Yoga is a holistic practice and philosophy. In Chapter 2, verses 29-45 of the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali lists the yama-s and niyama-s as values appropriate for someone rooted in yoga. These form the basis for this Code of Ethics. Whether working in a group environment or individually, all Teacher Members of TSYP should therefore act within the principles of good, ethical practice as listed below.
1. Provide a safe environment where all users, i.e. students, volunteers, teachers, other members and guests can enjoy equality of opportunity and work without fear of discrimination or harm:
- Respect the right, dignity and worth of every person.
- Act with honesty and integrity.
- Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance.
- Maintain clear sexual, physical and professional boundaries with students and/or their carers.
- Ensure that any form of bullying, be it physical, emotional or mental, is not tolerated and is acted upon in a quick, supportive and fair manner (see further TSYP Duty of Care Statement).
- Refrain from acting in any way that might bring the tradition, organisation or teachers of yoga into disrepute.
2. Ensure that the student is the teacher’s first and paramount concern:
- Place the well-being and safety of the student above any other consideration.
- Recognise that the relationship between student and teacher is one based on trust and as such ensure that there is an appropriate working relationship based on respect.
- Respect the student’s right to confidentiality.
- Always ensure that consent is sought when working with student, particularly when physically touching a student.
- Clarify with students at the outset (and where appropriate with their carers) exactly what is expected of them and what they are entitled to expect from the teacher.
- Co-operate fully with other specialists (e.g. other teachers, doctors) in the best interests of the student.
- Ensure activities are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience, culture and ability of the individual.
- Encourage and guide students to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and practice.
3. Personal Responsibilities
Teacher Members must:
- Hold up-to-date and appropriate teaching qualifications.
- Maintain continuing professional development in line with TSYP CPD policy.
- Maintain a personal reflective practice rooted in the principles set out in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Chapter 2, verses 1-3.
- Maintain regular supervision from an appropriately qualified mentor.
- Appreciate the limits of their own knowledge, skill or competence and ensure that where this is reached, they refer to another more experienced or appropriately qualified teacher or therapist.
4. Legal and Governance Requirements
Teachers must comply with UK law and any governance requirements set out by their professional bodies. In particular, they must:
- Maintain accurate and appropriate student records which must be kept securely and in line with UK legislation.
- Maintain financial records.
- Hold appropriate insurance cover.
- Where teaching children, young adults or adults at risk, hold a current Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and training in safeguarding (as set out in TSYP’s Safeguarding Policy). These should be renewed every three years.
- Hold a recognised First Aid Qualification. This should be renewed every three years.
- Comply with the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations 2018.
- Where necessary, register with the Information Commissioner.
- Where working in a therapeutic situation, if a member of a Professional Register, follow its Code of Conduct.
- It is expected that by becoming a member of TSYP, teachers will adhere to this Code of Ethics.
- Where a student, member or member of the public has reason to believe that a TSYP teacher is not behaving in accordance with this Code, complaint may be made in line with TSYP’s Complaints Policy.
- Where such a complaint is made and upheld, membership of TSYP may be withdrawn from an individual.