The HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC)
Every professional association needs to ensure that its members follow a clear code of ethics and set of standards in relation to the work they do. These serve to provide practitioners with clear working guidelines and to assure clients of integrity of practice. Such associations also need to ensure that wherever clients are unhappy with the standard of service received they have recourse to a fair and independent procedure for assessing their complaint and where the complaint is upheld, all necessary action is taken to minimise the likelihood of a recurrence of the situation in question. The procedure adopted by the Human Givens Institute involves a committee of its members known as the HGI Registration and Professional Standards Committee (RPSC). This committee functions independently of the professional association of the HGI and its board of directors and acts in the interests of the public
The remit of the RPSC is to:
- Maintain a publicly accessible register of practitioners who meet the standards of training, professional practice and fitness to practise set by the HGI board and ensure that entry to the HGI register is based on these standards;
- Ensure that the standards of professional practice, conduct and ethics, professional supervision and continuing professional development set by the board of the HGI are met;
- Obtain and take account of the views of the public when reviewing the means of maintaining standards;
- Continue to identify, monitor and take steps to mitigate any and all of the risks presented to the public by virtue of the counselling and therapeutic process;
- Liaise with government, and other organisations when appropriate, in the public interest on regulatory issues, and ensure that standards and procedures reflect regulatory requirements, where necessary;
- Liaise with the HGI Board on matters relating to the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy and the Institute’s application to join the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) Voluntary Accredited Register scheme;
- Consider complaints in line with the HGI complaints procedure;
- Investigate and decide on complaints and impose sanctions or remove practitioners from the HGI Professional Register, if necessary;
- Ensure that an independent appeals process is available;
- Offer advice on ethical questions and disseminate learning from complaints or questions referred to it;
- Seek advice from appropriate sources on particular issues where necessary;
- Promote the development and dissemination of the HG Ethical Framework;
- Liaise and communicate with the HGI Board.
Other matters falling within the RPSC’s remit are disputes between HGI members and queries or complaints from a variety of sources, including the public, other professional bodies, etc., concerning aspects of HG practice, policy, and so on. These are informed by developments in wider healthcare and public policy regarding patients, children and young people, duties of care, etc.
Constitution of the RPSC
RPSC members are appointed by the HGI Board and vacancies arising through the retirement or resignation of R&PSC members will be filled by individuals selected on the basis of relevant knowledge, expertise, experience and personal qualities. Membership turnover will be managed in such a way as to ensure continuity of expertise and experience.
The Committee consists of members of the HGI together with suitably qualified individuals, including a lay member. The PSA believes that the presence of lay members can contribute towards ensuring that complainants receive a fair hearing and that where corrective action is called for, it is appropriate.
At any one time the RPSC will consist of 10-12 individuals appointed for five years (renewable at the Board's discretion). A Chair and Deputy Chair are elected by the members to serve for three years, although these appointments are subject to review at annual meetings of the RPSC. The Chair’s duties include finalising the decisions of the RPSC and conveying them to the HGI Board.
At the present time the RPSC members are:
- Monique Nauta (Chair), HG therapist and former solicitor and barrister.
- Andy Tarrant (Co-ordinator), holds the post of Coordinator on a part time basis to work with the Chair of the RPSC.
- Owen Davis, HG therapist
- Mary Austin, HG therapist who specialises in people suffering from trauma. She is a Methodist minister who although retired from active ministry fills a variety of roles in the church including issues of complaints and discipline and safeguarding training.
- Avril Bailey, HG therapist in private practice.
- Richard Cavaliero, HG therapist in private practice who also works in rural community and arts organisations that serve a diverse range of disadvantaged populations.
- Anne Marie Curran, HG therapist in private practice in Dublin Ireland. Anne-Marie has worked in the corporate world of Engineering, Product Licensing, Consumer Marketing and more recently The Beauty Industry.
- Elaine Curtin is an experienced HG therapist in the south-west of England who also has experience in the commercial sector.
- Gilli Gladman (Lay Member), a retired well-being coach and personal development trainer, having worked in a variety of community projects for the Big Life Company in Manchester. She has also been a Co-Counsellor for over 25 years. Gilli previously owned and ran a number of successful enterprises in the tourism sector. She is deeply interested in understanding what it is to be human and continue to actively engage with any new scientific research that will enrich her learning.
- Amanda Hargreaves, HG therapist in private practice and HGI Accredited Supervisor. Amanda has also worked as a State Registered Nurse and Health Visitor.
- Kim Hood is an experienced HG therapist. She has worked as a practice manager in a 0-19 Early Help team, which included experience in HR and recruitment and complaints investigations.
- Colin Mawhinney is an experienced HG therapist and a member of the York Human Givens Wellbeing Centre. He has also had extensive experience in complaints management and disciplinary proceedings.
- Ray Whelan (Lay Member), Trainer, Lecturer, Learning & Development and Human Resource professional. A former member the Irish Defence Forces with overseas service as part of the U.N.I.F.I.L.
The work of the RPSC
The RPSC communicates to arrive at consensus – or, on rare occasions, a majority decision.
Complaint investigation process
On receipt of a complaint, responsibility for the investigation process will be allocated to a panel of two or three RPSC members. On completion of the above process, the investigation panel members will present their findings to an adjudication panel consisting of three or four RPSC members, who will then decide on the matter. Adjudication panels will include at least one lay member.
For information on complaints received by the HGI, please click here.
Reporting of RPSC activities
The R&PSC will produce an annual report that will detail all complaints and queries dealt with during the preceding year. This report will be presented to the HGI Board and will be available to members on request.
The above report will not identify those who have been the subject of complaints. However, if it has been necessary to bar an HGI member from practising, their details will remain on the HGI Register together with a clear statement outlining that they are considered unfit to practise. This will serve to alert members of the public/potential clients to the situation.
Annual Meeting of the RPSC
Wider issues such as constitutional matters, governance, regulation of counselling and psychotherapy, etc. are discussed at an annual meeting of the R&PSC.
Any member of the public or HGI member who is dissatisfied with a decision of the RPSC is entitled to appeal to an independent panel of the HGI. For further details, please refer to the HGI complaints procedure
A concern with acting ethically has always been part of human givens teaching. Day 10 of every Part 2 diploma course and the related section of the training manual focus on ethical practice. Practitioners are encouraged to discuss ethical concerns with colleagues, at peer supervision groups and with their supervisor. They are also at liberty to consult the R&PSC.
For full details of the HGI Code of Ethics and Conduct please click here.
For an in-depth discussion of ethical issues, which includes a number of case examples, see the article 'Practising ethically' which appeared in the Human Givens Journal Volume 15, No.4 – 2008.
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