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Induction | Atrium Code of Ethics and Code of Practice.

Induction | Atrium Code of Ethics and Code of Practice

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Policy and Key Information

Atrium Code of Ethics

(This policy should be considered alongside contracts of self-employment and The Code of Practice)

Therapy and Coaching work

Code of Ethics

Terms – By community or network of practice we refer to individuals who are self-employed or employed and contracted to the Atrium organisation.

1. Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to define the general principles, values and standards of conduct expected of our community of practitioners in their professional capacity. This includes, employed and self-employed staff:

  • Clinical supervisors
  • Managers
  • Clinical practitioners, coaches, therapists, administrative staff and
  • Atrium as an organisation

1.2 All undertake to be bound by the Code of Ethics. This undertaking will be renewed in writing on an annual basis.

1.3 The Code of Ethics should be read in conjunction with the Code of Practice.

2. Values of Atrium Clinic and Therapy Centre

All the above groups commit to operate by the following values:

2.1 Ensure that the wellbeing of our clients is paramount.

2.2 When faced with an ethical dilemma, undertake the course of action which maximises good and does the least harm for the client and the service we offer. If you are working in a collaborative context HealthCare or Prisons always consult with partners and your clinical supervisor in the process of decision-making.

2.3 Ensure that your services do not exploit the clients we serve.

2.4 Uphold the reputation of Atrium and do not to act in any way – whether working for or on behalf of Atrium or in any other situation – that could bring Atrium into disrepute or pose a risk to its reputation.

2.5 Act with honesty and integrity in all dealings with Atrium, colleagues, and clients and in all matters relating to them.

3. Anti-discriminatory Practice

All colleagues, clients, clinical associates, and support/administrators should be treated with courtesy and respect and suffer no discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, culture, or class.

4. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is of paramount importance, and it is expected that all members of the Atrium community ensure that they respect the need for confidentiality when dealing with matters relating to the work and clients.

Colleagues from all areas of work in the Atrium network should be familiar with the Atrium Policy on Data Protection 2018. If staff work in a contracted specified context such as for the NHS/Private Healthcare or a Forensic setting they should ensure they are familiar and comply with their protocol for delivering services through Atrium in respect of Data Protection.

5. Breach of the Code of Ethics

Whilst it is hoped that contravention of the Code of Ethics will be rare, in the event that a member of the network contravenes any element of the Code, action may be taken by Atrium in accordance with the Complaints Policy and Procedure or the Conduct and Capability Procedure as relevant to the employment status of the individual.

Code of Practice

1. Scope of the Code of Practice

1.1 This Code of Practice should be read in conjunction Self/Employment Contracts and with the Code of Ethics.

1.2 This Code applies to all contracted members of our Atrium Community including employees.

In the Code, the term “Practitioners” will be deemed to cover all practitioners of our services (employed and self-employed) including therapists, coaches, supervisors, managers, clinical associates, trainees, administrators dealing with members of the public and our clients in their professional capacity or under training for that role. This will include, but is not limited to, situations in which they are engaged to work for, or on behalf of, Atrium.

2. Purpose of the Code of Practice

2.1 The purpose of the Code is to make clear the standards of conduct and behaviour required by the members of the groups listed in Section 1.2.

2.2 Adherence to the Code of Practice is fundamental to the standards of professional conduct expected of the Atrium Community in their relationship with Atrium. Failure to follow any of the requirements of the Code may result in disciplinary action being taken or if the person is not an employee action under the Complaints Policy and Procedure.

3 Responsibilities

3.1 In all work, the well-being of clients should be paramount.

3.2 The Atrium community will conduct themselves with honesty and integrity in their dealings with colleagues, clients and partner organisations and colleagues.

3.3 Nothing should be done to bring the discipline and profession of therapy and coaching into disrepute or harm the reputation of Atrium.

3.4 Practitioners will maintain appropriate professional care of the client during the ‘helping’ relationship and in all interactions with the client.

4. Anti-discriminatory Practice

4.1 Racist and other discriminatory and stereotyped comments should never be made and should always be challenged if they do occur.

4.2 Attitudes, assumptions and prejudices can be understood by the language we use. The practitioner and colleagues should be receptive to the feedback from others and seek to work in respectful ways that meet the reasonable expectations of others.

5. Confidentiality and consent

5.1 The personal, legal, and practical limits of confidentiality need to be discussed and clarified with the client at the beginning of therapy. As part of the formal contract – the ‘formal consent’ which is agreed and signed in face-to-face work and accepted as part of the process of entering into our digital services by all parties before or during the first session – the client should be informed of any circumstances in which there could be potential breaches in confidentiality, e.g., concerns about risk and safety. The obligation to maintain confidentiality remains a permanent requirement and continues after the intervention has ended.

5.2 Efforts must be made to obtain agreement to maintain liaison and close co-operation with other professional agencies in situations where this is appropriate. Such agreement should be recorded as part of formal consent and recorded through email/Terms and condition acceptance for Digital Work and other records for different pathways.

5.3 Any report or letter/request for information for an outside agency should be prepared with the prior permission of the client unless there are exceptional circumstances e.g., Safeguarding. Whenever possible, this should be available to clients and discussed with them.

5.4 If a client is known to any member of the practitioner team or there is a close employment connection to the referral agency and likelihood that the practitioner role could become conflicted in future, this should be made clear, and it would be usual for that person to withdraw from the work and when that client was being discussed in group clinical supervision.

5.5 Atrium’s Data Protection Policy (2018) explains people’s obligations and responsibilities and all those working with, or for, Atrium should familiarise themselves with the relevant Policy and undertake specified training.

6. Confidentiality in training and clinical supervision

6.1 Confidentiality and anonymity must be ensured in presenting cases for training, external presentations, research, and Atrium group clinical supervision sessions. In multi -agency referral meetings with contractors and partners, and contract reviews confidentiality must be respected within the boundaries of the collaborative work in the client interest and in accordance with contractor policies.

7. Contracts

7.1 All clients should be given an explanation of what to expect when they take up an appointment and have a clear explanation of how the sessions will be conducted.

7.2 In any clinical context, practitioners are responsible for clarifying in advance the terms on which their services are being offered, including any financial obligation, foreseeable costs, or liabilities which the client will incur.

7.3 Records of appointments and case notes should be kept and where possible the last five to ten minutes of an appointment should involve the client in collaborating with the brief note on the record. At the client’s request, information should be given about access to these records, their availability to other people and the storage arrangements.

7.4 Practitioners and the administrators ensure that clients understand in advance about the Practitioners’ training and experience, supervision arrangements for the Atrium Community, and method of intervention /coaching or therapy/modality e.g., integrative, fees, methods of payment, and details about arrangements for ending intervention if appropriate, and any liabilities for cancellation of appointments under various circumstances.

7.5 The financial contract must be made clear and agreed before the first session begins.

8. Boundaries in professional practice

8.1 The professional relationship must not be used to further personal, religious, political, or other non-professional interests.

8.2 Conflicts of interest should be avoided. Wherever they arise, this should be discussed both in the therapy and in supervision. If there is any lack of clarity or uncertainty as regards a possible conflict of interest, the matter should be referred to the Clinical Lead.

8.3 Sexual intimacy with clients is forbidden. It is always unethical and, in some circumstances, a criminal offence.

8.4 Sexual intimacy with former clients is prohibited for two years following the termination of the intervention and in some contexts of contracted work may never be allowed.

8.5 Therapists should exercise caution before considering any business relationship with former clients and should expect to be professionally accountable if the relationship becomes detrimental to the client or the standing of the profession.

9. Professional competence

9.1 Clients must not be misled into believing that individuals have qualifications, membership of organisation or experience which they do not possess.

9.2 Practitioners should practise only within the parameters of their competence and cease to practice if their competence is impaired for some reason. Where appropriate, the services of other professionals or helping agencies may be made available to the client or, at least, advice be given to the client about where to find more appropriate advice and help.

9.3 Practitioners must actively continue to ensure their own competence to practise and continual professional development (CPD) through supervision, team meeting attendance, wider Atrium Community networking and peer consultation, continuous professional development (CPD), reading and seminars.

9.4 Practitioners take responsibility to address any current limitations – such as factors in their personal background, experience, or situation – which might influence their work with clients or in the Atrium Community of Practice.

9.5 Practitioners must make satisfactory arrangements to ensure that they and their work are covered by adequate indemnity insurance.

9.6 All practitioners should make the necessary arrangements to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check at least every three years.

9.7 Practitioners must not work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

9.8 Any complaint upheld against a practitioner should be declared immediately to Atrium, as should any conviction of a notifiable / relevant criminal offence, or successful civil proceedings, in the context of delivering therapeutic services.

9.9 If you are presenting your work undertaken with Atrium to others seek advice from the Clinical Lead.

9.10 Steps should be taken to ensure that the therapeutic process and therapist–client relationship are not adversely affected by any pilot study or research involvement with which Atrium practitioners engage within multi-agency collaborations and Research Ethics and due processes should be followed.

10. Reputation

10.1 Nothing should be done to bring the reputation of Atrium Services into disrepute.

10.2 When part of a multi-agency or multi disciplinary therapeutic team, practitioners must be aware of their continued ethical responsibilities both to clients and colleagues and bring any ethical dilemmas for practice to the Atrium Supervisory and management team.

10.3 If there is any concern that a colleague’s conduct is unprofessional or that their competence is impaired, appropriate action should be taken. This will normally require either reporting the circumstances to your supervisor, or the Clinical Lead.

Any formal complaint will be addressed in accordance with the Complaints Policy and Procedure, a copy is available from the office.

No one should be discouraged from making a complaint. Whistleblowing is covered by the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

11. Breaches of the Code of Practice

11.1 Whilst it is hoped that contravention of the Code of Practice will be rare, in that event action could be taken in accordance with the contract of employment for the individual and through the conduct and capacity procedure for employees.

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642 London Road

Telephone: 01702-332857

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