met or when services no longer produce a measurable changes or outcome.
  • Refer to other health care specialists solely on the basis of the needs of the client.
  • Establish continuity of services or transition to other appropriate services to avoid abandoning the client if the current provider is unavailable due to medical or other reasons.
  • Make every effort to facilitate open and collaborative dialogue with clients and/or responsible parties to facilitate comprehension of services and their potential risks/ benefits.
  • Give credit and recognition when using the work of others in written, oral, or electronic media.
  • Collect fees legally. Fees shall be fair, reasonable, and commensurate with services delivered.
  • Respect the traditions, practices, competencies, and responsibilities of their own and other professions, as well as those of the entities that constitute the working environment.
  • Avoid professional territorialism by attempting to limit competition from a different professional in any given geographical area.
  • Accept the rights of IAOM colleagues to practice without constant professional scrutiny or harassment.



IAOM members provide comprehensive, accurate, and objective information when providing services to their clients and interfacing with their peers and the public.

IAOM members shall:

  • Represent their credentials, qualifications, education, experiences, training, roles, duties, competence views, contributions, and findings accurately in all forms of communication;
  • Refrain from using or participating in the use of any form of communication that contains false, fraudulent, deceptive, misleading, or unfair statements or claims;
  • Record and report in an accurate and timely manner, and in accordance with applicable practice regulations, all information related to professional activities;
  • Utilize marketing and advertising statements that are truthful and accurate to the best of one’s knowledge and carefully presented to avoid misleading recipients of service, interns, research participants, or the public at large;
  • Establish a collaborative relationship with recipients of service. This includes full disclosure of the benefits, risks, and potential outcomes of any intervention;
  • Obtain consent prior to administering any OM services, including evaluation, and keep the recipients of service informed of the progress in meeting goals specified in the plan of intervention/care;
  • Obtain informed consent from participants involved in research and educational activities, and verify that they understand the benefits, risks, and potential outcomes as a result of their participation as research subjects;

IAOM members take action to avoid causing harm, wrongdoing, or misconception, while maintaining confidentiality in their dealings with clients, peers and the public.

IAOM members shall:

  • Avoid relationships that exploit the recipient of services, interns, research participants, or employees physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially, socially, or in any other manner that conflicts or interferes with professional judgment and objectivity.
  • Avoid engaging in any sexual relationship or activity, whether consensual or nonconsensual, with any recipient of service, intern, research participant, or employee, with whom a professional relationship exists;
  • Avoid any undue influences, such as alcohol or drugs that may compromise the provision of Orofacial Myology services, education, or research;
  • Maintain awareness of and adherence to the Code of Conduct when providing services to clients or participating in leadership and volunteer roles;
  • Accept responsibility for promoting and practicing Orofacial Myology on the basis of current knowledge and research and for further developing the profession’s body of knowledge;
  • Describe the type and duration of Orofacial Myology services accurately in verbal, written and electronic communications including the duties and responsibilities of all involved parties;
  • Confirm that the confidentiality and rights to privacy of the recipient of services are respected and maintained. Exception would prevail when a clinician perceives an individual is in serious foreseeable or imminent danger. Laws and regulations may require disclosure to appropriate authorities without consent;
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all verbal, written, electronic, augmentative, and non- verbal communications, including compliance with HIPAA regulations.
  • Adhere to established policies and procedures for handling concerns about the Professional Code of Conduct, including familiarity with national, state, and local procedures for handling ethics complaints.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest in employment, volunteer roles, research, or business practices as outlined in the IAOM Conflict of Interest Policy.

IAOM members maintain high levels of honesty, reliability, sincerity, and legal compliance in dealings with clients, peers and the public.

IAOM members shall:

  • Provide interns and employees with information about the Professional Code of Conduct, as well as opportunities to discuss ethical conflicts and procedures for resolution.
  • Report to appropriate authorities any unethical or illegal acts in practice, education, and research;
  • Be accountable for any action that reduces the public’s trust in Orofacial Myology;
  • Be honest, fair, accurate, respectful, and timely in gathering and reporting fact- based information regarding service performance;
  • Avoid exploiting any relationship established as an Orofacial Myologist to further one’s own best interests.
  • Maintain the ethical values and principles of the profession when participating in a business arrangement as owner, stockholder, partner, or employee and refrain from working for or doing business with organizations engaged in illegal or unethical business practices (e.g., fraudulent billing);
  • Conduct research in Orofacial Myology in accordance with currently accepted ethical guidelines and standards for the protection of research participants and the dissemination of results.