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Code of Conduct

Pilates Foundation


  1. As a company limited by guarantee the Pilates Foundation is regulated and its members are governed by the Pilates Foundation Memorandum and Articles of Association in accordance with the UK Companies Act legislation. Regulation 3.1(i) of the Memorandum states that one of the objectives of the Pilates Foundation is to establish, maintain and promulgate a Code of Practice for Pilates teachers in the UK. In the light of our continuing experience of dealing with its members, the Pilates Foundation has decided to amend its Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct as set out below.
  2. Pilates Foundation teachers should adhere to the Pilates Foundation’s Code of Ethics except and only to the extent that to do so would be inconsistent with English law. This seeks to establish and maintain high standards for Pilates Foundation teachers and to inform and protect members of the public. The Code of Ethics offers a framework of best practice to its members and is a series of guidelines rather than a series of instructions.
  3. Pilates Foundation teachers must adhere to the Pilates Foundation Code of Conduct except and only to the extent that to do so would be inconsistent with English law. A failure to do so may result in expulsion from the Pilates Foundation subject to the disciplinary procedure set out below.

1. What does it mean to be a member of the Pilates Foundation?

  1. Pilates Foundation members are registered Pilates teaching professionals with qualifications as set out by the Pilates Foundation minimum training syllabus. They hold an annually renewable certificate of accreditation.
  2. In an initial studio or 1:1 Pilates Matwork session, Pilates Foundation teachers


will normally begin by examining an appropriate client information form and will then make a physical assessment of their client. Using this information, the teacher will devise a programme of exercises in conjunction with the client in order to address their specific needs. The programme given will be regularly reviewed and adapted according to the client’s progress.

  1. In a group matwork setting, clients attend a group class in which set exercises are given (although different variations of the same exercise may be offered to accommodate different levels of ability). In this context, the Pilates Foundation teacher will verbally question clients at the start of class about any injuries and/or medical conditions, which may affect their ability to exercise safely.
  2. From time to time, it may be necessary for Pilates Foundation teachers to refer the client to or consult with a client’s physiotherapist, osteopath, and/or other healthcare professional. In such circumstances, permission is always sought from the client beforehand.
  3. It is an overriding theme of the codes of ethics and conduct that in carrying out his/her work, a Pilates Foundation teacher is expected to act competently and with integrity. Physical activity and exercise can contribute positively to the development of individuals. It is a vehicle for physical, mental, personal, social and emotional development. Such development is enhanced if the individual is guided by an informed, thinking, caring and enlightened fitness professional operating within an accepted ethical framework as a self- monitoring professional. The codes are supplemented by several other guidelines and statements on matters of ethics, conduct and good practice published by the Pilates Foundation and its delegated committees with which all members should aim to comply. These are available to members of the Pilates Foundation by writing to the Pilates Foundation administrator at Pilates Foundation, PO Box 58235, London. N1 5UY and are also displayed on the members area of the organisation’s website at
  4. If you have any queries in relation to your obligations under the Codes of Ethics and Conduct please contact the Pilates Foundation’s administrator in the first instance



  1. Each client is an individual and should be treated with respect. A client should feel confident that a Pilates Foundation teacher values both individuality and diversity.
  2. The Pilates Foundation promotes a ‘client centred approach’ with a firm focus on the needs of the client first and foremost. A Pilates Foundation teacher should remain flexible enough to meet individual needs and respect individual wishes as far as is practical and appropriate. No client should feel forced into performing exercises with which he/she is not comfortable.
  3. Every client has a right to an environment that provides opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, growth and achievement. The Pilates Foundation promotes a non-competitive atmosphere for optimal learning, which allows for growth of individual confidence and self esteem.
  4. The Pilates Foundation promotes the development of independence for its clients. They should be encouraged to accept responsibility for their own behaviour, performance and progress and to be both questioning and pro- active in the learning process.
  5. Every client has a right to a clean, appropriate environment that provides for his or her physical and personal safety. All reasonable steps should be taken by a Pilates Foundation teacher to establish such a working environment. This includes making clients aware of their personal responsibilities in terms of safety (see the Pilates Foundation Health & Safety Guidelines).
  6. In the initial studio and 1:1 matwork classes, the setting of goals and the development of an exercise programme should be done in conjunction with the client.
  7. In a group matwork setting, Pilates Foundation teachers should do their utmost to ensure clients are in an appropriate class for their ability and that the exercises given are appropriate to the level of the class as it is advertised.
  8. In the initial studio and 1:1 setting, each Pilates Foundation teacher should regularly review their client’s programme and will modify/change and advise


as appropriate. In a group’s matwork setting, every effort should be made to encourage progression.

  1. Pilates Foundation teachers should write notes and keep up to date records pertaining to any changes in medical conditions/injuries of their clients.
  2. Pilates Foundation teachers should take responsibility for setting and monitoring the boundaries between a working relationship and personal relationship with their clients.
  3. Pilates Foundation teachers should be a positive role model in terms of health, cleanliness and efficiency and should not engage in any behaviour that adversely affects other Pilates Foundation teachers or clients.
  4. Pilates Foundation teachers should present themselves professionally by:
    1. (a)  Wearing appropriate clothing in the teaching environment.
    2. (b)  Arriving punctually and observing appointment times.
    3. (c)  Preparing the classes adequately.
  5. Pilates Foundation teachers should have a procedure for dealing with complaints.


  1. Types of member:
    1. (a)  Full Members: Comprehensive Full and Matwork Full.
    2. (b)  Trainees: Comprehensive, Matwork, Studio/Bridging.
    3. (c)  Provisional Members.
  2. Membership

(a) Full members, matwork full members and Teacher Training Studios of the Pilates Foundation must hold a current (annually renewable) Pilates


Foundation certificate of accreditation and have paid their annual membership subscription fee. Trainee (comprehensive, matwork and studio) members of the Pilates Foundation must be registered on an accredited teacher training course within the Pilates Foundation.

(b) All members must adhere to the Pilates Foundation’s founding principles, which are to promote, develop and maintain the highest standards of teaching at all times. Use of our trade marks confirms to the public that the Pilates Foundation teacher has a recognised training background and assures them of the quality and excellence in the teaching standards they can expect to receive.

4. Obligations to the Public

  1. (a)  Where work is carried out on behalf of a Pilates Foundation teacher by an employee or trainee, the Pilates Foundation teacher is responsible for ensuring that such person is suitably qualified, sufficiently competent, and if necessary, is adequately supervised.
  2. (b)  Each Pilates Foundation member must hold a current individual instructors Public Liability Insurance Policy either through Balen’s block Pilates Foundation scheme or similar suitable policy which offers adequate cover for member’s full scope of practice. A copy of the certificate of insurance must be filed with the Pilates Foundation administrator at Pilates Foundation, PO Box 58235, London. N1 5UY.
  3. (c)  Each Pilates Foundation member, in accordance with the law, will obtain Employers Liability Insurance if they employ any staff. A copy of the certificate of insurance must be filed with the Pilates Foundation administrator at Pilates Foundation, PO Box 58235, London. N1 5UY.
  4. (d)  In the initial studio and 1:1 matwork setting, each Pilates Foundation member will complete an appropriate client information form for all new clients before they commence exercise.
  5. (e)  In the group matwork class setting, each Pilates Foundation member will verbally enquire about any injuries and medical conditions at the


start of class, which may affect a client’s ability to exercise safely and shall offer appropriate guidance during the class. Each Pilates Foundation member shall ensure that the activities and training programmes they advocate and direct are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the participants.

  1. (f)  Unless they are a qualified medical practitioner, a Pilates Foundation teacher must never advise on the use of medically prescribed drugs and must exercise extreme caution in giving advice in areas for which they are not professionally qualified.
  2. (g)  Pilates Foundation members will refrain from any form of racial, religious, sexual, and economic or age related discrimination whilst teaching or representing the Pilates Foundation. They will observe the law pertaining to discrimination on grounds of race, sex, marital status, religion, political opinion and disability.
  3. (h)  Pilates Foundation members will refrain from any form of sexual harassment/inappropriate behaviour whether verbal, emotional or physical whilst teaching and will exercise proper caution and care when making physical contact with a client.
  4. (i)  Pilates Foundation members will not breach the confidentiality of their client’s medical history or other personal details told in confidence. Permission must be sought before any information deemed confidential is repeated to another party or before a referral is made to another healthcare professional.
  5. (j)  With the client’s permission, Pilates Foundation members must communicate and share information with registered medical and ancillary practitioners in the management of their client’s particular needs/medical conditions and make referrals when appropriate.
  6. (k)  All Pilates Foundation members must be knowledgeable and teach within the current government legislative framework relevant to the health and safety of their clients in both the studio and matwork class context. This includes appropriate maintenance of all Pilates-related


equipment (See Guidelines for Studio and Matwork Safety) and upholding of all relevant fire regulations. All reasonable steps must be taken to establish a safe working environment.

(l) All Pilates Foundation members must update their first-aid certification every three years. A copy of an up-to-date first aid certification must be filed with the Pilates Foundation administrator at Pilates Foundation , PO Box 58235, London. N1 5UY.

(m) All Pilates Foundation members will only teach classes for which they are insured and for which they hold a recognised qualification and will not assume responsibility for a role for which they are not qualified or prepared.

5. Advertising and Charges

  1. Advertising by a Pilates Foundation teacher in respect of qualifications and services shall be accurate and professional. Advertisements should conform as appropriate to the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing, as amended from time to time.
  2. Pilates Foundation members must obtain a client’s permission before they contact them to directly market Pilates classes or any other products or services.
  3. A Pilates Foundation teacher shall not display any affiliation with an organisation that falsely implies sponsorship or accreditation by that organisation.
  4. A Pilates Foundation teacher will make charges for their services very clear and will not alter such charges without proper written notice to the client. All monies received must be carefully recorded in case of later dispute and accurate books of account maintained.

6. Conflict of Obligation

1. Where there is a conflict of obligation between the client and the Code of Conduct, the Pilates Foundation teacher must declare the nature of the conflict


to those concerned. In the last resort, the Code of Conduct must be followed even if this means terminating a working relationship.

2. In taking on a Pilates Foundation teacher as an employee, the employer must be taken to know that the Pilates Foundation teacher will be governed in his or her conduct by this Code of Conduct in addition to his/her duties as an employee. If the two sets of obligations should conflict, the Pilates Foundation teacher should in the last resort follow the Code of Conduct or resign his/her employment.

7. Obligations to the Pilates Foundation

  1. Pilates Foundation members will not sell, buy or license the name ‘Pilates’ or engage in activities, which involve selling, buying or licensing the name ‘Pilates’.
  2. Every Pilates Foundation teacher training comprehensive/matwork/studio course must deliver the minimum syllabus to its trainees as laid down by the Education Committee and must fulfil all other requirements and responsibilities as specified by the Board. (Please refer to the Pilates Foundation’s Guidelines for Accreditation of Teacher Training Studios).
  3. Pilates Foundation members must demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional development in order to retain their annual accreditation. Pilates Foundation members must fulfil the requirements set out in the Pilates Foundation CPD Scheme, or their membership will be suspended. Pilates Foundation members may ‘roll over’ their CPD points from one membership year to another and obtain, at the Foundation’s discretion, a reduction in the CPD points required for recently qualified teachers.
  4. Pilates Foundation members will not engage in any activities, which may cause embarrassment to the Pilates Foundation or bring the Pilates Foundation into disrepute. In particular and, without limitation, Pilates Foundation members shall not by act or omission:-

(a) infringe the intellectual property rights of any other Pilates Foundation member or any other third party; or


(b) attempt to solicit the clients of any other Pilates Foundation member or any other third party where such solicitation is actionable under English law.

  1. The examples set out of above of conduct which the Pilates Foundation deems to bring the Pilates Foundation into disrepute are non-exhaustive and based upon the examples of issues that the Pilates Foundation has had to deal with following complaints made against Pilates Foundation members by fellow members and members of the public. Such examples are by their very nature non-exhaustive and Pilates Foundation member’s are reminded that the Pilates Foundation will take such action as it deems appropriate under its Articles of Association to investigate complaints and bring sanctions against Pilates Foundation members where their acts or omissions in the Pilates Foundation’s reasonable opinion bring them into disrepute or represent conduct which is injurious to the character of the Pilates Foundation. Such action may be over and above any parallel action the member about whom a complaint is made may faces from private action taken by the maker of the complaint. The Pilates Foundation reserves the right to correspond and liaise with the complaining party and their professional advisers if it deems this to be appropriate.
  2. Pilates Foundation members wishing to join another Pilates organisation will be required to resign from the Pilates Foundation if there is a conflict of interest.
  3. Pilates Foundation members will treat fellow Pilates Foundation teachers with courtesy and respect and will refrain from public criticism of colleagues.
  4. Each Pilates Foundation member will notify the administrator upon personal change of address and/or contact details and will amend and update their teaching details in the Pilates Foundation listings as appropriate.


1. A member of the Pilates Foundation may be sanctioned by the Board under its Articles of Association following a complaint received by the Board about the conduct of a member from another Pilates Foundation member, by a member


of the public, a fellow member, trainee member, professional or any other individual (hereinafter referred to as a “Complaint”).

  1. The Board has a duty to investigate any Complaint. Any Complaint should in the first instance be forwarded to the Secretary of the Board. A Board member will then be appointed to be responsible for investigating the Complaint (“the Designated Board Member”). All correspondence entered into between the Board, the maker of the Complaint and the Member about whom a complaint is made is strictly private and confidential and shall only be disclosed by the Board to each parties’ professional advisers and to third parties where such disclosure is permitted by law.
  2. A letter should be sent from the Board informing the Pilates Foundation member of the Complaint against them and/or which article(s) of the Code of Conduct they are alleged to be in breach of together with a copy of the statement of Complaint (if one is available). The member will be requested to respond to the Complaint in writing within 28 days to the Designated Board Member.
  3. If the Member responds within 28 days, the Designated Board Member shall consider such response and may, if he or she deems the Complaint to be without merit or brought vexatiously or frivolously, decide that the Complaint has no substance in which case he or she shall advise the Member and maker of the Complaint of this outcome in writing giving reasons as to why the Complaint has not been further investigated on these grounds. In the case of the Member, there shall be no appeal from this decision.
  4. If the member fails to respond to the Complaint within 28 days by the Designated Board Member, the Board may, at its discretion, suspend the member’s membership to the Pilates Foundation. If the member wishes to resign his/her membership of the Pilates Foundation upon notification from the Board that a Complaint against him/her is being investigated, that resignation shall not take effect until the Complaint has been resolved by the Board.
  5. If pursuant to paragraph 7.4 above, the Designated Board Member decides that the Complaint merits further investigation and/or is not vexatious or frivolous, he or she should then investigate the circumstances and evidence relating to


the Complaint in a competent and diligent matter making such investigations and considering such evidence as the Designated Board Member deems appropriate for the level of Complaint. Having listened to and liaised with all parties concerned, he/she should then compile a report to be presented to the Board stating the facts/evidence and circumstances pertaining to the Complaint.

  1. The Board should then be convened in order to ascertain whether there is a case to answer against the member.
  2. The Board may:-
    1. (a)  decide that the Complaint has no substance in which case they shall advise the member and maker of the Complaint of this outcome in writing;
    2. (b)  decide that there is sufficient evidence of misconduct to take action against the Member who is the subject of the Complaint on the papers and the report presented to them in which case the Board shall advise the Member and maker of the Complaint of their decision in writing giving reasons as to how they reached their decision and why they have adopted the sanction they have decided upon;
    3. (c)  decide that there is sufficient evidence of serious misconduct to appoint a hearing panel to investigate the Complaint further (“the Panel”).
  3. In the case of the Member, there shall be no appeal from any decision made pursuant to paragraphs 7.8(a) or 7.8(b).
  4. If a Complaint is to be heard before the Panel:-

(a) the Board shall elect the Panel from the current Directors on the Board (or if the Board elects from the list of current Members) who shall consist of a chairman and a minimum of two others, only one of whom can be a member of the Board with each Panel to be appointed on a case-by-case basis. The chairman of the Panel should not be the Designated Board Member.


(b) the Panel shall convene to consider the evidence, to establish the facts, to read a finding into the Complaint and to impose the necessary sanctions. One of the following courses of action may then be taken on written notice to the member:

  1. (i)  a written request that the member take steps to abide by the Code of Conduct.
  2. (ii)  a written request that the Member take steps to abide by the Code of Conduct with a severe reprimand as to his/her breach of it. Evidence that the breach has been rectified may also be requested by the Panel.
  3. (iii)  a written request to the member in question to appear before the Panel at a hearing to make their case.

11. The Hearing

  1. (a)  The member shall be given 28 days notice of the hearing to take place at a venue to be notified to the member at which the Panel shall consider whether to expel the member. The member will have the opportunity to bring a representative and any other evidence pertaining to the Complaint. If the member in question fails to appear in person at the meeting, the hearing may, in the absence of a reasonable excuse being given by the member, continue in the member’s absence and a recommendation be made provided that the Panel is satisfied that sufficient notice of the meeting was given.
  2. (b)  Following the member’s appearance before the Hearing, the Panel will make a decision as to whether to recommend to the Board, that, pursuant to the Pilates Foundation. Articles of Association, the member should be expelled from the Pilates Foundation. The decision will be sent in writing to the Chairman of the Board.
  3. (c)  Written notification of the decision with the date from which it will become active shall be communicated both to the member and the maker of the Complaint. In the case of the member, there shall be no


appeal from the decision.

  1. (d)  No remaining paid annual membership fee will be refunded.
  2. (e)  The member’s details will be removed from the Pilates Foundation website and Members booklet and register at the first available opportunity.
  3. (f)  The Pilates Foundation shall not be responsible for travel or for any other expenses incurred either by the complainant, the Member or any other witness in connection with any stage of the complaint.
  4. (g)  The Member may reapply to the Board for membership after a period of 2 years has lapsed. The Board shall in their sole discretion decide whether or not to permit re-admittance for membership.
  5. (h)  Subsequent to a member’s expulsion, the insurance company will be notified.

Pilates Foundation Logo

Guidelines for Use of Pilates Foundation Trade Marks

Dated: 18 March 2008