Code of Professional Practice (CoPP) 

Principles and Guidelines for Student Professional Practice on programmes in the Centre for Complementary Therapies at the Cardiff School of Health Sciences, University of Wales Institute Cardiff.


The programmes in the Centre of Complementary Therapies are concerned with developing the knowledge and aptitudes required of someone working in a healthcare profession. They also provide therapy specific training, learning of higher education skills and opportunities for personal development. The Code of Professional Practice is designed to support the above professional, academic and personal focus. We do this by helping to create and maintain a healthy learning environment and by requiring conduct that fosters high standards of behaviour as expected of students intending to work with people and their health.

This page aims to:

1. Explain to applicants the specific nature of the programmes in terms of the rules, responsibilities and expectations, so that you are aware of the requirements of the programme.

2. Provide a background to ‘the Code of Professional Practice Declaration’ that you will read, consider and sign as a new student during induction week and at the beginning of every year of study. Acceptance of the Declaration and the Code is a condition of entry.

Clinical Skills Development Classes

A key feature of learning and teaching is the use of the student group and shared personal experience. This is an important consideration when making a decision to study with us. It is especially important to realise what this group work means in the practical classes.
As a student enrolling on programmes in the Centre for Complementary Therapies you should be aware that, as part of some modules, you will be required to palpate and massage and be palpated and massaged by other students and staff, both male and female. Palpation and massage involve physical touch within a medical context. Students may be required to undress partially, although they would only be required to expose appropriate sites on their body that feature as part of the learning activity.

The programmes require that all physical contact of this kind occurs in a mixed-sex class and with supervision from the module tutor. This is in order to ensure that students gain the most comprehensive practical knowledge and experience possible from these programmes. This further ensures that students are offered practical opportunities to reach professional standards of fitness to practice before they are expected to work with patients or clients.

Criminal Record, Fitness to Study & Fitness to Practice

All students on the programme will require a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and 'fitness to practice' checks as follows:

As the programme involves active study of physical therapies there may be limitations regarding your fitness to practice the therapy or even to study it. All candidates for the programme are interviewed by the programme team and if necessary a further interview can be arranged with the team and an advisor from Cardiff Metropolitan University's Disability Student Services. In most cases additional support can be arranged for disabled students.

In the final year of the programme all students are involved in running a student clinic which is open to the general public and complete a work placement. Whilst every attempt is made to ensure that students have a say in their choice of placement, because of competing demands the final decision is made by the programme team who will assess the student's suitability for the host organisation.

If you have any doubts or concerns about your suitability for the programme and subsequent professional practice you are advised to contact the Programme Director as soon as possible.

Expections of Student Behaviour in a Clinical Setting

Clinical observation and practice is a key feature of the programmes and students are expected to show ethical awareness and behave appropriately in all clinical settings when interacting with clients and fellow students and concerning issues of confidentiality. All students will receive supervision and guidance from their clinical tutor as appropriate to their level of knowledge, skills and attitudinal development.

In the spirit of equal opportunities, students will be expected to work with clients (and fellow students) in practical classes irrespective of age, body shape, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins etc.

Any student who is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, who is violent (including verbal violence) towards anyone, or who makes inappropriate advances towards a client will be excluded from the clinic setting immediately. Any such exclusion will be recorded at the time in the clinic incident book (student events) and in the student's file. In making such a judgement the clinic tutor should work in consultation with another tutor at the earliest opportunity, this other person should also sign the incident book.

Students are expected to display appropriate behaviour for professional practice at all times and maintain appropriate boundaries between the client and practitioner. Where student behaviour is deemed unsuitable and/or unsafe for professional practice due to a state of mind or health, the programme team reserve the right to refer students for Occupational Health assessment before continuation of study can be considered.

When acts of student misconduct are of a minor nature every effort will be made to resolve the issues at a local level as quickly as possible. In the event of major misconduct or persistent low level misbehaviour, the Dean of School will be informed and the alleged misconduct will be formally investigated following the procedures outlined in Cardiff Met’s Academic Handbook.

Dress Code

Part of being respectful and professional is refraining from imposing your view on others. Your personal appearance should be in keeping with these values. Furthermore, there may be health and safety considerations that work against some forms of dress. In general clothes should be clean, in good repair and maintain modesty. Each therapy has a dress code that must be adhered to. In clinical classes hair and/or head scarves need to be tied back. Faces should not be obscured so that confidence and trust can be established and observational skills learned. Personal hygiene should be maintained; fingernails to be kept well trimmed; no perfumes to be worn for clinics, placements or aromatherapy.