Coaching is growing and expanding rapidly and is here to stay. As a profession or an industry, coaching has grown and garnered increasing levels of attention. In keeping with a multitude of professions, coaching is now at a point where it will successfully self-regulate or, in the United States at least and potentially in other countries, government will step in and regulate it.
Reasons government is or may become involved include cases wherein a coach is sued for practicing therapy, state agencies exploring whether coaching fits under mental health, coaches who are untrained or whose training failed to include or adequately address ethics, government tradition, and the consideration of necessity to protect clients.
The International Coaching Federation is the leader in coaching and a gold standard for coaches and coach training. ICF is at the forefront for self-regulation of coaching. To this end, the ICF approves coach training programs, publishes the Core Competencies for coaches, publishes and promotes a Code of Ethics, and has membership requirements that include 60 hours of training, agreeing and being accountable to the Code of Ethics, and continuing education.
Whether or not coaching is regulated, having a Code of Ethics makes sense. It supports professionalism and credibility for coaching and is foundational to building trust in a coaching relationship. As coaches, the more we discuss and promote the ICF and the Code of Ethics, the more we educate unaware coaches and clients alike.