The UK’s Association for Coaching has endorsed a code of conduct submitted to the European Union earlier this month by two international industry bodies in a bid to professionalise the sector.
The European Mentoring and Coaching Council and the International Coach Federation are positioning their code as a basis under which coaching and mentoring professionals as well as professional bodies could regulate themselves.
The aim of the move is to "inform coaching and mentoring clients and to promote public confidence in coaching and mentoring as a process for professional and personal development", the two organisations said in a statement.
The guidelines have been drafted with an eye to European law so that they could be registered on a European Union database that lists regional self-regulation initiatives. The database, which is publicly accessible, is jointly managed by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee.
Katherine Tulpa, the Association for Coaching’s chief executive, said that not only did the organisation support the move, but it would "be reaching out to connect with other bodies, to expand upon and endorse these standards, and to support our view for the coaching industry to be self-regulating".
The association also intended to enter into discussions with EU representatives to "ensure that any further initiatives that relate to self-regulation will involve the AC and its membership base", she added.
It was "vital" that coaching organisations continued to work together to "enhance the reputation of our profession" and to "support our community in securing the long-term sustainable health and status of the profession", Tulpa said.
The code of conduct for practitioners submitted to the EU covers requirements relating to competencies, training, continuous professional development and ethical standards.
Guidelines for professional bodies, meanwhile, are intended to ensure a commitment to ethical standards by members, the creation of a disciplinary and complaints procedure to deal with ethical matters and the introduction of an independent board to monitor and sanction breaches of the code.