Code Of Professional Practice And Ethics

Introduction

 

Registered Members and Registered Students of the Institute of Trichologists must adhere to this
Code of Professional Practice and Ethics. The code is reviewed annually to review that it is still fit for purpose and encompasses the highest possible standards for each registered member; however we do collect and review information continually and can update this code at any time, with the authority of the Board of Directors to ensure that Practice Standards and Procedures are adhered to at all times. This code has been drawn up by the Institute of Trichologists Board of Directors and complies with the company’s Articles of Association.

The purpose of this Code is to provide a high ethical and professional standard of conduct for
Members to follow in order to protect the general public and to preserve and enhance the
practice of Trichology.

These guidelines and rules are essential for the integrity of the Institute of Trichologists as a
regulatory, standards and membership body.

The Institute has a duty to ensure that the Code of Professional Practice and Ethics is
adhered to and does this by engaging with its members and the general public.

It is the responsibility of all Members to know the provisions of the current Rules. Members
shall comply with this Code of Professional Practice and Ethics and any other standards or
regulations as directed by the Institute, which shall be binding at all times in their
professional activities.

Failure by a Member to adhere to the Code will result in disciplinary action. This will bring
your fitness to practice into question and can endanger your registered member status. If
there is gross negligence or misconduct, the name of the member will be removed from the
register and the appropriate authorities will be informed of such action. All privileges of
membership will be withdrawn.

This Code applies to all classes of membership.

The Institute may amend the Code of Professional Practice and Ethics at least annually and
more frequently when necessary with the agreement of the Board of Directors.

General Rules for Registered Members:

A Member’s prime concern must be for the welfare of the patient and the safety of the
general public.

2. Members of the Institute of Trichologists shall conduct themselves at all times with dignity
and behave in an honourable manner in their relations with patients, the general public, other
members of the Institute, members of other professional bodies and other practitioners.

3. Members must act at all times in a manner which promotes public trust in the Trichologists’
knowledge, ability and judgement, and enhances the good standing and reputation of the
profession.

 4. In order to maintain a high standard of professional competence, Members must regularly
review their level of professional knowledge and expertise, and continually update their
knowledge through professional journals, meetings and participation in continuing
professional development and educational programmes recognised and promoted by The
Institute of Trichologists.

5. Members must endeavour to co-operate with professional colleagues and members of
other health professions for the benefit of their patients and the public.

6. A Member must be honest, uphold the honour and dignity of the profession, act with
integrity and not engage in any activity which may bring the profession into disrepute.

7. Where patients’ records, including names and addresses, are stored, each Member must
ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations, (GDPR) or if the registered
Member is outside of the UK, they should adhere to the standards for data protection
legislation governing their country or location.

8. Members are responsible for personal malpractice insurance, negligence and third-party
insurance.

9. Members must provide a copy of their current insurance certificate with their annual
membership subscriptions. Comprehensive insurance is a condition of Membership, failure to
provide proof of insurance may result in temporary or permanent removal from the Members
register.

10. Members’ names will be removed from the Institute of Trichologists Members Register
and they will not be permitted to use the designated letters after their name if their annual
fees are not paid within one month of the due date or they fail to maintain adequate current
Insurance.

11.Members must immediately advise the Institute and their insurance company of any
official enquiry into their practice from whatever source.

12. All Members must maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct. As a
professional you are personally accountable for your actions in your practice. You must
always act within the law whether those laws relate to your practice or your personal life. All
practices within the UK must adhere to The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, those
registered members outside of the UK must adhere to the relevant Health and Safety
Legislation for their country or location.

13. Courtesy, patience and understanding should be shown to patients and the general public
at all times. The patients’ and general public’s welfare must be paramount at all times.
Members should be aware of the limits of their competence and be ready to refer the patient
for further investigation when necessary.

14. A Member shall keep accurate and appropriate records of all patients, their treatments
and prescriptions, and any such record shall be held safely and securely for seven years after
the patient’s last consultation or treatment. In the event that the Member’s practice is
transferred for whatever reason to another Member, all such records shall be similarly
transferred. In the event of a Member ceasing to practice, all patient records shall be
submitted to the Institute for safe keeping, where they will be retained for seven years prior
to destruction. All data held must comply with General Data Protection Regulation within the
UK, or relevant country or location legislation to Members outside of the UK.

14. A Member is entitled to charge a deposit for a consultation or treatment but may not
charge for courses of clinical treatments in advance of seeing a patient.

15. No Member shall corruptly offer or accept any gift or other inducement.

16. Consultations with patients should, wherever possible be carried out face to face with a
physical examination of the hair and scalp to facilitate a diagnosis being made. A
consultation should last for between 45 minutes and 1 hour. No treatments, products or
medications should be supplied to a patient or member of the public without a full
consultation having taken place first. In exceptional circumstances Registered Members are
permitted to carry out a video consultation, this should follow the exact same format as a
face to face consultation but will not allow in depth examination of the hair and scalp. It is
possible to accurately diagnose some conditions without physical examinations of the hair and
scalp; however certain conditions do need a hands-on examination to take place. Any video
diagnosis must be clear in its limitations and must not mislead the Patient or Member of the General Public in any way. Video Consultations should last between 30 minutes and 45
minutes.

17. A Member may not disclose information obtained in confidence from a patient to anyone
without prior consent from the patient or the appropriate guardian unless the interest of the
patient or the Law requires such disclosure.

18. Patient records are to be kept confidential at all times and access restricted to the
Member, clinical assistant and patient.

19. Members may accept patients who have been receiving treatment from other Trichology
practitioners, whether they are Registered Members of The Institute of Trichologists or not.
No Member must pass comment or judgement of another Member or Practioners
competence, if the patient has a complaint, they should be encouraged to complete the
complaints process to allow an independent investigation to take place. A Registered Member
can write to another Registered Member or Trichologist to request patient notes, with the
permission of the patient, if that patient has elected to change Practioner. Wherever possible
Members and Non-Members should co-operate with information requests to safeguard the
patient and Members of the Public.

20. A Member who has been or is employed as a Trichologist shall not in any way induce or
attempt to induce any patient to leave the care of that employer.

21. All Registered Members must commit to ongoing professional development, as such a
minimum of 5 Recognised Continual Professional Development, (CPD) points need to be
accumulated at least annually. Any Registered Member who undertakes additional education
and qualifications for use within their Trichology Practice may submit these to the Institute of
Trichologists for approval to add to their Members Listing which details each Members levels
of competence.

22. Use of Registered Members logos and post-nominal designatory letters awarded to the
individual member are solely for the use with the Registered Members name, they cannot be
used to credit a business, other practioners or clinics generally. Websites belonging solely to
a registered Member may display the logo and letters, however a website listing the
registered Member as part of their team can only use the logo and letters attached directly to
the Registered Members name. If regulations relating to annual Membership fee payment,
attendance at CPD events and Practioner Insurance are breached, then the use of the logos
and designatory letters will be prohibited, and the Member removed from the published
register.

General Rules for Registered Students:

23. Students may be Registered Student Members with The Institute of Trichologists, via their
acknowledged Education Provider. They must adhere to the Student Policies and Procedures
detailed by their individual educational bodies in terms of completing academic and clinical
work and passing designated examinations or submitting portfolios of evidence to gain
qualifications to move to Registered Member status.

24. Registered Students must at all times take the safety of the General Public, Patients and
Colleagues as their number one priority.

25. No Registered Student may offer Clinical Consultations, without achieving the Educational
Standard required to do so, nor may they use any letters after their name, unless they have
achieved the necessary qualifications to do so, and these are clearly documented on the
Registered Members Website.

26. Student Members of the Institute of Trichologists shall conduct themselves at all times
with dignity and behave in an honourable manner in their relations with the general public,
other members of the Institute, members of other professional bodies and other practitioners.

27. Student Members may not disclose information obtained in confidence from an
Educational Body or details of any patient seen during their clinical training, to anyone
without prior consent from the Educational Body or patient or the appropriate guardian unless
the interest of the patient or the Law requires such disclosure.

28. Registered Student Members will be clearly identified to the General Public as Students.
All Educational Providers will be clearly listed, with details of the educational standards,
accreditation and area of clinical competence detailed and easily accessed for the General
Public and those considering taking up education to become Registered Members.

29. Registered students will only become Registered Members on the successful completion
of their education and application to the Institute of Trichologists to become a Registered
Member.

Relationship with the Medical Profession and other Health Professionals:

30. Although Trichology has the potential to treat a wide variety of conditions, it may not
always be the most appropriate treatment. Where Members feel this is the case, they should
advise their patients of other therapeutic options and refer them to the medical profession or
other health care professionals.

31. Members must not disparage the professional services of other Trichologists or health
care professionals, nor make claims of superiority, either expressed or implied.

32. Members shall maintain a readiness to consult professional colleagues when appropriate.

Premises:

33. Registered Members based in the UK should comply with the Local Council Regulations
and advice of the Environmental Health Officers regarding adequate facilities, such as
heating, lighting, ventilation, toilets, electrical installations, smoke alarms and fire
extinguishers. Outside of the UK Registered Members must consult with and comply with
advice and regulations as legislation determines in their country or location.

34. Working conditions must be arranged so as to protect the safety of the public and those
people working on the premises. Registered Members based in the UK must be aware of their
responsibilities under Health and Safety Legislation, Registered Members outside of the UK
should adhere with the legislation that is relevant to Health and Safety at work in their
country or location.

35. A First Aid kit must be available at all times. Reference should be made to the Shops and
Offices Act of the country in which they practice.

36. A regular review of the facilities and working practices should be carried out to ensure
they comply with current standards. Registered Members based in the UK should be aware
of their responsibilities under Health and Safety legislation, Registered Members based
outside the UK must adhere to Law and Legislation relating to safe working practices for their
country or location, this applies to employer, employee or self-employed.

Advertising Code:

37.No Registered Member within the UK should use the title Doctor in their Trichological
advertising unless entitled as a registered member with The General Medical Counsel.
Registered Members outside of the UK must only use the title Doctor in line with the
legislation covering this term in their country or location. to do so in their country of abode. If
the title of Doctor is used in other forms of advertising, then it must be stated clearly what
the qualification refers to (e.g. PhD).

38. Advertising must not mislead the general public in any way, all services offered, and
products referred to must be supported by medical or scientific research.

39. Advertisements by Registered Members should not claim or imply superiority over other
professional services.

40. Registered Members may not endorse or promote any products using their Registered
Member status or the name of The Institute of Trichologists.

41. Registered Members may offer expert consultancy to product development and may also
comment on specific hair and scalp related questions and concerns in an educational and
expert capacity.

42. Registered Members are prohibited from claiming cures to named conditions in
compliance with the laws of the country where they practice.

43. Registered Members must ensure that all advertisements and other public
pronouncements with which his or her name, or the name under which he or she practices, is
associated are not such as would bring the Institute or the profession of Trichology into
disrepute. Specifically, a Member shall adhere to accepted advertising practice and to any
ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.

44.Registered Members who use their name in connection with advertisement or promotion,
by or for any establishment or practice, must ensure that they adhere to the Code of
Professional Practice and Ethics in respect of any patient visiting or consulting that
establishment or practice, notwithstanding that the patient may not have consulted or have
been treated by that Member; and if any complaint from any such patient is received by the
Institute, that Member will be responsible under the terms of the Code as if the Member had
dealt personally with that patient.

IT Etiquette & Use of Social Media:

45. IT has become part of everyday life and as such will be used widely by Registered
Members, the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics would ask every Registered Member
to ensure that:
o Digital Photographs used in Client Diagnosis and stored in their records are only taken
with the express permission of the Client.
o Photographs taken on Smart Phones are transferred to secure storage and deleted
from the Smart Phone within 24 hours of taking the image.
o Online Communications are used as the most appropriate method of communication
unless a patient of Member of the Public request’s written communications as their
sole or preferred method.
o Texts are typed in full, avoiding the use of text abbreviations, which some patients
and Members of the Public may not be familiar with or understand.

46. The use of online social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn,
WhatsApp, My Space, Bebo and others) is common on a professional level. Any information
posted on these platforms, by Registered Members, must not make reference to their
employer, employees, patients or Members of the Public, whether posted in from home or
place of work. Any derogatory references posted by a Registered Member that relates to The
Institute of Trichologists, Employers, Colleagues, Patients or Members of the Public can result
in disciplinary action including removal from the Members Register.

47. Social Media sites should not be used to discuss individual patient concerns to achieve
diagnosis by consensus, this is not Professional or Acceptable in any form. If a Registered
Member is unable to diagnose a condition, they should seek advice from The Institute of
Trichologists, who will not only provide professional guidance, but may recommend further
clinical education to prevent the situation recurring.

48. Sharing research, ideas and interesting facts is encouraged via the Official Institute of
Trichologists Facebook Page and Website, this is professional and helps other Registered
Members to learn and develop.

49. Social Media Sites used by Registered Members must not bring the Member, or other
Registered Members into disrepute, use of language should be moderated at all times, with
no comments being posted that could be construed as “abusive”. The posting of
photographs should only take place with express permission to post and share these.

50.Registered Members should not access any Social Media sites for illegal content at any
time.

51.Frequency of Social Media Posts to Registered Members and the General Public should be
carefully considered so at not to be intrusive, the Registered Members Facebook Page will be
moderated to prevent this from happening to Registered Members.

52. Any Complaints or Concerns about Registered Members use of Social Media should be
sent via the complaints form on the website, it will be independently investigated and findings
and proposals for resolutions and corrective actions will be communicated to the complaint in
line with the Complaints procedure.

53. Emails should not include or access potentially offensive, abusive or pornographic
content.

54. Emails should not include any derogatory or sensitive comments relating to the business,
your employer, colleagues or patients.

55. You must not download any material which breaks copyright legislation.

56. You must not download any offensive or pornographic material.

57. Any breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action including removal from the
Members Register.

58. You should not add Institute of Trichologists patients to your personal social network site.

 

Signed
Anita Ashcroft

On behalf of the Board of Governors
Date June 2020