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  1. Help to grow your business by providing an easy search tool for local practitioners on ACAT website.
  2. Facilitating and promoting the exchange of skills, information, and knowledge, by networking with other members through access to members only forum and newsletters.
  3. Increase visibility through social media (Twitter and Facebook).
  4. Supporting members in important areas such as Continuous Professional Development (CPD), and professional guidance in order to foster good practice.
  5. Providing some financial benefits such as discounts for some CPD events and practitioner insurance.
  6. Serve as a platform to collectively monitor developments that affect the complementary animal health sector.
  7. Strengthening the message, and defending the interests of members, by providing a collective voice which is more likely to be heard and acknowledged as legitimate by others, particularly government, decision makers and policy makers.
  8. Raising and maintaining the profile and legitimacy of the complementary animal health sector.
  9. Helping members, member's clients, and the complementary animal health sector at large by identifying and fostering best practices.
  10. Helping to convene the complementary animal health sector.
So why not join us?

Scroll down or click here to find out about Membership Categories and how to register. Painted horse
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Membership Categories

Currently there are four categories of membership for the ACAT: Dog with ball
  • Massage Full Practitioner Member - £60
    Access to members only area.
    Massage 'Locate practitioner' website listing, including contact details and free advertising on website.
    Members only discussion forum.
    Email newsletters.
    Must provide evidence of current insurance.
    Non ICAT qualified practitioners required to provide evidence of qualification.
    See full list of Benefits.
    For the online facility for massage practitioner applications click here.

  • Non Massage Complementary and Alternative Affiliated Practitioner - £60
    This is a new category of membership to acknowledge the increase of alternative and complementary practices and practitioners.
    Must provide evidence of qualification and current insurance.
    Access to members only area.
    'Locate practitioner' website listings according to specific therapy offered, including contact details and free advertising on website.
    Members only discussion forum.
    Email newsletter.
    See full list of Benefits.
    For the online facility for non-massage practitioner applications click here.

  • Student Member - £12
    Registered on a course recognized by ACAT.
    Access to members only area.
    'Locate practitioner' website listing as 'trainee seeking case study experience prior to qualification'.
    Student representatives available to provide a point of contact for support, and to encourage and facilitate student discussions, debate and networking.
    Email newsletter.
    For the online facility for student applications click here.

  • Friend of ACAT - £10
    Interested in supporting ACAT and its aims but not studying or practicing as an animal therapist.
    May advertise on website but a reduced charge will be payable.
    Receive email newsletter.
    For the online facility for Friend applications click here.
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Code of Ethics

Equine leg stretch The ACAT Code of Ethics has been drawn up to provide a set framework of standards which must be met by ACAT members and practitioners.

This ensures that clients, patients, other professionals and the general public can trust that ACAT members/practitioners have a duty to place the wellbeing of the patient as their first priority and respect all human and animal life.

ACAT members must:
  • Respect the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 1962 and work within the confines of the Law and make clients aware of these requirements
  • Treat every patient professionally with care and consideration
  • Respect confidential information and abide by the Data Protection Act
  • Agree to act honourably towards clients and other practitioners
  • Recognise the limits of their professional competence and refer on when appropriate
  • Refrain from criticising the work of fellow practitioners
  • Ensure the profession is represented with honesty and integrity - recognise that you are an ambassador of the ACAT
  • Never make a diagnosis unless qualified to do so
  • Work with other professionals in ways that are best suited for the benefit of the patient
  • Always conduct a full consultation and maintain accurate records
  • Explain the chosen course of treatment and expected outcomes in a clear and precise manner ensuring the client fully understands
  • Never imply or make any guarantees as to the outcome of a course of treatment
  • Respect the client's right to ask for a second opinion
  • Present a professional appearance and manner at all times
  • Ensure that relevant malpractice and public liability insurance cover is taken out in order to protect both themselves and their clients/patients and members of the public
  • Continue with their professional development and be aware of new developments and skills
Canine massage

Code Of Practice

This offers general advice and guidance on the presentation of animal massage therapy and the ways to make or receive referrals from other professionals and practitioners.

Equine muscle location 3.1 ACAT members must explain that it is the duty of the client to gain prior veterinary approval before any treatment may commence with the patient. No treatment will be carried out without prior veterinary authorization.
3.2 Members must never make a diagnosis unless qualified to do so, nor contradict any diagnostic opinion given by a veterinary surgeon.
3.3 Members will strictly uphold their professional conduct and not seek to attract another professional's referral to be their own client/patient.
3.4 Members must maintain an awareness of notifiable diseases and the current legislation procedures as stated by DEFRA.
3.5 The nature and content of the treatment, time and frequency of visits and any costs involved must be fully understood by the client before treatment commences.
3.6 Members must conduct their practices with the utmost professionalism, paying attention to the health, safety and welfare of both their client and patient at all times. Members must never undertake treatments beyond their professional training and not covered by relevant insurance.
3.7 A risk assessment of the treatment area must be carried out on each visit. Any potential hazards must first be removed before treatment commences.
3.8 Hygienic practices must be observed before and after handling animals
3.9 Subject to paragraph 3.3 above, members must make sure the client fully understands contra actions to massage and any appropriate aftercare advice including referrals to other professionals.
3.10 Members will conduct a full consultation prior to commencing any treatment and maintain accurate records detailing each visit, treatment and aftercare advice given, in accordance with current data protection legislation. This information will be kept in a secure place and remain confidential. No details will be passed on unless with the clients prior consent or where required to do so by a Court of Law or if the duty presents to report abuse.
3.11 Members who provide any voluntary treatments free of charge must be aware that they are still required to operate within the ACAT's Code of Ethics and Practice.
3.12 Members must make sure the client understands that they will be required to stay to assist the member with the patient throughout the treatment session and that a restraint collar will be provided by the client.
3.13 Members must pay due regard to Health and Safety at all times and never place themselves in a compromised position during a treatment.
3.14 Members may advertise a practice or service, but must exercise care that nothing is said or implied that would discredit animal massage therapists or other healthcare professionals.
3.15 Members may add the letters ACAT after their name followed by the division to which they belong (Equine, Canine).
3.16 Members must exercise care when making public statements and should not present any information that purports to represent the views of the ACAT without obtaining prior written consent. The ACAT reserves the right to examine any material before giving such consent.
3.17 Members are obliged to undertake to continue their professional development on a regular basis. This should include on-going training, keeping up to date with current legislation, research and development.
3.18 Members are required to notify the ACAT and their insurer immediately if they suspect or receive any complaints or criminal convictions against them in the pursuance of their practice.
3.19 The Disciplinary Committee for the Association of Complementary Animal Therapies will be convened to investigate complaints.
3.20 The Disciplinary Committee shall be aware that it has a duty to sit in a judicial capacity to decide cases in which it is alleged that a member has been guilty of unprofessional conduct.
3.21 The Disciplinary Committee will determine the competence or suitability of the member to continue to practice. The member's name may be removed from the ACAT register if the Committee considers he/she unfit to remain in registration.
Equine neck massage

Complaints Procedure

  1. When a formal complaint is received by the ACAT the Chairperson will respond in writing to that person within five working days. This response will set out the details of the complaint and the procedure for the disciplinary hearing which will take place within ten weeks of the receipt of the original complaint.
  2. The defendant will be asked to submit a written response to the Chairperson's notification within ten working days of the receipt of the letter. The defendant will be invited to attend the hearing and bring a friend with them. The plaintiff will also be invited to attend the disciplinary hearing with a friend
  3. Both the defendant and the plaintiff will be informed of the names and status of the disciplinary committee.
  4. Within five working days of receipt of the defendants response, both parties, their friends and members of the disciplinary committee will be sent all the documentation relating to the complaint.
  5. There is a mandatory requirement that no contact is made between the parties of the complaint themselves, nor with the members of the disciplinary committee.
  6. The Chairperson will notify the outcome of the disciplinary committee hearing to both parties in writing within ten working days of the hearing.
  7. There shall be a right of appeal and an appeals process for a second disciplinary hearing. After a second disciplinary committee outcome there shall be no further right of appeal.
  8. Results of any disciplinary committee hearing shall be published on the ACAT website.
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