Code of Professional Conduct

The IAPC&M Code of Professional Conduct identifies key standards of practise which form the benchmark of the conduct expected.

All members of the IAPC&M are obliged to maintain these standards to ensure we deliver the best outcomes for clients.

These standards are considered essential to deliver safe and effective practice within the profession. They set out what all coaching and mentoring students must be able to demonstrate on completion of their training to form part of their accreditation and all members must be able to evidence ongoing delivery against these standards as part of their reaccreditation with the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring.

If your practice is called into question we will consider these standards in deciding what action, if any, the Professional Standards department need to take.

The IAPC&M recognises that the scope for coaching, mentoring and training is vast and varied and different members will have different areas of practice. For the purposes of clarity, the scope of your practice is the area or areas of your profession in which you have the knowledge, skills and experience to practise. These standards must therefore not be considered in isolation. All of our members will be expected to deliver our standards in conjunction with any other standards or codes of conduct within the field for which they practise.

We recognise that a member’s scope of practice may change over time which you will need to declare each time you renew your accreditation.

It is essential that you are able meet our standards, however we do not stipulate how this must be done. We accept that there are many and varied ways the standards can be met which may also change over time.

For the purposes of this document, ‘client’ refers to the person/persons who are in receipt of the services that are provided by the coaches, mentors and training providers who are accredited through the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring. The term ‘provider’ refers to the coach, mentor and/or training provider who is delivering the service.

1.Delivering exceptional client care

  • The provider must ensure that clients are fully informed of the services they are purchasing and the terms of those services
  • The provider must ensure that the client understands the terms of their contract with them
  • The full costs of services provided to a client must be agreed prior to delivery of services and must not change during that contract of service unless by agreement
  • All providers must have a clear, easy to use and accessible complaints procedure.

2.Protecting the rights of the client

  • The provider must not give misleading information to the clients
  • All clients must be treated with dignity and respect
  • All clients must be informed of how to complain if they are not satisfied with the service received
  • A provider must not abuse the client’s trust
  • A provider must not form inappropriate relationships with the client outside of the boundaries of the professional relationship
  • A provider must not accept money from the client for anything other than what has been agreed within their contract of services with the client
  • A provider must not accept gifts from the client during the contract of service. Any gifts received as a thank you must only be of nominal value and must be recorded
  • A provider must ensure that any information that they hold about a client is protected in accordance with Data Protection laws of the country within which they operate
  • A provider must have a clear confidentiality policy in place and ensure that the client is fully briefed of the terms of the policy.

3.Establishing and maintaining public trust and confidence within the profession

  • The provider must not abuse their power
  • The provider must not discriminate against anyone. They must not be judgemental and must be comfortable with working with people’s differences whether culture, gender, religion, age sexuality or race
  • The provider must not behave in a way, whilst working or not working, which would call into question their suitability to work in the field
  • The provider must not put themselves or others in any unnecessary risk
  • The provider must work lawfully and safely
  • The provider must not do anything that would bring the reputation of the profession or the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring into disrepute.

4.Be accountable for your work 

  • The provider must take responsibility for maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills within their field of practice
  • The provider must be able to demonstrate reflective practice
  • The provider must seek feedback from clients to improve service
  • Each provider must demonstrate a commitment to continued professional development (CPD)
  • Providers are expected to be aware of any personal difficulties that would prevent them from delivering the best service and take action to ensure the quality of their service is not compromised
  • The provider must work openly and cooperatively with the client and the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring.

5.Practise safely within the scope of practice

  • The provider must be aware of their own capabilities and limitations. They must suggest referrals where appropriate and never engage in any practice that is outside their knowledge or skill level or that could negatively affect the client
  • The provider must adhere to other ethical and legal frameworks within the scope of their practise i.e. child protection legislation, safeguarding of vulnerable adults and veil of privilege
  • The provider must manage workload accordingly
  • The provider must be able to recognise and respond to risk appropriately
  • The provider must have the ability to respond to unexpected situations.

6.Communicate effectively

  • The provider must ensure that communication with the client is clear and relevant to the nature of the service contracted for and delivered
  • The provider must give clear timeframes for which they will respond to communication and respond within those timeframes, where reasonably practicable
  • The provider must use interpersonal skills and appropriate forms of communication relevant to the client’s needs
  • The provider must ensure clients are given all necessary information
  • The provider must be aware of communication and the impact this can have on a range of factors e.g. gender, age and culture
  • The provider must be able to listen effectively
  • The provider must support clients in giving honest feedback
  • The provider must critically reflect on their practice and be aware of bias e.g. cognitive bias, unconscious bias etc.

7. Honest and trustworthy

  • The provider must be on time for appointments or communicate problems as soon as they are known
  • The provider must respect confidentiality unless it falls into one of the categories where confidentiality may be broken. These must be agreed with the client during the contracting stage. The International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring list the following examples when confidentiality may be broken:
  • Where the client has disclosed significant harm to themselves or others
  • Any child protection concerns
  • Information received regarding terrorist activities
  • The provider must deliver what they say they will deliver
  • The provider must be open with the client when things go wrong
  • The provider must be honest about qualifications, experience, capabilities and accreditations
  • The provider must ensure decisions are justifiable
  • The provider must be co-operative with the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring in any investigation about them
  • The provider must notify the International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring of any relevant convictions that would breach their ability to practice
  • The provider must declare any conflicts of interest when they arise. This is defined as a provider who is involved in singular or multiple interests that could possibly motivate the decision making of a client, for whom the provider would gain a benefit.

8.Keep accurate records

  • The provider must keep accurate records of their work
  • The provider must ensure that records are kept securely and are compliant with any data legislations relevant to their country.

Download our Code of Professional Conduct here