Best Practices for Professional Coaches
All SCM Certified Coaches, as well as coaches who receive certificates of completion, are required to pledge to uphold the following best practices.
SCM BEST PRACTICES FOR PROFESSIONAL COACHES v2022:
Part I. Coaching Professionalism Best Practices:
3. Professional coaches get reputable coach certifications and keep their credentials current. As time passes, they keep their skills up-to-date by working toward more advanced certifications.
Part II. Marketing and Sales Best Practices:1. Professional coaches transparently communicate their coach training, experience and credentialing; neither exaggerating, nor diminishing their qualifications and abilities.
2. Professional coaches don’t use money-back guarantees to entice clients to work with them, knowing that such guarantees can give clients a false sense of having nothing to lose.
3. Professional coaches always reveal whether they may receive payment in exchange for recommending the products or services of others’, regardless whether payment would be money, service, or some type of trade.
4. Professional coaches neither sell nor upsell during coaching sessions. They schedule separate conversations to discuss additional products or services that the client may want and they are transparent about the nature of those conversations.
5. Professional coaches use marketing tools such as email, social networking sites, webinars, live networking, etc., to build relationships with people, rather than to “squeeze profits from prospects”, knowing that the former attracts clients and leads to coaching success, while the latter erodes trust.
Part III. Coaching Relationships Best Practices:1. Professional coaches only work with clients they honestly believe in.
2. Professional coaches understand that trust and respect are the foundations of effective coaching relationships. They take care to maintain that trust and respect, and immediately address it, if it becomes impaired.
3. Professional coaches always defer to their clients’ desires and never assume that they know “what’s best” for others.
4. Professional coaches fully inform their clients about the services and fees to expect from coaching, before paid coaching commences, and they take care to deliver what they promise.
5. If a professional coach receives a complaint from a coaching client, they do their best to make it right, immediately. Sometimes this might include the return of a fee; other times it may mean clearer communication, or stronger coaching.
6. Professional coaches always use written coaching agreements with ongoing coaching clients, including pro bono clients. Their agreements describe in detail what the client can expect and include a link to the ethical code or best practices to which the coach adheres.
7. Professional coaches who become unavailable to coach their clients for one month or longer, for any reason, refund their clients’ fees for any unused coaching sessions and attempt, if possible, to assist their clients in finding other appropriate coaches.
8. Professional coaches never share personal information about their coaching clients, without getting specific written approval from the clients, first.
9. Professional coaches give advice sparingly, only when genuinely needed, and never in areas for which the coach is not qualified.
10. Professional coaches refer their clients to other professionals whenever the client appears to need help in areas for which the coach is not qualified. This may include other coaches, counselors or psychotherapists, financial advisors, health professionals, etc.
11. Professional coaches never mix multiple relationships with paid client relationships. These include romantic relationships, business partnerships, and any other type of relationship that could cause even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
12. Professional coaches never put profits above client results.
13. Professional coaches never steal the intellectual property of others, but honor international copyright and trademark laws. They create their own material or get the appropriate licenses and permissions to use the work of others.