So you have an exploration session with a potential client and they decide they want to hire you as their coach. That’s amazing! Now, what’s next?
Many coaches have a standard contract that they offer to their clients to ensure that expectations for the coaching relationship are clear. These contracts do not need to be full of legal jargon. Rather, they are meant to clearly outline the different aspects of the coaching relationship so that a potential client is informed about everything they need to know before they become your client in an official capacity.
Coaching contracts can include the following elements:
- The client’s name and contact information
- The coach’s name, contact information, and business address
- The date that sessions will begin
- The number of sessions that are being purchased
- How the sessions will take place (in-person, over the phone, via video conference)
- The length of each session
- A statement about the confidentiality of coaching and the limits of that confidentiality (this might include information about the ICF Code of Ethics as it relates to confidentiality, how confidentiality is upheld if the coaching relationship includes a sponsor, that coaching is not subject to the protection of any legally recognized privilege, and the situations in which a coach might choose to break confidentiality such as when a client discloses information about harming themselves or others)
- The amount that is expected to be paid by the client and any payment plans that have been agreed upon (including the expected schedule of payment)
- Whether or not sessions will be recorded and shared with the client, and if those recordings may be used for the coach’s own professional development
- Any policies related to rescheduling sessions and how the cancellation of sessions can impact payment
- A statement of the limits of liability of the coaching practice (this might include statements about the coach not being held responsible for decisions that the client makes)
- A place for the coach and the client to each sign and date the contract
Once a client has signed and dated the contract for your coaching services, you should also sign and date the contract and return it to them for their records. If you have a space to house documents, notes, or recordings for each of your clients, make sure that a signed copy of the contract is included there.