Code Of Ethics

Part One: Definition of Coaching

Section 1: Definitions

Coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that

inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

A professional coaching relationship: A professional coaching relationship exists when coaching

includes a business agreement or contract that defines the responsibilities of each party.

An ICF Professional Coach: An ICF Professional Coach also agrees to practice the ICF Professional

Core Competencies and pledges accountability to the ICF Code of Ethics.

In order to clarify roles in the coaching relationship, it is often necessary to distinguish between the client and

the sponsor. In most cases, the client and sponsor are the same person and therefore jointly referred to as the

client. For purposes of identification, however, the International Coach Federation defines these roles as

follows:

Client: The “client” is the person(s) being coached.

Sponsor: The “sponsor” is the entity (including its representatives) paying for and/or arranging for

coaching services to be provided.

In all cases, coaching engagement contracts or agreements should clearly establish the rights, roles, and

responsibilities for both the client and sponsor if they are not the same persons.

Part Two: The ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct

Preamble: ICF Professional Coaches aspire to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the

coaching profession; are respectful of different approaches to coaching; and recognize that they are also bound

by applicable laws and regulations.

Section 1: Professional Conduct At Large

As a coach:

1) I will not knowingly make any public statement that is untrue or misleading about what I offer as a coach, or

make false claims in any written documents relating to the coaching profession or my credentials or the ICF.

2) I will accurately identify my coaching qualifications, expertise, experience, certifications and ICF Credentials.

ICF CODE OF ETHICS

ICF – Advancing the Art, Science and Practice of Professional Coaching Page 2 of 4

3) I will recognize and honor the efforts and contributions of others and not misrepresent them as my own. I

understand that violating this standard may leave me subject to legal remedy by a third party.

4) I will, at all times, strive to recognize personal issues that may impair, conflict, or interfere with my coaching

performance or my professional coaching relationships. Whenever the facts and circumstances necessitate, I

will promptly seek professional assistance and determine the action to be taken, including whether it is

appropriate to suspend or terminate my coaching relationship(s).

5) I will conduct myself in accordance with the ICF Code of Ethics in all coach training, coach mentoring, and

coach supervisory activities.

6) I will conduct and report research with competence, honesty, and within recognized scientific standards and

applicable subject guidelines. My research will be carried out with the necessary consent and approval of those

involved, and with an approach that will protect participants from any potential harm. All research efforts will be

performed in a manner that complies with all the applicable laws of the country in which the research is

conducted.

7) I will maintain, store, and dispose of any records created during my coaching business in a manner that

promotes confidentiality, security, and privacy, and complies with any applicable laws and agreements

8) I will use ICF member contact information (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc.) only in the manner

and to the extent authorized by the ICF.

Section 2: Conflicts of Interest

As a coach:

9) I will seek to avoid conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest and openly disclose any such

conflicts. I will offer to remove myself when such a conflict arises.

10) I will disclose to my client and his or her sponsor all anticipated compensation from third parties that I may

pay or receive for referrals of that client.

11) I will only barter for services, goods or other non-monetary remuneration when it will not impair the

coaching relationship.

12) I will not knowingly take any personal, professional, or monetary advantage or benefit of the coach-client

relationship, except by a form of compensation as agreed in the agreement or contract.

Section 3: Professional Conduct with Clients

As a coach:

13) I will not knowingly mislead or make false claims about what my client or sponsor will receive from the

coaching process or from me as the coach.

14) I will not give my prospective clients or sponsors information or advice I know or believe to be misleading or

false.

15) I will have clear agreements or contracts with my clients and sponsor(s). I will honor all agreements or

contracts made in the context of professional coaching relationships.

16) I will carefully explain and strive to ensure that, prior to or at the initial meeting, my coaching client and

sponsor(s) understand the nature of coaching, the nature and limits of confidentiality, financial arrangements,

and any other terms of the coaching agreement or contract.

17) I will be responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern any

physical contact I may have with my clients or sponsors.

18) I will not become sexually intimate with any of my current clients or sponsors.

19) I will respect the client’s right to terminate the coaching relationship at any point during the process, subject

to the provisions of the agreement or contract. I will be alert to indications that the client is no longer benefiting

from our coaching relationship.

20) I will encourage the client or sponsor to make a change if I believe the client or sponsor would be better

served by another coach or by another resource.

21) I will suggest my client seek the services of other professionals when deemed necessary or appropriate.

Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy

As a coach:

22) I will maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information. I will have a clear

agreement or contract before releasing information to another person, unless required by law.

23) I will have a clear agreement upon how coaching information will be exchanged among coach, client, and

sponsor.