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BDA Code of Ethics and Conduct for Accreditation

This Code is intended to provide a framework which covers the behaviours of all those who have a professional accreditation and/or professional membership of the BDA. This Code is written with particular relevance to the work of specialist teachers and specialist teacher assessors and is expected to be followed when undertaking any professional work on behalf of the BDA.

1. Purpose

This Code sets out the principles, values and behaviour required to ensure professionalism, respect of others, integrity, competence and responsibility for own behaviour. It recognises that ethics relates to the control of power which can be misused and that this is critical as much of the BDA's work involves influencing, advice and support with others who may not hold as much authority or power. It is essential that trust is gained, the more vulnerable are protected and no abuse of power is permitted. Dyslexia is also an area within which there continues to be many deeply held opinions and convictions. The Code aims to ensure that the professional activities and statements of those recognised as competent by the BDA have due regard to, and are open about, such differences when dealing with clients.

2. Behaviours

To comply with this Code, individuals offering professional services to clients, individuals, groups or organisations should:

a. Maintain and develop their current knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes through both formal and informal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and submit a CPD Log to the BDA on a 3-yearly basis. It is expected that individuals will take on board feedback and ensure their subsequent CPD applications address this.

b. Ensure that any teaching, assessment, support or advice offered to clients is within their professional competence. Assessors and teachers should only assess and teach/tutor individuals who fall into the age range in which they have gained their qualification.

c. Should the needs of a client fall outside this competence or, through circumstances, they are unable to continue to fulfil those needs, make their best efforts to find an alternative source for the client.

d. Be honest and communicate clearly to potential clients the limits of their ability and/or the availability of resources. Ensure that any advice given, or methods used are impartial and not guided by financial or sectional interest.

e. Ensure that the client is always in the central position and their interests are prioritised. This particularly involves respecting the cultural differences between people, including (but not exclusively) those involving age, disability, education, ethnicity, gender, language, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital or family status and socio-economic status.

f. In all the above; deploy their best efforts to ensure that the client has understood the implications of any procedure and that they have given their informed consent to it and may withdraw such consent at any time.

g. Behave ethically and responsibly in creating contractual or other relationships with others by clearly defining terms, responsibilities and any remuneration where contracts are being agreed and declaring any personal or vested interest they may hold.

h. Ensure effective management of activities carried out, including appropriate controls and balances. Be responsible for the quality of activity they perform and the activities of those to whom they may have subcontracted. Only subcontract activity with prior consent from the client.

3. Professional Integrity

a. Maintain appropriate professional relationships with clients. Should there be any danger of a difficult or inappropriate relationship developing transfer the client to an alternative source of support informing the client clearly of the reasons for doing so.

b. Withdraw or refuse any assignments that may be compromised by any financial or business relationship, insurmountable personal bias or interest or offered inducement that may compromise objectivity of judgement or conclusions.

c. At the start of an assignment inform clients and/or their carers of their rights of appeal and/or complaint to the BDA and/or their employers and the procedures by which such representations can be made.

d. Ensure you hold professional indemnity insurance and an Enhanced DBS. If teaching/assessing within your own home, you would also need public liability insurance.

e. Raise any safeguarding concerns with the appropriate authorities.

f. Avoid any action which might compromise your integrity and/or bring discredit on the profession.

updated March 2022