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Protecting Your Practice With a Coaching Disclaimer

Protecting Your Practice With a Coaching Disclaimer

A coaching disclaimer shields your business from misunderstandings and negative situations. Here’s everything you need to know about writing a disclaimer.

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As a professional coach, you aim to provide the best services to your clients. Whether a life coach or a business coach, you identify your clients' strengths and weaknesses, establish goals, and help them achieve them.

But you could sometimes end up in the soup even with the best intentions. While some of your clients may agree with your website’s content, some may raise questions over certain language or phrases for legal and inclusivity reasons.  A coaching disclaimer prevents such situations and keeps your practice thriving. 

Learn all about coaching disclaimers, why you should have one, and what you should include in your disclaimer to avoid any legal troubles.   

What is a coaching disclaimer?

A coaching disclaimer specifies your background, disclaims liability, and offers no guarantee or warranty of any kind. When writing a disclaimer, include language that limits your personal responsibility during an issue, shielding your business from potential legal problems. And, since clients may experience varying results, a no-guarantee disclaimer prevents legal questions to your coaching business.  

Other vital details of a legal disclaimer for coaching are clarifications on accuracy and contact information. When you share content to help your clients, you may have to regularly update it. You can either note that fact or add a time and date to each post to avoid mix-ups. And, although there's no rule to provide your contact information, it allows clients to reach out if they have questions.

What is the purpose of the disclaimer?

Writing an online coaching disclaimer is vital to run a rewarding practice. No matter the type of coaching services, a detailed disclaimer provides an airtight seal against delicate circumstances. Here are some reasons to have one:

  • Protects against misuse: Even when you give valuable guidance or post helpful content, it could be misused in certain situations. While a healthy client may benefit from wellness coaching, someone with medical issues could experience adverse effects. When you disclaim liability from use, it puts the onus on clients, who implement your recommendations at their own risk. 
  • Informs clients: Because your goal is to help clients, you want to be upfront about what you can and can't do. By pointing out your areas of expertise, you clear up any confusion about your qualifications so that clients know how to use your recommendations. For instance, if you're a health coach, mental health coach, or life coach, ensure you inform your clients you're not a medical professional to avoid any misconceptions. 
  • Helps comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC mandates every professional coach to include a disclaimer if they use affiliate links on their coaching websites. An affiliate disclaimer informs clients that the coach receives compensation for promoting a product or company and demonstrates transparency during endorsements. 

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What should you include? 

A disclaimer is a legal barrier, so it must include several elements. And, because you're a coach, not an attorney, knowing the fundamental components of a disclaimer ensures you cover all your bases. Whether you're writing a life coaching or health coaching disclaimer, here's what you need to include:

  • Medical opinion: Although you're a coach encouraging clients to make significant changes, you're not a healthcare provider. If your audience interprets content as medical advice, it could lead to many problems. That's why it's crucial to define your services. 
  • Professional boundaries: It takes a big heart to want to help others and lead them toward a more fulfilling existence. In the interest of doing that, it's a good idea to be straightforward with clients about your credentials, which helps set realistic expectations and lets clients know when to seek help from a healthcare professional or mental healthcare professional.
  • Liability of use: Even providing excellent coaching with the latest know-how can sometimes negatively impact a client’s health. A liability of use disclaimer absolves you of any responsibility if someone experiences medical problems due to your coaching advice. 
  • Guarantees: Clients turn to you for guidance and might have high hopes. But everyone's different, and you can't always guarantee results. A no-guarantee clause in your contract eliminates assumptions and limits disappointments.  

Where should you add your disclaimer?

Proper placement of your coaching disclaimer ensures it’s visible to clients and audience, and they're fully informed ahead of time. Make sure it’s easily accessible. But if you’re confused about where to post your disclaimer, here are some of the best places:

  • Website: Your website definitely needs a disclaimer. Information on the internet reaches a broader audience, and an online coaching disclaimer sets the right expectation.
  • Emails: Whether a communication email or a weekly newsletter, a disclaimer reminds clients about your services and qualifications.
  • Specific platforms: The Practice coaching platform includes a client portal, task automation, and CRM software. With clients logging in to manage your coaching relationship, it's an excellent place to put your disclaimer front and center. 
  • Print out: For in-person coaching sessions, you can incorporate a disclaimer in a coaching contract or present them a printed version before the session begins. 

Use a coaching disclaimer for continued success

You've worked hard to build that long list of clients and definitely want to reach newer heights while keeping all legal problems at bay. Using a coaching disclaimer will clearly specify your qualifications and limitations. 

Even if you're an experienced coach with an established business, you might still have questions about how to improve. Our platform helps you schedule sessions, track payments, and store files. And our vast library of articles on professional development helps you fine-tune your methods and relationships. Try us today.

Free coaching contract templates

We worked with our lawyers to create coaching contract templates, free for any coach to use. Plus, a couple of sample agreements.

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