Center for Coaching Certification

A Gift: What do you think? Ethical Challenges Series

A coaching client offers their box seat tickets to a big game to the coach.  The coach has completed their coach training and is a member of the ICF and accountable to the Code of Ethics. A Gift: What do you think?

Possible Responses:

  • The coach declines the tickets.
  • The coach accepts the tickets.
  • The coach says they will take the tickets if they can pay for them.
  • The coach barters a free coaching session in exchange for the tickets.
  • The coach explains accepting the tickets could be perceived as a conflict of interest and invites the client to discuss implications and set boundaries.
  • The coach explains they have a policy of not accepting gifts over a pre-determined amount.
  • What else?

Refer to the ICF Code of Ethics:

15) Disclose to my client and the sponsor(s) all anticipated compensation from third parties that I may receive for referrals of clients or pay to receive clients.

16) Honor an equitable coach/client relationship, regardless of the form of compensation.


Q: I received a surprise gift of baseball tickets from my realtor after I referred my client to her. Must I tell my client I received these tickets?
A: If the gift was not anticipated and happens after the referral is made, no disclosure is necessary.

How do you recommend it be handled?


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