Code of Pole Practice and code of conduct
Based upon the Code of Fitness Professionals
© 2008. Pole Passion Ltd. All rights reserved
The Code of Pole Practice defines good practice for professionals in the pole fitness & dance industry by reflecting on the core values of rights, relationships and responsibilities. The term “professional” is used in a qualitative context in this Code and does not necessarily imply a paid position or person.
Exercise and dance professionals who assent to the Code accept their responsibility to people who participate in exercise & dance, to other fitness professionals and colleagues, to their respective fitness and dance associations, professional bodies and institutes, to their employer, and to society. Pole exercise and fitness professionals must abide by the four principles of the code which are:
1 Professional Standards
To retain a high level of competence through qualifications and continual development and learning and a commitment to ongoing training to ensure that safe and correct practice with both health and safety in mind to all the students, participants and instructors alike.
To develop a relationship with their customers, based on integrity, openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect.
3 Personal Responsibilities
To demonstrate professional decorum in decent manner not likely to offend and to demonstrate a high degree of professional personal behavior and conduct at all times, and be fair, honest and considerate to all participants and associates at all times. To promote participant’s well being and health, in and out of the lesson structure.
To promote and respect the rights, dignity and worth of every student and instructor.
The Register of all Pole Professionals is a rigorous system of self-regulation for all instructors, coaches, trainers and teachers globally who are involved in supervising people who exercise and partake of physical activity programs on and around the pole of any description. The Register has created a framework within individual instructors so they can achieve the highest standards of professionalism linked to best practice in the health & safety sector within the dance, fitness and exercise industry in relation to pole movements and techniques. The Register was formulated in 2007 by Pole Passion Ltd to continually support those professionals who demonstrate a professional yet fun approach to Pole dance and exercise.
Registration is achieved and maintained through the gaining of qualifications and training, which are nationally and internationally recognized and linked nationally to National Occupational Standards for the pole fitness industry. Membership signifies that a pole exercise professional meets the required standards of good practice, and professionals who join the register will need to:
• Have gained a recognized and approved certification or qualification
• Demonstrate leadership and competence in their working environment
• Be committed to their own (ongoing) professional development in fitness
• Hold current CPR and first aid certificates Have public liability insurance that meet the minimum requirements for registration
• Adhere to an industry accepted Code of Pole Practice approved by governing awarding body, Skills Active
In isolation, any one of these six points is of little value – but together they measure the suitability of individuals to be members of the pole dance and exercise community and members of the Register.
Any professional misconduct or avoidance of compliance with the terms of the membership of the Register will lead to the member being disqualified from the Register immediately.
This Code of Pole Practice defines what is best in good practice for the professionals in the pole industry by reflecting on the core values of rights, relationships, responsibilities and standards. The term “professional” is used in a qualitative context in this Code and does not necessarily imply a paid position or person. Pole exercise and dance professionals who assent to this Code accept their responsibility to: participate in pole exercise and dance; other fitness professionals and colleagues; their respective fitness associations, professional bodies and institutes; their employer; and society.
It is important to establish, publicize and maintain standards of ethical behavior in the pole fitness instructing practice, and to inform and protect members of the public and customers using the professional services of those individuals who have demonstrated excellent commitment and standards with regards to exercise on and around a pole.
Physical activity dance and exercise can contribute positively to the development of individuals. It is a vehicle for physical, mental, personal, social and emotional development. Such development is enhanced if the individual is guided by an informed, caring and enlightened pole fitness professional operating within an accepted ethical framework as a self-monitoring professional.
The Mission Statement of the Register of the pole professional is:
“To ensure that all pole dance and fitness professionals are exceptionally knowledgeable and informed on up to date health and safety standards for all concerned, at all times.”
The roles of the pole dance and fitness professionals are to:
• Identify and meet the needs of individuals.
• Empower individuals during every session.
• Improve confidence, by creating a safe and comfortable environment to encourage and develop individual performance and fitness levels through programs of safe, effective and fun exercise.
• Create an environment in which individuals are supported and motivated to maintain participation and improve performance or fitness.
• Conform to ethical standards in a number of areas – humanity, relationships, co-operation, integrity, advertising, confidentiality and personal and professional standards.
PRINCIPLE 1 – RIGHTS
Pole dance and exercise professionals will:
• Promote the rights of every individual to participate in pole dance and exercise, where possible and recognize that people should be treated as individuals.
• Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and their ultimate right to self-determination. Specifically, pole dance and exercise professionals must treat everyone equitably and sensitively within the context of their activity and ability – regardless of gender, age, disability, occupation, ethnic organ, color, cultural background, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or political opinion.
• Not condone or allow to go unchallenged any form of discrimination, nor publicly criticize or engage in demeaning descriptions of others.
• Be discreet in any conversations and not impart any personal information without consent.
• Recognize the right of all individuals to confer with other professionals.
PRINCIPLE 2 – RELATIONSHIPS
Pole dance and exercise professionals will:
• Develop a relationship with their customers based on openness, honesty, mutual trust and respect.
Inform participant(s) of their qualifications, experience, and Registration details and should provide the opportunity for the participant to consent or decline for training/instruction by that person and respect their opinions when making pole exercise decisions.
• Not engage in behavior that constitutes any form of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, bullying, etc).
• Not engage in behavior that constitutes any form degrading manner (touching the breast, groin or bottom area during their teachings).
• Always promote the welfare and best interests or their participants, and encourage and guide their customers to accept responsibility for their own behavior and actions in training and in their relationship with others.
• Ensure that physical contact is appropriate and necessary and is carried out within recommended guidelines and with the participant’s full consent and approval. Always ask before you touch a participant during instruction.
• Avoid sexual intimacy with clients whilst instructing, or immediately after a training session, and should arrange to transfer the client to another professional if it is clear an intimate relationship is developing.
• Take action if they have a concern about the behavior of an adult towards a child, or an adult towards another adult. Never engage in any form of sexually related contact with minors, including the use of innuendo, flirting or inappropriate gestures and terms.
• As a social obligation be extremely sensitive and cautious in the case of underage participants and always maintain that a consenting adult is present at all times during the instruction of a minor. Explain fully that it is not due to the content taught, rather as a social obligation.
Be aware of the physical needs of people, especially those still growing, and ensure that frequency, intensity, duration and type of training are appropriate.
• Discuss with parents, carers and other interested parties the potential impact of pole training programs offered to children, young adults or those with disabilities and/or impairments. Due to the sensitivity of pole dance and exercise we at present do not feel it is appropriate to teach children under the age of 16 (18 in some areas and venues) only as a social obligation rather than the content of the lessons.
• Clarify in advance with participants the number of sessions, fees (if any), method of payment and any other potential costs involved in participation.
• Communicate and co-operate with registered medical, clinical and ancillary practitioners in the diagnosis, treatment and management of participant’s medical, physical and mental problems.
• Not to work with any professional’s customer without first discussing or agreeing both with the professional and customer involved.
PRINCIPLE 3 – PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Pole dance and exercise professionals will:
• Demonstrate proper personal behavior and conduct at all times.
• Be fair, honest and considerate to all participants and others working in the pole dance and fitness industry, and to display control, respect, dignity and professionalism.
• Project an image of health, cleanliness and functional efficiency, and display high standards in use of language, manner, punctuality, preparation and presentation.
• Not smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs before or whilst instructing, or to take actions which could compromise the safety of participants.
• Not adopt practices to accelerate performance or fitness improvements which might jeopardize the safety, total well being and future participation of their customer(s).
• Pole dance and exercise professionals must never advocate or condone the use of prohibited drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.
• Ensure that the activities and training programs they advocate and direct are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the participant(s).
• Advertise their services taking respect of their qualifications, training, knowledge and ability and must be accurate and professionally restrained. They must be able to present evidence of qualifications and registration upon request and be able to support any claim associated with the promotion of their services.
• Have valid public liability insurance to cover adequately and appropriately cover their legal liability in the event of any claim being made.
• Within the limits of their control, have a responsibility to ensure as far as possible the safety of the participants and the equipment used with whom they work.
PRINCIPLE 4 – PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
Pole dance and exercise professionals will:
• Work towards attaining a high level of competence through qualifications and make a commitment to ongoing training that ensures safe and correct pole practice which will maximize benefits and minimize risks to all participants.
• Promote the execution of safe and effective pole practice and plan all sessions so that they meet the needs of participants, and are progressive and appropriate.
• Welcome and share knowledge from other professionals.
• Need to accept responsibility for their actions and recognize when it is appropriate to refer to another healthcare professional or specialist.
• Seek to achieve the highest level of qualification(s) available and maintain up-to-date knowledge of technical developments in the pole dance and fitness industry.
• Engage in self-analysis and reflection to identify professional needs, and to develop a concept of lifelong learning and personal development on and off the pole.
• Not assume responsibility for any role for which they are not qualified.
• Confine themselves to practice those activities for which their training and competence is recognized by the Register.
• Training includes the accumulation of knowledge and skills through formal education, independent research and the accumulation of relevant, verifiable pole experience. The National Occupational Standards for coaching, teaching and instructing (and/or other appropriate fitness awards) provide the framework for assessing competence at different levels of register entry. Competence should normally be verified through evidence of qualifications and practice not inferred solely from evidence of prior experience.
• Welcome evaluation of their work by colleagues and be able to account to participants, employers, trade associations, professional bodies and the Register for what they do, and why.
• Have a responsibility to themselves and their participants to maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and abilities and need to manage their lifestyle to avoid overtraining.
© 2008 - 2011. Pole Passion Ltd. All rights reserved
Adapted from Code of Fitness Professionals
All information is copyright protected and remains the intellectual property of Pole Passion Ltd. Author Kay Penney.
No part may not be disclosed, copied or distributed by any means without prior written permission of Pole Passion Ltd unless the author and source are clearly identified.