Part I Interpretation

1.1 In this Code where the context so admits:

(a) 'The College' shall mean The College of Psychoanalysts - UK;
(b) 'Member' shall mean a person admitted to membership of The College;
(c) 'Patient' shall mean a person who is in psychoanalytic therapy with a member;
(d) 'Panel' shall mean the Professional Conduct Panel of The College;
(e) 'Panel member' shall mean a member of the Professional Conduct Panel including the Chair thereof;
(f) 'BoG' shall mean the Board of Governors of The College;
(g) 'Prima facie case' shall mean a case where, if the facts complained of were to be established at a subsequent hearing by the Panel, such facts would be capable of constituting a breach of the Code under the provisions of Part 2 and shall not refer to the question of whether such a complaint is likely to succeed. 

1.2 The headings and Parts of this Code of Professional Conduct are descriptive and explanatory only and do not form part of the said Code. 

Part 2 Mandatory Standards of Professional Conduct

2.1.1 A member shall owe their patient, or former patient, a duty of confidentiality. In exceptional circumstances where the analyst judges there is a real risk to the patient or others, they may choose to breach confidentiality without being in breach of this Code.

2.1.2 The use of patient material is customary in the course of psychoanalytic practice, including clinical training, supervision, teaching and clinical case discussion among colleagues. In all circumstances where a member intends to disclose material for such purposes relating to a patient or former patient that member shall take all necessary steps to ensure the identity of that patient is concealed.

2.1.3 A member shall, where required so to do by their patient, inform the patient of the exception to the duty of confidentiality specified in sub-paragraph 2.1.1 of this Part of the Code.

2.2 No member shall make false claims as to their training or skills nor use personal testimonials.

2.3 With due consideration to particular clinical circumstances, a member shall if requested disclose their qualifications to practise psychoanalysis to any prospective patient or to any person having a legitimate interest in such information and requesting the same.

2.4 A member shall at the time when any person first becomes their patient disclose if requested to such person the usual terms and conditions under which they will continue to see that person.

2.5 A member shall not behave in an unprofessional manner towards another psychoanalyst, whether or not a member, in connection with any communication with a patient, former patient or potential patient. Psychoanalysis is a questioning tradition. At all times, a member who wishes to raise a critique shall do so in a manner that is respectful of patients, former patients, trainees, colleagues (whether or not members) and the profession as a whole.

2.6 Psychoanalysis is a talking cure, and so sexual contact and physical constraint is antithetical to the practice which rests on a professional relationship between member and patient which has consequences beyond and after the termination of the analysis. Complaints which arise with respect to the breaching of this practice will be treated on case by case basis which takes into account each of the other elements of this code of practice.

2.7 Save in respect of professional fees a member shall not have any dealings with their patient which might result in any financial or other benefit to the member.

2.8 Save where restraint is necessary (in which case only the minimum amount of force necessary in the circumstances shall be used) a member shall not physically constrain a patient.

2.9 A member shall not treat nor continue to treat a patient if the member is (a) by reason of physical illness, distress or ageing incapable of exercising proper skill and judgment or (b) under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

2.10 A member shall not advertise to the public in a manner where any advertisement contains inaccurate or untruthful material or makes false claims.

2.11 A member shall maintain continuous professional indemnity insurance.

2.12 A member shall not bring into disrepute either the College or the profession of psychoanalysis.

Part 3 Functions and Powers of the Panel

1. The functions and powers of the Panel shall be:

(1) To receive all written complaints alleging any breach by a member of the mandatory standards of professional conduct set out in Part 2 of the Code.

(2) To decide whether such complaints disclose a prima facie case to answer under the provisions of Part 2 of the Code in respect of the member about whom a complaint is made (hereinafter referred to as the "Respondent").

(3) To adjudicate on such complaints as the Panel has decided constitute a prima facie case for the Respondent to answer and when appropriate to impose such disciplinary action on the Respondent and to make such directions in respect of the payment of costs (whether by the Complainant or Respondent) as may seem appropriate and are specified in Part 5 of the Code.

(4) To report and account to the BoG in accordance with the provisions of the Code.

Part 4 Procedure Where Complaint Is Made Against A Member

1. (1) For the purposes of this Part of the Code a complaint against a member alleging a breach of Part 2 of this Code may be initiated only by a patient of that member or a member of The College (hereinafter referred to as the "Complainant").

(2) Any such complaint against a member shall be made in writing and addressed to The College generally or to the President or Secretary of The College who shall without delay forward a copy of such written complaint to the Chair of the Panel and to the person about whom the complaint has been made.

(3) No such complaint may be made in respect of events which occurred more than three years prior to the complaint being received by The College.

2. (1) The Chair of the Panel shall within 14 days of the receipt of any complaint refer the same to the Panel which shall determine whether there is a prima facie case to answer in respect of the said complaint and shall immediately after such determination inform in writing the Chair of The College of such decision.

(2) Any such determination that there is a prima facie case to answer in respect of a complaint shall be either unanimous or by a majority.

3. For the purpose of carrying out its duties to determine whether any complaint discloses a prima facie case for the Respondent to answer the Panel shall:

(1) Base its determination solely on the written complaint submitted by the Complainant together with such further and better particulars as may be elicited by the Panel under the provisions of (2) of this paragraph.

(2) Have no power to interrogate or question either the Complainant or the Respondent or to otherwise investigate the nature or merits of such complaint save that where the nature of the complaint is unclear or where it is not specified which provision(s) of the Code is/are alleged to have been breached then the Panel may (in writing) request the Complainant to provide such further and better particulars of the complaint as may be sufficient to establish the nature of the complaint and/or the provision(s) of the Code alleged to have been breached.

4. If the Panel in its discretion is satisfied that the complaint discloses a prima facie case to answer it shall forthwith send written notice of its decision to the Complainant and Respondent together with copies of any documents considered by the Panel but not yet seen by the Complainant or Respondent together also with written particulars of the date time and place at which the Complainant and Respondent shall be requested to attend before the Panel such date to be not less than 21 days from the date of the notice.

5. In the event that both the Complainant and Respondent appear before the Panel in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 4 above the Panel may, in its absolute discretion, invite both parties to meet with such senior member of The College as the Panel may consider suitable, provided that such person may not be a member of the Panel or of the BoG, in order to explore the possibility of conciliation and specify a further date within 42 days when both parties shall be required to attend again before the Panel.

6. In the event that the parties shall agree to meet a person designated by the Panel for the purpose of conciliation, such person shall take no part whatsoever in the proceedings before the Panel nor have any contact whatsoever with any member of the Panel or the BoG at any time in connection with any aspect of the complaint which is before the Panel.

7. In the event of the parties agreeing to participate in any conciliation procedure as herein provided, the Panel shall when the parties again appear before it following such conciliation procedure, enquire whether any agreement has been reached between the Complainant and Respondent and shall then decide whether the complaint should proceed to adjudication. In making such decision the Panel shall whenever possible take into account any agreement that may have been reached between the Complainant and Respondent following conciliation as to whether the complaint should proceed to adjudication provided always that the Panel shall not be bound by any such agreement which it deems not to be in the public interest in which event the Panel may direct that the complaint should proceed to adjudication despite any agreement to the contrary.

8. In the event that both the Complainant and Respondent shall not appear before the Panel as requested or in the event that there is no agreement to participate in the conciliation procedure hereinbefore specified then the Panel shall on the first occasion on which the Complainant and Respondent are requested to appear before it direct that the complaint shall proceed to adjudication.

9. When the Panel decides or directs that any complaint shall proceed to adjudication it shall within three days thereof send written particulars to the Complainant and Respondent of the date time and place proposed for the adjudication such date to be within 42 days of the date on which the said written particulars are sent.

10. The Panel shall hear and determine any complaint which it has decided or directed should proceed to adjudication. Any such determination shall be by a decision of those members of the Panel who are present which is either unanimous or by a majority.

11. The Panel may hear and determine the complaint notwithstanding the failure of the Complainant or the Respondent to attend provided that if the Respondent shall have failed to attend, the Panel shall first be satisfied that they received or should have received the notice referred to in Part 4 paragraph 4 hereof.

12. The proceedings of the Panel shall in all respects accord with the principles of natural justice as recognised by English law.

13. The Panel may at any stage of the hearing appoint any person suitably qualified to advise the Panel on any matter arising and if considered necessary to attend the hearing to give such advice. The costs of such advice shall in all cases be payable by The College and shall be subject to authorisation by the BoG prior to the incurring of such costs.

14. The Complainant and the Respondent may at any stage of the hearing at their own expense (whether by themselves their lawyer or other chosen representative) make submissions, give oral evidence to the Panel, call witnesses and cross-examine the other party or their witnesses save that the Respondent shall have the right to remain silent if they so wish or are so advised. At the conclusion of the evidence the Complainant and the Respondent may make representations to the Panel.

15. Documents which are to be relied on or presented as evidence by the Complainant or Respondent should be sent to the Panel and the other party at least 14 days before the hearing. Such documents shall be formally produced by the party relying on them at the appropriate point in the hearing. The producer of such documents may be examined and cross-examined on the content and implications of such documents.

16. The burden of proof on the Complainant at the adjudication shall be that which is applicable in criminal proceedings in England and Wales namely that the complaint is established beyond all reasonable doubt.

17. The conduct of the hearing, the length of the evidence and the admissibility of evidence shall in all respects be determined by the Panel.

18. No Panel member shall sit on the Panel to deal with any complaint where there is likely to be some conflict of interest.

19. A quorum of the Panel to deal with any complaint shall consist of not less than three Panel members. In cases where there would otherwise be no quorum the Chair shall be empowered to co-opt any disinterested person who has formerly been a Panel member or has formerly been but is not currently a member of the BoG to sit on the Panel.

20. In the event that a similar complaint between the same parties relating to the same facts shall have previously been determined against a member elsewhere in any other organisation, the Complainant and Respondent shall be under a duty to inform the Panel of such outcome at the outset and the Panel shall then be entitled, in its absolute discretion, to:

(1) Refuse to continue to hear the complaint; or

(2) Continue to hear the complaint but to accept the facts complained of as already established and deal only with the question of whether or not the Respondent should be expelled as a member; or

(3) Allow the complaint to proceed to a full hearing as if the earlier complaint had not been made.

Part 5 Disciplinary Action And Appeals Procedures

1. If the Panel shall be satisfied that the complaint has been proved and that a breach of this Code has been committed by the Respondent it may take one or more of the following courses of action in respect of the Respondent:

1.1.1 Issue a written warning as to the possible consequences of future conduct in such form as it shall consider appropriate;

1.1.2 Suspend the member from membership of The College for such period as it shall consider appropriate;

1.1.3 Expel the member from membership of The College.

1.2.1 In addition to any such action the Panel shall have the power in its discretion to require that the Respondent shall pay any costs and expenses incurred by the Panel occasioned by the hearing (but not in respect of any costs arising out of the conciliation procedure set out in provisions 5 6 and 7 above) in the event of the complaint being upheld against the Respondent and to require the Complainant to pay such costs and expenses in the event of the complaint not being upheld.

1.2.2 Any person making a complaint under this Code shall be deemed thereby to have consented to the powers of the Panel to make any order as to costs and expenses under the provisions of 1.2.1 above.

1.2.3 Members shall be bound by the provisions of 1.2.1 above as a condition of their membership.

2. The Panel shall within three working days of the hearing notify the Complainant the Respondent and the BoG of the determination of the Panel and of any disciplinary action taken.

3. The Complainant or the Respondent may within 21 days of the date of such notification give written notice to the BoG of appeal against the decision of the Panel whereupon the BoG shall fix a date for the consideration of the appeal and shall notify the Complainant and the Respondent of such date.

4. An appeal against the decision of the Panel shall be possible only under the following circumstances:

(1) It is alleged that the Panel has erred in Law.

(2) It is alleged that the Panel has failed to follow the procedures laid down in this Code.

(3) It is alleged that the Panel has erred in respect of its finding as to questions of fact relating to the complaint but only in circumstances where it can be established that new evidence is available concerning those facts which it would not have been possible to present in the initial proceedings before the Panel.

(4) A course of action imposed by the Panel against the Respondent is alleged to be unfair or inappropriate.

4. The BoG shall be empowered in its discretion to set up an ad hoc Appeal Panel to determine any appeal on its behalf provided that such Appeal Panel shall comprise not less than five senior members of The College with qualifications and experience which are deemed suitable for the purpose for which those persons are appointed to the Appeal Panel.

5. At the hearing of the appeal the Complainant and the Respondent may make oral or written representations in person or through their representative to the BoG or Appeal Panel in support of their appeal. The BoG or Appeal Panel shall review a summary of the evidence presented at the hearing before the Panel and such further evidence which had not been presented at that hearing and which the BoG or Appeal Panel in its sole discretion considers to be relevant to the appeal.

6. The BoG or Appeal Panel on its behalf may (a) allow the appeal and quash the decision or the disciplinary action taken by the Panel or (b) substitute for the disciplinary action imposed by the Panel some alternative course of action specified in paragraph 1 of this part of the Code.


All content © 2009 - 2017 The College of Psychoanalysts - UK
a company limited by guarantee No. 4684476 (England & Wales)