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Professional boundaries for workers

We have practice guidance for workers, which sets out important information about professional boundaries:

“The quality of your relationship with the individual is very important. It is essential to create a warm, kind and friendly environment. Sometimes, however, this ‘closeness’ can blur professional boundaries and create difficulties. Examples include things like sharing too much personal information or taking on tasks outside your role.

“You should work with your manager to:

  1. make sure you understand your professional role and your limits
  2. understand and keep to your organisation’s policy on professional boundaries
  3. address any potential crossing of professional boundaries.

“You must make sure all your actions with individuals and families are out in the open for discussion with your manager. Some things clearly breach acceptable boundaries.

“Whilst not a complete list, unacceptable things include:

  1. having a sexual or other improper relationship with an individual
  2. using your personal beliefs, for example, political, religious or moral, in a way which exploits or causes distress
  3. borrowing from or lending money to an individual
  4. acting in any way which harms an individual.

“The consent of the individual is never a defence for these things.”

You can find the full versions of the practice guidance here.

First published: 11 January 2022
Last updated: 25 September 2022
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