The purpose of this document is to:
- Outline the guidelines, accountability and standards of conduct for QEC Practitioners.
- Set out how practitioners are expected to act, behave, and perform when working with clients.
- Guide the development and growth of practitioners in conjunction with the QEC Competence Framework.
- Be used as the basis for any complaint submitted in line with this code.
- Serve as the foundation for enhancing the professional reputation of QEC as a healing modality to the public and other professional organisations.
1. Ethical Principles.
1.1 The working relationship between a practitioner and their client, and between other practitioners, is governed ethically. It is a relationship which is respectful and valuing of each person, practitioners have the primary responsibility for maintaining the ethical framework of that relationship.
1.2 Practitioners work in the best interests, and for the welfare of their clients, and of their colleagues. Clients’ interests take priority over self-interest.
1.3 Practitioners work within the limits of their competence, monitoring their effectiveness and recognising the need for their on-going professional development.
1.4 Practitioners demonstrate integrity, openness and objectivity to their clients, and colleagues. Practitioners do not exploit or harm their clients, or colleagues.
1.5 Practitioners respect the dignity, worth and uniqueness of all individuals.
1.6 Practitioners recognise and respect diversity and differences between people. Practitioners do not practise, condone, or encourage discrimination or oppressive behaviour.
1.7 Practitioners respect privacy and preserve the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of their work.
1.8 Practitioners work within the law.
2. Working with Clients.
2.1 When working on a professional basis with clients, in any capacity, practitioners will conduct themselves in accordance with this code, committed to providing the level of service reasonably expected of a practitioner.
2.2 Prior to working with clients, practitioners should make them aware of this code of conduct (a copy of which will be provided upon request), assuring them of the practitioners commitment to abide by the Code and highlighting clients' rights to raise issues or complaints.
2.3 Prior to working with a client practitioners should ensure the client is aware of all contractual obligations, including, but not limited to: the nature and process of QEC, financial, logistical and confidentiality arrangements.
2.4 Prior to working with clients, practitioners should ensure a QEC Medical Indemnity, or QEC Personal Information and Indemnity form is completed and considered.
2.5 Practitioners should be open about the QEC process and, on request, provide information to the client regarding the practitioner /client relationship.
2.6 A practitioner offering or providing QEC has a fundamental responsibility to have sufficient competence through training, underpinning knowledge, and practice to ensure that the service is effective.
2.7 A practitioner is required to ascertain that a client’s request and/or need for the service offered, or provided, does not extend beyond the competence of the practitioner.
2.8 Where a referral to a more appropriate source of help is indicated the practitioner will take steps to encourage the client and to positively refer on. This may include clients who are taking psychiatric medication, working with other professionals, or undertaking psychiatric help.
2.9 A practitioner is required to take responsibility for, and be committed to, her/his own ongoing professional and personal development. This will include further appropriate training and developing a support network with other experienced colleagues.
2.10 Practitioners are to continually monitor their practice and can recognise their inability to work effectively with a particular client or when their professional effectiveness is impaired. In such situations, practitioners will promptly take the most appropriate action to serve the best interests of their client(s).
2.11 Client-work supervision must be used by practitioners (in accordance with clause 2.32) as an integral part of the process of ensuring professional standards of competence and practice within the working relationship between practitioner and client.
2.12 When working with clients, practitioners will maintain the strictest level of confidentiality unless the sharing of information is required by law.
2.13 Practitioners will have a clear agreement with clients about the conditions under which confidentiality will not be maintained (e.g. illegal activity, danger to self or others) and gain agreement to that limit of confidentiality where possible unless the release of information is required by law.
2.14 Practitioners will keep, store, and dispose of appropriate and accurate records of their work with clients, including electronic files and communications in a manner that ensures confidentiality, security, and privacy, and complies with all relevant laws and agreements that exist in their country regarding data protection and privacy.
2.15 If the client is a child or vulnerable adult, practitioners will make arrangements with the client’s sponsors or guardian to ensure an appropriate level of confidentiality in the best interests of the client, whilst also complying with all relevant legislation.
2.16 In normal circumstances and excepting as detailed in 2.13, a practitioner will not disclose any information about a client to a third party without the permission of the client. When such agreement is sought, the practitioner will explain to the client how the information will be communicated and for what purpose.
Conflict of Interest
2.17 A practitioner will not enter into a working relationship with any client about whom they have prior knowledge which might cause a conflict of interest. Knowledge can mean known in a personal capacity; a professional capacity; through a third party; a casual acquaintanceship; or from documentation.
2.18 When a potential conflict of interest becomes apparent after the working relationship with a client has commenced, the practitioner has a duty to acknowledge the conflict of interest to the client and seek an equitable resolution to the situation. Resolution can mean referring the client to another practitioner or continuing if the practitioner and the client are both satisfied that the conflict of interest will not prejudice the working relationship.
2.19 Any conflict of interest will be addressed by a practitioner within client-work supervision, or consultation with the client, whichever is appropriate to the situation.
2.20 Practitioners use their skills and knowledge to work in the best interests of their clients, and do not knowingly permit their skills and knowledge to be misused by others.
2.21 A practitioner must not exploit a client, financially, emotionally, sexually or in any other way which does not give attention primarily to the best interests of the client.
2.22 A practitioner’s responsibility not to exploit a client, extends beyond the termination of the working relationship with the client.
Termination of the practitioner / client relationship.
2.23 Practitioners will respect a client's right to terminate an engagement at any point in the process, subject to the provisions of the contract.
2.24 Practitioners will encourage the client to terminate QEC if it is believed that the client would be better served by another practitioner or a different form of professional help.
2.25 Practitioners understand that their professional responsibilities continue beyond the termination of the professional relationship. These include:
- Maintenance of agreed confidentiality of all information relating to clients
- Safe and secure maintenance of all related records and data that complies with all relevant laws and agreements that exist in their country regarding data protection and privacy
- Avoidance of any exploitation of the former relationship, which could otherwise call into question the professionalism or integrity of the practitioner or the professional community
- Provision of any follow-up that has been agreed to.
2.26 Practitioners are required to have a provision for transfer of current clients and dissemination of records in the event of the member’s incapacitation, or termination of practice.
Equality & Diversity
2.27 Practitioners will avoid knowingly discriminating on any grounds and will seek to enhance their own awareness of possible areas of discrimination.
2.28 Practitioners will be cognisant of the potential for unconscious bias and seek to ensure that they take a respectful and inclusive approach, which embraces and explores individual difference.
2.29 Practitioners will challenge in a supportive and respectful way any colleagues, employees, service providers, clients or participants who are perceived to be using discriminatory behaviour.
2.30 Practitioners will monitor their spoken, written, and non-verbal communication for inadvertent discrimination.
2.31 Practitioners will engage in developmental activities that are likely to increase their self-awareness in relation to equality and diversity.
2.32 Practitioners will engage in supervision with a suitably qualified supervisor or peer supervision group with a level of frequency that is appropriate, this being a minimum of 4 supervision session per year or an applied ratio of 15 to 1. That meaning for every 15 QEC sessions you facilitate you should have at least 1 supervision session. The combination of a minimum number and a ratio will accommodate all practitioners irrespective of the number of clients seen each year.
2.33 The responsibility for arranging and participating in sufficient supervision lies with each practitioner.
2.34 Practitioners will discuss any ethical dilemmas and potential, or actual, breaches of this Code with their supervisor or peer supervision group for support and guidance.
Advertising and Publicity
2.35 All advertising and publicity concerning the services offered by practitioners must be accurate and not misleading to potential clients and the public. In addition, all legal requirements of public advertising standards must be followed.
Breaches of this Code
2.36 When a practitioner knows of a possible breach in the code of ethics and conduct by another member, they may first informally attempt to resolve the matter by bringing it confidentially to the attention of the other practitioner. If the breach is serious, or an informal solution is not forthcoming, a complaint should be raised by invoking the Complaints Procedure.
Serious breaches of the code are ones that:
- are likely to have a significant impact on and/or harm to the physical, mental, emotional, psychological or financial well-being of the recipient of service(s)
- are illegal
- seriously damage the reputation of QEC
2.37 Practitioners must notify QEC Living if:
- a complaint is upheld against them by another professional body which might have a bearing on their practice as a QEC Practitioner.
- they are convicted of a criminal offence which might have a bearing on their practice as a QEC Practitioner
- successful civil proceedings are brought against them which might have a bearing on their practice as a QEC Practitioner
2.38 In any of these cases, or in the case of such notification being deliberately withheld by the member, QEC Living has the right to review the practitioner’s accreditation
3.1 Any complaint raised by a client, practitioner or other professional should normally follow the following process.
- Level 1: The matter of complaint should, where appropriate, be informally raised with the practitioner. The practitioner has a duty to consider the complaint and seek to achieve a suitable resolution. Where a suitable resolution is achieved the practitioner should raise and discuss this issue with their supervisor.
- Level 2: Where a resolution is not achieved informally, or the complainant does not feel able to informally approach the practitioner, the complainant can raise the matter with QEC living who will commission a supervisor to conduct an initial investigation and, where possible, facilitate a suitable resolution between those parties involved.
- Level 3: Where complaints are of a serious nature or where a resolution has not been achieved at levels 1 or 2 the practitioner, supervisor, or complainant can raise the matter directly with QEC living. QEC living will assign an independent supervisor or third party to consider the complaint, investigate the complaint, and make recommendations regarding an appropriate resolution.
3.2 Referral to a third party will only take place when all internal processes have been exhausted or the matter falls out with the organisation’s competence. QEC Living will commission a professional organisation, such as an HR company, dependent upon the country or location, to investigate the matter, or to maintain a fair process.
3.3 An ethics committee, formed by QEC Living, will consider the recommendations and make a judgement to either uphold or not uphold the complaint. Where the complaint is upheld, the committee will consider the appropriate action required to resolve the matter and where necessary consider actions against the practitioner.
3.4 Written confirmation of the decision of the committee and the action required will be provided to the practitioner and, where appropriate, the complainant. The range of actions may include, but are not restricted to:
The provision of written confirmation to the practitioner outlining the required corrective action, for example:
- for consideration by the practitioner
- a requirement to explore and discuss the issue with a commissioned supervisor.
- a requirement for further training or development
- temporary or permanent removal of accreditation status.
3.5 In the spirit of natural justice, the practitioner has a right of appeal and representation of their views to be considered at every level.
3.6 QEC Living reserves the right to adjust this complaints procedure where appropriate.