CODE OF ETHICS – EXECUTIVE COACHES
September 2, 2014
The Association of Corporate Executive Coaching (ACEC) is committed to maintaining excellent coaching practice. This code of ethics sets out the essential elements of sound ethical practice.
ACEC corporate executive 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 applicable laws and regulations for their country and in the countries of their clients also bind them.
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 Association of Corporate Executive Coaches 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.
Professional Conduct – ACEC coaches will:
• Not knowingly, make any public statement that is untrue or misleading about what they offer as a coach, or make false claims in any written documents relating to the coaching profession, their credentials, or the ACEC.
• Conduct and report research with competence, honesty, and within recognized scientific standards and applicable subject guidelines. Research will be carried out with the necessary consent and approval of those involved, and with an approach that will protect participants from any potential harm. All research efforts will be performed in a manner that complies with all the applicable laws of the country in which the research is conducted.
• Maintain, store, and dispose of any records created during their coaching business in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security, and privacy, and complies with any applicable laws and agreements.
• Use ACEC member contact information (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc.) only in the manner and to the extent authorized by the ACEC.
• ACEC members will not release information pertaining to the structure, relationship, financial arrangements, and/or design of ACEC.
• Coaches must be sensitive to issues of culture, religion, gender, sexuality, disability and race and all other forms of equalities and diversity.
• Coaches are required to monitor the quality of their work and to seek feedback wherever possible from clients and other professionals as appropriate.
• Current and or past members of ACEC shall not in anyway defame the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches (ACEC) or its members. Defaming shall result in the member being required to immediately relinquish their membership and all certifications, fees shall not be refunded for example certification(s) or membership dues.
Conflicts of Interest – ACEC coaches:
• Are required to consider the impact of any dual relationships they may hold with regards to their clients and/or any sponsoring organizations. If such a relationship is identified, then it must be made clear to all parties involved so that agreement may be reached about whether to continue the coaching relationship.
Professional Conduct with Clients – ACEC coaches will:
• Be responsible for ensuring that clients are fully informed of the coaching contract, and terms and conditions for coaching both prior to and at the initial session. These matters include confidentiality, session costs, frequency, and length of sessions as well as cancellation policies.
• Not give prospective clients or sponsors information or advice they know or believe to be misleading or false.
• Be responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern any physical contact they may have with clients or sponsors.
• Respect the client’s right to terminate the coaching relationship at any point during the process, subject to the provisions of the agreement or contract. They will be alert to indications that the client is no longer benefiting from our coaching relationship.
• Be required to be sensitive to the possibility that some clients will require more psychological support than is normally available within the coaching domain. In these cases, referral should be made to an appropriate source of care, e.g. the client’s medical advisor, a counselor or psychotherapist, psychological support services and/or agencies.
• Coaches are required to be frank and willing to respond to their client’s requests for information about the methods, techniques, and ways in which the coaching process will be conducted. This should be done both prior to contract agreement and during the full term of the contract.
Confidentiality/Privacy ACEC coaches will:
• Maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information. They will have a clear agreement or contract before releasing information to another person, unless required by law. Attention must be given to the client’s rights under any current legislation, e.g. Data Protection Act.
• Have a clear agreement upon how coaching information will be exchanged among coach, client, and sponsor.
• When acting as a mentor coach, they will clarify confidentiality policies and/or fees. They will have transparent contractual arrangements.
Education ACEC coaches will:
• Be required to undertake a minimum of 20 hours of continuing professional development (CEU, CE) in the theory and practice of coaching, employment law, psychology, and or business on an annual basis. This is required for continued ACEC membership/certification in good standing.
• Be required to keep themselves informed of any statutory or legal requirements that may affect their work and comply fully with them.
• Coaches are required to have current professional liability insurance that specifically includes coaching as a work activity prior to accepting a coaching opportunity through ACEC. E&O is recommended but not required.
• All claims made by the coach should be honest, accurate, and consistent with maintaining the business and the coaching professions good standing. All coaching contracts should make clear, thus preventing any questions of illegal activity becoming evident as a result of coaching.
In the case where the coach may not be able to maintain complete client confidentiality and may need to involve others if there is potential for harm to be caused to the client or others, where possible and appropriate, the Coach will do this with the permission and consensus of the client.
ACEC Coach Directories:
ACEC© maintains a public directory and a separate complete private directory “ACEC Coach Directory” aka Directory of ACEC coach members. These Directory contains members that are vetted for experience, skills, assessment certifications, education, methodology, and more. ACEC will introduce its coaches for best fit assignments.Members may also post open opportunities on our private members website, by contacting CB Bowman: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ACEC Coach Directories, are intended to be used as a tool to list assignments. The ACEC reserves the right to cancel and/or remove any posting that does not fit within our guidelines, code of ethics, and/or bylaws. All assignments listed must not, at anytime result in our members paying any money to join a group or to acquire the assignment. Members may not contact other members for the purposes of selling membership, products or work assignments, doing so will result in immediate termination of membership, this in accordance with our code of ethics.
The qualifications of coaches listed, and the information provided is obtained from the coach, we recommend that users of our database take reasonable steps to verify the qualifications of any potential coach. Our vetting process is based upon gathering the information mentioned from the coach member and does not guarantee accuracy or include a background check.
By utilizing OUR ACEC Coach Directory(s), you agree to hold the ACEC harmless from any and all claims, which may arise as a result of your using the information provided and/or engaging with a coach.
Should you wish to post a Request for Proposal (RFP), the RFP will remain posted for 30 days, after which it will expire in the system. During this 30-day period, ACEC members may respond through ACEC’s platform to your RFP. They will not be provided your contact information unless you respond to their message and share this information.
Pledge of Ethics for ACEC Coaches:
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 ACEC 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 ACEC Code of Ethics, I agree that the ACEC in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that my accountability to the ACEC for any breach may include sanctions, such as loss of my ACEC membership and/or my ACEC credentials and a request to remove any and all ACEC logos and reference from all material.