Standards of Practice
The ASHMP recognizes organizations who honor and uphold a high level of quality and ethical standards in their practice. Therefore, only those who meet these standards will be awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Holistic and Metaphysical Standards and included on our list of approved organizations.
Our Board of Directors has compiled and approved this list. If you feel that your organization and/or practice meets these standards, we encourage you to apply for ASHMP recognition.
This list applies to any school or organization offering workshops or classes.
1. Commitment to Student Support: Teachers offer support to each student during and after the class, including an ongoing willingness to answer questions promptly after the class is over.
2. Classes are Taught by an Instructor: Classes offered online (live or recorded) or in person are taught by a teacher. The teacher is available to the student during and/or afterward to offer ongoing support. Written materials are considered supplemental to actual lessons. Online classes may include video or audio, but lessons always include a teacher’s guidance.
3. Institution Integrity: Organizations may offer a certificate to students for completing a course or group of courses, but Bachelor/ Master/ PhD degrees are only awarded if an organization is accredited by The US Department of Education.
4. Transparency: All fees, methods of presenting courses, course descriptions, and teacher qualifications must be readily available on the organization’s website. Website must be kept functional, up to date, and include current contact information.
5. Records: Organizations must maintain records of students who took classes, amounts paid, and certificates awarded. Records should be retained by the organization for at least 5 years, and students who request a transcript should be able to receive such at any time.
6. Professional Employment Practices: Teachers and Staff must have an agreement or contract defining their rights and responsibilities, as well as their compensation arrangements. Employer and employees must each have copies of the contract.
Individuals in a private or group holistic practice should meet and uphold the following standards to qualify for ASHMP certification.
1. The Role of the Healer: The practitioner acknowledges that he or she is a facilitator of the client’s ability to receive healing; the practitioner is not the provider or catalyst of the healing. The practitioner always offers his or her services for the highest and best of the client, and keeps the ego out of the process. Practitioners understand that healing is not always about curing, but keeps his or her desires for the client’s outcome outside of the session. The practitioner is not in a power situation “over” the client, but instead views him or herself as a partner in healing, helping a client heal him or herself into balance without judgment.
2. Boundaries of Ethical Practice:
2a. The practitioner never diagnoses, nor advises a client to go against medical advice in any way. Practitioners do not claim to be able to “cure” any ailment. The outcome is always due to the healing processes of the client. A practitioner only serves to offer support through his or her work.
2b. Practitioners use discretion in divulging information received intuitively, never giving information that could potentially alarm a client or encourage fear. Practitioners never attempt to manipulate or control the actions or reactions of clients or any others.
2c. Practitioners do not disparage other energy workers or professionals in words or print. Disagreements or issues are handled in a private manner.
2d. Practitioners do not ask clients to disrobe, unless one is a state licensed medical professional, or a massage therapist, and this appointment is clearly defined as one which would include massage or medical treatment. Practitioners do not touch the private areas of a client’s body, nor do they cross boundaries of sexual propriety during any appointment. Practitioners offer energy to private areas (when applicable) only with a hands-off approach.
3. Professional fee policy
Practitioners should have in place a set hourly or per-session fee structure so that there is clarity between the professional and the client. Special arrangements may be made at the discretion of the practitioner when needed; however an hourly rate or per-session rate should be a standard policy.
All client information is to be deemed confidential and private unless released in writing by the client. Practitioners must not divulge confidential client information to the public (including friends, family, other practitioners, and the media). Protected information includes client name, address, telephone number, and neighborhood, or any other personally identifiable information.
4.a Practitioners may consult with other practitioners on client cases, but cannot reveal personally identifiable details without the client’s consent.
4.b Circumstances in which practitioners are required to reveal client information to the proper authorities are:
- The practitioner is directed by court order or by law to disclose.
- A client presents a serious risk of suicide or threatens to harm any person, animal, or property.
- Mandated Reporting. If a client intends or threatens to harm, molest, maltreat, neglect, or abuse a child, elder, handicapped, or vulnerable adult, practitioners are required by law to report such matters to the proper authorities. This supersedes ecclesiastical privilege. The client, parents, or legal guardians of any potential victims are not to be informed prior to notifying authorities.
5. Informed Consent and Record Keeping
5a. Practitioners must obtain a signed Informed Consent/Disclosure (disclaimer) statement from a client before any services are rendered. This statement must provide the following information to the client:
The practitioner’s training, credentials and/or certifications, scope of practice, professional fee structure, code of ethics, policies, potential benefits, expectations, and limitations of the service(s) to be performed. A medical disclaimer statement must be included if the member is not a licensed healthcare professional. Such a statement should include the following or a close facsimile thereof: “Staff members of this practice are not state licensed medical or mental healthcare professionals and do not prescribe drugs, diagnose medical/mental conditions, or provide therapeutic treatment or advice for such conditions. Nothing contained in any information provided by the staff or this practice, either verbally or in print, is intended to constitute or be construed as professional medical or psycho-therapeutic advice for diagnosis or treatment. The methods used are energy healing, spiritual counseling, general personal growth and empowerment techniques, positive suggestion, psychic readings, guided imagery, visualization, relaxation techniques, and/or non-therapeutic hypnosis (DSM-IV-TR, V68.20 Request for Expert Advice).” You may delete any cited methods which you do not use.
5b. Practitioners should explain their services and procedures to clients before services are rendered, and only offer them with the permission of the client. Services offered to minors should only be done with the permission of the parent or legal guardian.
5c. Practitioners should keep notes of a client’s session, writing it up afterward, and filing for future reference. This serves not only as a way to document progress, but also as a supportive document should there be a legal reason to provide evidence of service, or in the case of a client’s written consent for you to share information about the session with other medical professionals or holistic practitioners. Records should be kept in a safe and confidential place for at least seven years. If destroyed after that time, they should be shredded or otherwise completely disposed of to maintain confidentiality.
6. Professional Liability Insurance
Practitioners need to carry current liability insurance, in order to protect their legal interests. (Discounted insurance rates are available via this website, and proof of coverage will be required for application approval.)
7. Commitment to Growth and Learning
Practitioners are expected to maintain their own learning through courses, reading, and participating in educational events for their field.
8. Professional Appearance and Presentation
8a. Practitioners are expected to be well groomed, clean in appearance, and offer a clean, safe and positive environment to their clients.
8b. Practitioners should have a website which lists, at minimum, services offered, practitioner qualifications and bio, location, and contact information. This website should have current information and have a professional appearance and content.
9. State Laws and Professional Licenses
Practitioners must follow and conform to all local and state laws (if applicable) that govern their specific practice area. State licensed practitioners must be in good standing with their respective licensing and credential granting agencies.