Ethical standards

Our code of ethics comprises anthropological principles and ethical standards that provide coaches with clear, concrete attitude and professional action guidance.  


Coaching is not a place for moral instruction. It is a free space for open questioning and joint reflection. That is why the code of ethics provides an orientation for ethical reflection in addition to concrete guidance for moral action. 


The codex consists of eleven chapters; each containing a guiding anthropological principle, consequences for coaching and a coach’s fundamental ethical understanding, and practical maxims.

Our professional ethics consist of:

  1. anthropological principles,
  2. resultant ethical standards and
  3. guiding maximes.

The IOBC Coaching Compendium is a comprehensive document setting out our quality standards for coaches, coaching processes, coaching ethics, and coaching education & training.


Coaching is not a place for moral instruction. 
It is a free space for open questioning and joint reflection.

Code of ethics

Our professional ethics are based on eleven fundamental anthropological principles providing coaches with practical maxims for action.

Anthropological principle

Derived maxim for coaching

1. Dignity of the person

The basic equivalence of the persons involved in professional settings can be derived from dignity. It applies in an overarching existential sense, even if the consulting relationship implies an asymmetry (the professional consultant has a control task).

2. Worldliness of human beings

In coaching, the focus is on the human being in all his or her life references.

3. Humans as a dialogic being

In its capacity as professional "work on people", coaching promotes the client's willingness and ability to engage in dialog and is itself a model for dialogic action.

4. Non-reducibility of human beings

Coaching serves both to promote the clients' ability to function and to reflect and strengthen the value of their humanity beyond their respective roles and functions.

5. Human beings’ openness to development

In addition, during the consulting relationship, the coach contributes to the client becoming what he can and wants to be.

6. Freewill / autonomy of humans

On the one hand, the coach supports the perception of the historical, social and situational conditions of the client's respective reality and, on the other hand, the creative, formative handling of these conditions.

7. Unity of human beings

The coach addresses all three dimensions of the client (body, soul, spirit).

8. Limits of cognitive faculty

A coach is aware of the limitations of his cognitive possibilities.

9. Significance of work

Coaching as job-related consulting supports the client in his endeavors for the success of professional work.

10. Human beings in institutions

Insofar as work takes place in institutional contexts, the coach supports the perception and reflection of the respective institutional conditions in their ambiguities.

11. Power in interpersonal relationships

Since managers have to influence other people, the coach supports the conscious perception and application of power within the framework of legitimate interests. It distinguishes power from influence and from the often synonymously used concept of violence as an instrumental disposition skill.