Clear Agreements or Contracts

The ICF Code of Ethics states, “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.”

Agreements coaches use vary widely and there are some who use a verbal agreement only.  A written agreement is called for in coaching.  When working with a sponsor there is an agreement or contract with the sponsor and an agreement with the client or the person coached.

Key considerations for the agreements include:

  • Describing the nature of coaching and the role of the coach
  • Defining the parameters of confidentiality
  • Record keeping policies
  • Outlining the where and when of coaching sessions
  • Length of the relationship
  • Contact between sessions
  • Fees and payment policy
  • Cancellation policy
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Code of Ethics

Resources for examples of agreements include the ICF, many coach training programs, and websites of individual coaches or coaching companies.

Ethically and legally a coach is accountable to the agreement.  When establishing a coaching relationship, it is the responsibility of the coach to ensure there is a clear agreement.

An agreement and Code of Ethics are foundational to the professionalism of coaching and to establishing trust in the coaching relationship.

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