CODE OF ETHICS

Cheetahfit Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics Consists of the following:


Trainers, Strength Coaches, Life Coaches, Group Exercise Instructors, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Stretching Therapists and any other type of trainer or therapist including administrative personnel or employee shall be referred to as “Practitioner(s)” throughout the ethics charter.  

Ethical Principles

Integrity
We do what's right. Integrity is the impartial and honest standard by which we make decisions and take actions, large and small, every day. In our business, integrity is mandatory, not optional. Integrity is further defined by the act of following through with a task long after the initial commitment is made. For example, we will continue to provide our clients with 100% effort on all levels, every single session for as many years as the client/practitioner relationship lasts.    
Practitioners will represent themselves in an honest and fair manner, being cognizant of their particular competencies and limitations.

Practitioners strive to be aware of their own belief systems, values, needs, and limitations and the effect of these on their work. To the extent feasible, they attempt to clarify for relevant parties the roles they are performing and to function appropriately in accordance with those roles.

Client-First
We succeed when clients succeed. We put our clients first, no matter what job we hold, no matter whether we work alone or as part of a team. A client is anyone, even a coworker, to whom we have a responsibility to help succeed.

Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity
We treat people with dignity and consideration. We are diverse as people and professionals, yet our success depends on our mutual trust and teamwork. Diversity builds strength in our team. We are strongest when we are respected by our colleagues and encouraged to contribute to our highest capabilities.

Respect for the individual is a cornerstone of professional relationship.

In work-related activities, we respect the rights of others to hold values, attitudes, and opinions that differ from our own.

Practitioners will uphold client information as private, and treat clients with dignity and respect being aware of cultural differences, and the client's right to autonomy, privacy, and confidentiality in both personal and professional matters.

Practitioners will accord appropriate respect to the fundamental rights, dignity, and worth of all people. They respect the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, self-determination, and autonomy, mindful that legal and other obligations may lead to inconsistency and conflict with the exercise of these rights. 

We are always aware of cultural, individual, and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, body type, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status.

Practitioners try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.

Excellence
We insist on quality. Even as we challenge each other to the highest level of achievement and quality, we also understand that growth is born from risk and self-honesty. We accept everyday that our knowledge is always going to be limited and capable of evolution as that is the nature of knowledge. We work diligently to assess our weaknesses and overcome them by continually seeking more advanced information.  

Competence 
Practitioners will not knowingly lay claim to a level of competence not possessed, and will at all times exercise competence at least to the level claimed.

Practitioners provide services only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, or appropriate professional experience. They should only accept work, as they believe they are competent to perform.

Maintaining Expertise
Practitioners maintain a reasonable level of awareness of current best business practices and professional information in their fields of activity, and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence in the skills they use.

Practitioners keep themselves informed of new technologies, practices, legal requirements and standards as are relevant to their profession.

Professional Responsibility
Practitioners will uphold standards of ethical conduct that reflect well on the individual as well as the profession at large.

Introduction

Practitioners work in a variety of specializations in order to help their clients. Trainers and Therapists are specifically trained in their field through certification programs, schools or mentors, and use/incorporate their individual life experience in their practice.

They may use an array of titles. Although each practitioner measures their progress differently, achievement is always measured by the progress made by practitioners’ clients. Due to the personal nature of most health and wellness improvement relationships, this Ethics Code provides the framework and values upon which professional practitioners base their practice.

The purposes of this Code are threefold. First, it provides the broad principles and values to which practitioners subscribe. These include confidentiality and the utmost concern for the welfare and success of the client. Secondly, it provides rules for use in many of the specific situations that a practitioner might encounter. Finally, this Code is meant to serve as a building block for ethical and moral standards. While each individual agrees to follow this Code, they are encouraged to supplement and add to it in order to build a lifelong commitment to building an ethical workplace and profession.

1. General Standards

1.01 Applicability of the Ethics Code.
(a) Any code may be considered as a normalization of experience into a set of rules. A code is adopted by a community because its members accept that adherence to such rules, including the restrictions this implies, is of benefit to all, inside and outside the community alike.

(b) This code of ethics is directed to all professional contractors, practitioners, licensors and associates in the health, wellness & fitness industries. It consists, essentially, of a series of statements that prescribe minimum standards of practice, to be observed. The code is intended to be observed in the spirit and not merely the word.

(c) The activity of a practitioner subject to the Ethics Code may be reviewed under these Ethical Standards only if the activity is part of his or her work-related functions.

1.02 Relationship of Ethics and Law of The Country.
(a) Although the Law of the country in which the practitioner practices will take precedent over the Ethical Standards, practitioners will, at a minimum, strive to adhere to the code of ethics.

(b) A practitioner should not engage in any illegal activities, including, but not limited to, copyright, intellectual property rights, or patent violations.


1.03 Professional Relationship.
(a) Practitioners provide their services only in the context of the professional standards.

(b) Trust and responsibility are at the heart of our professions. It is expected that practitioners will always act with integrity towards their clients, their peers, and themselves.

1.04 Competence In Practice.
(a) A practitioner will not knowingly lay claim to a level of competence not possessed, and will at all times exercise competence at least to the level claimed.

(b) Practitioners provide services only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, or appropriate professional experience. Practitioners should only accept work as they believe they are competent to perform.

1.05 Maintaining Expertise.
(a) Practitioners maintain a reasonable level of awareness of current best business practices and professional information in their fields of activity, and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence in the skills they use.

(b) Practitioners keep themselves informed of new technologies, practices, legal requirements and standards as are relevant to their profession.

1.06 Outputs of Services.
(a) When practitioners provide coaching services, (inclusive of any assessments utilized), to an individual, a group, or an organization, they use language that is reasonably understandable to the recipient of those services.

(b) If practitioners will be precluded by law or by any other means from providing such information to particular individuals or groups, they so inform those individuals or groups at the outset of the service.

1.07 Respecting Others.
(a) Respect for the individual is a cornerstone of professional relationship.

(b) In their work-related activities, practitioners respect the rights of others to hold values, attitudes, and opinions that differ from their own.

1.08 Unfair Discrimination.
In their work-related activities, practitioners do not engage in unfair discrimination based on any basis whatsoever.

 1.09 Harassment.
(a) Practitioners do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work.

(b) Sexual harassment is sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature. Practitioners ensure that their behavior is at all times appropriate and can in no way be described as harassment in any form.

1.10 Personal Problems and Conflicts.
(a) Practitioners recognize that they too may experience personal problems that may exert an adverse effect upon the client relationship. Accordingly practitioners inform clients of any such problems, and together appropriate action is taken.

(b) In addition, practitioners have an obligation to be alert to signs of, and to obtain assistance for, their personal problems at an early stage, in order to prevent impaired practitioner performance.

(c) When practitioners become aware of personal problems that may interfere with their performing practitioner-related duties adequately, they take appropriate measures, such as obtaining professional consultation or assistance, and determine whether they should limit, suspend, or terminate their current activity.
1.11 Making Progress.
Practitioners take reasonable steps to ensure that the client progresses, and in cases where there is no progress, strive to minimize any harm to their client both physical and psychological.

1.12 Misuse of Influence.
Because practitioners’ professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence.

1.13 Misuse of Practitioners’ Work.
(a) Practitioners do not participate in activities in which it appears likely that others will misuse their skills or assessments.

(b) If practitioners learn of misuse or misrepresentation of their work, they take reasonable steps to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation.

1.14 Conflict of Interest.
(a) Whenever feasible, a practitioner refrains from taking on professional obligations when preexisting relationships would create a risk of conflict of interest.

(b) If a practitioner finds that, due to unforeseen factors, a potential conflict of interest relationship has arisen, the practitioner attempts to resolve it with due regard for the best interests of the affected person and compliance with the Ethics Code.

1.15 Referrals.
(a) When indicated and if professionally appropriate, practitioners may cooperate with other professionals in order to serve their client effectively and appropriately.

(b) When a practitioner receives a referral, they will respect and value the relationship immediately at the outset by gaining all relevant information from the referred party and integrating them into their practice at the earliest possible time. Further, the practitioner will communicate booking progress to the referrer until the new client is established. From there, the practitioner will engage in the consistent exchange of all appropriate information, if previously agreed upon and appropriate, including SOAP Notes, assessments, and progress reports. 

1.16 Third-party Requests for Services.
(a) When a practitioner agrees to provide services to a person or entity at the request of a third party, the practitioner clarifies to the extent feasible, at the outset of the service, the nature of the relationship with each party. This clarification includes the role of the practitioner (such as consultant), the probable uses of the services provided or the information obtained, and the fact that there may be limits to confidentiality.

(b) If there is a foreseeable risk of the practitioner’s being called upon to perform conflicting roles because of the involvement of a third party, the practitioner clarifies the nature and direction of his or her responsibilities, keeps all parties appropriately informed as matters develop, and resolves the situation in accordance with this Ethics Code.

1.17 Records and Information Management.
(a) Practitioners create, maintain, disseminate, store, retain, and dispose of records and data relating to their practice, and other work in accordance with the law of the country in which they practice, and in a manner that permits compliance with the requirements of this Ethics Code.

(b) Practitioners are recommended to appropriately document their work in order to facilitate provision of services later by them or by other professionals, to ensure accountability, and to meet other legal requirements of their Country.

1.18 Fees and Financial Arrangements.
(a) As early as is feasible in a professional relationship, the practitioner and the client, or other appropriate recipient of practitioner services reach an agreement specifying the compensation and the billing arrangements.

(b) Practitioners do not exploit recipients of services or payers with respect to fees, nor do practitioners misrepresent their fees.

(c) If limitations to services can be anticipated because of limitations in financing, this is discussed with the client, or other appropriate recipient of services as early as is feasible.

(d) If the client, or other recipient of services does not pay for services as agreed, and if the practitioner wishes to use collection agencies or legal measures to collect the fees, the practitioner first informs the person that such measures will be taken and provides that person an opportunity to make prompt payment.

1.19 Accuracy in Reports to Payers.
In their reports to payers for services, practitioners accurately and clearly state the nature of the service provided, the fees and/or all other charges.

1.20 Referral Fees.
When a practitioner pays, receives payment from, or divides fees with another professional other than in an employer - employee relationship, the payment to each is based on the services (referral, consultative, administrative, or other) provided, and is agreed in writing prior to commencement of engagement.

2. Advertising/Public Statements

2.01 Definition
Advertising / Public Statements refer to any written documents or verbal statements that a practitioner makes publicly available (such as a brochure, article, speech, or professional resume) relating to practices.

2.02 Statements by Others.
Practitioners understand that others may engage in making public statements for them, whether specifically asked to do so or not. Practitioners will make their best effort to ensure that any such public statements are true and not misleading. They will also ensure that any such representative of their message is specifically qualified to present the information and professionally address any concerns raised by the audience. 

2.03 Avoidance of False Statements.
Practitioners agree not to make any public statements that are false, under any circumstance. Examples of such statements include a practitioners’ training or experience, the fees they charge, information about nutrition, supplements or the efficacy of modalities.

3. Client Practitoner Relationship

3.01 Structuring the Relationship.
(a) Practitioners will explain their fee structure prior to the first paid session with a client.

(b) Practitioners agree to bring up and discuss important topics as early as possible in the client relationship. An example of such a topic is confidentiality (See also standard 4.01, Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality.)

(c) Practitioners agree to refer clients to other professionals when relevant. Practitioners also will refer a client to a counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist as soon as possible if they see or hear a problem that may necessitate mental health treatment.

(d) Practitioners make an effort to answer clients' questions and address their concerns about the practice as promptly as possible. When available, a practitioner will provide written information to address specific concerns about the practice.

3.02 Interruption of Services.
(a) Practitioners will make reasonable efforts to make other arrangements for any interruption of services. For longer-term interruptions (longer than one month), the practitioner is encouraged to refer clients to other practitioners until they are able to resume.

3.03 Terminating the Client Relationship.
Practitioners agree to terminate a client relationship when it becomes clear that the client is no longer gaining benefit (or is being harmed) from the relationship. In terminating the relationship, practitioners will suggest alternatives or provide referrals to coaches or other professional services when appropriate.

4. Privacy and Confidentiality

These Standards are applicable to the professional activities of all practitioners. 

4.01 Discussing Confidentiality and the Limitations Thereof.
(a) Practitioners respect the client’s right to privacy. They do not solicit private information from the client unless it is essential in the provision of services, or the implementation of research. The standards of confidentiality apply once disclosure occurs.

(b) The discussion of confidentiality occurs at the beginning of the professional relationship, unless it is contraindicated or infeasible, and from then on as necessary.

(c) Practitioners discuss the nature of confidentiality and its limitations with clients and other interested parties. Practitioners examine situations in which confidential information may be requested or disclosed.

(d) All information obtained in the course of the professional service is confidential unless there is a compelling professional reason for its disclosure. Practitioners will disclose confidential information without a specific release if it is necessary to prevent foreseeable imminent harm to the client or another. In all circumstances, practitioners will be judicious in the amount of information that is disclosed.

4.02 Maintaining Confidentiality.
(a) Practitioners are fundamentally prudent in the protection of the confidentiality rights of those with whom they work or consult. Practitioners acknowledge that professional relationships, institutional regulations, and/or the law may establish confidentiality.

(b) Practitioners will not discuss confidential information in any setting unless privacy can be assured.

(c) Practitioners discuss confidential information only for appropriate professional, consultative, or scientific purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with such matters.

(d) In their dealings with the public and media (including professional presentations, and writing) practitioners will be careful to guard the confidentiality of their clients. Moreover, practitioners will disguise confidential information so that clients are not individually identifiable. Practitioners will only disclose confidential information if the client or legally authorized individual has given express written consent.

(e) In a consultative capacity, practitioners do not share confidential information that could lead to the identification of a client with whom they have a confidential relationship. Practitioners may only share this information if they have obtained the prior consent of the client, or if the disclosure cannot be avoided. Furthermore, practitioners share information only to the extent necessary to achieve the purposes of the consultation.

(f) Practitioners take logical precautions to protect client confidentiality in the event of the practitioner’s cessation of practice, incapacitation, or death.

(g) Practitioners protect the confidentiality of their deceased clients in accordance with this Ethics Code.

4.03 Records and Information Management.
(a) Practitioners maintain confidentiality when creating, storing, accessing, transferring, and disposing of records under their authority in accordance with this Ethics Code and laws of their country.

(b) Practitioners take precautions to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of information communicated through the use of telephone, voice mail, computers, email, instant messaging, facsimile machines, and other information technology sources.

(c) Practitioners take practical and lawful steps to assure that records remain available in order to serve the best interests of clients.

4.04 Disclosures.
(a) Unless prohibited by law, practitioners will only disclose confidential information if the client, or person legally authorized to consent on behalf of the client, has given express written consent.

(b) Practitioners may disclose confidential information without the consent of the client only as mandated or permitted by law.

(c) When possible, practitioners inform clients about the disclosure of confidential information and possible ramifications before the disclosure is made.

(d) Practitioners will only disclose confidential information to third party payers with the appropriate written consent.

(e) Practitioners must disclose certain confidential information as required by law or if the confidential information may put the client or others at risk of harm or compromise their well being.

5. Continuing Education

5.01 Training Practitioners.
(a) Practitioners who train other practitioners do their best to ensure that their training programs are well thought-out, and will provide the trainee the material that they are seeking.

5.02 Descriptions of Programs.
Practitioners that train other practitioners shall not mislead others about the training they offer, the basis of the information or their own experience and history with the information at hand.

5.03 Ethics during Training Programs.
Practitioners that train other practitioners will ensure that they are made aware of this ethics code, when applicable, and will abide by it during the training process.

Practitioners will be fair in their pricing of all education segments and provide acceptable remedies for dissatisfied attendees.  

5.04 Limitation on Training.
Practitioners agree to see their own limitations in training other practitioners, and in such instances when they don’t feel adequately experienced to train another practitioner in a specific area or technique, they will refer the trainee to another practitioner or training program.  

Practitioners will never pass along information that requires prior consent or licensing from the originator unless they have attained all necessary approvals in the appropriate form.   

6. Research

6.01 Planning Research.
(a) Those practitioners that conduct research will design and conduct the research within recognized scientific standards.

(b) Practitioner research will be planned to minimize the possibility of misleading results from the collected data.

(c) Practitioners that conduct research have the competency to do so, or have other scientific professionals with competency overseeing the research.

(d) Research will be conducted in compliance with all laws of the country in which research is carried out.

6.02 Conducting Research
(a) Approval or consent from research participants or hosting organizations shall be gained, unless (b) below holds true.

(b) Approval or consent from research participants or hosting organizations is not required only in special cases, such as research with anonymous questionnaires or naturalistic observations.

(c) Participants will be informed about the research and its anticipated use(s), in language that is understandable to the general public.

(d) Where applicable, research participants shall be suitably protected from adverse consequences of participating in the research, including (but not limited to) potential consequences of withdrawing from the research.

(e) If inducements are offered to research participants, such inducements shall not be excessive or inappropriate.

6.03 Reporting of Research Results.
When the results of research are made available, practitioners will not falsify or fabricate the results. Further, if significant errors in the research are found in the future, appropriate attempts will be made to correct the prior results.
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