Ethics and Standards
Since the mid-1990s, coaching professional associations such as the Association for Coaching (AC), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), the International Association of Coaching (IAC), and the International Coach Federation (ICF) have worked towards developing training standards (Passmore, 2016/2006; Grant, Cavanagh, 2011), psychologist Jonathan Passmore noted in 2016 (Passmore, 2016/2006).
While coaching has become a recognised intervention, sadly there are still no standards or licensing arrangements which are widely recognised.
In February 2016, the AC and the EMCC launched a “Global Code of Ethics” for the entire industry; individuals, associations and organisations are invited to become signatories to it (Woods and Sleightholm, 2016; Iordanou, Hawley and Iordanou, 2017).
Some courses offer a life coach certificate after just a few days of training, but such courses, if they are accredited at all, are considered “à la carte” training programmes, “which may or may not offer start to finish coach training,” according to the ICF (ICF, n.d.).
Other professional bodies similarly offer entry-level, intermediate and advanced coach accreditation options (Passmore, 2016).
Some coaches are both certified coaches and licensed counselling psychologists, integrating coaching and counselling (Popovic and Jinks, 2014).
(Association for coaching, n.d.):
The Association for Coaching (AC) was established in 2002 and is a leading independent and not for profit professional body dedicated to promoting best practice and raising awareness and standards of coaching worldwide.
As an inclusive body, with members in over 70 countries, it is made up of professional coaches, academic institutions, trainers and providers of coaching, as well as sponsors of coaching from the third sector through to large corporates, building coaching cultures.
Their purpose is to inspire and champion coaching excellence, to advance the coaching profession and make a sustainable difference to individuals, organisations and society.
Membership is available for individuals with training in coaching or coaching related disciplines, and who deliver individual/group coaching in either private practice or in a workplace setting.
The AC requires a minimum of 50 hours of training plus 25 hours of coaching delivery.
Critics see life coaching as akin to psychotherapy but without the legal restrictions and state regulation of psychologists (Grant and Cavanagh, 2011; Guay, 2013, Morgan, 2012; Pagliarini, 2011).
There are no state regulation/licensing requirements for coaches.
Due to lack of regulation, people who have no formal training or certification can legally call themselves life or wellness coaches (O’Brien, 2014).
At ‘Conquering Life’, we believe in, and always foster, the pursuit of excellence in all that we do.
We believe it is of paramount importance that Ninja Club coaches are always mindful of their duty of care for the young people in their charge. As an organisation, Conquering Life endeavors to ensure that all Ninja Club Coaches provide the highest degree of mentorship and support, and to ensure this, various policies, protocols and procedures are put in place and upheld at all times. So, in addition to being a registered member of the ‘AC’, coaches are independently assessed and supervised by an outside, unbiased body: The C.P.D. accreditation group (C.P.D.).
- Safeguarding learner policy:
Conquering Life Limited’s first priority is to ensure the safety and protection of all learners taking part. In order to protect young people and vulnerable adults from harm we will act in accordance with the following legislation and guidance: ‘No Secrets’ DH 2000
Conquering Life Limited is committed to promoting safeguarding through the provision of an inclusive, supportive and safe environment for its learners, staff and others closely associated with its work and affirms the rights of individuals to be treated fairly and with respect (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Continuous evaluation:
Conquering Life Limited fosters the highest standard and quality of coach training and maintains continuous evaluation of all course subjects and material through student questionnaires (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Equal Opportunities Learner’s Charter:
“Everyone has a part to play in ensuring we achieve equality of opportunity. We believe that a positive attitude towards equality and diversity is right for our coaches, our clients and our business suppliers. This means that we must encourage all of our members to welcome diversity and respect each person’s individuality” (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Assessment and Internal Verification Policy:
Conquering Life Limited will ensure that coach trainees are assessed for suitability prior to commencing their training programme. The assessment process will be applied equitably and consistently to all trainees who will be assessed according to their ability and experience. Sampling will be carried out internally to ensure there is standardisation of assessment and that professional standards are being met (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Complaints Policy:
Conquering Life Limited recognises the importance of learner complaints and welcomes complaints as a valuable form of feedback about its services. We are committed to using the information we receive to help drive improvements forward (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Appeals Policy and Procedure:
Conquering Life Limited’s Appeals policy is designed to protect the interests of all trainees and the organisation, and also to protect the integrity of the qualification. (For full doc, visit resource center)
- Health and Safety Policy:
Conquering Life Limited is committed to maintaining safe and healthy working conditions and to preventing accidents and instances of work-related ill health by ensuring that all activities carried out on company premises or undertaken by its employees and trainees are managed in such a manner so as to avoid, reduce or control all foreseeable risks to the health and safety of anyone who may be affected by such activities as far as is reasonably practicable. Where coaches are working in buildings owned by management companies, the coaches would need to know what the procedures are and to inform headquarters. (For full doc, visit resource center)
- Disclosure and Barring Service; DBS:
The disclosure team carries out criminal record checks that result in DBS certificates being issued to an individual. Conquering Life Limited will need verification of DBS checks in accordance with the law. This process is necessary for all coaches to personally complete due to being self employed as a Conquering Life Ninja Club Coach rather than an employee (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Malpractice Policy:
Conquering Life Limited treats all cases of suspected malpractice very seriously and will investigate all suspected and reported incidents of possible malpractice.
The purpose of this policy and procedure is to set out how allegations of malpractice in relation to all Conquering Life Limited assessment centre and training events are dealt with (For full doc, visit resource center).
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) Policy:
This Policy sets out the obligations of Conquering Life Limited (“the Company”) regarding data protection and the rights of customers and business contacts (“data subjects”), in respect of their personal data under EU Regulation 2016/679 General Data Protection. Regulation (“GDPR”). The GDPR defines “personal data” as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (a “data subject”); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier, or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity of that natural person.
This Policy sets the organisation’s obligations regarding the collection, processing, transfer, storage, and disposal of personal data. The procedures and principles set out herein must be followed at all times by the organisation, its employees, agents, contractors or other parties working on behalf of the organisation.
The organisation is committed not only to the letter of the law, but also to the spirit of the law and places high importance on the correct, lawful and fair handling of all personal data, respecting the legal rights, privacy, and trust of all individuals with whom it deals (For full doc, visit resource center).
- Mentoring and supervision:
In addition to the above, we have a team of supervisors who mentor and coach the coaches. This is a valuable resource provided within the organisation in order to ensure provision of continuous support and growth for coaches. Coaches are required to have one monthly supervision session as well as weekly/monthly group sessions to discuss and work through any challenges be they professional or personal (For full doc, visit resource center).