The South African Spa Association is the ambassador for the Spa Industry, with representation in all aspects related to spas, such as health and wellness, tourism and hospitality, education and training.

As members of South African Spa Association, we recognize the importance of uniting and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of the spa industry and other professionals providing services within our scope of practice.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The South African Spa Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing South African spa industry and wellness environment.

We will significantly influence the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information relating to the spa industry in South Africa. We are members of a profession explicitly committed to recognizing the significance of a closer link between the wellness, health and skincare, healing, medicine and spa communities in a sense that will assure a quality experience available to spa visitors. We have a special obligation to ensure excellence and growth within our industry to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations. 

  • We provide the highest level of service to all spa visitors through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests related to our focus. 
  • We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor spa practices and resources. 
  • We protect each spa visitor’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to treatment sought or received. 
  • We recognize and respect intellectual rights. 
  • We treat industry members with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate treatments that safeguard the rights and welfare of all of our spa visitors. 
  • We agree to express our opinions, in any form of media, honestly and accurately without making any unfounded scientific allegations relating to therapeutic results that may be false or misleading. 
  • We will be guided by truth, fairness and integrity. 
  • We do not advance private interests at the expense of spa visitors, colleagues, or our members. 
  • We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our organization or the provision of access to their information resources. 
  • We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of spa therapists, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession. 
  • We value our professional’s diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the members we serve. 
  • South African Spa Association promotes the creation, maintenance, and enhancement of a learning society, encouraging its members to work with educators, government officials, and organizations in coalitions to initiate and support comprehensive efforts to ensure that South African Spa Association members cooperate to encourage lifelong learning services to all.  
  • South African Spa Association supports the provision of spa services by professionally qualified personnel who have been educated in programmes within institutions accredited by relevant ETQAs. It is of vital importance that there is professional education available to meet the social needs and goals of spa services. 
  • We agree to stay within our own area of competence and scope of professional practice.  


The South African Spa Association operates under an annual planning cycle. Within the framework of the mission, priorities, and goals of this chapter, the South African Spa Association has adopted a set of emphases and goals to be achieved by the year 2016.  

Priority Area 1. Access to information 

The South African Spa Association will promote efforts to ensure that every member has access to needed information at the time needed and in a format the member can utilize, through provision of The South African Spa Association services. 


  • All members have equal access to The South African Spa Association services. 
  • Instruction in information use is available to all. 
  • The South African Spa Association information is widely and easily available. 

Priority Area 2. Legislation/funding 

The South African Spa Association will promote legislation at all levels that will strengthen the spa industry and spa services. Means will be developed for facilitating the effective generation of funds from the private sector. 


  • The South African Spa Association has adequate funding from private sources. 
  • The South African Spa Association strategic executive is well informed about opportunities for raising funds from private sources. 
  • Reliable and timely statistics and information about all sources of The South African Spa Association funding are available. 
  • Information about legislation with potential impact on the spa industry and spa service is easily available and well communicated to the spas. 

Priority Area 3. Public awareness 

The South African Spa Association will promote the role of spa therapists and the use of spas and their resources and services as well as the awareness of their importance to all segments of industry. 


  • SPA provides information about the spa industry to all. 
  • Spa therapists are recognized as proactive professionals responsible for ensuring the highest standards and service in the spa industry. 
  • The South African Spa Association practices effective public relations. 

Priority Area 4. Personnel resources 

The South African Spa Association will promote the recruitment, education, professional development, rights, interests, and obligations of spa personnel and members. 


  • Spa education meets the changing spa industry needs. 
  • Spa programmes are effectively accredited. 
  • Spa therapists have a variety of opportunities for professional development and continuing education. 
  • Workshops and conferences conducted by The South African Spa Association are available to spa therapists, members, and others interested in the spa industry. 
  • Job information and placement are readily available to spa therapists. 
  • Spa therapists and members uphold the South African Spa Association Code of Ethics. 

Priority Area 5. Spa services, development, and technology 

The South African Spa Association will promote the availability of information tools and technologies, which assist spas therapists in providing services responsive to the changing needs of the industry. 


  • Guidelines, standards, and codes are formulated and promoted to facilitate effective spa service. 
  • Professional resources in a variety of formats are produced by The South African Spa Association. 
  • Statistics about spas are collected regularly and distributed promptly. 
  • Research related to the spas industry is conducted and results are widely disseminated. 
  • Information and advisory services about spas and members are available from The South African Spa Association in response to requests. 
  • The South African Spa Association encourages cooperative activities to improve service to spa visitors. 
  • Spa therapists are able to use technology effectively. 
  • SPA is proactive to meet the challenges of social, economic, and environmental change. 


In order to address these priorities, The South African Spa Association will use its resources wisely and maintain a flexible structure that promotes the diverse interests and broad participation of members. 

Organizational Area 1. The South African Spa Association roles and relationships 

The South African Spa Association has an opportunity to recognize the diversity of the industry as a strength and build on it. 


  • The activities and programs of The South African Spa Association are coordinated. 
  • The South African Spa Association speaks with one voice for the profession. 

Organizational Area 2. The South African Spa Association finances 

The South African Spa Association maintains financial stability. 


  • The South African Spa Association obtains a significant amount of income from a variety of sources, through sponsorship, membership and fund raising activities. 
  • The South African Spa Association maintains adequate cash reserves. 
  • New markets are developed for The South African Spa Association products and services. 

Organizational Area 3. The South African Spa Association human resources 

A large, stable, and involved membership is essential to the health and effectiveness of The South African Spa Association. The development of new leaders must be continuous in the Association. The South African Spa Association must maintain staff with a high level of expertise and commitment. 


  • The South African Spa Association membership is substantial, stable and representative of the industry. 
  • Large numbers of members are involved in the work of the Association. 
  • The South African Spa Association leaders are effective. 
  • The South African Spa Association responds to the needs and interests of members. 
  • The South African Spa Association staff provides a high level of expertise and service. 
  • Members are fully informed about The South African Spa Association activities. 


The below information is a general guideline on the responsibility of the spa regarding spa safety and hygiene.  A comprehensive instruction and recommendation manual is currently being formulated, with recommendation and advice from a variety of industry leaders, governmental organizations and allied associations.


  • The entire spa industry has a responsibility to ensure that they undertake adequate hygiene and to encourage others delivering spa services to do so. This applies to all disciplines of staff that provide spa services or are associated with spa environments / items within it;
  • Spa Managers have the responsibility to ensure that local risk assessments related to all elements included within hygiene processes are carried out where necessary, that safe practices are adhered to, including the provision of resources to ensure adequate hand hygiene and any incidents that occur in relation to inadequate hygiene practices, including the lack of resources to do so, are reviewed and subsequent actions taken where appropriate;
  • Training should be provided for all those who deliver spa services, and should include information on all of the aspects of hygiene. 
  • Spa Managers have the responsibility to ensure training is available for staff and staff have the responsibility to attend such training sessions;
  • Staff has the responsibility to ensure information outlining the hygiene process are understood and practiced.
  • All of the steps included in the hygiene processes, are important and must be considered in order to avoid or reduce the transmission of infectious agents.
  • Spa clients’ hygiene is also essential, and facilities for the spa client to ensure personal hygiene must be offered / made available. 
  • The use of particular solutions for performing hygiene should be considered to ensure they are effective and suitable for the situation and for use by the majority (e.g. do not cause skin irritation); with appreciation of the environmental impact of such solutions.
  • Control of substances hazardous to health should be referred to ensure safe use of / exposure to products being used for hygiene;
  • Other health and safety issues, related to staff or clients, should also be considered in relation to products used for hygiene, e.g. drips or spillages and any risks of slips or falls from these, risk of ingestion of products by particular client groups; 
  • Risk assessments should be carried out locally to highlight / manage relevant issues;
  • Any incidents where failure in the hygiene processes have occurred or where problems with products being used have occurred should be reported. This is important, particularly in relation to incidents that are related to supplies / facilities for undertaking hygiene, in order to ensure that transmission of infectious agents does not occur, health and safety is not breached, and that incidents can be avoided in the future.
  • Spa premises and all instruments used in treatments are appropriately sanitized and sterilized. 
  • First aid kit is properly stocked and readily available at all times. 
  • The service shall ensure that the venue, grounds, and all equipment and furnishings used by the service are maintained in a safe, clean, hygienic condition and in good repair at all times.
  • Every effort shall be made to maintain a vermin free environment.
  • Suitable receptacles, with lids, for the temporary storage of kitchen refuse and garbage shall be emptied daily. 
  • The spa environment shall have appropriate heating, ventilation and lighting.
  • Hazardous machinery, chemicals and activities which are likely to cause potential danger to children are not to be used or undertaken while the service is in operation.

Food preparation facilities

  • Safe, hygienic facilities including a sink, refrigerator and hot and cold running water supply shall be accessible to staff, for the preparation, storage, heating and cooking of food.

Toilets, showers and hand basins

  • Spas shall provide a minimum of:

(a) one toilet for every 15 persons or part thereof;

(b) hand washing facilities; and

(c) soap and hand drying equipment.

  • Spas shall implement a comprehensive cleaning schedule, performed by spa staff or outsourced company, so as to ensure spa safety and hygiene is maintained at all times

Storage facilities

  • The spa shall have secure storage facilities for indoor and outdoor equipment.
  • The spa shall have storage facilities, which are secure for cleaning materials, disinfectants, flammables, poisonous and other dangerous substances, tools, toiletries, first aid equipment, medication and records.
  • Adequate provision is made for laundry and the storage thereof.


  • The spa shall ensure that therapists have access to equipment and materials, which are suitable, safe and well maintained.  Adequate training is provided for all equipment and materials within the spa.

Telephone facilities

  • The spa shall have an operating telephone, for use in the case of emergency, which is immediately accessible to staff at all times, including when on excursions that involve leaving the close proximity of the service.
  • Where the service is located in a remote area, appropriate alternatives such as an emergency cellphone or 2-way UHF channel shall be used.


  • All paddling and wading pools shall be emptied after use and stored to prevent the collection of water.
  • Effective barriers should be in place to prevent access by any child to any area that opens directly into a fenced pool area.
  • A comprehensive treatment protocol for all public wet areas and pools, so as to ensure the safety and hygiene of spa clients.


Medication shall not be administered without the permission of a medical practitioner.



You and your spa will ensure that: 

  • coworkers, when hired, are provided with a Policy and Procedures Manual which is reviewed and updated annually. 
  • coworkers are provided with and/or given access to constantly updated Treatment Procedure and Product manuals for all treatment modalities included in the spa’s menu. 
  • coworkers are given a job/responsibility description upon hiring, followed up with at least one annual evaluation of individual’s job performance. 
  • all specialized/professional staff such as fitness instructors, personal trainers, massage therapists, aestheticians, nail technicians, hair stylists, nutritionists, physiologists, psychologists and medical technicians comply with local, provincial and federal regulations with regards to licensing, registration and appropriate certification. 
  • the Director/Supervisor of any fitness program has at least a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate area of study, or a current certification from a nationally recognized organization in the health/fitness industry. 
  • the spa will have at least one staff member who has CPR and First Aid certification, on site during operating hours. 
  • demonstrates a commitment to providing education, training and professional development opportunities for all coworkers. 
  • the spa offers and makes use of environmentally friendly procedures.


The spa and spa staff will ensure that: 

  • written material is provided that accurately depicts the facility, nutrition/diet/wellness and other programs, philosophy, rates, deposits, customary tipping and gratuities, cancellation policy and grace period for refunds. 
  • all new spa guests and/or annual members are offered an orientation and tour of the spa when possible. 
  • guests complete a confidential screening questionnaire and/or informed consent statement prior to their planned activities which is updated on a regular basis. 
  • all guest history and counseling session information is considered private and confidential, and such information is not disclosed by the spa or its coworkers without the proper consent of the individual, unless such a disclosure is required by law. 
  • all guest complaints are promptly responded to and resolved in as timely and efficiently a manner as possible. 
  • the spa has current liability insurance or the equivalent for the purpose of guests’ protection. 
  • all programs are flexible enough to accommodate a variety of goals, fitness levels and needs. 
  • spa programs and menus are designed to encourage the guest toward health enhancing activities and wellness while acknowledging the guest’s current health status. 


As coworkers, you will ensure that you: 

  • are professional, courteous, helpful, knowledgeable, articulate and truthful. 
  • are committed to anticipating guests’ needs and serving them. 
  • reflect the spa’s policies in appearance, attitude and team work. 
  • believe in the precepts of Spa Wellness and are willing and able to share these philosophies with guests. 
  • agree in writing to abide by the Policies and Procedures established by the spa. 
  • understand and follow your personal job descriptions. 
  • demonstrate professional client management through the maintenance of client records on an ongoing basis. 
  • zealously guard the guest’s privacy and modesty. 
  • are committed to honouring the confidentiality of the spa and its business, in general. 
  • adhere to the professional standards of hygiene as defined by the spa. 
  • maintain all personal certifications as required by provincial or national legislation. 
  • take personal responsibility for your continuing professional development. 
  • are attentive to preserving the Spa Environment at all times. 


The spa and spa staff will ensure that: 

  • each supplier member agrees to not harass their clients or potential clients in their solicitation practices. 
  • each member will have a valid Business License (where applicable) and comply with all appropriate local, provincial and national regulations. 
  • all equipment sold by supplier members should be approved by the respective authorative bodies; and if not, the member must provide the client with written acknowledgment that the respective equipment lacks  approval. 
  • the member agrees that all of their products will meet compliance with The Food and Drug Act, The Cosmetic Regulations, and the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Regulations. 
  • all sun products must have a registered SPF number.
  • each supplier agrees to thoroughly train and educate the client on the use and safety of their products and equipment. 
  • each member agrees to inform the client of all payment policies, cancellation and return policies, warranties, shipping costs, maintenance costs and other applicable fees prior to the sale of any products or equipment. 
  • each member agrees to maintain strict confidentiality regarding their clients and all aspects of their business.


  • Each member will have a valid Business License (where applicable) and comply with all appropriate local, provincial and national regulations. 
  • Each member will be registered with the appropriate provincial government body. 
  • Each member will have a written curriculum approved by the respective ETQA.
  • Each member will have comprehensive written academic policies, which include clear policies for student fees, cancellation, absenteeism, and refund policies.