Brief Introduction About the Coaching Agreement
Coaching is a professional service. Many people and companies engage the services of a coach to get better at their respective work. Some also get coaches to help them improve their lifestyle. Regardless of the purpose for which the coach is engaged, it is important to have a coaching agreement in place to ensure a smooth working relationship between the coach and the client.
Also called a simple coaching agreement, it lists down the terms under which the coach has to work. These include the services that he will offer, the coaching schedule, his fees, and obligations under the arrangement.
Purpose of the Coaching Agreement – Why Do You Need It?
It is a legally binding contract that protects the parties from misunderstandings and disputes. Their responsibilities are clearly laid out. So everyone is aware of their role. It also keeps the relationship professional. As a coach, it allows you to specify your conditions of work. You can also limit your liability and protect yourself from unnecessary claims. This is especially helpful when you are working as a life coach. You can include a term in your life coaching agreement that will protect you from liability if the client does not get the desired results. A life coaching agreement template will also contain such disclaimers for protecting the coach.
Contents of the Coaching Agreement – Inclusions
It will generally contain the following terms:
- Name and identification of the coach and the client
- Date of the agreement
- Intention to enter into a coach-client relationship
- Services to be offered by the coach
- Schedule of coaching
- Term (duration) of the agreement
- Fees- include refund policy
- Obligations of the coach
- Obligations of the client
- Termination of the agreement
- Limitation of liability
- Dispute resolution
- Governing law
- Signature of the parties
How to Draft a Coaching Agreement?
All the provisions of the agreement must comply with all applicable federal and state laws. If it violates any such law, then it will be invalid. When drafting the agreement, you may consider the following points:
- Objective: State what the contract is intended for, this term should express the desire of the client to engage the services of the coach under the terms of the agreement.
- Scope of work: Here, mention the services that the coach will offer, including any customized programs for the client. This is an important clause as it outlines what the coach will and will not do. So it must be drafted carefully according to the parties’ expectations.
- Schedule: State the number of coaching sessions in a week/month and the duration of each session. Mention the time when the session will start and end — also, state how a session can be rescheduled. You can prescribe a minimum time (say, 24 hours) before which the client can reschedule the session.
- Fees: State the charges for coaching and how and when the payment should be made. This should also include the policy for refund under certain circumstances.
- Disclaimer: It is vital to have a disclaimer in the agreement to protect the coach against unreasonable expectations of the client. It contains statements that the coach is not a licensed healthcare professional; the coaching is not to be treated as a substitute for therapy, and the results of coaching are not guaranteed. These are especially important in an executive coaching agreement to highlight that coaching is not a guaranteed way to improve performance at work.
- Confidentiality: Include this confidentiality term, especially in financial coaching agreements, to protect information exchanged between the parties from being passed to outsiders. Most of such information is sensitive and can negatively impact the party if it falls in the wrong hands.
- If the coach has prepared materials (documents, videos, booklets, etc.) for his coaching programs, state that he will retain the intellectual property in the materials, and they cannot be used without his written permission.
Before going for negotiations, it helps to refer to a sample coaching agreement. It will give you an idea of what clauses to include. You can then decide your conditions of service. You can even prepare an outline of these conditions and take them to the negotiations. It will help the client to understand your method of working. Negotiations are essentially a dialogue towards a collaboration.
Ensure that you understand the client’s expectations and goals from the coaching. It is important to explain the concept of coaching- what it is and isn’t- to the client so that they do not have any unrealistic expectations. Negotiate the terms clearly and do not leave anything for the assumption. In this manner, you will be able to develop a fruitful business relationship.
[ Also Read: Tutoring Contract ]
Benefits and Drawbacks of Coaching Agreement
- It helps coaches to define the conditions of their service.
- It builds a strong professional relationship between the parties by ensuring cooperation between them.
- It protects the parties from disputes by reducing misunderstandings.
It is a written agreement and is generally beneficial for the parties. But if it is not drafted carefully, it can give rise to various lawsuits if any of the parties are satisfied with the outcome.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
The agreement contains a dispute settlement clause. Any claim or violation has to be addressed according to this clause. Parties usually prefer mediation or arbitration to settle their issues(1). But they can also file a lawsuit in the state mentioned in the agreement if they require a relief that can only be granted by the court.
A coaching agreement allows the parties to set out their roles and responsibilities. It serves as an important document to help them carry out their duties efficiently. Thus, it is very useful for anyone involved in the coaching business or looking to hire a coach. A coaching agreement pdf can help you start the process of drafting the agreement.