Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring

On June 29, 2011, the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) jointly filed with the European Union (EU) a Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring as the benchmark standard for the coaching and mentoring profession. The Charter establishes ethical standards and forms the basis for the development of self-regulation. After the creation of the charter, The Association for Coaching (AC) joined the initiative.

This initiative is designed to inform coaching and mentoring clients, and to promote public confidence in coaching and mentoring as a process for professional and personal development, which serves society as a whole. In addition, the Charter outlines guidelines for coaching and mentoring practitioners and addresses requirements for necessary competencies, training, continuous professional development and ethical standards.

Please note that this Professional Charter for Coaching and Mentoring is not meant to replace the ICF Code of Ethics, which all ICF Members and ICF Credential-holders agree to follow, but rather be used in conjunction with the ICF Code of Ethics. The Charter, which was drafted in accordance with European law, is registered on the dedicated European Union database, which lists self-regulation initiatives in Europe. This publicly accessible database is co-managed by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee.

Professional bodies, which ensure commitment to ethical standards by their members, have a disciplinary and complaints procedure for ethical issues and have an independent board that monitors and sanctions breaches of the Code of Conduct are advised to email for more information.


What is the significance of the filing?

The filing of the Charter is significant in two respects. It represents a major milestone in the cooperative work of ICF and EMCC to advance the professionalization of the coaching and mentoring profession. In terms of self-regulation of coaching and mentoring, the European Commission encourages professional associations to define a code of conduct at a European level. The definition of such a code relies on the self-regulation by the European professional associations themselves. This self-regulation must be made according to European law and in particular to the rules of competition.

What are the objectives of this Charter?

This Charter is intended to establish a standard of ethics and good practices for the coaching and mentoring profession in Europe. We anticipate that the Charter will be recorded in the database co-managed by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee listing the initiatives in self-regulation and in co-regulation. This database aims at supporting private actors in the implementation of self-regulation mechanisms. It also ensures the transparency around the adopted codes of conduct towards the public, and thereby supports good practices on the subject.

How does this Charter relate to the separate ICF Code of Ethics and EMCC Code of Ethics?

Section 4.1 of this Charter expressly states, "Any member of a professional coaching and/or mentoring organisation shall abide by that organisation's Code of Ethics." Therefore, any member of ICF must continue to abide by the ICF Code of Ethics and any member of EMCC must continue to abide by the EMCC Code of Ethics. As to the boundaries for competence in part 2 of the Charter relative to professional behavior, the skills of the coaches and mentors can only be evaluated in accordance with a frame of competence recognized by each professional association at the European level, and not by the EU itself.