NATAB Policy Development 2014

Welcome to the NATAB Policy Development web page.

In addition to NATAB’s ongoing work to review applications for Assistant Trainers, Trainer Candidates, Trainers, and training programs, we have also been working on policy development in a number of areas. 

On this web page, we will outline key policy change initiatives we are working on, and provide updates on those projects from time to time. You will also find links to key documents that have been generated to support specific policy initiatives. 

1. Streamlining the Pathway to Assistant Trainer, and from Assistant Trainer to Trainer

Over the years, one of the most frequently mentioned interests for policy change has been to streamline and update the pathway to becoming an Assistant Trainer, and from there to becoming a Trainer.

We identified this topic as a priority for NATAB attention, in January 2013. Since February 2013, NATAB has been talking and working with the other two international Training Accreditation Boards (TABs) - AusTAB and EuroTAB - to prepare the ground for this work.

The pathway currently in place was largely designed almost 30 years ago. Things are considerably different now. Trainings are generally much smaller, so the opportunities to be an assistant trainer who teaches in trainings are considerably more limited. The Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education is taught in many more countries. The community has grown to the point where not “everybody knows everybody else” any more. More guilds are forming with the potential that more TABs may form as well. A range of options are available through which people can learn some of the skills and competencies related to being a Trainer. Trainer competencies were developed and adopted six years ago, and there is still considerable room to grow and improve on how we do and use competency assessment.

It is time to look at what suits our profession now, and what is realistic and practical within our current environment. 

During the spring of 2013, NATAB reviewed and compiled a summary document of work done in the international Feldenkrais® community on this topic over the past decade.  This summary can be found by clicking here

In April 2013, NATAB established a “Streamlining Committee” to oversee this work with people familiar with the TABs, comprised of Stephanie Spink (Australia), Ned Dwelle (Germany), Olena Nitefor (Canada), Kathy James (USA), and Alan Questel, Nancy Forst Williamson, and Violet van Hees of NATAB.

Five specific questions about how to improve and streamline the current pathway to Trainer were asked in a June/July 2013 letter from Alan Questel on behalf of the NATAB Streamlining Committee.  The letter was emailed to the entire FGNA membership and to Trainers and Assistant Trainers around the world.  The responses have been compiled, and you can see them by clicking here.

A second letter, with a different kind of question, was sent out in mid-September 2013, again asking for people’s input, with a response deadline of October 31, 2013. Once again, the responses received have been compiled, and you can see them by clicking here

All of these responses and the gathered historical information are helping to inform the Streamlining Committee as it now (in early 2014) considers the many factors involved and generates its ideas and recommendations. From there, NATAB will work with the other two TABs to develop a proposal for a more streamlined pathway to Trainer, for the three Governing Bodies of the TABs to approve.

2. Change in FGNA Code of Professional Conduct, to clarify how it is interpreted to apply to Trainers and other staff working in Feldenkrais Professional Training Programs:

In September 2013, NATAB proposed to the FGNA Board of Directors some wording additions to the existing FGNA Code of Professional Conduct. The changes make it clear how the Code is understood to apply to staff working at trainings, including Trainers and Assistant Trainers. 

The proposal built on work initially begun by the NATAB in 2001. The FGNA Board approved the changes in the fall, and the new wording is now in effect. 

The additional wording, shown underlined in the text below, updates our code of conduct to be more congruent with the normal standard of practice for other teaching professions:

This Code of Professional Conduct describes how we, as Feldenkrais Practitioners/ Teachers, and Trainers, Assistant Trainers and Training Staff, relate to our clientele and students, and trainees over the course of a Feldenkrais Training Program, our peers and other professional people. We agree to…:
4. Do no physical insult or sexual misuse of any person who may be considered as under our professional influence including any sexual relationship with a student/client or trainee over the course of their Feldenkrais Training Program: (etc.)

These changes make the expectations clear and transparent for students and training staff, and this added clarity can assist the Ethics Committee and the FGNA Board if complaints are received.

We agree that it is important that all trainees in accredited Feldenkrais Professional Training Programs are provided with information about the FGNA Code of Professional Conduct at the start of their training, along with the FGNA Ethics and Grievance process for complaints. NATAB is working with the FGNA Board to look at how to strength how this happens.