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Legal Guide to Selling Psychology Courses And Workshops

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


A Legal Guide to selling Psychology Courses and Workshops


For psychology private practices, conducting workshops offers a unique opportunity to reach individuals, businesses, and their employees. Of course, planning a proper workshop is a process that involves careful planning. You will be creating content and entering into service agreements with businesses or else selling courses directly to individuals.


In both scenarios, you will need to ensure you're legally compliant to safeguard your business, your content and your clients/customers. In this legal guide, we'll explore essential aspects of selling workshops and courses to the public, as well as to businesses and their employees.


Providing Psychology Workshops Or Courses To Individuals


Delivering live workshops or selling pre-recorded online courses is a promising venture to generate income and enhance brand visibility. However, ensuring legal compliance is crucial. Here are some key considerations, as well as some contracts you’ll need to have in place before you begin selling courses and workshops:


Service/Product Descriptions

Provide comprehensive and accurate descriptions, including workshop length, target audience, and expected outcomes. This reduces your risk of complaints, bad reviews and disputes and ensures clarity for consumers.


Cancellations and Refunds

To be compliant with consumer rights, you must adhere to the 14-day cooling-off period for online sales. However, once workshop files are downloaded, the cooling-off period ends, making the product non-returnable. Unless, of course, it fails to meet the terms and conditions.


Your cancellation and refund policy may be a separate policy but commonly it will be part of your terms and conditions. When selling online you will need to provide a link to this contract and request customers tick a box to agree to these terms and conditions.


Terms And Conditions

You will need to ensure that your terms and conditions accurately describe the workshop or course, provide details on how this is accessed and include payment terms and your cancellation policy (see above). 


It’s essential that you also clearly state that you’re not providing clinical therapy in this agreement. Rather, your course/workshop offers more general advice and is specifically not clinical therapy.


Licensing terms should also be included in your terms and conditions. These are important because they protect your intellectual property. You must emphasise copyright ownership of your course content and restrict customers from sharing or reselling the content to prevent unauthorised reproduction.


Aubergine Legal provide a terms and conditions for online courses template, which you can access here but you may need more bespoke terms and conditions - which are being launched via a free webinar at the end of January - contact me for more details on this.


If you’re using third-party services for ticket sales or workshop delivery, ensure you reference their terms in your conditions. Clarify the relationship and make attendees aware of any third-party involvement.


Data Protection For Workshop Bookings

You must comply with data protection laws when processing customer information. You may collect and process different information for workshop/course attendees than you do for therapy clients and this may mean you need a separate privacy policy or updates to your existing policy. Within this policy, you may include confidentiality agreements but also a safeguarding provision clause to ensure you have the right to use the client’s personal data in accordance with safeguarding measures.For help with drafting a privacy policy for your psychology practice workshops, please do get in touch.


Legal Guide for Providing Psychology Workshops To Businesses


Before offering psychology workshops to businesses, you should have the following in place:


Services Agreement/Terms And Conditions

This is an agreement between you and the client and should clarify intellectual property ownership, payment terms, confidentiality, and cancellation/rescheduling terms, as most service agreements/terms and conditions do.

However, because you are delivering a workshop, you should also be clear about what you will be providing, what the content will cover and what the expected outcomes will be.


Professional Liability Insurance And Risk Assessment

As a psychology private practice, you probably already have professional liability insurance but you may need to update your insurance company if you’re adding workshops and/or courses to your offering.


Depending on the workshop location, you might need to consider public liability insurance and conduct a risk assessment to safeguard attendees at your workshop.


Data Protection Compliance

Ensure compliance with data protection laws if collecting, storing, or processing personal information on workshop attendees. You will need to have a privacy policy that can be accessed by clients and any workshop attendees. This should include a safeguarding provision as your duty to safeguard clients may impact confidentiality agreements. If a business is sharing employee personal information then they will need to have consent to do so.


Following the workshop or course, if employees are referred to you for private therapy sessions then you will need to follow the usual data protection processes, including getting consent to collect and process their special category data (such as health data).As a psychology practice, you may find you’re processing special category data which requires further protections. So, if a workshop or course attendee becomes a therapy client then you will need to ensure they are privy to the appropriate policies: which will include how your sessions with them are made, where and how you will meet (remote/face-to-face), confidentiality promises, safeguarding terms and the required consent for their health data to be collected and processed, as well as the other usual legal terms to protect you and your business.You can find out more about special category data and therapy policies on my blog, Data Consent For Psychology Practices.


Legal Support For Private Psychology Practices


Successfully selling workshops and courses involves more than just content creation—it requires knowledge of and careful attention to legal details. By understanding and implementing these legal considerations, psychology private practices can create a safe foundation for their workshops. For help drafting or reviewing your legal documentation to support the workshop/course element of your business, please do get in touch.As a legal specialist in private psychology practices, you may also be interested in my other psychology legal services.


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