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The Code is arranged into five sections and covers the bodies’ general expectations of professional behaviour and conduct as well as the list of all the membership bodies that have signed up to this Code of Ethics:

  1. Terminology
  2. Working with Clients
  3. Professional Conduct
  4. Excellent Practice
  5. Signatories to the Global Code of Ethics

1. Terminology

For reasons of brevity this Code where appropriate refers to:

  • Coachees, mentees, supervisees, and students as “clients”
  • Coaches, mentors, supervisors, and trainers/training providers as“practicing members” or “members”.
  • Coaching, mentoring, and supervision work as “professional work.”
  • Coaching, mentoring, and supervision as “profession”.


The signatories to this Code acknowledge that the terms “profession” and “professional” are being used for activities that are not under statutory regulation but are being increasingly professionalised and self-regulated.

The signatories to this Code acknowledge that the titles “coach”, “mentor” and “supervisor” are not protected and may be used by anyone in the field of practice, member or not member of a professional body.

Each signatory will define exactly which of its members and other stakeholders are expected to abide by this Code (who are hereaftercollectively referred to as the “members”).

For a proper understanding of this Code, members should be aware of their own professional body’s definitions and terminology for the precise use of keywords e.g., coach, coaching, client, member, mentor, mentoring, sponsor, supervisor, supervision, training, and technology.

2. Working with Clients


2.1 When professionally working with clients in any capacity members will conduct themselves in accordance with this Code, committed to delivering the level of service that may reasonably be expected of a practising member.


2.2 Before they start working with a client, members will make this Code available and explain and make explicit, their commitment to abide by this Code. Members will also make their clients and sponsors aware of their respective bodies’ complaints procedures.

2.3 Before starting work with a client, members will explain and strive to ensure that the client and sponsor know and fully understand, the nature, terms, and conditions of the coaching, mentoring, or supervision contract, including financial, logistical, and confidentiality arrangements.


2.4 Members will use their professional knowledge and experience to understand their clients’ and sponsors’ expectations and reach an agreement on how they plan to meet them. Members will also try to take into account the needs and expectations of other relevant parties.

2.5 Members will be open and transparent about the methods they use and willing to share information with clients and sponsors about the processes and standards involved.

2.6 Members will ensure that the duration of the contract is appropriate to achieve the client’s and sponsor’s goals and will actively work to promote the client’s independence, self-reliance and sense of empowerment.

2.7 Members will ensure that the setting in which any coaching, mentoring, supervision, or training takes place offers optimal conditions for learning and reflection and therefore a higher likelihood of achieving the goals set in the contract.

2.8 Members should be guided by their client’s interests and at the same time raise awareness and responsibility to safeguard that these interests do not harm those of sponsors, stakeholders, wider society, or the natural environment.


2.9 Members will be suitably qualified to work with their chosen client group and honestly represent their relevant experience, professional qualifications, memberships, and certifications/accreditations to clients, sponsors, stakeholders, and fellow practitioners.

2.10 In communication with any party, members will accurately represent the value they provide as a coach, mentor, or supervisor.

2.11 Members will ensure that no false or misleading claims are made, or implied, about their professional competence, qualifications, or accreditation in any published, promotional material, or otherwise. Members will attribute ownership of work, ideas, and materials of others to the originator and not claim it as their own.

2.12 Members will disclose any conflict of interest and act within applicable law and not in any way encourage, assist or collude with conduct that is dishonest, unlawful, unprofessional, unjust, or discriminatory.


2.13 When working with clients, members will maintain the strictest level of confidentiality with all client and sponsor information unless the release of information is required by law.

2.14 Members will have a clear agreement with clients and sponsors about the conditions under which confidentiality will not be maintained (e.g., illegal activity, danger to self or others) and gain agreement to that limit of confidentiality where possible unless the release of information is required by law.

2.15 Members will keep, store and dispose of all data and records of their client work including digital files and communications, in a manner that ensures confidentiality, security, and privacy, and complies with all relevant laws and agreements that exist in their client’s country regarding data protection and privacy.

2.16 Members will inform clients that they are receiving supervision and identify that the client may be referred to anonymously in this context. The client should be assured that the supervision relationship is itself confidential.

2.17 If the client is a child or a vulnerable adult, members will make arrangements with the client’s sponsors or guardian to ensure an appropriate level of confidentiality in the best interests of the client, whilst also complying with all relevant legislation and safeguarding practices.

Inappropriate interactions

2.18 Members are responsible for setting and maintaining clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern all physical and virtual interactions with clients or sponsors.

2.19 Members will strictly avoid pursuing and refrain from engaging in any romantic or sexual relationships with current clients or sponsors.

Conflict of interest

2.20 Members will not exploit a client or seek to gain any inappropriate financial or non-financial advantage from the relationship nor use the client’s personal, professional or other data, without their consent.

2.21 To avoid any conflict of interest, members will clearly distinguish a professional relationship with a client from other forms of relationships.

2.22 Members will be aware of the potential for conflicts of interest of either a commercial or personal nature arising through the working relationship and address them quickly and effectively in order to ensure that there is no detriment to the client or sponsor.

2.23 Members will consider the impact of any client relationships on other client relationships and discuss any potential conflict of interest with those who might be affected.

2.24 Members will disclose any conflict of interest openly and transparently with the client and if a conflict arises that cannot be managed effectively agree to withdraw from the relationship.

Reference:  © GCoE 2016 Updated June 2021 V3

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