Governance

BAMBA Code of Conduct

Introduction

Mindfulness practice is underpinned by personal ethical standards. As mindfulness-based teachers we therefore seek to embody ethical integrity as well as mindfulness, seeing both as central to practice. The following guidelines offer a framework and an aspiration for ethical practice. We would expect that mindfulness supervision would include some inquiry into these issues including any questions about their interpretation in specific situations.

Mindfulness teachers who are already bound by professional codes of conduct (e.g. those of the HCPC, RCN, etc.) should of course continue to adhere to these; the guidelines below aim to complement professional codes of conduct and not to supersede them.

Respect for participants:

  • I agree to show respect to all people with whom I come into contact during my work as a mindfulness teacher.
  • I will encourage participants, as appropriate, to maintain their own health and well-being.
  • I will not discriminate against people on any grounds.
  • I will challenge colleagues/co-facilitators if I think they are discriminating against people.
  • I will keep relationships with participants professional and maintain appropriate boundaries.

Communication

  • I agree to communicate with integrity. I will listen carefully and respond in a respectful way at all times.
  • I agree to the best of my knowledge to ensure any written material on websites, email, information sheets, handouts etc. is up to date and accurate.
  • I agree to use any social media appropriately and responsibly.
  • I will work with participants to meet any individual communication and language needs, as far as is possible.
  • I will be open and honest about any issues that might create conflicts of interest and seek to ensure that they don’t affect my actions.

Working within Good Practice Guidelines

I agree to adhere to BAMBA's Good Practice Guidelines for teachers/ supervisors:

  • working within the scope of my training and experience.
  • I will work only with populations with whom I have sufficient knowledge, skills and experience, and
  • I will not extend the scope of my teaching without:
    • appropriate supervision and further training
    • engaging in regular supervision and making choices with integrity about what I take to
    • supervision to ensure that I work within ethical and safe practice
    • keeping up to date with my knowledge and skills

Managing Risk

  • Where an individual’s needs fall outside of my knowledge, skills, and experience, I will, if possible, make suggestions about where they may seek alternative assistance.
  • I will take appropriate steps to assess and manage risk safely, in collaboration with the participant and with other involved professionals such as the person’s GP.
  • I will take responsibility for my own health and take appropriate steps if any health concerns might affect my performance or judgement and thereby put others at risk.
  • I will ensure I have appropriate professional indemnity insurance appropriate to the context in which I work.

Respecting Confidentiality

  • I will treat information given to me by participants as confidential.
  • I will be clear when and how I might need to share information, for example when required to by law for reasons of safeguarding against harm to the participant or others.
  • I will gain full consent from participants if sessions are to be electronically recorded.
  • I will ensure that any written material about a participant is accurate and is stored safely and securely.
  • I will adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Complaints Procedure

Maintaining high professional standards in Mindfulness-based approaches:

When a concern arises

Introduction
As access to mindfulness-based approaches (MBA) in the UK 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.

This needs to be supported by a transparent and responsive complaints procedure which deals effectively with concerns expressed about unsafe or poor
quality teaching by Listed teachers, or training by BAMBA member organisations.

The BAMBA code of conduct identifies the responsibility of teachers to provide mindfulness-based approaches within a safe and ethical framework where participants welfare is prioritised.

Purpose of procedure
To provide a framework for handling concerns about BAMBA affiliated mindfulness-based teachers and training organisations.

Equality, 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 equality, diversity and inclusion.BAMBA representatives will not discriminate in the application of this procedure in respect of age, disability (including mental health status), race, ethnicity or nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion/belief, marital/partnership status, pregnancy/maternity.

In all cases, full and sensitive consideration will be given to equality 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 be a reflection of 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:

  1. Concerns relating to individual teachers who are Listed with BAMBA.
  2. 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 a number of 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

When a concern arises: Actions
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 (i.e. email/letter) to the convenor
  • The convenor 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 convenor 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:

  1. Complaint not supported – summary written report provided with no
    action recommended
  2. 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 Listing/expelled as member organisation of BAMBA
  3. Complaint upheld – in cases where the complaint is sufficiently serious the teacher/training organisation may be immediately removed from Listing/expelled as member organisation of BAMBA.