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Fitness Australia releases new industry code of ethics

Fitness Australia releases new industry code of ethics
June 10, 2020

Fitness Australia has released its new Code of Ethical Conduct providing members with comprehensive guidance on expected standards of industry behaviour.

Releasing the document, Fitness Australia explains on its website that the updated Code of Ethical Conduct “better demonstrates our commitment to best practice and working with clients, with a larger section on both of these areas of service delivery.”

Explaining the background to the development of the code of ethics, the peak body advises “the new decade has commenced with a tumultuous start to say the least (and) the health and fitness industry has been shaken to its core.

“But rather than fall apart, we have come together as a sector and made positive changes to better serve our community … demonstrating our shared values and commitment to excellence more than ever.”

With Fitness Australia having embarked upon a project to update its former Code of Ethics for Exercise Professionals at the beginning of this year, it explains that “this new document represents not just the conduct by which we as an industry agree to act, but the standards and values we chose to hold up for our communities.”

The updating included the review of international fitness industry codes along with Australian health, allied health and education codes with the first draft of the new Code of Ethical Conduct created in consultation with the Australian Fitness Industry Standards Council (AFISC) and the fitness industry - businesses and professionals - who reviewed and made significant alterations to the existing Code of Ethics.

Development saw the draft Code was disseminated to industry (to businesses and AusREPs via email and promoted on social media for feedback throughout February and March 2020 resulting in a number of adjustments.

These recommendations were addressed and again presented to the AFISC on 9th April.

With the Code approved in principle by AFISC, final legal advice from partners Meridian Lawyers enabled its publication.

Commenting on elements of the new code, Fitness Australia advised “we have added some expectations around providing a culturally safe and inclusive practice, highlighting our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the health and fitness community.

“In recognition of the collaborative nature of the health and fitness profession, which we’ve seen front and centre as together we have faced down and overcome a global pandemic, we have (also) brought mentoring and supervision into the Code to benefit the future generations of exercise professionals.

“Additionally, AFISC and the Board has approved a Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure in relation to the new Code of Ethical Conduct. Credible Codes require structured complaints handling and disciplinary procedures to ensure there is accountability for the industry.

“The Procedure outlines the steps involved with a complaint (and any disciplinary process required) that may be associated with the Code of Ethical Conduct.

“By having a formal structured process and the support of an independent party for any necessary disciplinary action associated with complaints received by Fitness Australia, we are able to give members confidence that this Code of Ethical Conduct is a standard we intend to uphold across the industry.

Click here to download and view the Code of Ethical Conduct.

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