Maintaining high professional standards in mindfulness-based approaches
When a concern arises
As access expands, steps to ensure the quality of mindfulness-based teaching are essential if the public is to receive teaching that is safe and effective.
Whilst individual teachers and training organisations have full responsibility for their teaching/training, as the lead organisation representing mindfulness-based teacher training organisations, BAMBA has a role in safeguarding standards in the field of MBAs.
BAMBA supports its members through a transparent and responsive complaints procedure which deals effectively with concerns expressed about unsafe or poor-quality teaching by Listed teachers, or training which has been delivered by BAMBA member organisations.
BAMBA’s Ethical Standards identify the responsibility of teachers to provide mindfulness-based approaches within a safe and ethical framework where participants welfare is prioritised.
Purpose of procedure
The purpose of the Complaints Procedure is to provide a framework for handling concerns about BAMBA affiliated mindfulness-based teachers and training organisations.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI)
In applying this procedure, BAMBA and their representatives will consider the organisation’s commitment to upholding principles supporting EDI.
BAMBA is committed to championing a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. BAMBA representatives will not discriminate in the application of this procedure in respect of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.
In all cases, full and sensitive consideration will be given to equity and diversity needs/requirements or issues that may exist when implementing this procedure. It is acknowledged that in some cases, the perceived behaviour of individuals may reflect diverse backgrounds and identities and can be subject to misinterpretation. Therefore, judgements regarding an individual’s conduct, capability or performance will always be fully and appropriately informed, which may in some instances, require diversity specific guidance and advice.
Scope of the procedure
The procedure covers 2 key areas:
- Concerns relating to individual teachers who are Listed with BAMBA.
- Concerns relating to BAMBA teacher training organisations
Concerns about the conduct or capability of either a teacher or an organisation can come to light in several ways, for example:
- Complaints about teaching expressed by participants/trainees
- Concerns expressed by other mindfulness-based teachers, students and colleagues
- Information from regulatory bodies, e.g., Nursing and Midwifery Council; HCPC
- Concerns expressed by training commissioning bodies, e.g., NHS, Councils
Actions to take when a concern arises
- Where complaints include reports of criminal behaviour the complainant is advised to seek advice from the police as a matter of priority
- People expressing concerns/complaints should be instructed to put these in writing (via email at email@example.com or via our Contact page) to the Chair of BAMBA
- The Chairperson informs the executive committee of the concern/complaint
- The Listed teacher/Training Organisation is informed in writing that a concern has been raised. They are given the opportunity to see any correspondence relating to the concern. However, where complainants wish to preserve anonymity a summary statement containing details of the complaint will be provided
- The Chairperson or nominated member of the executive committee investigates the complaint.
The BAMBA Code of Conduct for those teaching mindfulness-based courses provides an important reference point when considering concerns/complaints. Additional factors for consideration include:
- The accuracy/truthfulness of the complaint
- Whether the complainant has attempted to raise their concerns directly with the teacher/training organisation (we recommend this in the first instance) and what, if anything, resulted
- The degree of potential harm arising from the concern/complaint
- Any mitigating circumstances/factors
The person investigating the complaint provides a written summary of the complaint and the response of the teacher or the training organisation. This is provided to the complainant and the teacher/training organisation. This should also include initial/provisional recommendations for action. The complaint summary is disseminated among the executive committee which then collectively decides on subsequent appropriate actions. These may include the following outcomes:
- Complaint not supported – summary written report provided with no action recommended
- Complaint upheld – teacher/training organisation given recommendations/requirements to address the concern/complaint. This will include identification of complaint-related targets to be met over the next 6-12 months, following which a review of progress will occur. If progress is found during review to be unsatisfactory, then a) a further period of attempting to improve the area of concern will be suggested and appropriate support from BAMBA provided or b) if progress is not made at this point the teacher/training organisation will be removed from Register/expelled as member organisation of BAMBA
- Complaint upheld – in cases where the complaint is sufficiently serious the teacher/training organisation may be immediately removed from Register/expelled as member organisation of BAMBA.
BAMBA’s activities are only made possible through membership and voluntary support.
Should you wish to donate, your donation will be used to continue the maintenance of standards and inclusive access to mindfulness-based training in the UK.
We are grateful for your contribution to this vital work.