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Methods & Ethics

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Professional behavior in general

As a coach

1) I am committed to a behavior that has a positive effect on the profession of coaching and I will avoid behaviors and representations, which could adversely affect the understanding or acceptance of coaching as a profession in public.

2) I will not, with respect to the coaching as a profession, intentionally make public statements that are false or misleading or write false claims in written documents.

3) I respect different coaching methods and approaches. I'm going to honour the efforts and contributions of others and not sell them as my own.

4) I'm going to beware of statements that can potentially lead to abuse of my influence, which I refer to the nature of coaching and how it can affect the lives of others.

5) I will at all times strive to recognize personal issues that hurt my coaching performance or my professional relationships or interfere with or may come into conflict with them. Whenever the facts or circumstances make it necessary, I will immediately seek professional assistance and determine what measures are necessary, up to a suspension or even termination of my coaching work.

6) as a trainer or supervisor of coaches or potential coaches, I will conduct myself in all training situations or supervision in accordance with the ICF Code of Ethics.

7) I will research with competence, honesty and within recognized scientific guidelines be performed and documented. My research is carried out with the necessary consent of all parties involved and my method will protect all parties from potential damage. I'll in all research to the respective laws of the country where they take place, hold.

8) All the documents relating to my work as a coach I will create, store and destroy in a way that confidentiality is provided and the method is consistent with all applicable laws.

Professional Conduct with Clients

As a coach

9) I will conduct, appropriate, and culturally correct boundaries

10) I will never take or maintain sexual contact with a client.

11) I will develop clear agreements with my clients, and will honor any agreement in connection with the professional coaching relationship.

12) I will make sure in the preliminary or the first coaching session that the client understands the nature of coaching, the duty of confidentiality, financial arrangements and other points of the coaching agreement.

13) I will truthfully represent skills and my experience as a coach.

14) I will not mislead my clients or intentionally misinform about what they can expect from me as a coach or the coaching process.

15) I will pass on any information or advice to my clients or to interested clients about misleading information.

16) I will never knowingly exploit any aspect of the client-coach relationship for my personal, professional or financial benefit.

17) I will respect the right of my client at any time to terminate the coaching process. I will be alert to indications that suggest that my client is no longer benefiting from our coaching relationship.

18) I will if I believe that my client is better served by another coach or by another resource, encourage my clients make this change.

19) I will if it is appropriate or necessary propose the services of other professions to my clients.

20) I will, if my client's intention is revealed to endanger him or herself or others, take all reasonable steps to inform the relevant authorities thereof.

Confidentiality / privacy

As a coach

21) I respect the confidentiality of my client's information, except my client authorized me or the laws require it.

22) I will obtain the consent of my clients before I pass on their names or other identifying information as a client or as a reference.

23) I will obtain the consent of the person I am coaching before I release information to a third party, of which I receive compensation.

Conflicts of interest

As a coach

24) I will avoid conflicts between my interests and the interests of my clients.

25) I will, whenever there is a conflict of interest or could arise explain them openly and honestly and discuss with my client how to deal with it in order to reach an agreement about how the conflict is handled best in the interest of the client.

26) I'm going disclose to my client all fees and payments received for referrals from the client.

27) I will only barter for services, goods or other non-financial compensation only enter if it does not harm to the coaching relationship.

The ICF commitment to ethics

As a professional coach, I agree to abide by the ethical principles when engaging with my clients, colleagues and the general public. I undertake to comply with the ethical principles and standards of behavior for ICF coaches to treat all people with respect and as free and equal people and demonstrate these standards of conduct with my clients. 

If I violate these ethical principles or standards of conduct for ICF coaches, I do agree that the ICF makes me responsible at their own discretion. Furthermore, I do agree that the ICF in such a case renounces my ICF membership and deprives me the ICF certification.