Home Concepts Ethics Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Coaching

Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Coaching

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• Coach/Peer Supervision: Supervision is sought by all coaches who deliver services via technology. Coach and peer supervision is delivered either face-to-face or via encrypted methods.

Coaches display pertinent and necessary information on websites. Websites provide access to information for the general public, potential clients, clients and other professionals.

• Crisis Intervention Information: People may surf the Internet seeking immediate help and may misunderstand the kinds of services a coach provides. Coaches provide clear explanation as to the limitations of services provided and display crisis intervention information on the home page. Offering global resources such as Befriender’s International or The Samaritans is the best course of action.

• Coach Contact Information: Coaches offer contact information that includes email, postal address and a telephone or VOIP number. While it is not recommended that postal addresses reflect the coach’s home location, clients should have a postal address for formal correspondence related to redress, subpoenas or other mailings requiring a signature of receipt. Coaches state the amount of time an individual may wait for a reply to email or voice mail. Best practice indicates a maximum of two business days for inquiries.

• Coach Education: Coaches list degrees, licenses and/or certifications. Wherever possible, links supporting independent verification of certification and, or membership in a related professional organization should be provided. Coaches consider listing other formal education such as college or university courses, online continuing education and professional development courses, and conference/convention attendance directly related to coaching and technology.

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy: The Terms of Use agreement and Privacy Policy documents are posted by the provider of the website and appear on websites used by the coach to promote and/or deliver coaching services. These documents outline what the user of the website and associated services may expect with respect to the availability of the website and related web services, and how private information is collected, stored and protected. Coaches using a web-based coaching platform (website) or web service provided by a third party provider will ensure that the Privacy Policy conforms to the privacy practices standards that the coach is held to by the governing agencies operating within the geographic region in which coaching services are provided.

o The Terms of Use agreement often appears in the footer of a website’s homepage and outlines the conditions under which the provider of the website makes the site, not professional coaching services, available. The agreement is between the provider of the website (which may not be the coach) and the users of the website. It specifies what is expected with respect to the web site provider’s provision of website availability and security, and the web site user’s use of the web site with respect to adherence to site policies regarding posting information and use of copyrighted or trademarked information and links to third party websites. It also often incudes a warranty and disclaimer regarding availability of the website. Information concerning the nature of the professional coaching services provided by the coach to the client should be provided in a separate Informed Consent document which is then executed as a contract for coaching services. In addition, the Terms of Use agreement should reference an associated, yet separate, Privacy Policy to specify how personal information transmitted through the website is protected.

o The Privacy Policy often appears in the footer of a website’s homepage and outlines how the provider of the website and, the coach who may be using the website or web services to communicate with the client, collects and protects personal information. It defines what type of personal information is collected, how it is collected, what is done with the information, how it is protected (encrypted), how it is managed by all of those engaged by the provider of the website service, what the user of the website service can do to protect personal information and who to contact regarding concerns about personal information. It also addresses, if applicable, how payments are securely processed and it should conform to the widely accepted standards that are in place within the geographic area where services are provided such as the Fair Information Practice Principles in the US and the Data Protection Act in the UK.

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