Code of Conduct for Teachers

We are very proud of our teachers and work with them to constantly improve diversity, accessibility and support in the improv community. Our teachers not only teach people the basics of improv but also the underlying ethos of the improv community, and therefore have a great effect on the overall improv scene.

Hoopla teachers should have a read through our Code of Conduct for Students on CoursesCode of Conduct for PerformersTeaching Difficult Scenes Guide and Diversity and Accessibility Policy.

All of the code of conduct for our students also applies to our teachers, and our teachers help ensure this ongoing safe and supportive place.

A summary of our code of conduct for students

  • Support each other, on stage and off stage.
  • Work together as a team.
  • Listen to your scene partner.
  • Collaborate with your scene partner, unless it is unsafe or demeaning to do so.
  • Respect physical boundaries and don’t do anything physically dangerous to yourself or your scene partner.
  • Respect sexual boundaries, on and off stage.
  • Improvise from a place of fun, love, kindness and respect for your fellow improvisers and audience.
  • Safety, trust and support is always more important than the temporary existence of an improv scene. So if in doubt, stop the scene, and you won’t be made to feel bad for doing so.
  • Risky subject matter in scenes is to be treated with full emotional intelligence, and your teacher is there to help you with this.
  • Help us to create an environment free from harassment of any kind, on and off stage.

Diversity Officers

If at any point a student is worried about anything they can talk to their teacher or one of our diversity officers and will be listened to and agreed actions can be taken if necessary. This is to ensure a safe playing and performing space for everyone where people are treated with respect and kindness. This will be treated with confidence between the diversity officer and the student. Students can also remain anonymous if they wish.

We provide different diversity officers so that students have a choice of who they talk to, and if they are not comfortable with one they can chat to another one. It also means there is a safeguard in place where we don’t end up with a bottleneck due to only one person looking after this, and also means that if they had a problem with one of the diversity officers they would have someone else to talk to.

If the student or performer has any doubt they should contact us, and not worry about “rocking the boat” or similar. The safety and support of people is more important than an improv scene or group.

At time of booking all students will have terms and conditions and code of conduct policies that they can read and will also have contact details for a selection of diversity officers they can talk to regards any concerns they have regards teachers or other students.

There will also be an anonymous survey sent out to students on courses to collect feedback about courses, both at mid-point and end point. This is so they have a chance to be heard should anything be concerning them about the course.

If teachers have any concerns about any students, other members of staff or other teachers they can also contact the diversity officer or head of company.

Steve Roe, [email protected]
Company Director, Hoopla Impro.

Angela Pollard, [email protected]
Producer, Hoopla Impro.

Jessie Rutland, [email protected]
Training Manager, Hoopla Impro.

For specific examples on when and how to deal with problems in courses please see our teaching difficult scenes guide.

General steps to follow when supporting students:

If someone has a complaint or is worried about something it is important that they are listened too and that if necessary suitable actions are agreed upon and then followed up.

If anyone on a Hoopla course or event feels they are being discriminated against, harassed in anyway, physically harmed, or subject to any other unwanted behaviour these are steps teachers should take to support them:

1. If you need to stop a scene, stop a scene. The safety and support of our students is more important than the temporary existence of an impro scene.

2. Talk to the improviser on the course, and anyone else involved, if you feel safe and able to do so. This should be done in private without the rest of the course watching. The teacher can put the rest of the course on a break whenever they want, even if it’s mid scene, as the safety and support of the students is more important than a temporary improv scene.

3. Teacher to agree suitable follow up actions and ongoing support for student, or to escalate this to head of company or diversity officers if they do not feel able to do this.

4. The teacher to give information to the students about diversity officers and the head of the company, so the student can have an independent person to talk to and support them if they wish.

5. Teacher to talk to head of the company or diversity officers about the event to decide follow up actions and timetable.

6. Teacher, head of company or diversity officers to check in with student at agreed time to check follow up actions have been completed.

If in doubt the teacher should always ask advice from the director of the company or one of the diversity officers, teachers should be supported at all times and not feel like they have to deal with difficult situations alone.

If we think a student is a physical or sexual danger to the rest of the class, or if they carry out harassment or bullying of any kind, they may be asked to leave the course and all other Hoopla events. This will be the responsibility of company director, or diversity officer, so that the student facing teacher is not put in any danger.

For specific examples on when and how to deal with problems in courses please see our teaching difficult scenes guide.

Professional Behaviour

Even though we are in the spontaneous world of comedy/improv we are effectively an adult education company so must behave as such, with professionalism and respect for students, audiences, other teachers, school staff, corporate clients, venue staff and other staff.

Teachers will follow the code of conduct that is also expected of students on courses and performers. This includes before workshops, during workshops, after workshops, pubs after workshops, at improv shows and other socials.

This code of conduct also extends to “off-site” work like corporate training, schools training, external shows and the accommodation and/or travel to those events. If it’s a company job we need to have a safe and supportive and professional environment at all times, not just when we are facing the client.

We will work with teachers and offer ongoing training to ensure the code of conduct is adhered too, but teachers who break the code of conduct may not work for the company on further projects.

A diversity officer will provide training on this and will also monitor workshops occasionally to provide ongoing training, feedback and managed actions. There will also be an anonymous survey sent out to students on courses to collect feedback about courses.

For specific examples on when and how to deal with problems in courses please see our teaching difficult scenes guide.

Required Training for Teachers

Teachers are expected to read through this code of conduct policy and attend any training as necessary.

They will also be expected to receive constructive feedback from our diversity officers and course feedback, and adjust their teaching content accordingly.

For specific examples on when and how to deal with problems in courses please see our teaching difficult scenes guide.

Teacher / Student Relationships

Teacher/Student relationships (dating, sexual, flirting, inappropriate messaging etc) are not allowed over the duration of a course. This is includes how we behave in pubs after workshops and at shows, as we are still seen as a representative of the company then. This is because to start a relationship an advance has to be made, which may be seen as inappropriate and breach of trust in many cases. Any relationships should only happen after the course has totally finished. If the teacher is already in a relationship with a student before the course starts then this is OK, as long as both parties are happy with also being on a course with their partner.

Hoopla teachers should also have a read through of the following

>> Code of Conduct for Students on Courses

>> Code of Conduct for Performers

>> Teaching Difficult Scenes Guide

>> Diversity and Accessibility Policy.

This document is open to feedback

Our Code of Conduct & Diversity Policies come from recent consultation with various improvisers, performers, students and diversity officers.

We also received advice and information from other theatre companies, organisation and unions.

We are now at the stage of receiving public feedback, and we’d appreciate your thoughts. If there is anything you would like to add or change please contact us.

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