Within the International Coaches Federation (ICF) Core Competencies category of Setting the Foundation is the competency of Establishing the Coaching Agreement. A well-trained professional coach determines whether the match between coach and client best serves the client. A professional coach uses a written agreement that addresses the Code of Ethics and outlines the parameters of the coaching agreement.
The professional coach first discusses the coaching relationship and process with a potential client, and then provides a written agreement for the client to review before deciding to move forward. While there are many versions of a coaching agreement, key areas covered include:
* Ethics – that the coach subscribes to a Code of Ethics and ensures availability of a copy for the client
* Logistics – how often sessions are scheduled and the process
* Fees – what the fee is, how it is paid, and minimum commitment to a monthly fee
* Confidentiality – the privacy of sessions, how records are protected, whether others are included
* Parameters of the Relationship – what a coach is and what a coach is not
* Boundaries of the Relationship – the level of communication between sessions and non-intimate
* Client Choice – the client prioritizes focus and makes their own decisions
The written agreement creates a common understanding and serves to protect both the client and the coach.