Ethical Policies

FPMT Ethical Policy

1. The Five Lay Precepts

The five lay precepts are the foundation of ethics for all persons while in the course and scope of performing duties, responsibilities or actions for, on behalf of, or related to FPMT. The five basic rules are not to kill, steal, engage in or commit sexual misconduct, lie, or take intoxicants. Intoxicants include alcohol, recreational drugs, and tobacco products.

2. No Discrimination

The FPMT organization shall not discriminate in its programs, services, employment, volunteer opportunities, or other activities or benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.

3. No Harassment

FPMT is committed to promoting safe environments wherein the dignity of every individual is respected. Everyone participating in FPMT- related activities has the right and shall be free from harassment of any type, be it sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying, or other forms of harassment. Everyone coming into contact with the FPMT network shall be treated with dignity and respect.

4. Relationships

Sexual relationships between Dharma teachers and students while a student is attending the teacher’s teachings, course or retreat are prohibited, and are strongly discouraged at all other times as long as there is a Dharma teacher-student relationship. Please see below for a policy specific to Dharma teachers. Others in positions of authority are also strongly discouraged from entering into sexual relationships in situations where there may be a real or perceived power imbalance. As well, no teacher, volunteer, staff member, or other representative of the hosting center shall make sexual advances to any participant during a teaching, course or retreat. 

5. Right Speech

Those in positions of authority must avoid gossip and harsh or abusive language, since overhearing conversations in which others are disparaged can have a negative impact on those involved in FPMT activities. Harsh or abusive language may also constitute harassment or bullying.

6. Finances

All income and expenditure in FPMT affiliates must be accounted for according to generally accepted accounting principles. Money that has been donated for a specific project must be used for the project it has been donated for, and not for operating expenses or other projects. Income from the sale of Dharma items must be used for Dharma purposes, not for operating expenses.

7. Whistleblower Protection

If an individual or group believes that a practice or activity within the FPMT organization is illegal and/or against this Ethical Policy, and brings their concern to the relevant management, that individual or group shall be protected from retaliation.

Additional Policy for FPMT Registered Teachers, Class Leaders, and Interpreters

Because of the uniqueness of the teacher-student relationship, FPMT registered teachers, interpreters, and introductory class leaders are required to observe the following additional policy:

ConfidentialityIn any situations where disclosures are made by students with a stated expectation of privacy, including but not limited to during private interviews, teachers, interpreters, and class leaders shall respect the confidentiality of students, and treat all communications from students as confidential, not disclosing information acquired from students without the consent of the student: unless disclosing certain information is required by law, the FPMT Protecting from Abuse policy, and/or to prevent a risk of harm to that student or others. 

Honesty: Dharma teachers and class leaders are to be honest about their qualifications, and shall correct any misrepresentation of their qualifications as soon as it comes to their attention. 

Avoiding Inappropriate RelationshipsDharma teachers and class leaders, shall not engage in a sexual relationship or communicate an interest in doing so while a student is attending the teacher’s course, teachings, or retreat. Dharma teachers and class leaders must never use, or create the appearance of using, their authority or position to pursue or initiate sexual relationships with students, volunteers, or other participants in teachings, courses, or retreats. 

Additional Policy for Shantideva Center Volunteers & Staff

(“Staff” refers to anyone who is in a position of responsibility and/or is a public facing representative of Shantideva Center, regardless of employment status.)

Confidentiality: The confidentiality policy listed above, which applies to FPMT registered teachers, interpreters, and class leaders, shall also apply to Shantideva Center volunteers and staff members.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Volunteers and staff members shall not use personally identifiable information (PII) for any purposes other than those related to the performance of his or her duties. Volunteers and staff members shall also treat, handle, and store PII in accordance with applicable laws.