HCANZA is committed to maintaining and promoting excellence in health & wellness coaching at an individual and professional level. Therefore, HCANZA requires all of its Health & Wellness Coaches (Board members, coaches, mentors, and students) to demonstrate their commitment to the tenets of ethical conduct set out in this Code of Conduct.
This Code of Conduct provides appropriate guidelines, accountability and enforceable standards of conduct for all HCANZA Members in line with current global standards.
- Health & Wellness Coaching: Health & wellness coaching is a person-centred approach with patients or clients seeking self-directed, lasting changes, aligned with their values, which promote health and wellness and, thereby, enhance well-being.
- Health & Wellness Coach: A Health & Wellness Coach is a person who has successfully attained the certification and credentials as a qualified Health & Wellness Coach from a training organisation, whose programs have met the core coaching and health competency requirements of HCANZA Full or Associate Membership.
- Professional Coaching Relationship: A professional coaching relationship exists when coaching includes an agreement (including consent forms and or formal contracts) that defines the rights, roles and responsibilities of each party.
- Student Member: A student is someone enrolled in an HCANZA approved coach training program to learn the coaching process or to develop and enhance their coaching skills.
- Conflict of Interest: A situation in which an HCANZA member has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective of their professional role or responsibilities as a Coach, Board Member or Mentor.
- Confidentiality: The strict adherence to all legal requirements to protect patient and or client personal information, subject to statutory requirements of disclosure. An explicit confidentiality agreement between the Health & Wellness Coach and patient and or client is required.
- Equality: Refers to the rights of individuals to experience in health & wellness coaching acceptance, inclusion and access to resources and opportunity, regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, immigration status, mental or physical disability, and other areas of human difference.
Code of Conduct:
Health & Wellness Coaches display unconditional positive regard for their patients and or clients, a belief in their capacity for change and honouring that each client is an expert on his or her life while ensuring that all interactions are respectful and non-judgmental.
Health & Wellness Coaches, where applicable, will participate and act respectfully and collaboratively, with the Primary Care Physicians and or qualified and registered Allied Health Professionals of our patients and clients as set out in the HCANZA Scope of Practice.
Responsibility to HCANZA and its members:
- To practice as a Health & Wellness Coach within the HCANZA Scope of Practice.
- Behave consistently with the HCANZA Code of Conduct in all professional relationships.
- Health & Wellness Coaches may have concurrent registration with other professional certifying organisation in supporting fields of practice, for example, nutrition, physiotherapy or counselling. In such circumstances, members will adhere to the established Code of Conduct and Scope of Practice requirements of both organisations.
- Actively demonstrate respect for fellow members of HCANZA, as having diverse areas of expertise, cultural backgrounds, beliefs and viewpoints.
- Refrain from interpersonal and or public behaviour that would bring the profession of Health & Wellness Coaching into disrepute.
- Refrain from representing HCANZA on global issues from a partisan political perspective. These may include but are not limited to marketing, public opinion and commentary or professional presentations, HCANZA Blogs, Members Facebook Page, emails between members and other professionals, patients and clients.
- Maintain the privacy of other members of the organisation, including but not limited to individual contact details unless express permission has been given to share that information.
- Honour intellectual property rights in the work of others. Where permission is given for use, ensure acknowledgement of the ownership of the material.
- Honestly disclose any conflicts of interest that may impact your professional recommendations and points of views expressed within the profession.
- Maintain all Professional Insurances required to cover your Health & Wellness Practices.
- Student Members are required to adhere to this Code of Conduct during the gaining of practical experience and before receiving full qualifications as if they were a qualified Health & Wellness Coach.
Responsibility for Professional Conduct to Patients and Clients
- Before an initial meeting, explain and ensure that the patient or client understands the nature of coaching, financial arrangements, and other terms that may be governed by the contract.
- Honestly disclose and identify the skills, credentials, expertise and experience you have as a Health & Wellness Coach that you will rely on during delivery of the coaching program.
- Honestly disclose the extent of all aspects of the Health & Wellness Coaching Program content and what the patient or client will receive. Expressly acknowledge that you will honour the scope of the program.
- Disclose all partners that will collaborate as a part of the health & wellness coaching program, such as Primary Care Physicians or other Allied Health Professionals and the extent to which information sharing will occur.
- Gain appropriately obtained informed consent from the patient or client to all aspects of the program.
- Actively recommend that the patient or client seek the advice, clarification of information and services of other professionals when required, including but not limited to, referring a patient or client back to their Primary Care Physician or Allied Health Professional.
- Refrain from false or misleading information or advice in areas that are not within your Health & Wellness Coach remit or other registered practitioners qualification Scope of Practice you may hold.
- Respect the patients or clients right to terminate the program and contract at any time.
- Be alert to indications that the client is no longer benefiting from the health & wellness coaching relationship. Encourage or refer the patient or client to another Health & Wellness Coach if they would benefit from a change.
Privacy & Confidentiality:
- Maintain, store and dispose of any records, including electronic files and communications, created during coaching engagements in a manner that promotes confidentiality, security and privacy and complies with all applicable laws, regulations and agreements.
- Use patient or client contact information only in the manner authorised.
Equality and Respect:
- Refrain from unlawful discrimination of clients based on age, race, gender orientation, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or disability; and consistently demonstrate dignity and respect in all professional relationships.
- Adhere to clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern any physical contact with patients or clients.
- Strive at all times to recognise any personal issues between you the Health & Wellness Coach and the patient or client that may impair, conflict with or interfere with health & wellness coaching performance or the professional coaching relationships.
- In the above circumstances seek the relevant professional assistance and determine the action to be taken, including whether it is appropriate to suspend or terminate a coaching relationship(s) whenever the facts and circumstances necessitate.
Conflicts of Interest
- Honestly disclose any potential conflict of interest that you may have to all parties involved in each coaching relationship, including but not limited to the Primary Care Physician, Allied Health Professionals or third party companies.
- Ensure you do not have a financial or commercial conflict of interest that may influence the coaching program developed for your Patients or Clients.
This Code of Conduct in conjunction with the Scope of Practice standard are the reference documents for any review of the suitability of members’ practices’ or behaviour in the public domain that may breach these standards. See the HCANZA Client Complaints Policy.
Health Coach Commitment to the Code of Conduct:
As a Health & Wellness Coach, I acknowledge and agree to honour the terms set out in this HCANZA Code of Conduct and fulfil all of my legal, ethical and professional obligations to HCANZA, professional colleagues, other members of the organisation, patients and clients.
I understand that the HCANZA Board may hold me accountable for any breach of this Code of Conduct and may result in the revocation of my membership.