A major breakthrough in the coaching industry has occurred with key professional coaching bodies in the UK signing an agreed ‘statement of shared professional values’ at a coaching roundtable. This has defined the common ground in the codes of ethics and practices currently used by such bodies in the UK.
The statement gives all buyers of coaching services a clear frame of reference for the ethical requirements surrounding good quality coaching. Drafted by Robin Linnecar of Praesta, it synthesises the best ethical practice of all the professional bodies.
Neil Scotton, president of the International Coach Federation in the UK (UK ICF) commented: “This agreement clearly shows how the main professional coaching bodies are working together to build coaching standards and the coaching profession in the UK. It’s an important first step on a journey that will benefit all professional coaches and everyone they work with.”
Katherine Tulpa, chair of the Association for Coaching (AC) was delighted:
“We are excited by the possibilities that lie ahead for the Coaching roundtable. The statement of shared professional values hallmarks the success of how we have evolved as a group – one that is collaborative and coach-like, working towards a common aim.”
Gil Schwenk, chair of the Professional Bodies Liaison committee of the European Coaching and Mentoring Council – UK (EMCC -UK) added: “The Statement of Shared Values is another result of the ongoing collaboration between the coaching professional bodies. Together we increasingly share responsibility for the leadership of coaching and mentoring excellence in the UK.”
Statement of Shared Professional Values
This statement has been agreed by the coaching professional bodies in the UK who cooperate to enhance the reputation of the coaching industry. In the emerging profession of coaching, we believe that:
- Every coach, whether charging fees for coaching provided to individuals or organisations or both, is best served by being a member of a professional body suiting his/her needs.
- Every coach needs to abide by a code of governing ethics and apply acknowledged standards to the performance of their coaching work.
- Every coach needs to invest in their ongoing continuing professional development to ensure the quality of their service and their level of skill is enhanced.
- Every coach has a duty of care to ensure the good reputation of our emerging profession.
The following are fundamental principles by which we expect our members to operate:
Meta Principle: To continually enhance the competence and reputation of the coaching profession
Principle One – Reputation
Every coach will act positively and in a manner that increases the public’s understanding and acceptance of coaching.
Principle Two – Continuous Competence Enhancement
Every coach accepts the need to enhance their experience, knowledge, capability and competence on a continuous basis.
Principle Three – Client Centred
Every client is creative, resourceful and whole and the coach’s role is to keep the development of that client central to his/her work, ensuring all services provided are appropriate to the client’s needs.
Principle Four – Confidentiality and Standards
Every coach has a professional responsibility (beyond the terms of the contract with the client) to apply high standards in their service provision and behaviour. He/she needs to be open and frank about methods and techniques used in the coaching process, maintain only appropriate records and to respect the confidentiality a) of the work with their clients and b) or their representative body’s members information.
Principle Five – Law and Diversity
Every coach will act within the Laws of the jurisdictions within which they practice and will also acknowledge and promote diversity at all times.
Principle Six – Boundary Management
Every coach will recognise their own limitations of competence and the need to exercise boundary management. The client’s right to terminate the coaching process will be respected at all times, as will the need to acknowledge different approaches to coaching which may be more effective for the client than their own. Every endeavour will be taken to ensure the avoidance of conflicts of interest.
Principle Seven – Personal Pledge
Every coach will undertake to abide by the above principles that will complement the principles, codes of ethics and conduct set out by their own representative body to which they adhere and by the breach of which they would be required to undergo due process.