Why do we need Standards of Practice?

Why do we need Standards of Practice?

Standards of Practice provide a framework of principles that describes the knowledge, skills and abilities inherent in the services provided by the person certified at that Standard. They serve as guide for self-evaluation and for the determine of education and skills needed to advance an individual’s level of practice. Although not regulations, the Standards may be used by regulatory agencies to determine competency.

Standards of Practice describe the competent level of technical training and procedures in each phase of the training and practice development of a service provider in the Wellness industry. They reflect a desired and achievable level of performance against which an individual’s actual performance can be compared. The main purpose of professional standards is to direct and maintain safe and clinically competent Bioenergetic practice. These standards are important to our professional development as they provide an evaluation tool for you and your clients to ensure clinical proficiency and safety. These standards encourage us to persistently enhance our knowledge base through experience, continuing education, and the latest guidelines within each discipline. We must continue to ensure that we, and our peers in the Wellness industry provide clinical practice that meets or exceeds established standards to maintain the trust and respect of our clients and the community.

What is the difference between Licensed or Regulated practices and a voluntary professional organization with a Standard of Practice?

Think of it as a bulls-eye. In the middle is the licensed health practitioner. For a licensed health profession, which in Canada means part of the official health care system, like a licensed nurse or doctor, their ability to work is controlled by maintaining the license required by the government. Outside of that are the Regulated professions such as Massage Therapists, physio therapists, dietitians, and any profession that has Registered as part of the name. These are ones that the government has set standards for and has provided a provincial college that will oversee them. So the Registered Kinesiologists in ON are not licensed but they are Registered. They have a governing board with a scope of practice and a set of standards that the government has approved and given them the right to control. Out side of that are the unlicensed, unregistered and unregulated health care sector that work in a private practice.

In the past the unregulated sector did whatever they wanted and there were no restrictions, scope of practice or standards set. This covers everything from aromatherapy to reflexology, energy workers, angel card readers as well as psychics and anyone else that practices “energy work”. Over the years as the wellness sector has developed, numerous groups have tried to get some level of governmental recognition and regulation. Others felt regulation was unwanted and would limit their freedom.

As the political and social climate has changed, not having a developed set of standards and scope of practice has allowed other organizations to dominate the industry and many healthcare options are being marginalized. The medical industry and other regulated groups have claimed ownership of words and practices which is preventing unregistered groups from using them.

Since the government has not made it possible for us to gain official recognition, then we as Wellness specialists must self-regulate. It is interesting to note that all of the groups who are now regulated, started with a self-regulated college or association that set standards and held their members accountable. When they had proven their profession, had the research behind their practices to validate their results and were large enough to function at a provincial level, then they were able to get the recognition needed to protect their area of practice. In order for us to be a large enough to warrant government attention and gain this sort of recognition, we must work together with other like-minded groups (as seen in CanBeWell). We must agree to standards, set the scope of practice and get professional level training if we are to be seen as true professionals in our field.

To do this we require a Professional Association. The Canadian Association of BioEnergetic Wellness has stepped up and is providing that role for the organization and its members who work in the area of BioEnergetic Wellness. If we want to be recognized as providing at least a better or equivalent services to a client, as say a massage therapist or a sports therapist, or a community or religious counsellor, then we must have at least as much if not more training in a broad range of subjects that support what we do. If we do not want to be squeezed off the map entirely, we have to start working within a framework that is recognized by the government and the general society.

Another significant reason to have Standards of Practice under a professional organization is that if we want liability insurance for our businesses, the insurance companies require a Standard of Practice and an organization that oversees what the individual groups are doing. This is a role that CanBeWell has provided for us.

CanBeWell sets the standards for all Bioenergetic groups within Canada. Each group submits their program and CanBeWell evaluates and if accepted, approves their scope of practice and training as meeting the established Standards. These are then enforced, and members can only gain CanBeWell’s approval to qualify for insurance if they meet the actual standards.

CanBeWell has spent many months researching and balancing the requirements of all the other countries that have similar work and standards and have set the Standards of Practice for Canada. These Standards are in line with the internationally accepted standards for Bioenergetic wellness organizations. We are actually the last of the major English-speaking countries to have voluntary standards. The UK and Germany (much of the EU) have registered standards. The US has had a professional organization and has had voluntary standards for many years. We are now in league with the other countries and will build our Association to be the recognized standard for BioEnergetic Wellness in Canada

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