About our charity
Possums for Mothers and Babies Ltd (PMB) is a registered health promotion charity, and trades as Possums & Co., Possums Education, Possums for Parents with Babies, The Possums Clinic, and The Possums Clinic Online.
PMB researches and educates parents, health professionals, providers and educators in the evidence-based programs known as Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC), or the Possums programs. There is no difference between NDC and the Possums programs.
The development of our research and education programs has been generously donated by Dr Pamela Douglas and others in service of the well-being of parents with infants, and comprises many years of unfunded work. We value integrity and place the best interests of families over commercial benefit. Our charity is independent and sells educational programmes (at minimal cost) in order to grow financially so that we can continue with our education and research. Dr Douglas established PMB as a charity so that no individual person made profits from our resources.
PMB is built upon the conviction that if we hold to our guiding values, our organisation will thrive, because if we hold to our guiding values, the parent and health professional community will trust us and support us.
Possums & Co. is a highly ethical, values-based organisation. We value integrity and place the best interests of families over commercial benefit. Possums & Co. is built upon the conviction that if we hold to our guiding values, our organisation will thrive ... because if we hold to our guiding values, the parent and health professional community will trust us and support us. We aim to be true to our values in every interaction we have.
Our values are:
Joy: We aim to grow joy in early life experiences of parents with babies and toddlers.
Empowerment: We aim to empower our community, whether a parent caring for a small child, a health professional offering a consultation, an educator or provider working with clients or a member of our management team developing a new idea.
Authenticity: We aim to operate with integrity, honesty and genuineness, with the aim to build trust with all who engage with Possums & Co.
Innovation: We are built on innovation. We aim to embrace evidence-based innovation in our programs and everything we do as an organisation.
Diversity: Our programs and our workplaces are committed to nurturing diversity of race and ethnic heritage, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Respect: Our programs and workplaces are committed to respectful communications at all times, and we have zero tolerance of bullying behaviours.
Integrity: We are committed to honesty and transparency in our governance processes.
Objectives of our Code of Ethics
- Gives NDC Practitioners, providers and educators guidelines on PMB ethics, professional standards and stance on various controversial matters
Guides individual NDC Practitioners or providers and educators concerning their ethical obligations to PMB
Does not replace each NDC Practitioner or providers and educator obligation to comply with the Codes of Conduct of their respective professional organisations
Protects PMB’s values, brand and intellectual property
Guides the public and consumers of services and any materials and resources published by Dr Pamela Douglas or PMB concerning ethical use of those materials
Stipulates guidelines for evaluation of the conduct of NDC Practitioners, providers and educators.
This Code of Ethics is not a substitute for requirements outlined in National Law, other relevant legislation, or professional Codes of Ethics. This Code of Ethics will be reviewed at least every two years.
Right to use of the NDC or Possums name and intellectual property in your promotional materials online, hardcopy, or through your reception staff
We acknowledge the commercial pressures faced by health care professionals, educators, and care providers, who often need to deliver their services for parents and babies as viable businesses. The NDC or Possums programs and the Possums name have significant and growing commercial and reputational value, both domestically and internationally, because our programs are authentic, clinically effective, and aligned with the latest neuroscience and other research. NDC is a movement for the common good, and we do not support efforts to use our name for any individual or business’s commercial or reputational benefit, in a way which does not give back to our charity in accordance with this Code of Ethics, or which may harm our organisation or impact negatively upon our reputation. We have an ethic of giving generously to the community for the benefit of parents and health professionals, and expect those using our name for commercial and reputational benefit to also give back to our charity.
Commercial interests which value profits before ethics are increasingly dominant, and these businesses may either fail to respect facts or manipulate and misrepresent facts. We believe that each individual’s day-by-day decisions to support ethical enterprises over enterprises which are primarily profit-driven at the expense of ethical behaviour is the only way forward to a better and more equitable future for our communities and for our planet.
If it has come to your attention that someone is violating this Code of Ethics, which governs use of the Possums or NDC name, qualifications, and materials, we request that you notify us by emailing our COO Rebecca Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promotion of your services if you are an NDC Accredited Practitioner
We expect the highest levels of integrity from those using the NDC or Possums name to promote their services. We expect that all NDC Accredited Practitioners are values-aligned, committed to our NDC movement for change in the care of parents with infants, and will adhere to this Code of Ethics. By registering for any of our health professional training options, you are agreeing to abide by this Code of Ethics.
Only individual NDC Accredited Practitioners are entitled to promote their services using the respective Possums name and NDC qualification. Only individual NDC Accredited Practitioners can use their relevant, copyrighted NDC Portal Resources, including handouts for parents. Only organisations contractually licenced to use the Possums Clinic or similar agreed name can do so in promotions. In this way, we will be able to maintain our reputation for high calibre services.
All use of Possums or NDC name to promote your services online, in publications, brochures, presentations or by your reception staff, is strictly constrained by this Code of Ethics.
PMB is committed to safeguarding the NDC or Possums intellectual property. We request that whenever you become aware that any of Possums intellectual property rights are violated by a third party, please notify COO Rebecca Daniels by email at email@example.com.
We expect that:
- You will only use the NDC resources that are available in the Accreditation Portal for education of yourself and your patients only;
- Not share the NDC resources with any other health professional, educator, provider or person who is not your client or patient;
- Not make any of the NDC resources available on the internet or social media or publish them in any format or forum.
Mandatory use of www.possumsonline.com when you promote your NDC or Possums services or education
If you are NDC Accredited and entitled to use Possums or NDC name in promotion of your service, it is mandatory to link back to possumsonline.com website prominently next to your use of this qualification. This both benefits your patients by directing them to free resources, and also supports our charity.
- If you do not wish to, or are ineligible to, formally upskill as an NDC Accredited Practitioner
We aim to promote knowledge about NDC or the Possums programs to all health professionals, educators and providers working with families and continue to make a wealth of educational and publication resource freely available. We are delighted when our programs are integrated into your services. We acknowledge that not all health professionals, providers or educators will wish to engage in formal upskilling. We request that those health professionals, providers or educators who do not wish to engage in NDC upskilling support us by ethically acknowledging our work by name when you use it with your clients, and also by directing your patients to the many free resources available on our charity’s website. We expect that use of our programs, to the extent that you’ve had exposure to them, will occur in individual and private settings only.
Using what you know of the NDC or Possums programs in your services is different to having the right to use the NDC or Possums name to promote your services commercially for patient acquisition and enhancement of your reputation. It is not ethical to take what you know of an NDC or Possums program and publicly promote your services using our name to attract patients and clients, if you are not an NDC Accredited Practitioner. Completing NDC Accreditation is a time intensive and rigorous process intended to assure high quality of clinical service delivery. It is available only to qualified health professionals who are registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency or your own country's equivalent. It is not possible to achieve this level of skill by reading freely available materials, or by participating in Introductory Workshops or in Masterclasses alone, without participating in the Accreditation pathway. The Possums name is not to be used in promotion of a health professional’s services or by your reception staff to direct patients to your services, even when you have participated in the Introductory Workshops or Masterclasses.
If you like our program and wish to use it to acquire and help clients or patients, and you are a registered health professional, we request that you participate in our NDC Accreditation. If you are not a registered health professional but would like to upskill in our programs, we'd be delighted if you'd consider participating in our NDC Program for Providers and Educators. Please email our COO Rebecca Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have concerns.
- Promotion of your services if you are a provider or educator upskilled in the NDC Program for Providers and Educators
We expect that all participants in our education opportunities are values-aligned, committed to our NDC movement for change in the care of parents with infants, and will adhere to this Code of Ethics. By registering for the NDC Program for Providers and Educators, you are agreeing to abide by our Code of Ethics.
Doulas, bodywork therapists, IBCLCs who are not otherwise qualified as registrable health professionals, breastfeeding counsellors, parent coaches, childcare workers and others who offer services for the care of new families are invited to participate in the NDC Program for Providers and Educators. Once you have completed the NDC Program for Providers and Educators, you are welcome to acknowledge your participation in your online Biography or Curriculum Vitae using the following specific words: "[Name has/I have] completed the [Year of completion] NDC Program for Providers and Educators by Possums & Co www.possumsonline.com". At this time, the NDC Program for Providers and Educators is an education opportunity which does not result in a qualification, or the rights to use a Possums identity, branding or logo in the promotion of your services, other than in the context of your biographical listing of education milestones achieved. We ask for your understanding and support. We value your services, but also believe it is important the public is not confused between the scope of practice of NDC Accredited registered health professionals, and the scope of practice of others who work with mothers and babies or parents and babies and who have completed the NDC Program for Providers and Educators.
Consequences if an individual or organisation fails to comply with this Code of Ethics
Inappropriate use of Possums name or NDC qualification in promotions, either online, hardcopy, or in response to reception inquiries
If NDC or Possums qualifications are used inappropriately or in a misleading way for your commercial or reputation benefit, without adhering to this Code of Ethics, we will send a written warning. If you do not comply with our request within a fortnight, we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to revoke your right to use the NDC Accreditation.
If an organisation has at any time in the past misrepresented its relationship with PMB, PMB will, at our sole discretion, revoke the right of any practitioner or educator within that organisation or associated with that organisation to have an NDC or Possums qualification. We will not, at our sole discretion, upskill any health professional, educator or provider who is employed by, or is an independent contractor with, or associated with the promotions of, any business run by an individual or owner who has previously misrepresented or continues to misrepresent their relationship with PMB. Similarly, at our sole discretion, we will not upskill any health professional, educator or provider who is employed by or is a contractor in an organisation in which another person (employed or contractor) has at some time misrepresented their relationship with PMB, using our brand, name or qualifications unethically.
If you wish to clarify if an organisation you are planning to join is, or has been, in violation of our Code of Ethics, we recommend that you inquire with that organisation, as an organisation is informed when we revoke the right for associated practitioners, educators or providers to be a part of our networks or education offerings. You may also inquire by email with our COO at email@example.com.
Failure to comply with mandatory promotion of www.possumsonline.com if you are using the Possums or NDC name to promote your services
If you fail to promote our website alongside your use of the NDC or Possums name in your promotions, we will give you written warning. If you fail to comply within a fortnight, we will revoke your NDC Accreditation at our sole discretion.
Failure to be content aligned in your promotions or practice
If you promote your NDC Accreditation, and your promotional materials for your services promote approaches to infantcare that are not aligned with or contradict the programs known as NDC or the Possums programs, we will issue you with a written warning. If you fail to comply to our request to remove any reference to our organisation within a fortnight, we will revoke your right to use the qualification, at our sole discretion.
- Agreement to Code of Ethics
All who register for NDC upskilling will be required to tick a box under the “Terms and Conditions” saying they have read and agree to comply with the "Code of Ethics". A link to the Code of Ethics will be available which can be downloaded
- Non-compliance process
Any non-compliance with our Code of Ethics after an initial warning letter will trigger a review. The review process will be as follows:
1. Management becomes aware of a breech or possible breach of Code of Ethics;
2. The Ethics Committee convenes, consisting of:
a. Board Member (Chair of Working Party)
b. Medical Director
c. NDC Clinical Coordinator;
3. Working party investigates breech or possible breech of Code of Ethics;
4. Working party makes its recommendations for action to the Board of Directors. Actions may include:
a. Another warning notice
b. Withdrawal of NDC Status;
5. Concerned NDC Practitioner or NDC pathway member is informed in writing by Chairperson of the Board;
6. Concerned NDC Practitioner or NDC pathway member has right of appeal. This must be done in writing to the Possums Board Chairperson within 7 days of receiving the notification from the board. The Board has the right to withdraw rights to use NDC status at its sole discretion.
7. If no appeal is lodged and the Board of Directors of Possums for Mothers and Babies Ltd decides to revoke your right to use the Possums qualification, they will give you two weeks notice (from the date of the initial letter) and it is mandatory that you:
a. Remove NDC or Possums qualification or reference from your website, all social media platforms, email signature, promotional material, information given by your reception staff, and physical signage or certificates in your practice;
8. If you do not comply, PMB will issue a public notice concerning revocation of your right to use the Possums or NDC name or qualification.
NDC: Neuroprotective Developmental Care
NDC Accreditation: Refers to the process of receiving accreditation and the Code of Ethics governing those who have successfully received NDC Accredited Practitioner status. The NDC Accreditation cycle is three years, upon which the NDC Accredited Practitioner may seek re-accreditation.
NDC Practitioner: Refers to a registered health professional who has completed the NDC Accreditation pathway. A registered health professional is defined in this document as a health professional who is registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency or its equivalent within your own country.
NDC Program for Providers and Educators: Refers to an educator or provider who has completed the appropriate qualification/s available within their own field, and who works with mothers and babies or parents and babies.
Intellectual Property: Includes all training materials and resources provided during the NDC Accreditation and NDC Program for Providers and Educators; the Possums name in various combinations e.g. Possums for Mothers and Babies, Possums & Co, Possums Education, The Possums Clinic; the Neuroprotective Developmental Care or NDC or Possums programs; the Possums Baby and Toddler Sleep Program; gestalt breastfeeding; and all other titles, names and identities associated with Possums and NDC on our website and in all materials we have generated.
NDC Resources: Refers to the PDFS, JPEGS, word documents, powerpoints, and videos that are available in the NDC Accreditation Portal Resources, and shared with me by Possums for Mothers and Babies Ltd. All resource materials available to me as part of NDC Accreditation and NDC Program providers and educators are copyrighted and belong to Possums for Mothers and Babies Ltd.