Code Of Professional Practice And Ethics
Members of The Institute of Trichologists are governed by the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Institute; and this Code of Ethics and Professional Practice is promulgated by the Institute's Board of Governors pursuant to the power conferred on the Board by Article 11(h) of the Institute's Articles of Association.
This Code has been drawn up by the Institute of Trichologists, in accordance with the 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 preserve and enhance the practice of Trichology and to protect the general public.
These guidelines and rules are essential for the integrity of the Institute of Trichologists as a responsible professional body, and its self regulation.
The Institute has a duty to ensure that the Code of Ethics and Practice is adhered to. It is the responsibility of all members to know the provisions of the current Rules, Members shall comply with this Code of Ethics and Practice and any other regulations or amendments ordained 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 endanger your registration. If there is gross negligence or misconduct, the name of the practitioner 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 All privileges of membership will be withdrawn.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 Ethics and Practice when necessary with the agreement of the members.
- A Members prime concern must be for the welfare of the patient.
- 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.
- Members must act at all times in a manner which promotes public trust in the Trichologist's knowledge, ability and judgement, and enhances the good standing and reputation of the profession.
- 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 educational programmes of the Institute of Trichologists
- Members must endeavour to co-operate with professional colleagues and members of other health professions for the benefit of their patients and the public.
- 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.
- Where patients' records, including names and addresses are stored on computer Members are legally obliged to register under the Data Protection Act 1984, in the UK.
- Members are responsible for personal malpractice insurance, negligence and third party insurance. Members' names will be removed from the Institute Register and they will not be permitted to use the designated letters after their name if their annual fees are not paid within one months of the due date.
- Members must immediately advise the Institute and the insurance company of any official enquiry into their practice from whatever source.
- 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.
- Courtesy, patience and understanding should be shown to patients at all times. The patient'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.
- 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 for whatever reason and there being no immediate transfer of the member's practice, all patient records shall be submitted to the Institute for safe-keeping, where they will be retained for seven years prior to destruction.
- A Member as entitled to charge a deposit for a consultation or treatment, but may not charge for courses of clinical treatments in advance.
- No Member shall corruptly offer or accept any gift or other inducement.
- No Member shall conduct remote trichology diagnosis, neither shall medications be supplied without prior examination of the patient.
- 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.
- Patient records are to be kept confidential at all times and access restricted to the Member, clinical assistant and patient.
- Members may accept patients who have been receiving treatment from other trichology practitioners. However, before treatment begins, written permission from the patient should be obtained, and the other practitioner informed. Permission need not be obtained if at least six months have elapsed since the last treatment.
- 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.
- Relationships with the Medical Profession and other health professionals
- 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 professionals.
- Members must not disparage the professional services of other trichologists or health professionals, nor make claims of superiority, either expressed, or implied.
- Members shall maintain a readiness to consult professional colleagues when appropriate.
- Practising Members should comply with the Local Council Regulations and advice of the Environmental Health Officer regarding adequate facilities, such as heating, lighting, ventilation, toilets, electrical installations, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
- Working conditions must be arranged so as to protect the safety of the public and those people working on the premises.
- 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.
- A regular review of the facilities and working practices should be carried out to ensure they comply with current standards. Members should be aware of their responsibilities under Health and Safety legislation, (Health & Safety at Work Act of their countries whether employer, employee, or self-employed.
- No Member should use the title Doctor in their trichological advertising unless entitled to do so in their country of abode. In the UK the title Doctor cannot be used unless registered with the General Medical Counsel.
- If the title Dr is used in other forms of advertising, then it must be stated clearly what the qualification refers to (e.g. PhD).
- Advertising must be discreet and not designed to mislead the public.
- a) No advertisement may claim or imply any superiority over the professional services provided by other practitioners, b) No advertising may be used that claims to cure named conditions in accordance with the laws of their country. c) No Member may use their Association membership in the commercialisation of any product or remedy.
- A member shall 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.
- If the name of any member is used in connection with any advertisement or promotion by or for any establishment or practice, that member shall be responsible for compliance with this Code 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 this Code as if the member had dealt personally with that patient.
- A member entitled to use post-nominal designatory letters awarded by the Institute (viz, AIT, MIT, FIT) shall use such letters only in conjunction with his or her own name; and no member shall use any designatory letters or qualifications to which he or she is not entitled for any reason or if annual subscriptions are not fully paid. There are other reasons, apart from hair loss, scalp problems and hair texture problems, that you might wish to consult a trichologist, one of which is for sound, professional advice on keeping your hair and scalp in good condition and thus avoiding many of these problems in the first place. This happy state of trouble-free hair and scalp exists naturally in some people, but many others will require the professional advice and assistance of a qualified trichologist.
On behalf of the Board of Governors
Date October 2009