Standards and Ethics

As a professional coach, I acknowledge and honor my ethical obligations to my coaching clients and colleagues and to the public at large. I pledge to comply with ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct, to treat people with dignity as free and equal human beings, and to model these standards with those whom I coach. If I breach this Pledge of Ethics or any ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct, I agree that the ICF in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that ICF’s holding me accountable for my breach may include loss of my ICF membership or my ICF certification.

ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct

  • I will conduct myself in a manner that reflects well on coaching as a profession and I will refrain from doing anything that harms the public’s understanding or acceptance of coaching as a profession.
  • I will identify my level of coaching competence to the best of my ability and I will not overstate my qualifications, expertise or experience as a coach.
  • I will, at the beginning of each coaching relationship, ensure that my coaching client understands the terms of the coaching agreement between us.
  • I will not claim or imply outcomes that I cannot guarantee.
  • I will respect the confidentiality of my client’s information, except as otherwise authorized by my client, or as required by law.
  • I will obtain permission from each of my clients before releasing their names as clients or references.
  • I will be alert to noticing when my client is no longer benefiting from our coaching relationship and thus would be better served by another coach or by another resource and, at that time, I will encourage my client to make that change.
  • I will avoid conflicts between my interests and the interests of my clients. Whenever the potential for a conflict of interest arises, I will, on a timely basis, discuss the conflict with my client to reach informed agreement with my client on how to deal with it in whatever way best serves my client.
  • I will, on a timely basis, disclose to my client all compensation from third parties that I may receive for referrals of, or advice given to, that client.
  • I will honour every term of agreements I make with my clients and, if separate, with whoever compensates me for the coaching of my clients.
  • I will not give my clients or any prospective clients information or advice I know to be confidential, misleading or beyond my competence.
  • I will acknowledge the work and contributions of others; I will respect copyrights, trademarks and intellectual property rights and I will comply with applicable laws and my agreements concerning these rights.
  • I will use ICF membership lists only in the manner and to the extent that I’m so authorized by the ICF or the applicable ICF Chapter or ICF Committee.
  • I will coach in a manner compatible with the ICF Definition of Coaching and, whenever asked by my clients about my ethical standards, I will inform them of my pledge and agreement to comply with the ICF Pledge of Ethics and ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct.