The Role of Rokpa Trust Guidelines & Policies
Rokpa Trust is the charitable organisation responsible for Kagyu Samye Ling, which is the headquarters, and also for Kagyu Samye Dzong branch centres in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Scarborough, The Highlands and Surrey. Rokpa Trust is a complex organization and we engage chartered accountants as auditors to scrutinize closely the workings of the Trust.
We have a legal team to ensure that it is administered in accordance with the law and with all the Charity Commission recommendations. We have detailed guidelines and policies to ensure full compliance. These relate to the governance of all the centres, ensuring that any conflicts of interest are managed properly, ensuring that the Data Protection laws and Health and Safety laws are complied with, as well as various other administrative and organizational issues.
Since October 2000 Rokpa Trust has had Complaints Procedures and Guidelines which have been kept under review and updated periodically. These provide for the fair handling of any complaints and procedures to deal with any misconduct. We have Guidelines for Teachings and Teachers at Samye Ling and the Samye Dzongs. The teachings are from the Kagyu Lineage and there are restrictions on who may teach. The guidelines set out what must happen if there is a dispute or complaint about a teacher. Romantic relationships between teachers and students are prohibited and there is an absolute ban on teachers making any gesture or comments or physical contact which might be interpreted as sexual or abusive.
Our Chairman has written to all the centres emphasizing the harm that is done by any form of abuse, whether emotional physical or sexual, and instructing that if any abuse occurs it must be reported to the committee or the trustees.
Rokpa Trust provides facilities for retreats and we have a Policy for Retreats which provides safeguards to reduce any psychological or other risk.
Our legal team has worked closely with SAFECIC which is an advisory organisation giving guidance to the Charity Commission and government agencies on child safety issues. After consultation with SAFECIC we have a Child Safeguarding Policy which has their seal of approval.
We have a Policy as to Mindfulness Courses given at Samye Ling and Samye Dzongs. This makes it clear that Rokpa Trust does not provide training in secular mindfulness. Centres may offer facilities for mindfulness courses and other subjects such as Tai Chi or Yoga, but the course providers or tutors have to make it clear that they are not providing the instruction on behalf of Rokpa Trust. Course providers and tutors are independent from Rokpa Trust and carry their own insurance and any complaints have to be addressed to them and not to Rokpa Trust.
We are fully committed to upholding our ethical standards with the wish to bring great benefit to all who are connected to our centres.