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.