Episode 2. Scope of Practice for Coaches (What You’re Legally Allowed to Do)

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Scope of practice is one of the most requested topics in my community, and in my DMs, so we’re going to get down and dirty, talking about what you are, and are not, legally allowed to do as a coach. 

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

02:09 – What scope of practice means 

04:08 – How it affects your business 

06:17 – The myth of unregulated industries 

08:17 – Where the confusion comes from

16:04 – Do’s and don’ts of your coaching scope of practice

What Does Scope of Practice Mean for Your Business?

Even when it’s not discussed by that exact name – scope of practice – the concept is woven into every part of your business and it pays, literally, to be in the know. Here’s one example: Your client signs a contract that you both acknowledge you aren’t a doctor, great. If you turn around and give medical advice to that person, you are still operating outside of your scope of practice and have put yourself at great legal risk in doing so. 

It doesn’t matter what you say you do, how many disclaimers you post, or what a contract says you won’t do – the law will assess what you do, period.

How Does Scope of Practice Affect You?

You can have the best insurance, a freshly established LLC, and polished your business till you can see your reflection in it, and still, operating outside of your scope of practice can get you in trouble. No amount of crossed T’s or dotted I’s can cover you when you hop over that line. 

Common Regulation Myths & Misinformation

There’s so much misinformation out there when it comes to scope of practice legislation that it can be a real minefield, and getting things wrong has the potential to land you in trouble. It’s easy to roll our eyes at lazy generalizations, like, “No one will get in trouble for this. I’ll never get caught.” You’re not those people, though.

Still, there are, hopefully well-meaning, folks out there with damaging perspectives, opinions presented as fact that aren’t so easy to decode: My clients sign a contract stating they understand that what I’m doing is outside my scope of practice, so I’m covered; I have to offer as many services as possible to my clients to get their business; My field is unregulated so the law doesn’t cover me. 

How the Law Covers Unregulated Fields

Oh, so you say you operate in an unregulated industry? Nope. That doesn’t happen. There are umbrella laws above yours that would, in the event a legal question is raised in your niche or seemingly unregulated area of operation, be applied to your business. Never assume you’re living in the Wild West, legally speaking. It just doesn’t exist.

Legal Do’s and Don’ts for Coaching

One of the biggest things to consider is whether or not you truly understand what a coach is and what they’re supposed to do. It’s easy to overstep the mark just by trying to be helpful or offer more services. The best thing you can do is learn, identify and study the applicable scope laws in your state and check in with them over the years to stay on top of amendments.

For more detail on these subjects, check us out on your morning commute, walking the dog, or relaxing by the pool. It’s always a good time to learn the ins and outs of scope of practice law! You truly never know when the due diligence will come in handy.

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Resources Discussed in This Episode

6 Steps to a Legally Legit Scope of Practice

Health Coach Scope of Practice 101

State Regulation of Nutrition Practice from the American Nutrition Association

3 Ways To Stay Within Your Scope Of Practice

If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!

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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

On Your Terms is a production of Crate Media.

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