AMAPP CODE OF CONDUCT
Australian Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Practitioners
Date of Creation: 19.02.2023
Date Edited: 18.03.2023
Glossary of Terms
AMAPP: Australian Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Practitioners
(Members) Collaboration: The process of working with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients.
Confidentiality: The protection of sensitive information and medical records of patients. Professional development: The ongoing process of education, training, and skill development to enhance the knowledge and performance of healthcare professionals.
Cultural sensitivity: The awareness and understanding of different cultures, beliefs, and practices to provide respectful and appropriate care to patients from diverse backgrounds.
Duty of care: The ethical obligation for healthcare professionals to provide a reasonable standard of care to their patients.
Integrity: The adherence to ethical principles, honesty, and a commitment to the highest standards of professionalism in healthcare.
Multidisciplinary: Refers to the integration of multiple healthcare disciplines to provide comprehensive care to patients.
Safety protocols: Standard procedures and guidelines for the safety of patients and healthcare professionals.
Professionalism: The conduct, behaviour, and attitude of a healthcare professional when interacting with patients, colleagues, and the wider community.
Professional communication: The timely exchange of information between healthcare professionals in a respectful, effective, and appropriate manner.
The Australian Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Practitioners (AMAPP) recognises the importance of establishing a code of conduct for its members. This code of conduct is designed to provide guidance to our members and promote ethical and responsible practices in all areas of their work.
AMAPP welcomes a diverse membership, including but not limited to psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, doctors, paramedics, researchers, harm reduction specialists, community organisers, ethnobotanists, pharmaceutical scientists and other professionals involved in psychedelic-assisted therapies.
As a member of AMAPP, it is your responsibility to uphold the highest standards of ethical and responsible practice in your work. By agreeing to abide by this code of conduct, you are making a commitment to the organisation and to the patients and communities you serve.
The following code of conduct outlines the values and principles that are essential to the work we do. All members of AMAPP are expected to adhere to this code of conduct in their professional conduct and interactions with others.
By joining AMAPP, members agree to abide by the following code of conduct:
AMAPP Members agree that they will always conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism. They will maintain ethical, respectful, and transparent relationships with their AMAPP colleagues, peers, clients, and the wider community and:
a) AMAPP members must practice in accordance with the ethical and professional standards of their respective disciplines. This includes adhering to the codes of conduct and ethics established by professional associations and regulatory bodies, such as the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Psychological Society, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
b) AMAPP members must maintain appropriate boundaries with their clients. This includes avoiding conflicts of interest, maintaining confidentiality, and ensuring that the therapeutic relationship always remains professional.
c) AMAPP members must maintain their own physical and mental health in order to provide safe and effective care to their clients. This includes seeking appropriate medical and psychological treatment as necessary and avoiding practices that may impair their ability to provide safe and effective care. AMAPP members involved in direct clinical care must cease their clinical practice if they are impaired.
d) AMAPP members must engage in ongoing professional development and education in order to maintain their knowledge and skills in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapies. This may include attending conferences and workshops, reading relevant literature, and seeking out suitably qualified consultation and supervision from experienced practitioners; and
e) AMAPP members must maintain accurate and complete records of their interactions with clients, including assessments, treatment plans, progress notes, and other relevant documentation. This documentation should be kept in a secure and confidential manner in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements.
2. Informed Consent
Members of AMAPP agree to always ensure that clients have given fully informed consent to participate in psychedelic-assisted therapies, including the risks and benefits of such treatments. They will also ensure that clients understand the nature of the treatment and the procedures involved, and:
a) AMAPP members must obtain informed consent from clients prior to providing each psychedelic dosing session. Informed consent means that clients have been provided with all relevant information necessary to make an informed decision about participating in the treatment, including risks, benefits, and alternatives.
b) AMAPP members must ensure that clients have the capacity to provide informed consent. This means that clients must be capable of understanding the information being provided and making a voluntary decision to participate in the treatment.
c) AMAPP members must ensure that the informed consent process is ongoing throughout the course of treatment. Clients should be provided with updated information as necessary and be given the opportunity to ask questions and make decisions about their treatment.
d) AMAPP members, where possible, must document the informed consent process in the client's medical record. This documentation should include a description of the information provided to the client, witnesses to the consent process, the client's decision to participate in the treatment, and any questions or concerns raised by the client; and
e) AMAPP members must always ensure that the informed consent process includes information about the use of controlled substances in psychedelic-assisted therapies. This should include information about the nature of the substance being used, the potential risks and benefits, and any legal or regulatory requirements that apply.
3. Client Safety
Members of AMAPP agree that they will always prioritise the safety and well-being of their clients. They will have appropriate training, education, and experience in the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies, including knowledge of contraindications and appropriate dosages:
a) AMAPP members must have appropriate training, education, and experience in the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies. This includes knowledge of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of the substances being used, as well as knowledge of contraindications, adverse effects, and appropriate dosages.
b) AMAPP members must conduct a comprehensive assessment of the client's medical, psychiatric and developmental history prior to administering psychedelic-assisted therapies. This assessment should include a review of the client's current medications, substance use, and any relevant medical or psychiatric conditions.
c) AMAPP members must ensure that clients are medically stable and free from contraindications prior to administering psychedelic-assisted therapies. This may involve obtaining medical clearance from the client's primary care physician or consulting with other healthcare professionals as necessary.
d) AMAPP members must ensure clients are adequately prepared for the psychedelic experience. This may involve providing education about the nature of the treatment, setting expectations for the experience, and providing strategies for coping with challenging emotions or sensations.
e) AMAPP members must ensure clients are physically and emotionally safe during the psychedelic experience. This may involve providing appropriate support and supervision, monitoring vital signs, and intervening as necessary to ensure the client's safety.
f) AMAPP members must have appropriate emergency procedures in place in case of adverse events or medical emergencies during psychedelic-assisted therapies. This may involve having access to appropriate medications, on-call medical doctor, equipment and having a plan for transport to a medical facility if necessary; and
g) AMAPP members must not engage in inappropriate conduct with clients, including but not limited to sexual or physical intimacy. This is a critical component of ethical practice in any healthcare or therapeutic setting and is essential to maintain the safety and well-being of clients.
Members of AMAPP agree to maintain strict confidentiality regarding all client information, unless required to disclose such information by law or in case of imminent harm to the client or others and:
a) AMAPP members must maintain the confidentiality of their clients' personal and medical information, in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements. This includes not disclosing client information to third parties without the client's consent unless required by law or in the event of a medical emergency.
b) AMAPP members must ensure that all client information is stored securely and in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements. This may involve using secure electronic record-keeping systems or physical files that are stored in a locked cabinet.
c) AMAPP members must inform clients about the limits of confidentiality at the beginning of the therapeutic relationship, including any circumstances under which confidentiality may need to be breached. This may include situations in which the client poses a risk to themselves or others, or situations in which there is a legal obligation to disclose information.
d) AMAPP members must obtain informed consent from clients prior to disclosing any client information to third parties. This may involve obtaining written consent, or verbal consent in situations where written consent is not possible; and
e) AMAPP members must ensure that any third parties who are involved in the client's care, such as other healthcare professionals or support workers, are aware of the confidentiality requirements and are bound by the same obligations of confidentiality.
5. Professional Development
Members of AMAPP will maintain their professional knowledge and skills in accordance with the latest research and clinical practices. They will participate in continuing education, training, and supervision to ensure they provide the highest quality care to their clients and:
a) AMAPP members must seek out professional development opportunities from reputable sources, such as professional associations, educational institutions, and accredited training programs. This may involve consulting with colleagues or seeking out recommendations from trusted sources.
b) AMAPP members must ensure that their professional development activities are relevant to their area of practice and aligned with their professional goals. This may involve identifying areas of weakness or gaps in knowledge and seeking out training or education in those areas.
d) AMAPP members must comply with any regulatory or accreditation requirements related to professional development, such as the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements set forth by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
Members of AMAPP will maintain the highest standards of integrity and honesty in their professional and personal conduct. They will avoid conflicts of interest or any appearance of impropriety and:
a) AMAPP members must maintain high standards of professional integrity at all times. This includes behaving in a professional and ethical manner, treating clients with respect and dignity, and ensuring that their actions are consistent with their professional responsibilities.
b) AMAPP members must avoid engaging in any behaviour that could be perceived as a conflict of interest or that could compromise their professional objectivity. This may include avoiding financial or personal relationships with clients that could interfere with their ability to provide unbiased care.
c) AMAPP members must be transparent and honest in their communications with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. This includes disclosing any conflicts of interest or other relevant information that may impact the provision of care.
d) AMAPP members must comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to their practice, including those related to professional conduct and ethics; and
7. Cultural Competence
Members of AMAPP agree to maintain cultural competence and sensitivity in their practice, recognising and respecting the diversity of their clients' backgrounds, experiences, and values and:
a) AMAPP members must demonstrate cultural sensitivity and respect towards cultures including but not limited to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members in their practice. This includes being aware of and respecting the cultural practices, beliefs, and values of these communities.
b) AMAPP members must acknowledge the impacts of historical trauma and colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and work to address the ongoing health inequalities and disparities that exist in these communities.
c) AMAPP members must collaborate with community members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, including Elders, community leaders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners to provide culturally safe and appropriate care.
d) AMAPP members must be aware of and comply with any relevant cultural protocols or practices of various cultural groups including but not limited to when providing care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members; and
e) AMAPP members must seek out cultural competency training and professional development opportunities to enhance their understanding of the cultural needs and practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.
8. Respectful Communication
Members of AMAPP will always communicate in a respectful and professional manner. They will use appropriate language and avoid discrimination or stigmatisation of any kind and:
a) AMAPP members must communicate with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders in a respectful, professional, and appropriate manner. This includes using appropriate language and tone of voice, avoiding derogatory or discriminatory language, and demonstrating empathy and understanding towards clients and colleagues.
b) AMAPP members must use clear and concise language when communicating with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. This includes providing information in a way that is easily understood by the recipient, using plain language where possible, and avoiding the use of jargon or technical terms that may not be understood.
c) AMAPP members must communicate in a timely manner, responding promptly to clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. This includes acknowledging and responding to messages or inquiries in a timely manner, keeping clients informed of any changes or updates related to their care, and respecting clients' preferences for communication methods.
d) AMAPP members must listen actively and attentively to clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. This includes demonstrating empathy and understanding, seeking to understand their perspectives and concerns, and responding appropriately to their needs and preferences; and
e) AMAPP members shall always communicate in a respectful and professional manner, refraining from engaging in any form of discrimination, harassment, bullying, slander, defamation, or making false or accusatory remarks about others, whether in person, in writing, or through electronic means such as social media. Members should always aim to maintain a respectful and constructive dialogue, even when disagreements or conflicts arise. Any breaches of this clause may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Code of Conduct.
9. Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Members of AMAPP will comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing their practice, including but not limited to those related to licensing, registration, and the use of controlled substances. AMAPP members must be aware of their legal obligations to ensure that they provide safe and appropriate care to their patients and:
a) AMAPP members must comply with all relevant legislation and regulatory requirements relating to their practice, including but not limited to, health and safety, privacy, and confidentiality;
b) AMAPP members must comply with all applicable state and territory laws, regulations and reporting requirements, where members practice or intend to practice, and must be aware of the applicable state and territory reporting requirements which may differ between jurisdictions;
c) AMAPP members must ensure that they are appropriately licensed and registered to practice in their respective discipline in the state or territory where they provide care;
d) AMAPP members must maintain accurate and complete medical records for each patient, in accordance with legal and professional standards;
e) AMAPP members must comply with all mandatory reporting requirements, such as but not limited to the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect;
f) AMAPP members must comply with all legal requirements regarding the use, storage, and disposal of controlled substances, including but not limited to, requirements relating to record keeping, security, and reporting; and
g) AMAPP members must not engage in any illegal conduct as per their state and territory laws and regulations or provide prohibited substances or clinical care outside of lawful prescription, practice and regulated healthcare pathways. If members are found to have breached their local laws, and practice guidelines, they will face immediate termination of AMAPP membership and will have no avenue of review.
10. Compliance with Professional Standards and Regulations
Members of AMAPP regardless of their profession or accreditation must follow the ethical and professional standards established by their professional bodies, as well as any applicable laws and regulations and:
a) AMAPP members shall practice within the limits of their professional competence and scope of practice;
b) AMAPP members who are not registered with a professional board or regulatory body shall be held to the same standards and ethical principles as those who are registered with a professional board or regulatory body;
c) AMAPP members shall be responsible for ensuring that they are meeting the code of conduct for their profession or jurisdiction, even if they are unregistered;
d) AMAPP members who do not comply with the requirements of their respective registered body (AHPRA, AMA etc.) for mandatory reporting of misconduct, or where there is no registered body governing that member, may be subject to misconduct review by AMAPP and may have their AMAPP membership revoked upon review; and
e) AMAPP members shall not engage in any activity or behaviour that would discredit their profession or bring the AMAPP into disrepute.
11. Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Communication
Members of AMAPP agree to collaborate and communicate with other healthcare professionals in the provision of care to clients. They will respect the expertise and contributions of all team members and work together to provide the best possible care for clients.
a. AMAPP members must communicate effectively and professionally with other healthcare professionals involved in the care of their clients.
b. AMAPP members must disclose any conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest that may arise when working with other healthcare professionals.
c. AMAPP members must comply with any relevant policies or procedures for interdisciplinary communication or collaboration that are in place in their workplace; and
d. AMAPP members must report any breaches of the code of conduct by other healthcare professionals to the appropriate authority in a timely and appropriate manner.
a tiered warning system may be implemented based on the severity of the breach of the code of conduct. This warning system can be outlined as follows:
Assessment of misconduct will be conducted by the AMAPP Compliance Officer(s) and if warranted, advance the misconduct to review by the Misconduct Review Panel (MRP). The MRP will review the misconduct allegation and make the recommendation of either a Stage 1, 2, 3 or 4 determination.
Stage 1: Verbal Warning - A verbal warning will be issued to the AMAPP member outlining the breach and expectations moving forward.
Stage 2: Written Warning - If the behaviour continues, a written warning will be issued to the AMAPP member outlining the breach and expectations moving forward.
Stage 3: Suspension - If the AMAPP member continues to breach the code of conduct, a suspension from the organisation will be issued for a specific period of time. During this time, the AMAPP member will not be able to participate in any activities or events organised by the organisation and their name will be removed from the database of credentialed members for the duration.
Stage 4: Termination - If the AMAPP member continues to breach the code of conduct, the member's membership with the organisation will be terminated without review.
By following these guidelines, AMAPP members can ensure they are providing the best possible care to their patients and working effectively with other healthcare professionals.