When sending documents to other school psychologists or professionals that contain confidential information, it is common practice to first convert the document to a PDF. Although it is not directly stated in the NASP Ethical Principals (2010) to do it this way, it is inferred through Standard II.4.7 which writes, “To the extent that school psychological records are under their control, school psychologists protect electronic files from unauthorized release or modification (e.g., by using passwords and encryption), and they take reasonable steps to ensure that school psychological records are not lost due to equipment failure.” As you’ll see, this standard stresses the importance of protection from unauthorized release via passwords and encryption as well as protecting against unauthorized modifications. Since you cannot modify a PDF, but you are able to modify word documents, it is in the best interest of the school psychologist to protect against modifications by converting a word document to PDF. It is also important to password protect the PDF to protect from unauthorized release of information.
The first video tutorial demonstrates how to convert a Microsoft Word document to PDF. The second video tutorial demonstrates how to password protect a PDF.