International Coaching Federation Standards of Ethical Conduct

Professional Conduct At Large

  • 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 honor agreements I make in my all of my relationships. I will construct clear agreements with my clients that may include confidentiality, progress reports, and other particulars.
  • I will respect and honor the efforts and contributions of others.
  • I will respect the creative and written work of others in developing my own materials and not misrepresent them as my own.
  • I will use ICF member contact information (email addresses, telephone numbers, etc.) only in the manner and to the extent authorized by the ICF.

Professional Conduct With Clients

  • I will ensure that my coaching client understands the nature of coaching and the terms of the coaching agreement between us.
  • I will not intentionally mislead or make false claims about what my client will receive from the coaching process or from me as their coach.
  • I will not give my clients or any prospective clients information or advice I know to be misleading or beyond my competence.
  • I will be alert to noticing when my client is no longer benefiting from our coaching relationship and 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 obtain agreement with my clients before releasing their names as clients or references or any other client identifying information.
  • I will obtain agreement with the person being coached before releasing information to another person compensating me.

Conflicts of Interest

  • I will seek to avoid conflicts between my interests and the interests of my clients.
  • Whenever any actual conflict of interest or the potential for a conflict of interest arises, I will openly disclose it and fully discuss with my client how to deal with it in whatever way best serves my client.
  • I will disclose to my client all anticipated compensation from third parties that I may receive for referrals or advice concerning that client