Professionalism & Code of Ethics

Each professional organisation should produce its own code of ethics based on expected standards of behaviour. These are referred to as a professional code of ethics. They are not mandatory, but help towards maintaining high standards in the industry. Any individual within the organisation should:

Always work within the law
Never treat, or claim to be able to treat a medical condition
Respect client confidentiality
Show respect for other professions (chiropodist etc)
Maintain high standards of Safety & Hygiene
Apply certain treatments only with written consent from a GP
Support and show loyalty to other professional beauty therapists
Never poach another therapist’s client
Maintain a professional manner
Respect clients modesty

Personal Appearance & Professionalism
Taking care of your personal appearance is important for presenting a professional image, and also maintains good standards of hygiene. Always ensure that your skin, hair and nails are clean at all times. Your uniform should also be clean and well presented. What you choose to wear should be functional and present a professional image of yourself. Comfortable smart shoes are recommended. Hair should always be clean, tidy and tied back when necessary.

Jewellery should be kept to a minimum to avoid it being damaged or causing harm to a client during a treatment.

Nails should be kept neat and short, particularly when offering hands on treatments such as massage or facials. Always make sure your hands are washed before and after every treatment. Remember that you are an advertisement for your business.

Personal hygiene is very important when working closely with clients. Make sure that you shower and use deodorant on a daily basis. Make sure that your posture is correct when sitting or standing to prevent muscle fatigue. Uniforms should be laundered regularly.

Always ensure that the service you offer are cost effective. Make sure that you consider all your overheads, the cost of your time, your local area and particular clientele when setting a price for your treatment. The price you charge for your treatment should cover all overheads and include reasonable profit margins, whilst also being appealing to the public.


Personal Safety
Wherever you are working, it is important to keep safe at all times. If you are travelling to appointments you should ensure that your car is in good condition, ensure that it is regularly serviced. If you have an appointment with a new client, make sure you know where you are going. Plan your journey beforehand, and if possible, try to complete a practice run at an earlier date. Being able to find an address you are looking for means that you are less likely to be late. Try to park close to your clients home, this limits the distance you need to walk alone. Try to remember not to leave valuable and equipment on show in your car. Keep your mobile phone to hand. It allows you to keep in touch with someone at home and also provides an escape if necessary for you to contact someone. You should decide if you wish to treat male clients. Lone therapists feel more comfortable working on women only, others choose to take male clients that the know. Trust your instincts and if you feel uncomfortable yourself from the situation.

Working from home
If you are working from home, make sure you can see who you are letting in. If you do not recognise the person or they do not confirm their name you should refuse entry. You should keep your treatment room separate from the rest of your home. If you imply that somebody else is home, clients are less likely to become aggressive. If you feel threatened in any way you should terminate the appointment and ask them to leave straight away. If you are in their home, you should leave immediately.

Remember if necessary to report any incidents to the police as soon as possible. Do not let personal fears hold you back from a great career. Many therapists never come across these situations, simply remember to be in your guard and avoid dangerous situations.

Dealing with clients
When dealing with clients in a salon you should always speak clearly and concisely during a treatment. This means that your client is not disadvantaged if they are from another cultural or religious background, are a different age or gender or have disabilities. After you have completed consultation you should check to make sure that your client has understood what you have said. Your body language can also be used to demonstrate your professionalism, allowing your client to feel more comfortable
when answering your questions

Insurances & Memberships
Before offering treatments to paying members of the public, you should ensure that you are fully insured. This will give you financial protection in case something goes wrong with the treatment, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. It is also advisable to become a member of a professional body such as the guild. They offer many valuable member benefits and offer a professional

Code of ethics

There are different types of insurance membership cover which therapists may require in order to carry our professional treatments. It is important to understand which type of insurance you need and this information can be obtained by talking to your insurance provider to ensure it meets your individual requirements.

-Treatment Liability
Covers you in the event of a claim being made against you by a client who you may have been injured during the course of a treatment, examples include burns, scarring etc.
-Public Liability
Covers the insured therapist in the vent of a client injuring themselves whilst in the treatment room, for example tripping or slipping.
-Product Liability
Covers you in the event of a client claiming that a product used in the treatment room or sold to her for home use has caused an injury or reaction.
-Employers Liability
If you employ staff you will need to have by law employers liability insurance. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees while they are at work, so this insurance is compulsory. Employers liability covers you against claims that may arise from employees if they are injured at work or suffer work related illnesses and found that you were liable.

-Stock & Equipment Insurance
You may also wish to ensure your equipment and professional/retail products against damage flood or theft.
If you are the owner of a high street salon you will need to seek information about additional insurances you may require.