Extract from the Ethical Framework

7. We will make each client the primary focus of our attention and our work during our sessions together.

8. Any professional or personal interests that conflict with putting a client’s interests first will be carefully considered in consultation with a supervisor, an independent experienced colleague or, when appropriate, discussed with the client affected before services are offered.

9. We will give careful consideration to how we manage situations when protecting clients or others from serious harm or when compliance with the law may require overriding a client’s explicit wishes or breaching their confidentiality – see also 10, 55 and 64.

10. In exceptional circumstances, the need to safeguard our clients or others from serious harm may require us to override our commitment to making our client’s wishes and confidentiality our primary concern. We may need to act in ways that will support any investigations or actions necessary to prevent serious harm to our clients or others. In such circumstances, we will do our best to respect the parts of our client’s wishes or confidences that do not need to be overridden in order to prevent serious harm.

11. We share a responsibility with all other members of our professions for the safety and wellbeing of all clients and their protection from exploitation or unsafe practice. We will take action to prevent harm caused by practitioners to any client – see also 24.

12. We will do everything we can to develop and protect our clients’ trust.

Video transcripts (opens in a new window)


Is the claim to ‘put clients first’ potentially misleading? Aren’t there other demands that compete with putting clients first – like making sure young people and vulnerable adults are protected from neglect and abuse?

What about the needs of practitioners? Does putting clients first lead to neglecting the legitimate needs of all of us as practitioners?