Code of Ethics


This code is based on the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) code of ethics and applies to all APPCIOS members including Full members, Senior Associates and Associate members. The BPC code has been adapted to apply to those working in organisational settings.

If you are in any doubt about the ethical implications of your work, or that of your colleagues or your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact us.  A member of our committee will always be happy to discuss your concerns.

About Us

  1. The Association for Psychodynamic Practice and Counselling in Organisational Settings (APPCIOS) is an organisation of practitioners working psychodynamically within organisations. Our focus is both on the clients of the organisation and the dynamics within the organisation itself.

APPCIOS is a Member Institution of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) which is the UK’s leading professional association and accredited public register for psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The BPC maintains a voluntary accredited register registering psychoanalytic psychotherapists and is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

  1. The core functions of the BPC include to:
  • Set and maintain standards of practice and conduct,
  • Maintain a register of qualified psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapists practitioners (‘Registrants’),
  • Assure the quality of education and training provided to Registrants by their Member Institutions,
  • Require Registrants to keep their skills up to date through continuing professional development,
  • Consider and investigate complaints and concerns of a Fitness to Practise nature raised against Registrants; and issue sanctions, where appropriate, to protect the public, act in the public interest, uphold the standards of the profession and maintain public confidence in the profession.



  1. APPCIOS full members who are also registered with the BPC are BPC Registrants.
  1. BPC Registrants are governed by the Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics of the BPC.
  1. An APPCIOS member who is a BPC Registrant has an individual responsibility to behave professionally and to follow the Standards at all times. A Registrant will need to use their professional judgement to decide how to meet these Standards, particularly in how they translate into an organisational context. Standards which appertain to Patients will also apply, in the appropriate way, to Clients, Supervisees, Trainees, Junior Colleagues and to the Organisation itself.

For example: Professional Trustees (Standard 13) are essential in private practice but in an organisational setting this function and others may be carried out by the organisation itself.

  1. There are 14 Standards a BPC Registrant must meet at all times. The Standards are all equally important and are not listed in order of priority.
  1. BPC Registrants’ Fitness to Practise is governed by the BPC who will refer to these Standards to assess whether any action needs to be taken.

With reference to some of the Standards, the BPC may produce supplementary guidance, from time to time, where it is felt that Registrants may require additional support. Registrants are responsible for keeping abreast of and familiarising themselves with any further guidance produced by the BPC.

Associate and Senior Associate Members

  1. APPCIOS Associate Members and Senior Associate Members are not BPC Registrants but they are also governed by these standards and they are expected to follow them as a guide to correct professional behaviour.

If a complaint is made upheld about against an Associate Member or Senior Associate Member, or if unethical behaviour comes to the attention of APPCIOS, that member may be removed from the association. This is done at the sole discretion of the Chair of the APPCIOS Ethics Committee.

  1. Throughout this document, the wording:
  • “must” is used where the duty is compulsory;
  • “should” is used where there is not a compulsory duty; however best practice dictates the action detailed;.
  • “Client” has to be understood in a wider sense than a purely clinical relationship. It covers any form of professional relationship. It is used with reference to patients and clients (current or former), trainees, junior colleagues when in a supervisory relationship or supervisees. When in personal analysis or therapy, an APPCIOS member, trainee or BPC registrant is still considered a patient.

Fitness to Practise

  1. Fitness to Practise essentially means that an Associate or Registrant has the requisite skill, qualification, knowledge, experience, health, and good character to complete their job effectively and safely.
  1. Fitness to Practise may involve issues outside of the professional or clinical sphere. An Associate or BPC Registrant’s conduct outside of work may call into question his/her Fitness to Practise if they engage in conduct which is likely to undermine public confidence in APPCIOS and/or affect protection of the public.
  1. By quality assuring the Fitness to Practise of our Members, we uphold the standards of the profession, maintain the public confidence in the profession and ensure public safety.

The Standards

  1. Members must at all times act in a way that they reasonably believe to be in the best interests of their organisational clients. At all times the welfare of the client must be paramount and every care taken to ensure that the client is not exploited in any way.
  1. Members must take all reasonable steps to preserve the confidentiality of information acquired through their practice and protect the privacy of individuals and organisations

about whom information is held.

  1. Members must conduct themselves and their professional activities in such a way that does not damage the interests of their organisational clients or participants in their training.
  1. If a member is convicted of a criminal offence in any court in the UK, or elsewhere, or has any proceedings commenced against him, civil or criminal, or has proceedings commenced against him by any professional body, he must inform the Chair of the Ethics Committee of the BPC. Similarly, members  have a duty to inform the Chair of the APPCIOS Ethics Committee of such information pertaining to a fellow member.
  1. Members may not resign from APPCIOS while they are under investigation for an ethical complaint. Any such resignation will not be accepted by APPCIOS. A member under investigation must undertake not to impede the process of investigation
  1. Members have a duty to maintain a satisfactory standard of professional competence by meeting the appropriate requirements for CPD and undertaking any necessary further education or training.
  1. Members must restrict their practice within the limits of their own competence and seek professional consultation or supervision in any situation which may reach this limit. As a matter of good practice, members should exercise clinical judgement in consideringwhether to seek a medical opinion about a patient.
  1. Members must, at the beginning of treatment, make clear to the client, or whoever holds legal parental responsibility for a child in treatment, the principles and practicalities of the treatment offered and assure that as far as possible they are maintained.
  1. Members shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that those working under their direct supervision adhere to this code and do not attempt to practise beyond their competence.
  1. Members must convey the Terms and Conditions of practice at the outset of therapy, so that the patient or whoever has legal parental responsibility for a child can understand the nature of the treatment and agree to it.
  1. Members should be familiar with the Access to Health Records Act of 1991 and the Data Protection Act and their implications for practising psychotherapists. Members must refer to the BPC guidelines on Notes and Records if requests for access to notes or records occur.
  1. Members must limit their work, or refrain from practice when their physical or psychological health is seriously impaired or if in doubt about their ability to perform competently and must seek appropriate advice.  


A  concerned colleague should ask to have a confidential discussion with a member of the Ethics committee, if they are worried about a member, who may not be fit to practice. Advice about how to proceed, in order to ensure the organisational clients’/clients’ well-being should be provided by the Chair or by an other identified member of the Ethics committee.

  1. Members must carry out their duties in a professional and ethical way and maintain appropriate and professional boundaries with organisational clients at all times, so that they are not exploited in any way.
  1. Members shall, in all their professional work value integrity, impartiality and respect for organisational clients and seek to establish the highest ethical and clinical standards in their work.
  1. If advertising, members shall confine such advertising to a statement of name, relevant qualifications, address, telephone number and a brief statement of the service offered. Such statements must be descriptive and not evaluative.
  1. Members must conduct themselves in such a manner as not to bring the profession, colleagues or themselves into disrepute, and must maintain fitting levels of respect and courtesy with colleagues and members of their own and other professions and with their employer if employed and also with the public.
  1. If publishing or presenting clinical or supervisory material either orally, written or film/video form, members must make every effort to ensure the anonymity of organisational clients and where clinically appropriate seek the patient’s permission. If doing research, the nature, purpose and conditions of any research involving clinical material must be fully explained to the patient and informed consent must be obtained.  Members to whom this applies should familiarise themselves with the BPC statement on confidentiality.
  1. Members who take part in any media or other public event must exercise caution, particularly with regard to confidentiality.
  1. Where working privately all members must be covered by professional indemnity insurance.
  1. If undertaking private work, members must nominate two colleagues to hold a list of their organisational clients and supervisees in confidence, in the event of death or an inability to work.

The names of these nominees must be lodged with the constituent societies

Organisational accreditation and training

APPCIOS can accredit your training.  Whether you are an established training organisation or a new provider, we can help you write or enhance your bespoke training programmes to meet APPCIOS criteria. We would be very pleased to hear from you.

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APPCIOS events

Take a look at the webinars we offer and view upcoming events from our partner organisations.

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