1.1 This Code does not replace organisations individual codes that have already been developed. It does, however provide the general public with an objective measurement that can be used to help them choose an appropriate service and provider.
1.2 It sets out the key principles and standards which behaviourists and trainers are expected to follow and uphold.
1.3 The Code is intended to reflect the good practice that already exists in organisations.
2. Scope and Objectives
2.1 Individuals have professional obligations to their clients, the animals they are helping, their employers (where relevant), to one another, to students, the animal requiring the service, to colleagues in other disciplines (e.g. Veterinary Surgeon) and to society.
2.2 In order that they may discharge their obligations to their clients they must be able to meet the expense of the professional provisions which are necessary for safeguarding and promoting the rights of both the client and the animal. The primary objective of this code is to express the values and principles which are essential to those working with animal behaviour and training.
3. Core Values
Service to the client
Individuals and organisations have a duty to:
4.1 Ensure that the main requirements of the code are readily available to clients.
4.2 Work within the legal framework of the country where the service is being delivered.
4.3 Safeguard and promote the welfare of others especially the client and the animal.
4.4 To work in the best interests of the animal and the person responsible for the animal’s care. Avoid any individual behaviour which might unreasonably violate professional boundaries, unreasonably damage professional relationships or cause harm to the animal or client.
4.5 Use professional knowledge, research and experience to contribute to the discipline of behaviour and training. Encourage other practitioners to recognise and maintain similar standards. Contribute to the education and training of colleagues and students by sharing knowledge and experience.
4.6 Ensure that they do not act out of prejudice against any person or group, on any grounds including origin, ethnicity, class, sex, status,sexual orientation, age, disability.
4.7 Be honest, transparent and accurate about their qualifications, competence, experience, achievements and affiliations.
4.8 Take on work only within the practitioners’ existing capabilities or when a programme to attain the required skills has been achieved.
4.9 Encourage clients to seek other forms of treatment if behaviour modification or training is not the most appropriate means of treating the condition or problem.
4.10 Maintain and extend competence in order to provide a quality service that is accountable. Appraise new methods and techniques in order to extend experience.
4.11 Provide honest and reliable written (where appropriate) opinions, maintaining objectivity in judgements.
4.12 Take appropriate action if health or any other factor is likely to interfere with judgement or performance of duty.
4.13 Make it clear when making statements whether you do so as a private individual or as a representative of a particular organisation or group.
4.14 Keep a record of all complaints and actions taken.
4.15 Hold appropriate and adequate third party, as well as professional indemnity insurance and other insurance corresponding to the activities undertaken.
5. Conflict of Interest
Individuals must be alert to the possibility of any conflict of interest which may affect their ability to exercise discretion or bias their judgement.
6. Informed Consent
Individuals will not act without the informed consent of their client, unless required by law to protect the animal, the person or another from the risk of harm.
Consent to disclose information must be obtained from the client before sharing related information with third parties. Any disclosure of information must be made only with the client’s written permission unless there are overriding legal, safety or ethical considerations.
8. Record Keeping
This must comply with the Data Protection Act.
9. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
In order to maintain, develop and enhance practitioner skills they must undertake appropriate CPD on a regular basis. This must be recorded by the individual. Individuals are also encouraged to reflect on their own professional practice.
10. Commercial Obligations
10.1 Practitioner advertising must not:
Mislead or deceive users of their service.
Be sensational or make unrealistic, or unsubstantiated performance claims.
Create unjustifiable expectations about the length or type of treatment or unrealistic prospects for success.
Make claims of superiority or disparage colleagues or members of other organisations or professions.
10.2 Practitioners must not sell or recommend a product, service or an individual service provider without being first satisfied that this would benefit the animal under their care and that they are suitably qualified to make such a recommendation.
10.3 The recommending practitioner must disclose to the client if the practitioner may gain a commercial benefit by making such a recommendation. Practitioners must not allow such an interest to influence their choice of provision, service, care or treatment to the detriment of the animal or service user.
10.4 There must be transparency in the charges, terms and conditions of the service that the practitioner provides.