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During this video we will explain the legal and organisational requirement in a specific context relation to; Data Protection; privacy; confidentiality; and safeguarding and disclosure.

As we know during the initial meeting a discussion is held on the code of ethics. The code of ethics outlines the coach’s responsibilities in relation to Data Protection, privacy, confidentiality, safeguarding and disclosure.

The relationship between the client and the coach is fundamentally built on trust. This trust is built up over the sessions and should not be put at risk (unless it is for the clients own good).

Clients must be treated fairly and in the way you would like to be treated and often that is just using common sense and considering their needs. Common sense often makes good law.

With regards to Data Protection, some personal information must be taken at the start of the relationship. This includes; name, contact information, role and their aims and outcomes (potentially also payment information). The client needs to be secure in the knowledge that this information is stored in a safe and secure fashion and that the coach will fully adhere to the data protection act.

The content of the conversations in coaching should be private, this is to allow the client to be honest in the discussions and to help them to come up with tangible results.

The relationship between the client and the coach is confidential and as such no information should be passed to another party. This is with the exception of if the client is at risk or has committed an act of fraud or where the police need to be informed.

The client needs to be satisfied that at all times the coach will work in the best interests of the client and that they are protecting them from any potential ‘knock-on’ effects. These effects include:

  • Repercussions in the workplace due to personal views or opinions being shared
  • Failure to become promoted due to discussions held
  • Potential dismissal or any other negative outcomes.

You may be asked by senior managers to discuss the outcomes of coaching sessions and this should not be provided. This is a breach of confidentiality and it would not be of benefit to either the client or ultimately the organisation.

With regards to safeguarding, within the coaching role, you must always have the interests of the client at heart. On occasions, you may find that issues relating to bullying and harassment may be identified, in which case you will need to signpost them to the appropriate support structures (such as HR). Ultimately, you need to protect your client and if you identify a serious issue that could jeopardise their safety, in line with the code of ethics you need to highlight this to the relevant party for investigation.

In summary, you must adhere to confidentiality, the Data Protection Act 1998 (amended 2010) and privacy. Having said that, where required you must protect your client through following appropriate safeguarding steps and disclosing information where potential illegal activities have been performed.