Code of ethics

The code of ethics is arranged into three sections, covering what you can expect by way of our professional behaviour and conduct at

1.               Working with Clients

2.               Professional Conduct

3.               Excellent Practice



1. Working with Clients



1.1        We will do our utmost to understand our clients’ and sponsors’ expectations and reach agreement on how we plan to meet them. 



1.2        Before we start working with a client, we will explain, and make explicit, our commitment to abide by this code.  We will also make our clients and sponsors aware of our complaints procedures.

1.3        Before starting to work with a client, we will explain and strive to ensure that a client knows, and fully understands, the nature and terms and conditions, of any coaching or mentoring contract, including financial, logistical and confidentiality arrangements.

1.4        We will be open about the methods we use, and on request be ready to supply the client with information about the processes involved.

1.5        We will ensure that the duration of the contract is appropriate to achieve the client’s and sponsor’s goals and will actively work to avoid the client’s dependency. 



1.6        We will accurately and honestly represent our relevant professional qualifications, experience, training, certifications and accreditations to clients, sponsors, other coaches and mentors.

1.7        When talking with any party, we will accurately and honestly represent the potential value we provide as a coach or mentor.

1.8        We will attribute ownership of work, ideas and materials of others to the originator and not claim it as our own.  



1.9        When working with a client, we will maintain the strictest level of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information unless release of information is required by law.

1.10     We will store, and dispose of, any records regarding clients, including electronic files and communications, in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security and privacy, and complies with all applicable laws and agreements.

1.11     We will have a clear agreement with clients and sponsors about the conditions under which confidentiality will not be maintained (e.g. illegal activity, danger to self or others etc) and gain agreement to that limit of confidentiality where possible.

1.12     We will share with clients that we are receiving supervision and identify that the client may well be referred to in this context anonymously.  The client should be reassured that the supervision relationship is itself a confidential relationship.

1.13     If the client is a child or vulnerable adult, we will make arrangements with the client’s sponsors or guardian to ensure a level of confidentiality in the best interests of that person while working within current legislation. 


Inappropriate interactions

1.14     We are responsible for setting and keeping clear, appropriate and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern interactions, physical or otherwise, with clients or sponsor(s).

1.15     We will avoid any romantic or sexual relationship with current clients, sponsor(s), students or supervisees.  Further, we will be alert to the possibility of any potential sexual intimacy between the aforementioned parties and take appropriate action to avoid the intimacy or cancel the engagement in order to provide a safe environment overall.


Conflict of interest

1.16     We will not exploit a client or seek to gain any inappropriate advantage from the relationship – financial or non-financial.

1.17     To avoid any conflict of interest, we will distinguish a coaching or mentoring relationship from other forms of relationships, such as a friendship or a business relationship.

1.18     We will be aware of the potential for conflicts of interest of either a commercial or personal nature arising through the working relationship and deal with them quickly and effectively to ensure there is no detriment to the client or sponsor or ourselves.

1.19     We will consider the impact of any client relationships on other client relationships and discuss any potential conflict of interest with those who might be affected.

1.20     We will disclose any conflict openly with the client and agree to withdraw from the relationship if a conflict arises which cannot be managed effectively.


Terminating professional relationships & on-going responsibilities

1.21     We will respect the client's right to terminate the engagement at any point in the process, subject to the provisions of the coaching or mentoring service agreement.

1.22     We will encourage the client or sponsor to stop the coaching or mentoring engagement if it is believed that the client or sponsor would be served better by another coach, mentor or another form of professional help.

1.23     We understand that our professional responsibilities continue beyond the termination of any professional relationship.  These include:

·           Maintenance of agreed confidentiality of all information relating to clients and sponsors.

·           Safe and secure maintenance of all related records and data.

·           Avoidance of any exploitation of the former relationship, which could otherwise call into question the professionalism or integrity of the member or the professional community.

·           Provision of any follow-up that has been agreed to.



2. Professional Conduct


Maintaining the reputation of coaching and mentoring

2.1        We are expected to behave in a way that at all times reflects positively upon, and enhances the reputation of, the coaching and mentoring profession.

2.2        We will demonstrate respect for the variety of coaches, mentors and other individuals in the coaching and mentoring profession and for the different approaches to coaching and mentoring.


Recognising equality and diversity

2.3        We will abide by our respective bodies’ diversity statements and policies.

2.4        We will avoid knowingly discriminating on any grounds and will constantly seek to enhance our own awareness of possible areas of discrimination.

2.5        We will be cognisant of the potential for unconscious bias and seek to ensure we take a respectful and inclusive approach that embraces and explores individual difference.

2.6        We will challenge in a supportive way any colleagues, employees, service providers, clients or participants who are perceived to be using discriminatory behaviour.

2.7        We will monitor our language, spoken, written and non-verbal, for inadvertent discrimination.

2.8        We will engage in developmental activities that are likely to increase our self-awareness in relation to equality and diversity.


Breaches of professional conduct

2.9        We accept that any breach that is upheld may result in sanctions including loss of accredited status and/or body membership.  The bodies may share details of such breaches between them in the interest of client safety, upholding quality standards and maintaining the reputation of coaching and mentoring.

2.10     We will ensure that no false or misleading claims are made, or implied, about our professional competence, qualifications or accreditation in any published, promotional material or otherwise.

2.11     A member can challenge another member when having reasonable cause to believe that this member is acting in an unethical manner and, failing resolution, will report that person to the body.


Legal and statutory obligations and duties

2.12     We are obliged to stay up to date and comply with all statutory/legal requirements in the country in which our work takes place and work within any organisational policies/procedures in the context in which the coaching or mentoring takes place.

2.13     We will keep appropriate and accurate records of our work with clients and ensure we remain confidential, are stored securely, and comply with our country’s data protection and privacy legislation.

2.14     In the context of the country in which we operates, we will have the appropriate professional indemnity insurance to cover our coaching and mentoring work.



3. Excellent Practice


Ability to perform

3.1       We have the qualifications, skills and experience appropriate to meet the needs of the client and operate within the limits of our competence.  We will refer the client to more experienced or suitably qualified coaches, mentors or professionals, if appropriate.

3.2        We will be fit and healthy enough to practice as a coach or mentor.  If we are not, or are unsure if we are able to practice safely for health reasons, we will seek professional guidance/support.  Where necessary/appropriate, we will manage the ending of the client work and refer the client to alternative support. 


On-going supervision

3.3        To support our learning and on-going professional development, we will engage in regular reflective practice.

3.4        We will engage in supervision with a suitably qualified supervisor or peer supervision group with a level of frequency that is appropriate to our coaching or mentoring practice, the requirements of our professional body and the level of our accreditation.

3.5        We will ensure that any other existing relationship with the supervisor does not interfere with the quality of the supervision provided.

3.6        We will discuss any ethical dilemmas and potential, or actual, breaches of this code with our supervisor or peer supervision group for support/guidance.


Continuing professional development and reflection

3.7        We will reflect regularly on our client work and coaching and mentoring practice and our professional and personal learning and development.

3.8        We will develop our level of coaching and/or mentoring competence by participating in relevant and appropriate amounts of training and/or continuing professional development (CPD).

3.9        We will endeavour to make a contribution to the coaching and mentoring community appropriate to our level of expertise.  This may take many forms e.g. informal peer support to fellow coaches and mentors, advancing the profession, research and writing etc.

3.10    We will systematically evaluate the quality of our work e.g. through feedback from clients and other relevant parties.