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Code of Professional Practice and Ethics

Introduction

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 II (h) of the Institute's Articles of Association

This Code of Ethics and Professional Practice indicates the minimum standard of conduct to which Institute members must adhere in carrying out their professional duties

Breach of this Code

In the event of any member being found to have been in breach of this Code, the Board has the power conferred by Article 8(c) of the Articles of Association to remove that member from membership. Pursuant to the general powers conferred by Article I I of the Articles of Association, the Board further assumes to itself the explicit power to suspend a member from membership or from any particular grade of membership or to apply such lesser sanction than removal from membership as may, in the opinion of the Board, be appropriate in the circumstances. In exercising its powers to apply a sanction in the event of a breach of this Code by a member of the Institute, the Board shall act only in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Articles of Association and in accordance with the rules and principles of law and natural justice.

The Code

This Code shall apply equally to all members of the Institute irrespective of grade of membership (viz, Graduate Members, Associate Members, Members and Fellows).

A member shall at all times and in all respects conduct his or her professional and business operations within the law.

A member shall present himself or herself and his or her trichology services and professional premises in such a manner as will uphold and dignify his or her professional status and the reputation of the Institute

A member shall exercise all reasonable skill, care and diligence in the discharge of his or her professional duties and, in so far as any of these duties may be discretionary, shall act fairly and in good faith.

It shall be the responsibility of every member in professional practice to ensure that he or she maintains adequate and appropriate policies of insurance.

A member shall not treat for any disorder any patient who is, to the member's knowledge, currently under the care for that disorder of another Institute member or a registered medical practitioner without the knowledge of such other member or registered medical practitioner; and a member shall, prior to treating any patient for the first time, enquire whether the patient is under such care

No member shall communicate in any way to any patient, or to any person known by the member to be a patient of another member, any criticism of the work, treatment or practice of another member

A member who is, or who has been, employed as a Trichologist shall not in any way induce or attempt to induce any patient to leave the care of that employer so long as that employer is, or employs the services of, a registered, practising member of the Institute.

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 practise 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.

Except with the express written consent of the patient, signed by or on behalf of the patient, no member shall disclose publicly the name of any patient, past or present, or publish or cause to be published any media, including photographs, by which any such patient may be identified. Where such express written consent is given, the express purpose(s) for which such consent has been given shall be included within the signed document, which shall also incorporate a warranty by the member that the purpose(s) for which consent is thereby given shall not be exceeded

Unless with the express consent of the patient; no member shall divulge to any third party any confidential information obtained from a patient in the course of a consultation or treatment. Nor shall any other confidential information (for example, sensitive business information) acquired by a member in the course of his or her professional duties be divulged inappropriately by that member to any third party.

A member shall act in an equitable manner towards his or her patients, clients, suppliers, employers, employees, fellow Institute members and towards all others with whom that member deals in a professional capacity.

No member shall demand of any patient payment in advance for any treatment or consultation.

No member shall corruptly offer or accept any gift or other inducement.

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.

No member shall advertise or conduct any postal or similarly remote Trichological diagnosis or treatment

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.

Any member knowingly condoning a breach of this Code by one of his or her fellow principals or employees shall be responsible as if that member had committed such breach.

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.

Any investigation by the Institute into any alleged breach of this Code shall be conducted in accordance with regulations prescribed from time to time by the Institute's Board of Governors, and it shall be the duty of any member against whom any such an allegation is made to cooperate fully with any such investigation. Failure to offer such cooperation will itself be a breach of this Code in respect of which the Board may apply a sanction.

© 1999 The Institute of Trichologists