The American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP) Code of Professional Ethics for Coaching & Training

Adhering to these ethical standards is essential within the framework of ABNLP Certification. This Code of Professional Ethics outlines the core values and ethical principles applicable to all ABNLP-affiliated professionals. These ethical guidelines come into play whenever professionals present themselves as such in training and/or coaching-related interactions, regardless of the formal establishment of a coaching relationship.

The Code outlines ethical responsibilities for professionals across various roles, including coaches, coach supervisors, mentor coaches, trainers, student coaches-in-training, or those in administrative roles within the ABNLP. By embracing this Code, ABNLP professionals commit to upholding ethical standards, even when faced with challenging decisions or the need for courageous actions.

SECTION 1: Obligation to Clients

1. Clearly communicate, before or during our first meeting, the details of the training or coaching—its benefits, confidentiality boundaries, financial details, and any other terms in the agreement—to ensure the client understands.

2. Thoroughly define the roles, responsibilities, and rights of everyone involved before embarking on any training and coaching services by creating a thorough agreement. This thorough documentation aims to foster a clear understanding among all parties connected to the imminent services.

3. Safeguard information with the highest level of privacy and adhere to all relevant laws governing the protection of personal data and communication.

4. Make all information and processes clear when exchanging information during interactions to ensure everyone involved has a clear understanding in the trainings or coaching sessions.

5. Clearly discuss with clients the situations where private information must be shared, such as illegal activities, following the law, responding to a court order, or if there’s a risk of harm to self or others. If a Coach believes any of these situations apply, the Coach may need to tell the right authorities.

6. Address conflicts of interest (or potential conflicts of interest), including organizational roles, responsibilities, associations, documents, privacy and compliance matters that may have further reporting obligations with training students and coaching clients (and supporters) by using training and coaching agreements and maintaining continuous communication when providing services as a trainer or an Internal Coach.

7. Preserve confidentiality, security, and privacy in managing records to uphold the trust and privacy of training and coaching clients. Compliance with relevant laws is necessary for legal adherence. Incorporating evolving technology (technology-assisted coaching services) aims to enhance coaching services, also ensuring that the ethical standards are uncompromised to highlight the commitment to responsible and ethical training and coaching practices.

8. Observe any shifts in the communication style of the client, like becoming less communicative or guarded, as these can indicate whether a client is not getting value from their coaching. Look for signs such as a lack of progress toward goals, limited engagement, repeated concerns without resolution, expressed dissatisfaction, inconsistent attendance, reluctance to share, and failure to implement plans into action. It is crucial to address these signs through open communication, regular check-ins, and seeking direct feedback to make necessary adjustments and enhance the coaching experience based on the client’s evolving needs. In the event of such cues, consider altering the collaborative relationship and agreement, or support the Client to explore alternative coaching avenues by consulting with and possibly referring the client to a different professional. This process ensures best practice as an efficient course of action, particularly in the area of compliance with legal and ethical requirements.

9. Understand and honor the rights of all parties to terminate the training or coaching relationship at any moment and for any reason, abiding by the terms laid out in the agreement. This approach gives the client the freedom to make decisions based on their needs and circumstances and prioritizes transparency and accountability within the coaching relationship.

10. Maintain understanding and awareness on the potential issues that may arise should the coach have multiple contracts and relationships with the same clients and sponsors simultaneously to avoid conflicts of interests. This practice maintains transparency, trust, and fosters a professional and ethical coaching environment.

11. The coach recognizes and proactively addresses probable authority or position differences arising from factors like cultural background, relational dynamics, psychological aspects, or contextual influences between the coach and client. The coach acknowledges the possible impact of these differences on the coaching relationship, ensuring a fair, respectful, and supportive environment for the client’s growth and development, regardless of any inherent imbalances.

12. Divulge information to clients about any potential compensation and other advantages I might receive when referring them to third parties to ensure openness, foster trust and maintain transparency in our professional relationship. Thus, allowing clients to make well informed decisions before committing to the coaching agreement. By being forthright about such arrangements, I aim to create an environment built on trust and clarity, enhancing the overall effectiveness and integrity of our coaching collaboration.

13. Ensure that the training services and coaching quality remains consistent, irrespective of the agreed-upon compensation amount or form in any given relationship. This commitment underscores the dedication to delivering effective coaching services, emphasizing the focus on client development and success over financial considerations.

SECTION 2: Obligation to Practice and Perform

14. I agree with and abide with the ethical standards outlined in the ABNLP Code of Professional Ethics throughout all of my training and coaching engagements.

If I become aware of a potential violation by me or observe unethical behavior in another ABNLP Professional, I approach the individuals involved to address the matter in a respectful manner. In instances where resolution is not achieved, I escalate the concern to the ABNLP, for formal resolution.

15. All support personnel must strictly adhere to the ABNLP Code of Professional Ethics. This entails not only familiarizing themselves with the code but also actively integrating its principles into their daily roles and responsibilities. Emphasizing the importance of ethical conduct ensures that every member of the support team aligns their actions with the highest professional standards set forth by ABNLP. This commitment to ethical behavior contributes to maintaining a culture of integrity, trust, and professionalism within the entire support framework.

16. Dedicate oneself to the pursuit of excellence by actively engaging in a continuous journey of learning in personal self-improvement and refining professional skills and staying abreast of industry advancements.

17. Acknowledge personal limitations or situations that might disrupt or conflict with my effectiveness as a trainer, coach or professional relationships. In such cases, coaches must seek external support to carefully evaluate the best course of action.

*This proactive approach involves promptly reaching out for assistance and, if deemed essential, seeking pertinent professional advice. This may entail making decisions such as temporarily pausing or terminating coaching relationships to maintain the quality and ethical standards of the coaching process. This commitment underscores a proactive and responsible stance toward self-awareness and decision-making in the realm of coaching engagements.

18. Pause or terminate the professional association temporarily to address any conflict of interest or potential conflicts by collaboratively addressing the matter with relevant parties and seeking professional guidance.

*This approach allows for a deliberate resolution process that involves engaging with relevant parties, discussing the concerns openly, and seeking professional assistance when needed. By prioritizing open communication and seeking external guidance, you can work collaboratively to find solutions and ensure that the professional environment remains ethical and transparent.

19. Respect the confidentiality of ABNLP Members and utilize the contact information

such as email addresses, telephone numbers etc. only in accordance with authorization from the ABNLP or the respective ABNLP Member.

SECTION 3: Professional Responsibility

As an ABNLP member I maintain professional responsibility by fostering trust, maintaining ethical standards, complying with laws and regulations, building a positive reputation and guaranteeing quality of services. Upholding professional responsibility is a cornerstone for the long-term success and sustainability of training and coaching.

20. Thoroughly assess and verify my training and coaching qualifications to ensure accuracy. Evaluate the depth of my training and coaching competency, specialized expertise, wealth and knowledge and skills I bring to coaching, comprehensive training, commitment to ongoing professional development and the array of certifications, including those from the ABNLP.

21. The information that I provide about the services I provide as an ABNLP Professional, the coaching industry, the probable worth of coaching and what is obtainable by the ABNLP is factual and specific.

22. Share and/or disseminate information to raise awareness about the ethical standards and responsibilities articulated in this code to ensure that the specified ethical guidelines are well understood and acknowledged by the relevant parties.

23. Uphold the responsibility of actively understanding and articulating clearly defined boundaries that are not only appropriate but also culturally sensitive, governing various interactions. This includes establishing guidelines for physical engagements as well as other forms of interaction, ensuring a nuanced and respectful approach in diverse cultural contexts.

24. Maintain a clear understanding of professional boundaries, particularly with regard to the level of engagement with students and clients. Any form of involvement in sexual or romantic situations is strictly prohibited. In the event that such situations arise, professionals are obligated to take immediate and appropriate action. This may involve addressing the issue through communication or, if necessary, terminating the training or coaching agreement. This commitment is integral to upholding ethical standards, ensuring a secure training and coaching environment, and preserving the integrity of the training and coaching relationship.

SECTION 4: Societal Responsibilities

Uphold responsibility to the public in coaching in a way that aligns training and coaching practices with the broader goal of positively influencing individuals and society.

Training and Coaching has a profound impact on personal and professional development, both trainers and coaches commit to empowering individuals to reach their full potential. This commitment extends beyond individual growth to foster ethical behavior, cultivate empathy, and contribute to positive societal change. Trainers and Coaches who honor their responsibility with society understand the interconnectedness of the global community and embrace their role as catalysts for lasting impact, shaping a collective narrative of empowerment and positive growth.

As a Professional of the ABNLP, I agree to the following:

25. Eliminate any form of discrimination and foster an inclusive and equitable environment by upholding fairness and equality in every aspect of all operations, demonstrating respect for local regulations and cultural norms. Including and not restricted to: age, ethnicity, the way individuals express their gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, disability, or military service status.

26. Refrain from claiming ownership of others work and acknowledge and give due credit to the contributions and intellectual property of others, and claim ownership of my own resources. Violation of this principle may result in legal actions pursued by third parties.

27. Conduct and report research with honesty, following established scientific standards, relevant subject guidelines, and staying within the limits of my expertise.

28. Recognize the positive impact that both I and my clients can have on society. I am committed to the philosophy of “doing good,” prioritizing constructive actions rather than merely avoiding negative ones.

SECTION 5: Ethical Agreement of ABNLP Member

As an ABNLP Professional, I am deeply committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in my training and coaching practice, as outlined in this Ethical Agreement. In the event of a breach of any part of these codes, I understand that the ABNLP may hold me accountable for such breaches, which could result in disciplinary actions, including but not limited to loss of membership.

This commitment is an oath to ensure the integrity and reputation of the ABNLP and the training and coaching professions.