Duty of care, professional role for specialist populations and boundaries

Pilates Instructors have a Duty of Care (law of tort) to extend a reasonable level of care towards a client; avoid injury to that individual and their property.   Liability in a breach in Duty of Care is based upon the relationship between the parties the omission or negligent act and whether loss to the individual was reasonably foreseeable.

A  greater Duty of Care is extended to  vulnerable adults and participants undergoing special physiological lifespan processes such as ageing, pregnancy, postnatal and childhood.

An instructor is required to hold a specialist qualification before advertising or working as a special population’s instructor in a one to one setting or group practise. However, on occasion carefully screened and asymptomatic special populations may be accommodated in mainstream classes. In this instance the instructor should fully inform the client of their role and boundaries and give the participant the choice as to whether they wish to participate or seek an alternative. Insurance policies should cover be valid and cover instruction. If an instructor finds themselves frequently working with specialist populations they should gain the correct qualification as part of their CPD. Referral sources for maintaining professional boundaries can include:

• REPS Code of Ethics and Conduct

• The Pilates Instruction’s organisation Code of Ethics and Conduct

• GP

• Physiotherapist or other healthcare practitioner

Post Author: Rachel Rafiefar

Rachel Rafiefar (nee Swindle) has been teaching Pilates since 1988 having originally trained with Alan Herdman. Specialises in Pre and postnatal Pilates – postgraduate; CPD training; teaches body reading and non verbal communication for Pilates teachers, healthcare professionals and business organisations; consultancy on interviewing using non verbal communication for business. Links: The Thoughtful Body