COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH!
BACP has revised the Terms and Conditions members are required to sign up to.
A main item of change seems to be spelling out its ‘on line’ Publication Policy as an annually confirmed condition of membership. All members should view the current conduct notices and consider its potential impact.
Anyone can be subject to a complaint at any time regardless of how competent they may be. Does your ethical body employ assessors who understand the modalities it purports to represent when investigating such issues?
An ethical body’s remit is to support and maintain professional standards within its own organisation. It should support a Member who has fallen short or even exclude them. We would all agree to that. The Professional Standards Authority (PSA), requires member organisations to protect the public it has responsibility for both the clients and its members and not the entire planet! It should not attempt to influence a therapist’s status beyond its organisational remit.
At one time, brief outlines were published in a ‘trade’ magazine. The numbers who read these notices was very limited. Now the member and ex-member have their name published on line along with the ethical body’s extensive version of any proceedings, so that any person in the world can use or misuse that information for their own purposes. In some circumstances this notice can remain on the site for up to five years for example if a membership is withdrawn, or it is deemed that sanctions have not been complied with by your ethical body.
Not only can this destroy a therapist’s current work but their career too, because other ethical bodies will not normally accept someone with a posted complaint, and it is likely that those that offer advertising services will do the same.
Further, verdicts have been found to be opinion rather than anything which can be proven. And there are cases where the opinion can be shown to be incorrect.
Competent therapists are having their careers and sometimes their whole lives destroyed by ethical body opinions. This can happen to you at any time.
The practice of online publication should be stopped. It is grossly disproportionate. It could also expose the ethical body to single or class suits from damaged members under the Defamation Act 2013 or other legislation. However much CEOs may delegate decisions down to procedures, they can ultimately be made personally responsible for the organisation’s actions.