IAEBP membership criteria and standards
(A) Professional Standards
All IAEBP Members have undergone a certain amount of ‘hands-on’ training and reached a certain standard of proficiency and experience before they are eligible join the organisation. This is based around three main areas of competence:
1. They have successfully passed an approved Hypnotherapy and/or Psychotherapy Diploma Course.
2. They have undergone a specified amount of hands-on training and experience (set by the Council of Management and reviewed annually).
3. They have undergone their own training therapy as appropriate.
(B) Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
All IAEBP Members are committed to Continuing Professional Development. CPD is about continuing to train and study in a particular field (hypnosis, psychotherapy, psychology etc) and updating skills and techniques that are already learned. This means that each Member attends a number of advanced training workshops and seminars every year. There is a minimum standard of CPD that must be achieved each year. The standard is set and reviewed annually by the Council of Management.
(C) Supervision: Personal and Professional Support
Supervision is mandatory for all IAEBP Members. Supervision, or more specifically, ‘Clinical Supervision’, is not about having somebody watch over your shoulder while you are working, it is about having a professional relationship with someone trained and experienced in your particular field where, working together, you can ensure that you are providing the very best treatment for your clients.
This, typically, would mean having weekly meetings where the therapist would discuss issues or difficulties with their clients, their personal life, or a combination of the two.
Recently, the IAEBP recognised that the common therapeutic ‘model’ of supervision wasn’t entirely suited to the rapid type of therapy that its members practise, so it developed its own model. Very simply, we broke down supervision into two separate strands: Personal Support and Professional Support. Every IAEBP Member is now encouraged to get their supervision (which is a condition of Membership) from two different sources (therapists). We brought in some outside experts to help us design this new support/supervision strategy and we now have some experienced IAEBP Members who are trained in either Personal Support or Professional Support. These Members are indicated on the ‘find a practitioner pages’, with either ‘Pers. Support’ or ‘Prof. Support’ after their name.
(D) Disclosure and Barring Service Checks (DBS Checks)
Starting in 2003, as part of its commitment to providing the most professional service possible, the IAPH, the forerunner to the IAEBP, was the first and perhaps the only UK hypnotherapy organisation to check that none of its Members were registered on what was then known as the ‘POCALS’ list.
The ‘POCALS’ list (Protection of Children Act List System) was essentially a list of those people who had offended against, or where there was reasonable evidence to suggest that they had offended against, children. After a few years, government policy changed and it became impossible to check against just this one register/list. POCALS became part of the newly-created ‘Criminal Records Bureau Checks’ which in turn have become part of the Disclosure and Barring Service.
Disclosure and Barring Service Checks – ‘DBS Checks’ – are available to certain individuals who work directly with either children or other vulnerable people. The check itself involves a check for a criminal record and checks against various lists, such as POCALS or LIST99.
As of 1st August 2009, it is a condition of Membership that ALL IAEBP Members hold a current CRB or DBS check
For more information see www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
Code of Practice and Ethics of the International Association for Evidence Based Psychotherapy
All Associates, Members, Accredited Members and Fellows of the Association agree to adhere to the following guidelines.
The Code of Ethics and Conduct consists of guidelines rather than enforceable rules. The reason for this is that, as stated by the British Psychological Society, “thinking is not optional” (Ethics Committee of the British Psychological Society, 2009, p. 5). In coming to a decision about undertaking a particular course of action, you are expected to consider the impact of that action within its particular context, using the ethical code as guidance. We recognise that different individuals, situations and contexts may require contrasting courses of action and we want our members to be making informed and considered decisions, rather than indiscriminately following a set of rules. It should, also, be noted that the code is not all encompassing. It cannot provide a definitive solution to every possible ethical dilemma that those working within the therapeutic profession may face.
In writing the guidelines, the ethical codes of the British Psychological Society, The American Psychological Association and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy were consulted.
Our Code of Ethics and Conduct is based around three main principles:
A value statement, firstly, describes each ethical principle. A set of general practice guidelines is then provided, which is based upon these three principles. These guidelines detail the conduct and standard of care expected of our members.
Value Statement: Practitioners should uphold the importance of the dignity and worth of all individuals and their rights to privacy, confidentiality and self-determination.
Value Statement: Practitioners should strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. They should value their responsibilities towards their clients, the general public, and the organisation. When conflicts arise in the course of their professional interactions, they should endeavour to resolve these conflicts in a responsible manner, referring to the Ethical Code for guidance. Practitioners should, also, be committed to maintaining high standards of competence. In relation to this, they should regularly complete on-going training and recognise and practise within the limits of their current
Value Statement: Practitioners should endorse the values of truthfulness, accuracy and clarity within their professional interactions. They should seek to make any commitments clear and reasonable and endeavour to uphold these commitments.
1. The Promotion of Equality
a) Be aware of and respect individual, cultural, social and role differences, including, but not limited to, those based upon age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and religion
b) Avoid practices that are discriminatory, unfair or prejudiced.
2. The Promotion of Clients’ Autonomy and Informed Consent
a) Endeavour to promote self-determination in clients, whilst realising that there may be limits imposed upon this by clients’ personal characteristics, mental state, or circumstances.
In relation to this, practitioners should:
i) Seek to involve clients in decisions about any treatment or professional service undertaken and endeavour to reach a mutual agreement surrounding the process
ii) Keep clients informed upon the progress of any treatment or therapy, unless there is good reason not to do so
iii) Ensure that clients are aware of their right withdraw from the receipt of professional services at any point
b) Do their utmost to ensure that all clients (especially vulnerable adults and children) understand the nature, purpose, and potential outcomes of undertaking any therapy, treatment or professional service. In relation to this, practitioners should ensure that they:
i) Make clients aware of the costs and likely duration of any professional services offered
ii) Explain to clients the role that they will be required to play within any therapy, treatment or receipt of professional service (for example informing them of the need to carry out ‘homework’ exercises in between sessions), prior to engaging in any treatment
c) Endeavour to obtain informed consent from all clients and keep adequate records of this consent. In relation to this and guideline 2.a.i, a ‘contract’ or ‘agreement’ should be drawn up with clients
d) When treating children under the age of 16, consent should, additionally, be obtained from a parent or guardian
e) Where it is impossible to obtain informed consent from a client (such as in the case of very young children or those who lack the intellectual capacity to truly consent), consent should be obtained from parents, guardians, family members, or authorised representatives.
3. Standards of Privacy and Confidentiality
a) Keep appropriate records
b) Store confidential information in a manner that is secure
c) Respect all individuals’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. In relation to this, practitioners should avoid publishing or declaring any information relating to any client or ex-client in a form that is likely to identify such person, except with the informed consent of that individual, unless there is good reason to do so.
d) Understand that there are potentially limitations to confidentiality, including:
i) Conflicting legal or ethical obligations, such as information revealed by a client that contravenes the ‘Child Protection Act’, the ‘Drug Trafficking Act’, or the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’
ii) The potential need to consult with colleagues about a client in order to enhance the professional services that they are being offered. In this case, anonymity should be maintained wherever possible
e) Endeavour to restrict breaches of confidentiality to health, welfare and safety concerns
f) Ensure that clients are aware of the possible limits of confidentiality
g) Obtain informed consent to breach confidentiality, unless there are good reasons not to do so, for example in the cases described in 3.d.i.
h) Obtain informed consent to make any audio or video recordings of clients.
4. Beneficence (a commitment to promoting well being)
a) Act in the best interests of their clients, striving to promote their well being at all times
b) Endeavour to treat clients in a manner that is likely to assist them in the quickest, easiest and most effective way, taking into account the clients’ goals, capabilities and expectations
c) Do all that they reasonably can to help a client, without putting themselves or others at risk
5. Non-maleficence (a commitment to avoiding harm)
a) Avoid or minimise harm to clients
b) Avoid taking on clients for any form of treatment or therapy if they do not reasonably believe that they can assist them, or believe that the treatment or therapy could be detrimental. In relation to this, practitioners should:
i) Explain, in an appropriate manner, why they believe that they are unable to be of assistance
ii) Refer these individuals to another source of assistance, such as their General Practitioner
c) Maintain close communication with their supervisor in cases where they reasonably believe that they can be of assistance to an individual, but that there may be significant potential risks associated with this (such as in the case of clients with a history of psychosis or suicidal clients) and, for example, that there could be a possibility that the person may be
adversely affected by therapy. In such cases, it may be necessary to consult and cooperate with other professionals regarding treatment. It may, also, be appropriate to request that such clients ask their G.P. to give written agreement to their undergoing the treatment.
d) Discharge from treatment, or refer on to another reputable practitioner, at the earliest possible moment consistent with the good care of the client, each and every client who presents for treatment
e) Ensure that the termination of a professional contact is managed safely with follow-up opportunities or support opportunities presented
f) Ensure that they have an up to date DBS check, promoting good practice when working with vulnerable people
g) Where clients have diagnosed physical symptoms that may potentially present problems during a course of any course of psychological treatment (such as diabetes or epilepsy), ensure that there is a plan in place for dealing with any medical emergencies.
h) Maintain personal boundaries, including:
i) Keeping professional distance from clients
ii) Avoiding engaging in any sexual relations with clients
iii) Avoiding any type of harassment
i) Avoid exploitation and conflicts of interest. In relation to this, practitioners should:
i) Be aware of conflicts that may occur from multiple relationships; i.e. seeing those you with whom already have a relationship (such as friends, family members or partners) for professional services
ii) Refrain from abusing professional relationships for their own interests
iii) Be aware that power imbalances in the relationship with former clients may remain even after the professional relationship has been terminated
j) Work within the law
k) Avoid bringing the organisation into disrepute. This includes, but is not limited to:
i) Endeavoring to pay the Annual Dues of the Association on or before the due date of payment and must accept, in the absence of such payment, that Membership shall immediately lapse and that benefits of Membership shall cease. Practitioners must not advertise themselves as belonging to the Association, unless they have paid their Annual Dues.
ii) Never to use their Membership of the Association as any form of accreditation for any commercial activity other than the establishment of a bona fide Private Practice in psychotherapy.
iii) Never to use Membership of the Association as any form of accreditation for the teaching of psychotherapeutic techniques, unless all details of such teaching have been submitted to and approved by the Council of Management.
l) Maintain professional indemnity insurance (Minimum £2,000,000 cover) and that they will only conduct a Private Practice in psychotherapeutic techniques upon receipt of clear evidence that they are being covered by such a Policy.
6. Standards of Competence
a) Recognise the limits to their competence and operate within these limits. In relation to this, practitioners should:
i) Be aware of the potential effects of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help others
ii) Seek to develop self-awareness, including insights into their own personality and an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses
b) Keep abreast of current knowledge and best practices and engage in continuing professional development.
c) Engage in professional supervision and personal support. In relation to this:
i) Professional supervision relates to practitioners engaging in a professional relationship with an experienced practitioner in the relevant field, with whom consultation aims to provide discussion and advice on treating clients as well addressing any problems or concerns arising in relation to their professional interactions
ii) Personal support relates to practitioners engaging in a professional relationship with an experienced therapeutic practitioner, with the purpose of addressing selfdevelopment and any personal problems that could impact upon their ability to help others
d) Have an awareness of ethics and a familiarity with this Code of Ethics and Conduct
e) Promote this Code of Ethics and Conduct and integrate it within their professional work
f) Attempt to resolve ethical dilemmas in accordance with code and be able to justify their ethical decision making.
7. The Promotion of Clarity and Integrity
a) Be honest as to their level of competence
b) Be willing to explain the reasoning behind their decisions relating to ethics and practice
c) Avoid deception, misrepresentation and withholding information, other than in exceptional circumstances
d) In respect of their advertising and promotional material:
i) Adhere to the rules laid down by the Committee for the Code of Advertising Practice
ii) Ensure that they do not make any false or misleading claims about their experience, success rates or qualifications
iii) Ensure that they do not copy or plagiarise any other therapist’s website or promotional material without expressed prior permission.
e) Ensure that all testimonials are genuine and:
i) Hold (and have available for inspection) written permission (either paper or email), including a contact address, for any testimonials they use
ii) Ensure that any testimonials displayed relate to the therapeutic technique or intervention advertised and are not be taken out of context or edited in any way that gives a misleading impression
iii) Ensure that clients are not coerced into providing testimonials at the end of their therapy or treatment
f) Address Ethical Misconduct and make it known if they believe that any other member is acting against the ethical guidelines.
Making a complaint
A complaint may be brought by any member of the public who is using the services of a Member of the IAEBP, or by a Member of the IAEBP in respect of another Member.
The complaint should be made in writing and marked for the attention of the Complaints and Discipline Officer of the IAEBP (see contact address).
The Complaints and Discipline Officer will acknowledge receipt of the complaint in writing within 14 days and will endeavour to investigate and resolve the matter within 28 days, confirming the outcome in writing to the complainant.
In the unlikely event that the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, he/she has 28 days in which to ask for the complaint to be referred to the Complaints and Disciplinary Committee of the IAEBP.
The Complaints and Disciplinary Committee will review all information relating to the complaint. Potential outcomes are that they decide to undertake further investigation, they may wish to meet the complainant and/or therapist in person or they may decide that the complaint should be heard within a formal hearing.
The Committee will be made up of three Members of the IAEBP Council of Management and a professional who is external to the organisation, thereby enabling the Committee to have an independent and impartial element. The external committee member will be a professional such as a medical doctor, psychiatrist, or professional of similar standing.
Standards for Handling Complaints and Disciplinary Matters
All decisions that are reached, or investigations undertaken, will be conducted in a manner which shows due regard for the gravity of the situation and respects both parties’ rights to confidentiality. All enquiries and interviews shall be fully documented and all material, e.g. notes, messages, audio and videotapes etc., shall be preserved and held on file. This procedure does not take precedence over criminal investigations or child protection investigations. Therefore, in situations where the seriousness of the complaint has warranted these other processes to be initiated, this procedure will be placed on hold until after their conclusion. All decisions will be recorded in writing and held on file. Throughout the second stage (i.e. if the Complaints and Disciplinary Committee become involved) both the complainant and therapist must be informed of their right to have a friend present.
Publication of findings
The IAEBP reserves the right to publish details of complaints as it considers appropriate. The termination of IAEBP Membership under the Complaints Procedure may be reported in an appropriate organ of the IAEBP. In certain circumstances, the IAEBP also reserves the right to inform other professional organisations of the termination of Memberships.