Model Role Description

iStock_000002144669XSmall.jpgAt the CBS Annual General Meeting in June 2008, the Development of a Model Job Description committee presented a report on their work to the CBS membership.

The purpose of the team was to help clarify the roles and responsibilities of an ethicist (sometimes also called bioethicist or clinical ethics consultant) for the benefit of those who may be taking on such roles, as well as for their potential employers. In doing so, it was hoped that the model role description could be used as a tool to decrease the possibility for conflict between ethicists and their employers by clarifying expectations when ethicists were hired, and periodically as their roles evolved.

The model job description can be used in several ways:
  • For prospective employers to develop a job description when hiring an ethicist;
  • For negotiating the role when hiring an ethicist;
  • For periodically setting strategic objectives or priorities for professional or program development for an ethicist and for defining accountabilities and limits;
  • For clarifying expectations for the ethicist and for evaluating the position within the organization;
  • For career planning for the ethicist
The model job description is not meant to apply to bioethicists whose primary role is in a university (i.e. an academic position) nor to individuals who may provide ethics services or resources as an add-on to a primary professional role within an organization, for instance as an ethics committee member or ethics consultation team member.

View the full report of the committee, including the model job description.