Owl Toolbox

Coaching, Training and Psychology Tools

How to put together a Coaching Contract and why you need one in the first place

What is a Coaching Contract?

A coaching contract is an agreement between a coach and their client that outlines the terms and conditions of their coaching relationship. Think of it as a roadmap for your coaching journey together!

Why do you even need a Coaching Contract?


You’ve just signed a new client and you are filled with excitement and anticipation. You are playing out scenarios in your head about how the coaching sessions would flow, how you’ll listen intently, reserve your judgement, ask them provocative and insightful questions and, step-by-step, help them move closer to their goals.

You are picturing profound conversations filled with ‘a-ha’ moments, little (and huge!) success stories and maybe even tears of joy, culminating in their total transformation and a happy client who can’t wait to tell the world what a phenomenal coach you are!

The last thing you want to think about is how things could go wrong. Very wrong.

Unfortunately, it does happen. Here are some typical scenarios:

  • The Client keeps rescheduling their sessions, and instead of meeting once a week, your sessions are often more than a month apart.
  • After falling off the face of the Earth for several months, the Client shows up and expects to pick up where you left off.
  • The Client keeps changing her goals or fails to take agreed actions and at the end of the Coaching engagement is not happy with her results. She believes the Coaching has been ineffective and demands a refund.
  • The Client carries out an action you discussed, and something goes wrong. He now blames you and threatens to sue you for damages.

Bad Clients happen. Misunderstandings happen. Protect Yourself.

Sure, we don’t want to think about these things, but as entrepreneurs and business owners we can’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend it could never happen to us.

To protect yourself and set the right expectations from the start, it’s important to put together a well thought-out coaching contract.

And if you’ve never done this before, you could be feeling confused and overwhelmed.

Where do you even begin?

Here are a few things to think about when putting together a Coaching Contract for your practice:

Laws and regulations vary by country. It is important to consult with a legal professional before utilising any contractual terms, including those described here, to ensure that they align with your specific business needs and comply with the current legal practices in your country.

1. Services and Scope of Work

This section defines the type of coaching services the coach will provide, the objectives of the coaching, and any limitations to the coaching process.

2. Fees and Payment Terms

This section specifies the fees and payment terms, including the hourly rate or package price, payment schedule, and consequences for late or non-payment.

3. Confidentiality and Privacy

This section outlines the coach’s confidentiality policy and how the coach will handle sensitive information shared by the client during coaching sessions.

4. Responsibilities of the Parties

This section defines the responsibilities and expectations of both the coach and the client, such as rescheduling sessions, being on time, etc.

5. Termination and Refund Policy

This section outlines the conditions for termination of the coaching relationship by either party and any refund policies in case of termination or dissatisfaction with the coaching services.

Make sure to consult with a legal professional before finalising your terms and conditions!

We also suggest that you set aside 10-15 min during your first Coaching Session to go through some of the most important terms to make sure the Client understands how coaching works, what is expected of them and what they can expect from you, the Coach.

Wrap Up

Having a coaching contract helps to establish clear expectations and responsibilities for both you and your client. Plus, it provides a structure for your coaching process and helps to manage any misunderstandings or disagreements that might come up.

But that’s not all – a coaching contract is also a legal document that provides a record of your coaching engagement. This can be really helpful if you ever need to refer back to it, or if there are any disputes down the line. And it helps to give your client peace of mind, a sense of security and professionalism, knowing that you’re committed to providing them with a high-quality coaching service.

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