VLC Code of Conduct
1. INTRODUCING VITALITY LIVING COLLEGE (VLC)
1.1 Vitality Living College (“VLC”)* is a global learning organisation with satellites worldwide; conducting seminars in stress relief, emotional well-being, communication, confidence and spiritual realization along with creating practitioners, coaches and trainers of EFT, NLP, Hypnosis, Timeline Technology, Journey work, Inner Child Matrix, Limitless Living and Breakthrough Coaching.
1.2 It is the only global college of its kind dedicated to personal development, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth. VLC is committed to training, certifying and supporting “helping” professionals be the best in their field by certifying practitioners, coaches and healers. We find those who are dedicated to their personal and professional growth, including continued mentoring and supervision provide the highest quality of care and service and we preferentially recommend those who complete these requirements.
For more information, visit: https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/
2. SCOPE OF THIS CODE:
2.1 This code defines the behaviour, focus, commitment and integrity of the organisation and expects all its Ambassadors, Practitioners, Coaches, Therapists, Counsellors, Facilitators, Presenters & Trainers (collectively known as “VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals”) and the Student Members being those engaged with VLC for the purpose of courses and seminars with VLC in their ongoing personal and professional interactions and in their relationships, where applicable, with:
- the organisation
- their clients, paying and non-paying
- their trainees (students)
- their mentees
- their professional colleagues
- the public
3. ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
3.1 VLC is committed to advancing and upholding the highest standards of education, training, professional development and professional behaviour of VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals of the following techniques thereby promoting the skillful, creative and ethical application of EFT, NLP, Breakthrough Coaching, Hypnosis, Timeline Technology, Inner Child Matrix, Limitless Living & Soul to Soul Business:
- Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
- Neurolinguistic Program
- Breakthrough Coaching
- Timeline Technology
- Inner Child Matrix
- Limitless Living
- Soul to Soul Business
3.2 Vitality Living College has five core organisational values, which underpins everything it does:
- Engaging. We are warm and welcoming and make our student members, clients, practitioners, ambassadors, trainers feel safe, supported and reassured.
- Professional. We are committed to high quality professional standards and are determined to teach and inculcate the best quality of care in our Student Members & VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals towards respecting people and treating them without prejudice.
- Empowering. We support people to believe in themselves, find their confidence and empower themselves and their clients to heal and transform from within.
- Credible. We believe in truthful and authentic communication backed by facts, clinical evidence, scientific studies, real life client experiences, client cases and transformational stories.
- Collaboration. We love to collaborate with our alumni, partners and we support each other to learn, grow and evolve professionally as a student member, practitioner, ambassador, facilitator, presenter and trainer.
3.3 Basic Principles to be followed by Student Members & VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals:
- Confidentiality: All the conditions herein and any materials provided during the training courses, seminars, talks, group mentoring or one to one sessions shall be kept strictly confidential as against third parties unless such disclosure is required by law. In the event of such disclosure required by law, a prior permission is to be sought from VLC in writing by emails.
- Indemnity: An indemnity is a promise by one party to compensate another for the loss suffered as a consequence of a specific event occurred due to party's fault or negligence. By accepting the Code the Student Members & VLC Therapy & Coaching Professional agree to indemnify VLC and its officers, agents and representatives against any loss or damage they may suffer as a result of the negligence or fault of the Student Members and VLC Therapy & Coaching Professional.
- Non Solicitation: No Student Members and VLC Therapy & Coaching Professional shall directly or indirectly solicit, take away or divert, or attempt to solicit, take away or divert, the works learned under the guidance of VLC or patronage of any client/alumni/other members with an intention or for the purpose of providing services that compete with the services provided by VLC unless so approved by VLC in writing. Examples of Non Solicitation are: Directly messaging or initiating contact with any VLC alumni members, Student Members or VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals either one to one or in a group in order to directly or indirectly market or promote for either paid or “free” services. Should the alumni member, Student Members or VLC Therapy & Coaching professional request any services then share that with VLC in writing and gain approval, whereby the client would be part of our Practitioner Guidelines.
4.1 The Student Members registered and in the process of procuring the sessions with VLC shall at all times adhere to this Code of Conduct at all times.
4.2 The Student Members as well as VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals shall always during the online sessions and/or live-in person seminars be available and present at the time so informed. For the sake of clarity, in no event the Student Members as well as VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals shall not be allowed to take phone calls during an ongoing session.
4.3 The Student Members in no event shall be permitted to practice without receiving the certificate authorising one to a “Practitioner” or “Coach”, etc. which shall be subject to fulfilling the conditions so laid down by VLC.
4.4 All Student Members and VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals, in accordance to the code of conduct laid out here, shall undertake to:
- Provide a service to clients solely only in those areas in which they are competent to do so and have been qualified to do so.
- Follow the Continuing Professional Development & Mentoring Supervision (CPDM) guidelines. It is clarified herein that this is critical for continuing the association and accreditation with VLC.
- Fully comply with the requirements of the relevant guidelines for:
- Senior Practitioners
- Mentoring Supervisors
- Trainer of Trainers
- Case Study Guidelines for EFT Practitioner, EFT Advanced Practitioner & LL Coach/Practitioner
5. DELIVERY OF SERVICE:
5.1 All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including Student Members, shall:
- Provide a service to clients solely in those areas in which they are competent to do so and have been qualified to do so. VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals can only conduct one-to-one paid work and are not certified to conduct paid group work. ‘Competency’ means adequate training, skills and experience but need not exclude treating a client for a condition which the VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals has not treated before, provided that due diligence and professionalism is observed.
- VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals in training (who are not yet certified) are only able to conduct one-to-one case study sessions and cannot charge for their sessions. They must be honest with their clients that they are still in training and are conducting client cases as part of their certification. Uncertified VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals cannot conduct any group work: paid or not paid. For the sake of clarity, “Group work” refers to a session which is not a one-to one session and is any therapy, training, teaching or coaching which involves more than one person.
- Only the certified VLC Therapists and Coaching Professionals can conduct a complimentary one hour talk or mini seminar after having been trained and certified to do so. In case anyone is not adhering to this and is found to be giving talks or mini seminars without certification, VLC may terminate the association and accreditation.
- Certified ambassadors may conduct a one hour "complimentary talk" to groups of people. Only Certified Facilitators, Presenters & Trainers may conduct group paid work. In case anyone is not adhering to this, VLC may terminate the association and accreditation.
- Each VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals can provide the services for which they carry the relevant professional indemnity and public liability insurance (if applicable) in accordance with the law of their country.
- Get the client to fill in an intake form prior to initiating sessions, then have a conversation with the client prior to the first appointment gaining clarity on what is expected from the client and managing any expectations proactively (“Consultation Call”). During the Consultation Call, please ensure to communicate the procedure and take consent to use the session as a part of the case study. For ease of reference the draft of Intake form is available on https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/community-resource/eft-level-2-grads/.
- Once the client agrees and is aware of the terms, fees and charges(if applicable), send an appointment letter or message clearly providing details on time, date, location, Google map, contact details, fees, payment terms and a link to the background information on the modality via the free booklet links, https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/free-resources/. For ease of reference the draft of Sample Appointment Letter is available on https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/community-resource/eft-level-2-grads/
- Explain fully to clients in advance of any therapy and or coaching sessions the precise terms of payment: the payment methods, the exact timing of when the payment is due, any charges which might be imposed for non-attendance or cancelled appointments and wherever relevant, confidentiality issues.
- Present all services and products in an unambiguous manner (to include any limitations and realistic outcomes of therapy and or coaching session) and ensure that the client retains complete control over the decision to purchase such services or products. It is herein clarified that the key target herein is of either a cure or a successful resolution of the problem/s presented and not being offered.
- Disclose full details of all relevant memberships, training, experience, qualifications and appropriate avenues of complaint to clients upon request and only use those qualifications and memberships to which they have proof of entitlement and/or those which have been previously approved in writing.
- Have the necessary qualifications and experience as required by the laws and customs of the country or countries in which they practice or teach.
- Always act within the framework of the laws and customs currently in force within the practitioner’s or coaches country or region.
- Conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner getting help from the trainer or mentoring supervisor when needed.
- Getting therapy when needed so that they are able to conduct themselves in a professional manner. For example, if they find themselves to be hooked by an issue connected in any way to their Coaching or Private Practice to take proactive steps to either complete self-work, a swap session with a buddy or a professional session with a therapist or coach.
6. CLIENT WELFARE:
6.1 All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including Student Member shall undertake to:
- Work in ways that will promote client autonomy and well-being and to maintain respect and dignity for the client.
- Remain aware of their own limitations and wherever appropriate, be prepared to refer a client to another practitioner or coach (regardless of discipline) who might be expected to offer suitable therapy or coaching sessions.
- VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals should give full consideration to the efficacy of therapy, including the manner in which their rapport with the client may affect such efficacy.
- The practitioner or coach has the right to refuse or terminate any therapy or coaching sessions if it is a reasonable belief that it will not be, or continue to be, efficacious. In refusing or terminating therapy and or coaching sessions due care must be given to fully explaining the rationale for refusal or termination to the client in a manner that is truthful and yet respectful.
- Ensure that wherever a client is seeking assistance for the relief of symptoms that are prolonged, potentially life threatening in nature or are generally a cause for concern, that unless already having done so, the client be advised to contact a registered medical or mental health practitioner as needed.
- In the event of any doubt in the practitioner’s or coaches mind about whether any set of symptoms are a cause for concern or not, they should always advise the client to see their registered medical and or mental health practitioner as needed. It is in the interest of both the practitioner and the client that whenever a client is advised to seek medical or mental health help, this advice is recorded on the client notes of the VLC Therapist & Coaching Professional.
6.2 Advise clients wherever necessary that their primary care-givers are their registered medical or mental health practitioners
- Never attempt to give a medical diagnosis of symptoms or to give advice about treatments or medications unless one has undergone relevant medical training and has sufficient expertise of the same.
- One cannot knowingly or unknowingly offer advice to a client which either conflicts with or is contrary to that given by the client’s registered medical and mental health advisor/s and or practitioners. In the event there is some doubt and concern with respect to client’s medical treatment so prescribed by their medical practitioners, then the practitioners and coaches may take permission from the client to contact the medical and mental practitioner/adviser.
- Use due care and diligence with regards to whatever techniques the practitioner or coach is qualified to use to avoid creating undue emotional or physical distress for the client.
- Ensure that their workplace and all facilities offered to both clients and their companions will be in every respect suitable and appropriate for the service provided. These shall include any consulting room or training room used for the purpose of consultation and/or conducting therapy and/or training with any client, along with any reception or waiting areas associated with such rooms.
- Take all reasonable care to ensure the safety of the client and any person who may be accompanying them. Further, ensure that all hygiene and sanitisation is duly maintained at all times and the clients/companions are all comfortable and feel safe at all times.
6.3 Refrain from using their position of trust or confidence to:
- Cross the commonly understood professional boundaries appropriate to the practitioner/client relationship or exploit the client emotionally, sexually, financially, or in any other way whatsoever. Should either a sexual relationship, or a financial relationship other than for the payment of relevant products or services, or other inappropriate relationship develop between either practitioner or coach and client or members of their respective immediate families, the client must inform VLC immediately and the practitioner or coach must immediately cease to accept fees, terminate therapy and coaching sessions and refer the client to another suitable practitioner or coach from the VLC appointed and recognised practitioners/trainers/ coach at the very earliest opportunity, in a manner that makes the client feel supported.
- Though the techniques herein may require certain physical touch however the same must be approved by the client as a part of the appointment letter and that such touch/physically contact must not be unprofessional not in any way be open to misinterpretation Any complaints received with respect to in appropriate touch/physical contact will result in a formal enquiry and depending on the outcome, an appropriate action may be taken.
6.4 Not accept any inappropriate gifts, gratuities or favours from a client.
6.5 Never protract therapy or coaching sessions unnecessarily and to terminate therapy and coaching sessions at the earliest moment consistent with the good care of the client.
6.6 Maintain strict confidentiality within the client/practitioner and coach relationship, always provided that:
- Such confidentiality is not inconsistent with the practitioner’s and coaches own safety
- Such confidentiality is not inconsistent with the safety of the client, the client’s family members or other members of the public
- Such confidentiality is not in contravention of any legal action available for the Territory (i.e. criminal, coroner or civil court cases where a court order is made demanding disclosure) or legal requirement (e.g. Children’s Acts and/or any other similar rules/laws).
- The limits of such confidentiality are explained fully to the client. However, in the event where the practitioner is working as part of a larger team, such as within an institution or through a multidisciplinary or similar clinical approach, or where the client has been referred by a medical practitioner/advisor or agency with conditions placed on the referral as to shared disclosure by the practitioner to the advisor or agency, then provided that it is clear that the client consents, confidential information may be shared by the practitioner with the team or referring advisor or agency, by way of getting the Client to sign a waiver, specifying the limits of such confidentiality.
- To ensure that client notes and records be kept secure and confidential and that the use of both manual and computer records remains within the terms of the Data Protection laws all across the World (“Territory”). All records so collected for the purpose of such services shall be completely secured in password protected files as well as within safe keeping as far as the physical files are concerned.
- Recognise that the maintenance of case note should include personal details, history, diagnosis and/or identification of problem areas; programme of sessions as agreed between practitioner and client (if any), session progress notes and a copy of any contract.
- Obtain written permission from the client (or if appropriate the client’s parent/s or legal guardian/s) before recording client sessions, discussing undisguised cases with any person whatsoever, or publishing cases (whether disguised or not) via any medium. A recording consent form template for case studies can be found on, https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/community-resource/eft-level-2-grads/
- Advise the client that disguised case studies may sometimes be utilised for the purposes of either their own supervision or the supervision and/or training of other practitioners and refrain from using such material should the respective client indicate that it should not be used for these purposes. Prior written consent of the client for sharing disguised case studies must be obtained, where the client can specify the parts that need to be both shared and withheld. Such consent can be received in writing (emails permitted).
7. GENERAL CONDUCT
7.1 All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals shall undertake to:
- Conduct themselves at all times in accordance with their professional status and in such a way that neither undermines public confidence in the process or profession of EFT, NLP, Coaching, Hypnosis, TimeLine Technology, Inner Child Matrix, The Journey, Limitless Living or Vitality Living College and brings either into disrepute.
- Protect the public and the profession from unethical, unsafe or inappropriate or uncomfortable practice or behaviour. In the event of any criticism or complaint about colleagues, the Therapy & Coaching Professionals then should utilise appropriate channel to alert the Head Trainer. Only in the event if the dispute is against the Head Trainer then alert firstname.lastname@example.org or through the VLC contact immediately. No Therapy & Coaching Professionals shall offer such criticism or complaint outside the above-mentioned channel. Therapy & Coaching Professionals must use due care and diligence when offering criticisms and complaints to ensure that they are justified and can be substantiated.
- Respect the status of all other medical/healthcare professionals and the boundaries of their professional remit.
- Conduct themselves in a manner that is ethical, not breaching confidentiality in any way and soliciting confidential information pertaining to assessment, evaluation, supervision, mentoring and private conversations and communications between VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals, Student Members, Clients and other representatives of VLC.
- No derogatory and/or defamatory statements shall be made towards VLC and VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals, its student members, clients, representatives, techniques, etc. Any such act shall be strictly punishable, and VLC shall be free to take any/all legal recourse as deemed appropriate.
8. RELATIONSHIP WITH VITALITY LIVING COLLEGE
8.1 All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including the Student Members, clients, any/all representative shall undertake to:
- Notify the VLC of any change in practice name, contact address, telephone number or email address within 30 (thirty) days from such occurrence of change in writing (emails permitted).
- Inform the VLC of any alteration in circumstance which would affect either their position or ability as practitioners. For example: physical and/or mental disability.
- Inform the VLC of:
a. any complaint made against them
b. any disciplinary action taken against them by any professional and/or judicial body
c. all criminal offences of which they have either been convicted or warned excepting motoring offences.
- Make available all relevant information requested as a result of investigation by VLC, without hindrance (whether implied or actual) or unreasonable delay and comply fully with all requirements inherent within any Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure to which they subscribe.
9. ADVERTISING, USE OF CREDENTIALS AND DISPLAY OF MATERIALS
9.1 All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals shall undertake to:
- Ensure that all advertising, no matter in what form or medium it is placed, represents a truthful, honest and accurate picture of themselves, their skill-base, qualifications and facilities and that any claims for the successful outcome of therapy and/or coaching (in whatever format) shall be based upon verifiable, fully documented evidence.
- Ensure that all advertising shall be accurate, truthful and that any claims made in advertising can be substantiated on request.
- Display only valid qualifications and certificates issued in respect of relevant training courses and events or certificates of registration, validation or accreditation as issued or awarded by relevant professional bodies.
- Make no claim that they hold specific qualifications unless such claim can be fully substantiated.
10. CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, SUPERVISION & MENTORING (CPDM)
10.1 All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals are expected to maintain or improve their level of skills and professional competence in accordance with the requirements laid down by the VLC from time to time as a part of relevant guidelines & CPDM requirements (see Section 4.2 above) and to maintain and renew their certification annually. Failure to complete the annual requirements may lead to losing their professional certification status.
10.2 All EFT Practitioners, Facilitators, Presenters & Trainers who are working with clients, trainees or mentees are required:
- To keep up to date with developments in the energy psychology field related to current research, developments and understanding of EFT.
- To meet the current VLC Annual CPDM Requirements and to act on developmental points identified through mentorship.
- To keep up to date with changes in VLC regulations through regular engagement with the website and communications via email, online forums such as WhatsApp groups and Facebook. Below the are links for reference:
- EFT Practitioner Level Training, https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/community-resource/eft-level-2-grads/
- EFT Advanced Practitioner Training, https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/community-resource/eft-level-3-grads/
11. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Personal development is a highly individualised activity and encompasses multiple aspects of physical, mental, and emotional health as self-determined. As VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including the Student Members and alumni of VLC, individuals agree:
11.1 To actively promote their own wellbeing by establishing and maintaining an appropriate self-care programme. Clearing unresolved issues as they arise can be done alone, or with another practitioner, or with a peer or peers. VLC supports the practice of regular practitioner and coach swap sessions in order to help and assist one in their self-care journey.
11.2 To actively promote their own professional development by a commitment to act on insights gained through mentorship and Continuing Professional Development learnings.
11.3 To be aware of the impact of their own emotional state on their work with clients and trainees and take appropriate action (including consultation with a mentor and temporary suspension of client work) to address this where/when necessary without any hesitation and fear of judgement.
11.4 To be aware that working with clients, mentees and trainees may trigger unresolved issues for the practitioner. Clearing them as they arise can be done alone, or with another practitioner, or with a peer or peers. If a practitioner is uncertain about the best way forward it is recommended that they discuss it with their mentor.
11.5 To take responsibility for working only within their areas of competence and to refer on where necessary, managing that process to minimise disruption or damage to the client. It is clarified herein that no individual must work on areas which are not one of their expertise and shall inform VLC team of the same and have another individual made available for the same if need be. The decision with respect to this is completely retained by VLC.
12. WORKING WITH TRAUMA
12.1 It is agreed and understood that EFT, NLP & Inner Child Matrix gives practitioners and coaches working with trauma some protection against secondary traumatisation, but it cannot be guaranteed to eliminate all the risk of the potential effects of distressing stories and images shared by clients.
12.2 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals need to take action where necessary (e.g. using EFT, NLP, Inner Child Matrix, The Journey other self-care strategies) to ameliorate the impact of clients’ traumas, bringing it to mentoring, and seeing a therapist if there is a need.
12.3 It is agreed and understood by VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals that working with severe trauma requires experience, special training and understanding. At a minimum Inner Child Matrix Training is recommended along with EFT Advanced Practitioner for those working with trauma. In addition, gaining experience through case studies and getting additional Mentoring Supervision when working with Trauma. You can also seek appropriate certification training outside of VLC.
12.4 There are some further cautions to bear in mind, all of which we have previously encountered in therapeutic practice:
- The work of the Practitioner or Coach is not to attempt to erase any memories. It is firstly to discharge distressing emotions and separate them from the memories that trigger the emotion, and secondly, to help the client to process any negative or unhelpful beliefs that may have developed
- Also, the role of the Practitioner or Coach is to accept the client’s truth, so if a client does start to recover a memory, even if it sounds unbelievable, we should accept and work with it. Repressed memories can emerge a little at a time, or as a whole, when the unconscious mind feels it is safe to do so or when something in or outside of EFT work triggers recall. Clients often say the worst thing about a traumatic experience, especially one of sexual abuse or domestic violence, was that when they told someone they were not believed.
13. WORKING PROFESSIONALLY
All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals, including Student Members in training, who are working with clients, mentees or trainees are required to:
13.1 Have Insurance (if applicable and available legally within one’s territory):
To have professional indemnity insurance and to check that it, or the insurance they have on their premises, includes personal injury cover for clients, mentees and trainees. Trainers, mentors, presenters and facilitators need to ensure that their insurance covers them as trainers and mentors, and not only as practitioners.
To ensure that their insurance cover is valid for their clients’ locations as well as their own (e.g. in instances where the practitioner is working via the Internet with clients in countries other than the one in which they themselves are based). An alternative, and probably better, option is to contract with the client that regardless of their location, any dispute will be resolved under the laws applicable in the geographical location of the practitioner.
13.2 Follow Local Laws and Regulations:
- As far as is possible, to make themselves aware of, and to observe, laws and regulations about the delivery of Therapy & Coaching in the country in which they are operating, and if they are working across international boundaries, those of the country in which the client is located. It is pertinent to ensure that all communications are received in writing along with the acceptance of disclaimers, waivers and any/all permissions.
- To ensure that all advertising, including brochures, websites, directory entries, social media and certificates displayed in a practice or training room, is honest and relevant. Further all such advertising and marketing materials all across must be informed to VLC via email and VLC must be tagged on all such material posted on the Social Media.
- It must be ensured that no guarantees/commitments/claims to “cure” anything or promise any particular outcome must be made. In the event such claims are made due to previous results while working on a similar problem area, these must be backed up by robust supporting evidence however, it must also be made abundantly clear that this record does not and cannot constitute a guaranteed outcome for all clients as the situation and circumstances for each are different.
- Anyone who is not a Certified Practitioner or Coach of VLC or has been but is no longer a Certified Practitioner or Coach as a result of not completing the annual Supervision & Mentoring or their Certification being withdrawn for not complying with the code of conduct is obliged to remove any logos or claims of Certifications or other suggestions of VLC affiliation from their website and other marketing material. In the event one fails to do so then the same shall be considered a breach of this Code and VLC shall be entitled to take all necessary and available legal recourse.
13.4 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals Code of Conduct and safe practice when working with clients, mentees, student members or members of the public collectively known as ‘clients’:
- Must communicate with respect, honesty and compassion and gauge what the “client” expects from the ‘VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals’.
- Help their ‘clients’ find their way to their own solutions, and therefore, advice is rarely appropriate. If, after careful consideration, you decide that advice may be useful, then you may, with care, and if appropriately qualified, offer clients some suggestions that encourage them to develop their autonomy (e.g. lifestyle changes such as beneficial dietary changes, spending more time out in nature and starting an exercise regime, but you must not:
- Give a client advice about something outside of your professional competence
- Give a client advice from a position of power/ ‘I know better than you’
- Suggest or advise them to stop medication or to refuse medical treatment recommendations
- Advise them to take life-changing actions (e.g. leave your partner or change your job – though of course, you can support them in such choices if they have independently arrived at that conclusion)
13.5 Before or at the beginning of work with a VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals, a client should be given the chance to see the VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals code of conduct and to have information about how to make a complaint about the practitioner. Some practitioners do this by putting the information on their websites and drawing clients’ attention to it. Example of ours for one to one EFT sessions is here, https://vitalitylivingcollege.info/one-to-one-eft-sessions/
13.6 To make available on request all relevant professional qualification documents without any delays and within 3 (three) days from such request made in writing.
- All VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including Student Members must act in a non-biased, non-prejudicial manner towards all including clients and are obliged to provide the same quality of service to all, despite difference of race, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, etc..
13.8 To be aware that ‘VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals' including Student Members and Client are entitled to decide who they accept as clients or as student members and or as practitioners or therapists respectively. For the sake of clarity, a practitioner is entitled to say “no” to someone as client or student members without providing any reason whatsoever, however, once a practitioner, mentor or trainer and/or any VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals accepts a client, mentee or student members, the interests of the client, mentee or student members are paramount. Practitioners are obliged to provide the best attention and services they can.
- As a ‘VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals’ including the Student Members and client; it is one’s responsibility to ensure that the practice/training/mentoring area and any associated waiting area(s) are safe environments. This means not only physically safe but psychologically safe as well and in accordance with terms mentioned hereinabove. To give due consideration to when it is safe for a client to work with them online and when the nature of the client’s history and problems and/or the client’s fragility would indicate the need for a supportive presence in the room.
13.10 Privacy and Confidentiality
- What happens in practice, mentoring and training rooms should not be heard from outside of them.
- Clients leaving a session should be kept apart from those arriving.
- Not only is the content shared by VLC of confidential – but even the fact that someone is consulting the VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals is key and hence, unless they choose to reveal it all information received or shared shall be strictly confidential. This can be done either by physical arrangements or scheduling.
- When working with clients via the Internet, practitioners are unable to control the client’s environment. It is recommended that practitioners discuss with the client if his or her location is private.
- Trainees should be asked to agree to keep within the training room what happens in the training room. Trainers need to take prior permission to record sessions from face to face online training. It is suggested that common sense be excised to delete information that might be highly sensitive.
13.11 Demonstrations during training sessions, talks, mini-seminars or group work
- The purpose of training demonstrations is to illustrate the particular technique being demonstrated; it is not to show what a wonderful EFT, NLP, Breakthrough Coach or LL exponent the demonstrator is. Therefore, when a trainer is doing a demonstration to trainees, the volunteer’s interests are paramount and must always be put before the “success” of the demonstration. Trainers must respect boundaries or limitations requested by demonstration subjects and stop immediately if they are requested to do so. Trainers must also take responsibility to provide care afterwards for any unresolved emotions stirred up but not resolved by the demonstration.
- If a client is seeking help with symptoms that are prolonged or potentially life-threatening or which the practitioner or coach feels are a cause for concern, the practitioner should enquire whether the client has consulted a medical practitioner and, if they have not, to advise them to do so. They should also record this in the client notes.
- If, after beginning work together, a client is found to need a level of expertise beyond that which the practitioner is competent or able to offer then the client should be informed and the practitioner should offer to refer them to someone who has the required level of expertise.
13.14 Non-Interference with medications
- If a client expresses doubts about their current medication, or reports side-effects or other issues that concern them and/or the practitioner, the practitioner should advise the client to discuss this with their qualified medical adviser and record that they have done so.
- Practitioners should never make a medical diagnosis unless they are qualified by other medical training to do so. Nor should they knowingly contradict a diagnosis or advice given by a client’s qualified medical advisor.
14. CERTIFICATION OF TRAINEES
14.1 A trainer’s first responsibility is to the safety of the members of the public who will consult their trainees. They should not certify anyone whom they feel is not safe to work with clients, whatever standards they have otherwise achieved as trainees.
14.2 Trainers are not obliged to refund fees to student members they are unable to certify. Trainees are paying for training and/or certification process, not for an outcome. This should be made clear in the information given to trainees before they sign up for a course or a certification path.
15.1 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals must promise clients that they will keep confidential anything the client tells them unless the client reveals something, which gives the practitioner cause to believe that the client is a danger to themselves or others. Some practitioners regard suicide threats as covered by their confidentiality and some do not. Either position is ethically defensible (though might lead to some difficult questions in a coroner’s court, and suicide threat might thus best be added to your limits of confidentiality).
15.2 The important points are that practitioners know the legal position appropriate to their practise with each client, and abide by it, and that they make clients aware of their limits of confidentiality before they start working together.
15.3 Practitioners should know, and make clients aware of, what is mandatory for them to report to the police or other authorities in the jurisdiction in which they are working. For example, in some countries, such as the UK, practitioners are legally obliged to disclose if they learn about a terrorism threat.
15.4 Clients should also be made aware that, as a practitioner, mentoring supervisor or trainer you may wish to discuss information about them with your own mentoring supervisor anonymously, and that you will take all necessary steps to protect their identity. If practitioners are also ambassadors, facilitators, presenters and trainers, they should explain to clients that they sometimes use case history material from therapy and coaching sessions or live demonstrations for teaching. However, if clients do not agree to either, the practitioner must respect and comply with their wishes.
15.5 Ambassadors, Mentoring Supervisors, Facilitators, Presenters & Trainers who record group sessions should inform members of the group that they are recording and also whether they intend to make the recording available for members of the public or other for students & practitioners to listen to as part of their Continuing Professional Development or if it’s to be included as part of an online offering. Attendees should be able to ask for recording to be stopped or for a section to be deleted if they want to disclose something they do not feel they want to be on record for unknown others to hear. Trainers and mentors should extend confidentiality to trainees and mentees. They should not publish photographs of groups on their websites or Facebook or any other digital or other platforms without the consent of the trainees or mentees to the picture being taken and to its use. Consent can be taken as part of the terms and conditions.
15.6 Ambassadors, Mentoring Supervisors, Facilitators, Presenters & Trainers need to obtain signed consent forms to cover the use of any videos, photographs, audio recordings or transcripts in which they appear for any purpose. The interests of the attendees in the group are the over-riding consideration here. ‘VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals’ should consider whether recording in this way is in the best interests of the Attendees for professional development, since it may discourage them from disclosing certain concerns.
16. RECORD KEEPING
16.1 Security of Notes. VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals are required to keep their notes of client sessions secure. This means paper records should be in a locked filing cabinet and digital one’s password protected. It is pertinent to have the same covered in accordance with the law of the land.
16.2 Content of Notes. VLC recommends that notes are kept brief, factual, and do not include comment, diagnosis, speculation, opinion or prognosis and do not include second-hand information from the client about other people. It is useful to hold in mind the question “How would I feel if this were read out in court?” The record keeping can summarise the reason for sessions, the fees, the situation before and after the session, any challenges faced, advice given to seek out medical or mental health support and mentoring supervision needed. Here is an example of record keeping.
16.3 Access to Notes. When you are writing notes, it is important to keep in mind that courts may subpoena them and insist that you explain any codes that you use, and that clients have a right to ask to see them. Former child clients may, when they are adults, ask to see notes of therapy or coaching sessions when they were children.
16.4 Maintenance of Notes. Records of adult therapy and coaching sessions should be kept for at least seven years, unless you are working in a country where the law requires them to be retained for longer. For children it is advisable to keep them beyond the point at which the client will be old enough to make a claim for damages against an alleged perpetrator should they wish to do so. The current recommendation is to keep child notes until, as a minimum, the client is aged 25. Some recommend that if possible, child notes are kept forever. Practitioners should also check their own insurance policies to see if they impose a longer period for records to be kept.
16.5 Safe Disposal of Notes. Practitioners should arrange for their records to be destroyed securely should they become unable to continue working or pass over, and to dispose of them securely themselves from time to time during their working life and/or after they retire.
16.6 Recording of sessions and CCTV. If a trainer is filming or recording part or all of a training, they should advise applicants in advance that they will be doing so and obtain their written permission to be filmed. They should also make provision for any students who want to be excluded from filming. Re- filming demonstrations, this should be done only with the specific additional permission of the subject, in writing, and on condition that the subject can withdraw permission for the retention of all or part of the recording retrospectively and it will be destroyed subject to such withdrawal being made prior to submission of the form. If a VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals is recording a therapy or coaching session, group or individual, the mentor should also advise the attendees that he or she is doing so, obtain permission, and proceed as above. In all instances, trainers and mentors should tell trainees and mentees how they will use the recordings. For example, will they be used as training resources for subsequent students, advertising or publicity.
17. RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATION
17.1 Every year to renew certification and remain listed on the website as a recommended VLC Professional:
- Complete the annual requirement of Continuing Professional Development, including the 6 hours of one to one or group Mentoring Supervision and keep a log of it in the Continuing Professional Development Mentoring log sheet
- Attend at least one training a year, that you have previously attended as a delegate, an Assist Team member
- For additional Accreditation: Complete a minimum of 50 client practice sessions in a year (attending the swap sessions count towards the practice sessions).
18. WORKING WITH CHILDREN OR VULNERABLE ADULTS
18.1 Protection from Harm
- Children are not small adults, and EFT, Inner Child Matrix, NLP & LL training does not automatically prepare the practitioner for working with children. Unless the practitioner is otherwise qualified to work with children, such work should be undertaken with great caution, if at all. It is recommended to become familiar with the local legal and safeguarding policies.
- Practitioners may work with special organisations and in such a case it is crucial to be aware of the scope of information and responsibility in that context. For the sake of clarity VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals must deal with such institutes and/or organisation with due care and within the parameters of the rules laid out therein.
18.2 Legal Obligations
- Practitioners working with children, however that is legally defined in the country in which they are working, should make themselves aware of the laws regarding minors there.
- Practitioners may be legally obliged to obtain police clearance in some areas. Currently, in the UK, a legal requirement for a practitioner to register with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is rare and would only exist under exceptional circumstances. However, it is widely recognised as best practice to be registered and to hold a current DBS certificate.
18.3 Informed Consent
- Practitioners should obtain written consent from the parents/guardians/carers of such children.
- Parents/guardians/carers should be given to understand that, even if they are paying for therapy, the child is entitled to confidentiality.
- For vulnerable adults, defined as adults who are unable to understand well enough to give truly informed consent to therapy, practitioners must obtain written consent on their behalf from their legal guardians or carers.
- Alternative methods of obtaining consent may be utilised for those who may be non- verbal, hearing impaired or visually impaired.
18.4 Understanding Confidentiality for the Child or Young Person
- Confidentiality for children is slightly different from confidentiality for adults. With children it is good practice to tell them that anything they tell the practitioner will not be revealed to anyone else unless they tell the practitioner or coach something that puts them or someone else in danger.
- It is recommended that they are told that, if the practitioner feels they have to break confidentiality, the child will first be given the opportunity to tell their parent or guardian or other authority themselves, with help from the practitioner if they would like it, or to be present when the practitioner tells the parent or other authority.
18.5 Practitioners are advised to read the Safer Working Professional Practice Guidelines and to find out the Safeguarding legal practices in the country where their services are provided. It is advised that VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals complete Safeguarding training, should they need it.
18.6 Understanding Confidentiality for Vulnerable Adults
- In addition to the Confidentiality terms referred under this Code it is pertinent to understand the following as well: A vulnerable adult is usually regarded as a person who lacks capacity for self- determination; a person who is or may be in need of community care services because of mental or other disability, age or illness, and is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, including protecting self from harm or exploitation.
- The position is complex, and hinges on a determination of whether the person has capacity, which is defined under the law of the Territory. Essentially, it means having the ability to make their own decisions and to determine their own direction in life.
- As always, the case must be discussed with your trainer and or Mentoring Supervisor.
19.1 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals must not cross appropriate boundaries between the VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including the Students and the ‘client’ to exploit the client emotionally, sexually, financially, or in any other way.
19.2 If a financial relationship (other than the payment for therapy and or coaching sessions or workshop, seminar or training fees as per the qualification the VLC) should develop between the practitioner and a client or any member of a client’s family, the VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals should immediately end their involvement with the ‘client’, accept no further fees, and offer to refer the client to another practitioner. For the sake of clarity, the VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals and Student Members shall be allowed to engage in any other unlawful and/or illicit financial exchange and any other kind of financial exchange which may jeopardise the ideals laid down herein.
19.3 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including students must not at any point be involved in any financial relationship which is beyond the scope of Code and which is considered unlawful and illegal within the purviews of law of the Territory.
19.4 Sexual relationships between VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including the Students & Clients are not recommended but if they happen, at least two years should elapse after the therapy & coaching work ceases before the beginning of such a relationship. VLC Professionals should always be alert for any inappropriate feelings they are beginning to have or that they are aware their client is feeling. Such feelings should be discussed with their Mentoring Supervisor at the earliest opportunity.
19.5 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals including the Students should use self-disclosure only most exceptionally and after careful consideration of why they are doing so and whether and how it is in the best interests of the client, mentee or student that they should do so. No sexual disclosure can be made between therapist and client which can be misinterpreted in any way.
19.6 VLC Therapy & Coaching Professionals should not touch clients in any way that may be open to misinterpretation. In EFT work, the tapping does, of course, constitute touching, but in most, if not all cases, the client can be invited to follow along with the practitioner, whilst the practitioner taps on him or herself. Any variation from this must be carefully considered and fully explained to the client and full, informed consent gained. It is pertinent to note that in the event of any physical touch required to be done, a prior permission to do so must be taken from the clients at all times. Any VLC Professional who finds him or herself in any of these situations should, in the first instance, discuss it with their Mentoring Supervisor. Further consultation can be accessed by contacting the VLC.
20. VLC PROFESSIONALS SAFETY AND PERSONAL CARE
20.1 If you suspect a client could be violent, or do not have confidence they will not be, firstly, consider whether you wish to begin/continue work with this client. It is perfectly acceptable to decline to work with a client with whom you feel unsafe. If you do decide to work with such a client, think out your exit strategy in advance. In reality, you will not be able to exit a practice room before the client opposite you can get to you, so you need to consider what resources you need to have immediately at hand e.g. a ‘screamer’ alarm, which might distract an attacker long enough for you to escape.
20.2 One of the best ways to avoid it is to be aware of your limitations about the number of clients and hours you can work without putting yourself under unsustainable pressure. Adopting the recommended practice suggested above of tapping on self and inviting the client to follow along can be protective against practitioner overwhelm.
20.3 Having a mentor to whom you regularly offload concerns and discuss worries about yourself, as well as your clients, is also a good protection against burnout.
21. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
It is our belief that most VLC Professionals set out to do the best job that they can, and that therefore, most breaches of this code will occur because of error or lack of knowledge/understanding, rather than intent.
The purpose of this code is to be able to provide you with all the necessary support required for ensuring the fulfilment of all conditions laid down herein. However, any continuous flouting and breach of this Code shall entitle VLC to take any/all legal recourse available under the law of the Territory.
- We reserve the right to adopt a punitive approach where a remedial approach is deemed unsuitable, and this might include suspension of certification, either immediately, pending investigation, in the case of a serious breach(es) or following investigation, and that suspension might be for a fixed period of time, with restoration being dependent upon some remedial work, or, in extreme cases, permanent.
- We further reserve the right to invoice the member complained about for the re- imbursement of reasonable costs incurred by VLC in investigating the case.
- In cases where a complaint against a member of VLC is upheld, details of the member concerned might be published on the VLC website.