Professional and Ethical Framework for Wedding Doula UK and EIRE
The overall aim of this policy document is to ensure the work of Wedding Doulas is safe, effective and ethical, operating in line with professional regulatory bodies where possible. In order to achieve this, the following document draws from the HCPC and BPS professional and ethical guidelines where possible.
1. Definitions and Boundaries
1.1. The work of a Wedding Doula is applied when contracted by Clients (Bride and/or Groom)
1.2. The Wedding Doula will provide appropriate and evidence based practical, emotional and psychological support to the Clients, when they are contracted to in the pre-wedding period, including any post-wedding support if necessary and where agreed
1.3. Given the potential complexity of this work, only experienced and qualified practitioners will complete Wedding Doula work
1.4. All practitioners will seek regular supervision from objective and qualified professionals to ensure their work remains safe, effective and ethical
1.5. The tasks that can be undertaken are (this is not an exhaustive list and should be reviewed regularly):
1.5.1. Working with clients to complete the Workbook
1.5.2. Working with clients to support their use of the Toolbox
1.5.3. Interviewing and Assessing clients to provide a bespoke intervention plan
1.5.4. Offering structured and evidence based coaching sessions to clients, either face-to-face, on the phone or online
1.5.5. Referring clients to more specialist practitioners when necessary
1.5.6. Completing post-wedding debriefs and review sessions
1.5.7. Engaging in audit and research of past portfolio in order to review and develop practice.
1.6. We do NOT provide
1.6.1. Wedding planning duties (taking responsibility for the style and design of the wedding details)
1.6.2. Personal therapy
1.6.3. Doula support for any other aspect of life apart from weddings, but will endeavour to refer clients on if this need arises.
2. Ethical Principles
2.1. Given the unique and novel setting of Wedding Doula practice, there is a requirement for careful ethical consideration of the practice itself
2.2. The Wedding Doula will always promote the duty of care to towards their client and endeavour to do no harm
2.3. The Wedding Doula will avoid any practices that are unfair or prejudiced
2.4. They will demonstrate self-awareness and explain the bases for their decision making.
3.1. Respect is a fundamental value underpinning the Wedding Doula work, both from the philosophical framework and the practical application of work.
3.2. Wedding Doulas will endeavour to value the dignity and worth of all persons, with sensitivity and respect to privacy and self-determination
3.3. The individual, cultural and role-based differences will be respected, including but not limited to the protected characteristics outlined in The Equality Act 2010.
4. Record Keeping
4.1. All client information will be kept in a secure and confidential storage, using the appropriate password protection and encryption where necessary
4.2. In line with the GDPR Legislation of 2018 and the Data Protection Act of 2018, the Wedding Doula will ensure that the level of information stored and shared is adequate, relevant and not excessive, adhering to data protection legislation.
5.1. All work carried out by a Wedding Doula will be covered by the Client giving their informed consent
5.2. The limits of consent and confidentiality will be clarified in the task, role, boundaries and limits of the Wedding Doula contract
5.3. Throughout the work together, the Wedding Doula will endeavour to support the self-determination of their client
5.4. The Wedding Doula will only ever provide coaching and advice, and will never tell the client what to do, or take responsibility for the client’s actions
5.5. The client will retain the right to withdraw at any time from the Wedding Doula contract and the cost implications of this will be made clear at the contract signing stage.
6.1. Wedding Doulas and Practitioner Psychologists, Supervisors and Lawyers (and any other professional involved in Wedding Doula Ltd.) will demonstrate the range of competencies outlined in their job descriptions and in accordance with their regulatory bodies
6.2. Wedding Doula practitioners will have regular opportunities to engage in individual, peer or group supervision
6.3. Wedding Doula practitioners will remain committed to delivering high standards of competence and endorse the importance of preserving their ability to function
6.4. Wedding Doula practitioners will engage in regular and appropriate continual professional development (CPD)
7.1. Wedding Doulas will retain a comprehensive awareness of professional ethics and keep themselves familiar with relevant codes of conduct and ethical guidelines
7.2. Wedding Doulas will recognise the limits of their competence and practice within the boundaries of their competence
7.3. If there are any safeguarding issues (where there is a risk or harm to or from a client), the appropriate professional bodies will be notified immediately and the circumstances and outcomes will be fully documented.
8.1. Wedding Doulas will commit to practicing with the highest levels of honesty, accuracy, clarity and fairness
8.2. Practitioners will remain aware of the problems that may arise from dual or multiple relationships (i.e. family and friends of clients) and maintain the boundaries and limits of their intervention
8.3. Wedding Doulas will maintain the secrecy and confidentiality of their client information at all time
8.4. They will be aware of any conflicts of interest and manage these accordingly
8.5. Wedding Doulas will maintain personal boundaries at all times and refrain from any personal relationships with their clients or anyone in a relationship of trust.