The International Coach Federation, ICF, publishes a Code of Ethics for coaches. All members of the ICF subscribe to the Code of Ethics, agree to abide by it, and are held accountable to the Code of Ethics by the ICF. Coaches and clients alike are well-served to use the ICF Code of Ethics as a foundation to their working relationship.
There are four areas the ICF Code of Ethics covers:
- Professional Conduct at Large: As professionals, coaches are called upon to accurately portray their experience and education, respect the contributions of others, and know their own limits.
- Conflicts of Interest: Coaches avoid conflicts of interest and when one arises disclose it so the client is aware and has choices.
- Professional Conduct: Beginning a coaching relationship with honest insight as to coaching outcomes, the boundaries and the freedoms, and the nature of the coaching relationship covered in a clear agreement supports long-term success.
- Confidentiality: Confidentiality is paramount in coaching so the Code of Ethics provides for protection of the client by ensuring all records are confidential and protected, and that there is agreement with the client before releasing any information.
The more coaches and clients discuss ethics the more the process of coaching benefits.