Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct reflects the ethical principles and values of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN). The BACN mission is to inspire, support and educate nurses to achieve excellence in their practice. All Aesthetic Nurses who are members of the BACN are responsible to ensure that they are familiar with and abide by The NMC Code- Standards for Conduct, Performance and Ethics for Nurses and midwives. The BACN Code of Conduct should be seen as supplementary to and not instead of The NMC Code.
A supplementary reading list is provided to signpost the relevant legislation and Standards that form the basis of this Code. Where knowledge or understanding are lacking, please refer to this list for guidance and further information.
1. Professional Responsibility
1.1 BACN Members are responsible for providing professional services respectful of the legal and civil rights of their patients and colleagues, adhere to the NMC Standards and Guidelines and BACN professional and conduct guidelines, and safeguard the safety, dignity and rights of their patients.
1.2 A BACN Member accepts responsibility for his/her actions and omissions and complies with professional, ethical and legal standards of behaviour.
1.3 A BACN Member holds appropriate professional indemnity and public liability insurance.
1.4 A BACN Member does not criticise the work or practice of peers to patients.
1.5 A BACN Member is responsible to report any conduct by another aesthetic nurse that has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organisation, and is not appropriate for informal resolution.
1.6 A BACN Member respects contractual terms and does not induce patients by unfair or dishonest means to one practice from another.
1.7 A BACN Member respects and gives appropriate credit to colleagues in citing their work, research, or findings in publications or presentations; does not misrepresent or misquote another’s work.
2.1 BACN Members limit their practice and services to those which are in their professional competence by virtue of their education and professional experience and consistent with NMC professional codes and standards. They refer to other professionals when the clinical needs of patients exceed their level of competence.
2.2 A BACN Member refrains from initiating any cosmetic treatment if there is a risk that either circumstances or the environment will prevent the aesthetic nurse from performing his/her work-related activities in a safe, ethical and competent manner.
2.3 A BACN Member, is informed of new clinical developments related to their practice, continues to develop their professional skills, and maintain their credentials through continuing education. Members undertake a minimum of two educational days study/ events/workshops/training per year, and maintains a portfolio as required by The NMC.
2.4 Members maintain a log of procedures undertaken which may be used for audit and appraisal.
3.1 BACN Members have a primary responsibility to maintain confidentiality in accordance with legislation. Exceptions to confidentiality are only when disclosure is required by specific legal requirements, to prevent serious and imminent danger to patients or others, and to protect vulnerable persons. A cosmetic nurse maintains confidentiality, whether obtained in the course of practice, supervision or research.
3.2 A BACN Member does not exchange personal information about patients either verbally or in writing. The patient can expect absolute confidentiality.
3.3 A BACN Member obtains informed consent when sharing, releasing or publishing information that is specifically required or appropriate.
3.4 A BACN Member maintains informed consent when giving information about a patient through publications, or written or verbal presentations. Personal information must always be anonymised.
3.5 A BACN Member takes strict precautions to ensure patients’ records are stored in a secure location and ensures records and patient information are available to authorised personnel only.
3.6 A BACN Member must conduct treatments in an environment conducive to maintaining confidentiality.
4. Membership Confidentiality
(BACN website, emails, closed Facebook forum, membership only meetings)
4.1 Membership forums and discussions allow open and honest communication and as such, allow for and respect personal opinions and views. However, posts should not be inflammatory, emotive or derogatory when referring to individuals or organisations.
4.2 Members must not share the contents of BACN discussion groups outside the groups.
4.3 Members must respect the confidential nature of all communication, including emails, newsletters, text messages or phone conversations.
4.4 Members must not forward anyone else’s email, including communication from our office except when the individual concerned has given their consent.
4.5 Contacts shared for the purpose of BACN communication, must not be shared or used for other purposes, without permissions from the individuals.
5. Informed Consent
5.1 BACN Members take responsibility to meet required standards of informed consent. This includes, but is not limited to, expected outcomes, procedures and techniques, limitations, potential risks and benefits and alternative treatment options.
5.2 A BACN Member obtains informed consent of the individual prior to conducting treatments. A BACN Member uses language on the consent form that is understandable to the person(s).
5.3 A BACN Member informs the patient prior to the initiation of treatment about the purpose, goals, technique, limitations, duration, and any other pertinent information, so that the patient can make informed consent to treatment.
5.4 A BACN Member ensures the patient has sufficient time to consider the information provided for this reason should not routinely treat on the same day as assessment and consent.
5.5 If same day treatment is necessary and appropriate, reasons and considerations must be documented, following discussion with the patient.
5.6 A BACN Member gains permission from the individual to whom he/she provides treatment before recording images.
5.7 A BACN Member ensures his/her patients are informed and understand the implication of any assessment, fee arrangements, record keeping, treatment plan, and limit to confidentiality, prior to any commitment to undertake treatment.
6. Adverse Events
6.1 A BACN Member ensures competency to minimise risk, identify and either manage or refer adverse events to ensure best outcomes for the patient.
6.2 A BACN Member records and reports adverse events, as appropriate, to The MHRA and manufacturer.
6.3 A BACN Member has a written complaints policy available to patient on request.
6.4 A BACN Member must be available to manage complaints in accordance with policy. Out of hours contact details must be provided, as appropriate.
7. The Patient Journey
7.1 BACN Members have a primary responsibility to respect and promote the welfare of their patient and to avoid any situations that could impair professional judgement or increase the risk of inappropriate treatment or harm to patients.
7.2 A BACN Member refrains from treating multiple patients e.g. at parties or public exhibitions. When treating more than one patient (e.g. friends or couples who request to share consultation and or treatment appointments) is unavoidable, appropriate professional precautions are undertaken, providing privacy, dignity and confidentiality for consultation and individual assessment prior to informed consent.
7.3 Treatments will only be undertaken in a suitable/safe environment for clinical procedures, compliant with Health and Safety Legislation.
7.4 BACN Members do not provide any expectation of treatment, or require payment of fees prior to appropriate assessment and consent.
8. Responsible and Ethical advertising and Promotion
8.1 A BACN Member does not knowingly make public statements that are false, deceptive or fraudulent concerning his/her practice, or other work activities or of those persons or organisations with which he/she is affiliated,
8.2 A BACN Member does not use logos to imply credibility without permissions. The use of RCN and NMC logos are not permitted by those organisations.
8.3 A BACN Member complies with advertising standards and legislation: in particular, does not advertise prescription only medicines.
8.4 A BACN Member accurately represents his/her training, techniques and skills, and does not present information that is misleading or inaccurate.
8.5 A BACN Member uses only initials to which he/she is legally entitled, for example degree(s) from an accredited institution and/or registration or certification from professional organisations. The RCN and NMC do not permit the use of their logos.
8.6 A BACN Member does not make claims for treatments which are not evidence based.
8.7 A BACN Member shall not engage with group shopping services such as Groupon, to promote medical treatments.
9. Medicines Management
9.1 A BACN Member is familiar with and complies with medicines legislation and NMC Standards and Guidelines.
9.2 BACN members prescribing are competent and experienced in aesthetic practice with reference to the NMC prescribing competency standards and BACN Competencies for Nurses in Aesthetic Medicine to be published in 2013.
Membership with BACN assumes agreement to abide by The NMC Code and The BACN Code of Conduct .
Members found in breach of our code may have their membership suspended or cancelled in accordance with clause 3.10 of The BACN Constitution.
(an expectation members will have read and be familiar with those in red)
This list is intended to be helpful, but in no way exhaustive.
Nursing and Midwifery Council
The Code: Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics For Nurses And Midwives. (2008)
Record keeping: Guidance for nurses and midwives. (2009)
Raising and escalating concerns: Guidance for nurses and midwives. (2010)
Standards for Medicines Management (2008)
Standards of Proficiency for Nurse and Midwife Prescribers (2006)
Raising and escalating concerns: Guidance for nurses and midwives.(2010)
Complaints against nurses and midwives: Helping you support patients and the public. (2011)
Department of Health (2009) Reference Guide to Consent for Examination or Treatment.
(http://www.dh.gov.uk/prodconsum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_103653.pdf) Last accessed 10 October, 2009
A guide to mechanisms for the prescribing, supply and administration of medicines
Advertising Standards Authority Legislation and Professional Standards, (NMC, ASA, Blue GUIDE: Advertising and promotion of Medicines MHRA, Medicines Act, CAP Code 2012, section 12;12).#
NICE (2005) Risk Assessment at Work; Practical examples in the NHS
Royal College of Nursing (2007) Safe Management of Health Care Waste.
General Medical Council (2006) Good medical Practice
General Medical Council (2008) Consent: Patients and Doctors Making Decisions Together
Review date: January 2014