What are the ethics of the coach?
The coach must be able to follow a professional code of conduct to resolve doubtful cases. This is a reassuring framework, for both the coach and the client.
The European Coaching Association Belgium proposes a code of ethics which basic rules are:
1 - Initial and continuing vocational training:
The coach has received an initial theoretical and practical vocational training of high-level, capable of creating a competence in the profession of coaching.
He is committed to renew his training and personal development through the exercise of his profession, via training sessions, conferences or seminars organized by the profession.
2 - Self- development:
The coach is involved in a self-development process, completed or in progress, this work being distinct from his training.
3 - Supervision:
The coach is supervised in its practice. This supervision is provided individually or in groups by one or more of his qualified peers.
4 - Privacy:
The coach is held to observe professional secrecy. He takes every precaution to maintain the anonymity of the persons who consult and, in particular, will not communicate any information to a third party without his/her express agreement.
5 - Independence:
The coach remains in a position of independence. In a tripartite contract, except as indicated to below, he is compelled not to communicate the content of sessions neither to the coachee’s hierarchy nor to any other third party, and that in the sole interest of the coachee.
6 - Respect for the individual:
One of the characteristics of a supportive process such as coaching is the existence of a transferential relationship between coach and coachee. This link can put the coachee in a relationship of dependency on the coach. The coach commits not to draw any benefit from it and will refrain from any abuse of power or passage to the act against the coachee.
7 - Posture of restraint towards third parties:
The coach observes an attitude of reserve towards third parties, public or colleagues, whenever he gives information about the exercise of his profession, in interviews or conferences. This is to avoid, for example, any risk of recognition of its customers by others. Also, he refrains from using his clients for media purposes.
8 - Obligations towards the organization:
The coach is attentive to the trade, customs, culture, context and constraints of the organization for which the coachee works.
9 - Obligation of means :
The coach uses all the appropriate means to ensure the customer's personal and professional development, within his/her request. This includes resorting to a colleague if necessary. The coachee nevertheless remains solely responsible for his/her decisions.