Coaching is a client based profession with a focus to enrich the life of the client. The relationship established in coaching is a professional relationship (like counseling) which is time framed and with set objectives. Hence, a professional practice such as coaching/counseling has its own code of ethics and is governed by a specific set of guidelines for practice.
Coaching as a professional practice follows certain ethical guidelines which are common for all coaching practices. Further each coaching association or organization may adopt additional code of ethics which may suit their requirement. However, they are additional guidelines and do not intend to override the general code of ethics for coaching practice.
Code of Ethics
Coaching has a clear set of behavioral guidelines which serves as a safeguard for both the coach and the coachee. The coach as a professional should live his life and practice coaching according to the highest coaching standard. The professional standard comprises of acceptable behavioral guidelines which the coach has to adopt during coaching.
The coach exhibits the following core values of professional standards for coaching. They are: integrity, honesty, transparency, respect, trust, credibility, professionalism, accountability, care and excellence.
The 3 core values which every coach is expected to adhere are:
- Professional Conduct
- Professional Relationship
- Care Management
Coaches are to follow the applicable laws, regulations and rules that may affect their coaching practice. They should not enter into any agreement with the client apart from the coaching agreement to defraud or for dishonest gain. They are to conduct themselves according to the highest ethical coaching standards.
- Coaches should ensure that their behavior is not perceived as inappropriate in terms of physical, sexual, verbal or non-verbal ways.
- Coaches should be aware of and be sensitive to client’s race, gender-orientation, culture, religious values, disability and diversity.
- Coaches are required to act in a way that does not bring dishonor to coaching profession.
Coaches should not manipulate with their professional practice by working the clients either in the form of counseling or psychotherapy for the purpose of financial gain or non-monetary support. With a clear understanding regarding the scope of coaching, they should limit their practice with coaching alone and focus on qualifying the client.
Coaches should explain to the clients the terms of the contract, costs, and conditions if any before entering into the coaching contract.
Coaches are expected not to prolong the relationship with the client beyond the professional grounds. The coaching contract should be terminated once the client has fully benefitted from the practice. It is the responsibility of the coach to terminate the contract once the client’s goals has been met.
Coaches are to treat all the information of the client with absolute confidentiality. They may disclose only those information if it is harmful in nature to the client, organization or others.Coaches should terminate the coaching contract if the client desires to do so without persuasion or demanding justification for termination.
Coaches should explain the coaching process to the client before entering into contract. The coach should not make any false claims regarding the benefits of coaching. At the same time no misleading information should be provided to the clients to make believe or for buy in.
Coaches should treat the clients equally with respect irrespective of their intellectual ability, gender, job profile, skills and vocabulary.Coaches should provide an explanation of methods, techniques, tools and strategies used in coaching process if requested by the clients