The Code of Ethics from the International Coach Federation is essential for coaching – both for how the coach operates and for how the client is treated. Unfortunately, there are coaches who have no training or inadequate training on the Code of Ethics.
The coaching profession as a whole will either be regulated by government or it will successfully self-regulate. The International Coach Federation is working hard for self-regulation and is the gold standard in the coaching profession. The good news is that this means, for coaches and clients alike, that the measure for ethics and transparency is membership in the ICF and the promotion of the Code of Ethics.
Ideally each coach includes the Code of Ethics, or a link to it, on their website and with their coaching agreement. Prior to engaging in the coaching relationship, the coach initiates a conversation with the prospective client that covers key points from the Code of Ethics.
If a coach does not address ethics on their website, in their agreement, and in conversation, then it is likely a red flag – so start asking questions.
Coaches – the more each of us promotes and discusses ethics the more we differentiate ourselves and enhance the profession as a whole.