Access to Coaching Notes

Access to Coaching Notes By Cathy Liska

When notes are takin during coaching sessions, who has access to the notes?  If the client is the one taking the notes, then the answer is very simple: the client has access.  When a coach takes notes, the question becomes more significant and bigger.

For example, some coaches provide the client with their notes and some coaches keep their notes to themselves.  If the notes are taken by the coach, how does having them serve the client?  The coach uses the notes to review and prepare for subsequent coaching sessions.  Notes can be a checklist of actions that is used for accountability.  Notes can provide information to track client outcomes.

If a coach does provide a client with the notes, it is important to determine how the notes will be shared.  In some cases, the coaching is face-to-face so the coach simply hands the notes to the client or makes a photocopy.  As discussed in coach training, 80% of all coaching is done on the telephone or online.  If coaching is done online or on the telephone, then emailing the notes is easy.  It is very important to note that if the email address is owned by a company, then the email itself is owned by the company and the confidentiality is limited so discuss using a personal email address instead.  There are technologies for storing or sharing documents online that serve as alternatives – review the protection of the technology.

An additional consideration: if the coach uses a company-owned computer or a computer others have access to, then the confidentiality of the notes is limited.  Discuss this with clients; ideally the coach simply uses their own computer.

During the coaching certification process, confidentiality is taught in the class on ethics.  Discussion includes the importance of transparency with clients about what notes are taken, who has access, how long the notes are kept, and where the information is kept.

You may also like...