Code of Ethics and Professional Practice
This code contains the standards of ethics, practice and conduct which FLiP Faculty requires of its supervisors.
The term ‘supervisor’ refers to any individual who holds the FLiP Faculty Diploma in Supervision, and to any individual currently training towards receipt of that qualification.
The term ‘supervisee’ refers to any individual engaged in a contract to receive supervision from a FLiP Faculty supervision diploma holder or trainee.
Should a concern be raised about a supervisor’s professional conduct, it is against these standards that it will be assessed under the Complaints Procedure.
The supervisor commits to work according to the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, even when doing so requires making complex or difficult decisions.
In the numbered points below are defined the areas that we regard as key to ethical practice. We have grouped them together under these headings:
- Best interests of supervisees
- Communication and consent
- Records and confidentiality
- Professional knowledge, skills and experience
- Trust and confidence
As a supervisor you must:
Best interests of supervisees
- Act in your supervisees’ best interests.
- Treat supervisees with respect.
- Respect your supervisees’ autonomy.
- Not have sexual contact or sexual relationships with supervisees.
- Not exploit or abuse your supervisees (current or past) by behaving towards them in ways intended for your own emotional, sexual or financial gain.
- Not harm or collude in the harming of your supervisees.
- Decline any gifts or offers, other than payment of the agreed supervision fee, that might be interpreted as exploitative.
- Avoid unnecessary dual or multiple relationships with supervisees. Where these are unavoidable, for example in an enclosed professional or training community, be explicit in clarifying and managing boundaries, and be clear in discharging your duty to maintain confidentiality.
- Not use the ease or success of a supervisory relationship as grounds for forming any other kind of relationship with a supervisee if/when the supervision ends. Should such a relationship prove to be detrimental to the former supervisee, you could be called on to respond to an allegation of misusing your former position.
Communication and consent
- Provide in your advertising and marketing materials a clear and honest statement of the qualifications and professional background that are relevant to your practice as a supervisor. Any testimonials you use must include the names of those who made them.
- Provide new supervisees with a written ‘terms of engagement’ that details your approach and responsibilities, requiring a signature from them that indicates their consent. We provide a draft template for this document which you can adapt to fit the circumstances of the particular contract. Be open to answering and exploring at depth any supplementary questions a prospective or new supervisee may have about your role and what they might expect.
- Not engage in any research about supervisees without their verifiable and informed consent.
Records and confidentiality
- Respect, protect and preserve supervisees’ confidentiality. Keep all information pertaining to them confidential, subject to legal and ethical requirements. Do not discuss the specifics of any aspect of any contact you have with supervisees other than with your own practice supervisor. Ensure the appropriateness with your supervisor of discussing any supervisee who your supervisor may know or may be able to personally identify.
Professional knowledge, skills and experience
- Keep supervision session notes in a form that is developmentally useful for you but which does not include any detail by which a supervisee could be identified.
- Ensure that you receive supervision of your supervisory practice from a FLiP Faculty qualified supervisor or from a professional with a qualification in supervision recognised by either the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
- Be responsible for your continuing professional development as a supervisor through ongoing communication with FLiP Faculty. FLiP Faculty is committed to providing trainings to meet your needs and to signposting you to other appropriate training bodies when necessary.
- Actively educate yourself in issues of diversity and equality. Understand that for reasons which may not always be conscious or obvious, a power imbalance will exist in your relationship(s) with supervisee(s) connected, among other things, to skin colour, gender identity, class, age, accent, educational background, status and sexual preference.
- Understand and be transparent about the limits of your brief and competence as a supervisor. Stay within them at all times in your work with supervisees, and refer supervisees to other professionals when appropriate.
- Ensure that you do not work with supervisees if you are not equipped to do so through physical or mental impairment, or when under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication.
- Make appropriate and timely arrangements for ending a supervisory relationship if you are unable to continue practising, ensuring your supervisees are informed and alternative supervisory provision is made for them, if needed.
- Have arrangements in place for informing supervisees and, where appropriate, providing them with support in the event of your illness or death.
Trust and confidence
- Act in a way that upholds the reputation of supervision and promotes public confidence in it and those who provide it. Ensure that public discourse you engage in, including on social media, is not detrimental to this.
- Ensure that your work as a supervisor is adequately covered by appropriate indemnity insurance.