Scope of Practice for Certified iRest® Teachers
What is a Scope of Practice?
A “Scope of Practice” (SOP) describes the standards, procedures and actions that a professional is permitted to undertake in keeping with the terms of their professional certification. The SOP is limited to specific education, experience, and demonstrated competency, and acknowledges the requirements of the certifying agency and any laws applicable to the particular professionals in the jurisdiction within which they work.
Why does the iRest Institute Need a Scope of Practice for Certified iRest Teachers?
As an international leader in the training and certification of meditation teachers, the iRest Institute believes that the public can be best served by both being assured of the standard of its certified teachers and having clarity about what constitutes an appropriate scope in the teaching of iRest. Because iRest includes a number of features that are particular to its practice and teaching, it is important that the public can differentiate iRest from other approaches to meditation, mindfulness and yoga nidra and a SOP is one of the documents that help with this differentiation.
While Certified iRest Teachers want to assist and support their clients/students, it is important for teachers to understand the limit or boundary of their expertise (Scope of Practice), as defined by their education, experience, and competency. The SOP gives clear guidelines to Certified iRest Teachers in relation to what they are qualified to do and what they are not qualified to do.
This SOP document was developed by the iRest Institute primarily to inform Certified iRest Teachers about the activities, practices, skills, and knowledge that the iRest Institute believes its certified teachers should be able to utilize and responsibly apply in professional practice. Because the iRest Institute is not a licensing body, the SOP is not a legally binding document. Rather, it serves as a set of guidelines and parameters for certified iRest teachers and the meditation and yoga communities. Additionally, the SOP is intended to be an information resource for healthcare practitioners, clients/students, special interest groups (such as the military and emergency services workers), and other individuals and entities that may be interested in learning what iRest is and how it is practiced.
It is important to note that this Scope is not meant to imply in any way that Certified iRest Teachers are mental health-care practitioners who are capable of diagnosing and treating conditions from the perspectives of these professions. Certified iRest Teachers may, however, hold additional qualifications in other healthcare fields that enable them to utilize practices that fall outside of the SOP set forth in this document. In such instances, this SOP is not intended to limit in any way practices that may fall under the scope of practice of the concurrent healthcare qualification, or otherwise impede or prevent a licensed healthcare practitioner from practicing according to their scope of practice.
It is recommended that all Certified iRest Teachers ensure that clients understand the nature and extent of the services being provided; the teacher’s education, training, experience, and other qualifications; and the fact that a teacher of iRest is not a licensed healthcare professional in the state or other jurisdiction in which they practice (unless they have other appropriate qualifications). It is the responsibility of a Certified iRest Teacher to do all in their power to ensure the safety of clients/students at all times and to refer to an appropriate therapist or health-care practitioner when a client/student seeks care or advice that cannot be appropriately addressed within the Scope.
iRest is a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry, which research has shown effectively reduces PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and chemical dependency while increasing health, resilience, and well-being.
Certified iRest Teachers draw from the principles of non-dualism and the meditative aspects of the yoga tradition. They also have a familiarity with Western psychological perspectives that inform the practice as taught in the Level 1 and Level 2 iRest Trainings and during the Certification program. The iRest practice aims to empower clients/students, while supporting them with tailored self-inquiry mindfulness meditation practices.
Certified iRest teachers have undertaken further in-depth study, which includes an investigation and application of the iRest principles while receiving individual supervision. They are required to adhere to iRest Institute professional ethics and commit to not making false or inaccurate claims about iRest’s healing capacities. The process of certification ensures that the iRest Institute can validate the qualifications of teachers that have completed this process.
The teaching of iRest may occur in the following settings:
- Individualized one-on-one co-meditation sessions. (If the client/student is a child/minor, the state or other local jurisdiction laws governing the safety of children/minors are to be adhered to.)
- Group iRest sessions: Group iRest sessions may range in size from 2 to over 50 people, but group sizes are typically between 4 and 30. Groups are typically taught in blocks of between 4 and 8 weeks, however some teachers may offer casual drop-in classes or long-term, ongoing classes. Group sessions may be offered to the general public or to special interest groups, such as the military, clinics, hospices, schools or other groups with common interests.
- Workshops: iRest workshops are typically between 2 and 3 hours, but may be up to a full day. Workshops provide an opportunity for new clients/students to become oriented to the iRest practices. They may also be developed as an opportunity for experienced clients/students to dive more deeply into the iRest practices and principles.
Principle 1 - Following the iRest Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
A Certified iRest Teacher is required to comply with the iRest Institute’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
Principle 2 - Teaching
A Certified iRest Teacher is qualified to:
- Teach in a way that responsibly reflects their iRest education, training, and experience.
- Develop teaching plans within the iRest framework in accordance with the needs, goals, learning style and life circumstances of the clients/students within groups or individual sessions.
- Develop iRest meditation plans to support a home practice for clients/students.
- Teach iRest meditation practices aligned with the needs and goals of clients/students. These practices include the iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation 10-step protocol and iRest co-meditation dyads.
- Obtain informed consent to use ethical touch, as appropriate, in iRest Yoga Nidra individual sessions and group classes, such as assisting a client to find a comfortable position for the practice, as referenced in the forthcoming Consent to Touch document.
- Have a basic understanding of how to manage interpersonal issues that may arise in teaching and co-meditation relationships.
- Provide appropriate follow-up opportunities to support clients/students.
- Modify iRest practices to support the client/student and help the client/student manage their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
- Provide clear instructions for any home practice that is recommended.
- Foster the clients’/students’ own support networks, independent practice, and self-responsibility for his/her own well-being.
- Produce materials to support their students/clients as outlined in the iRest Institute Copyright, Trademark and Permissions Guidelines.
A Certified iRest Teacher is NOT qualified to:
- Work with clients/students presenting with issues outside the teacher’s areas of competence/professional expertise.
- Advertise himself or herself as a licensed healthcare practitioner unless he/she is also a licensed healthcare practitioner.
- Offer individual or group psychological counseling, unless appropriately qualified to do so.
- Recommend specific physical or mental health activities or lifestyle outside of the iRest framework, unless appropriately qualified to do so.
- Diagnose a medical or psychological condition, unless qualified to do so as a licensed healthcare practitioner.
- Commercially distribute recordings of iRest meditations to the general public as outlined in the iRest Institute Copyright, Trademark and Permissions Guidelines.
Principle 3 - Communication with other health professionals
A Certified iRest Teacher is qualified to communicate with other health professionals to:
- Receive and provide referrals from and to other appropriate healthcare providers.
- Be part of a multidisciplinary team (i.e. medical or other healthcare professionals) when necessary or useful to optimize the health and wellbeing of the client/student.
A Certified iRest Teacher is NOT qualified to:
- Advise about other health treatment modalities, other than referring clients to appropriate personnel or services, unless appropriately qualified to do so.
- Request diagnostic tests or procedures outside their professional areas of expertise or qualifications.
- Interpret raw medical or psychological diagnostic test results, unless qualified to do so as a licensed healthcare practitioner.
- Prescribe medication, unless qualified to do so as a licensed healthcare practitioner.
- Prescribe nutritional supplements or herbs from Western or traditional medical methods such as Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda, unless appropriately qualified to do so.
- Advise clients about ceasing medication prescribed by another healthcare practitioner, unless qualified to do so as a licensed healthcare practitioner.
- Make recommendations regarding the advice or treatment provided by another healthcare professional, unless appropriately qualified to do so.
Principle 4 - Maintenance of Credentials as part of their professional practice
A Certified iRest Teacher is required to:
- Meet the requirements for certification as an iRest Certified Teacher through the satisfactory completion of all levels of iRest training and certification, including attending required meditation retreats.
- Maintain all qualifications and forthcoming continuing education requirements.
- Maintain confidentiality of client/student information, including health records (if recorded).
- Observe all applicable state or other local jurisdiction laws relating to the teaching of meditation.
- Have a basic understanding of current meditation evidence-based practices.
- Keep informed of current iRest research.
- Maintain a network of healthcare practitioner peers for the purpose of referrals.
iRest Institute reserves the right to investigate allegations of teacher violations of the Scope of Practice and take appropriate action.
Please direct questions regarding the Scope of Practice for Certified iRest Teachers to firstname.lastname@example.org.