Center for Coaching Certification

Coaching Ethics

As is true in all professions, having and being accountable to a Code of Ethics is essential.  A code of ethics provides the code of conduct for how coaches treat their clients and manage their work. Coaching Ethics

About the Coaching Code of Ethics:

  • Most businesses and professions have a code of ethics, so for many, it seems a basic necessity.
  • Currently, coaching is an uncontrolled profession, and many untrained “coaches” are unaware of ethics.
  • Think about and discuss ethics in advance to develop an understanding of boundaries and for handling situations.
  • Coach training on ethics and accountability to ethics through the International Coach Federations demonstrates professionalism and supports quality.

Ethics are Important Because:

  • Ethics provide a foundation for the coaching relationship.
  • Ethics protect the client.
  • Ethics protect the coach.
  • Ethics guide the coaching process.

Ethical Considerations:

  • Ethical accountability is essential.
  • Quality coach-specific training reviews the ICF Code of Ethics and discusses possible ethical dilemmas.
  • Each coach is called on to study the code of ethics and think through what is important to the client, coach, and profession.
  • Actively participate with other professional coaches and seek to continuously learn.


  • Use the Code of Ethics as the foundation of your coaching.
  • Publicize your code of ethics.
  • Support and promote ethics in the coaching industry.

The ICF Code of Ethics is available online and all members of the ICF are held accountable.


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