Personal Conduct – 2: Duty of Care

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Duty of Care

  1. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation has a duty of care towards their consumers and should ensure that in all dealings with their consumers they display the highest standards of personal and professional conduct.

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A duty of care is defined as a legal obligation to always act in the best interest of your consumers and of others within and outside the coaching and mentoring industry.  It means that you should:

  • not act in a way that results in harm to the consumer.
  • not communicate in a way that results in harm to the consumer.
  • not behave in a way that results in harm to the consumer.
  • not take on anything that you do not believe you can do safely.
  • always act within your own level of competence.

Simply put, the principle of duty of care is that you have a legal obligation to avoid acts or behaviours or omissions or use of communication that could be reasonably seen to harm one or more other people.  All this means is that each person working within the coaching and mentoring industry must anticipate the risks for the consumers and take care to prevent the consumer from coming to harm.

This duty of care does not only apply to consumers but also to colleagues, employers, employees, yourself and the public.

Everyone within the coaching and mentoring industry has a duty of care.  Duty of care is not something that can be opted out of.

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The Ombudsman Service determines your duty of care by looking at what is reasonably expected by each person working within the coaching and mentoring industry and what they would have done or not done, in the same situation.  Each person working within the coaching and mentoring industry includes:

  • Coaches
  • Mentors
  • every person working within a:
    • Formal Education Body
    • Private Commercial Training Organisation
  • every person working within and a member of a Professional Body.
  • every person working or training another who is using recognised coaching and mentoring skills, tools, techniques.

Where the Ombudsman Service determines that where the respondent has acted in a way that does not uphold the duty of care clause, acted in an unreasonable way, or that their actions have fallen below the standard expected, the respondent will be found to have breached their duty of care, and relevant sanctions will be raised.