International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

Part One: Definition of Coaching


Section 1: Definitions

  Coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential   A professional coaching relationship: A professional coaching relationship exists when coaching includes a business agreement or contract that defines the responsibilities of each party.   An ICF Professional Coach: An ICF Professional Coach also agrees to practice the ICF Professional Core Competencies and pledges accountability to the ICF Code of Ethics.   In order to clarify roles in the coaching relationship, it is often necessary to distinguish between the client and the sponsor. In most cases, the client and sponsor are the same person and therefore jointly referred to as the client. For purposes of identification, however, the International Coach Federation defines these roles as follows:   Client: The “client” is the person(s) being coached. Sponsor: The “sponsor” is the entity (including its representatives) paying for and/or arranging for coaching services to be provided.   In all cases, coaching engagement contracts or agreements should clearly establish the rights, roles, and responsibilities for both the client and sponsor if they are not the same persons.    

Part Two: The ICF Standards of Ethical Conduct

  Preamble: ICF Professional Coaches aspire to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively upon the coaching profession; are respectful of different approaches to coaching; and recognize that they are also bound by applicable laws and regulations.  

Section 1: Professional Conduct At Large

  As a coach:

Section 2: Conflicts of Interest

  As a coach:  

Section 3: Professional Conduct with Clients

  As a coach:  

Section 4: Confidentiality/Privacy

  As a coach:  

Part Three: The ICF Pledge of Ethics

  As an ICF Professional Coach, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical and legal obligations to my coaching clients and sponsors, colleagues, and to the public at large. I pledge to comply with the ICF Code of Ethics and to practice these standards with those whom I coach.   If I breach this Pledge of Ethics or any part of the ICF Code of Ethics, I agree that the ICF in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that my accountability to the ICF for any breach may include sanctions, such as loss of my ICF Membership and/or my ICF Credentials.       Approved by the Ethics and Standards Committee on October 30, 2008. Approved by the ICF Board of Directors on December 18, 2008.