Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure
Life coaches, under law, are not required to be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant. Any PHI (personal health information) the client gives to the coach and company will be of the client’s own volition and is never requested or required of the client to receive coaching services. This being said, Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC, will use HIPAA to create guidelines to keep your information and our sessions confidential. If PHI is given to the coach and company, the coach and company will follow HIPAA guidelines to protect this information. Although the company does work with clients outside of the U.S.A., the company is using U.S. law as a guide for security and confidentiality. By signing this agreement, non-U.S citizens are agreeing to the practices and U.S law used by the company regardless if they are to the standards of their country of origin. For more information on HIPAA or to file a complaint, go to https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html.
The company respects the privacy of the client and the client respects the privacy of the company and coach. This is considered a mutual non-disclosure agreement. Any information, including recorded information, shared by the company to the client, or the client to the company, is considered confidential and private, and is not to be shared with other individuals. Both parties will keep confidential information in the strictest confidence and will demonstrate best efforts to protect it against disclosure, misuse, espionage, loss, and theft. The client agrees not to violate the company’s publicity or privacy rights. Neither the coach, client, nor company, will share any personal information, including names, private contact information, or any other private information with any third parties not outlined in this contract for any reason.
All information about the client and coach/client relationship will remain strictly confidential between the coach and the client, except in very rare circumstances where decreed by law; ie. where the court might issue a subpoena for a file or information. The client understands that this confidentiality goes both ways, and if the coach shares personal information with the client, then the client also is to keep that information confidential.
If the client wishes for the coach to speak to someone related outside of the client/coach relationship, during or outside of sessions, the client will need to give explicit written authorization (original letter or email) or recorded verbal consent to do so.
Exceptions to confidentiality relate to circumstances such as intent to seriously harm someone else, harm themselves, child abuse, thoughts of suicide etc. Otherwise, all remaining information, including any notes taken, are kept confidential.
The client agrees that Queer Spectrum Life Coaching may share generalized information for training or consultation services with other coaching professionals and in those situations the client's identity or any information that could lead to the identification of the client will remain entirely confidential.
The client is responsible for being in a location they are comfortable communicating in and the client is responsible for holding their own confidentiality in that location during phone and Zoom video coaching sessions. Anything overheard at the location of the client is the responsibility of the client and Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC is not liable.
Sessions will be recorded for review by the coach and for the legal protection and safety of the company and client. The client can request access to the recorded sessions for their own review and viewing, if they so choose. The client is required to request the recordings via written authorization (letter or email) or via recorded verbal consent. If the client asks for and receives the recordings of one or more sessions, the company and coach are no longer able to protect information shared in those recordings and it is now the client’s responsibility to keep those recordings protected as they see fit. The company and coach are not liable for keeping the recordings and information therein confidential once given to the client because the company and coach can no longer ensure it’s protection as they do not have control over the client’s personal devices and data storage. By signing this agreement the client releases the company and coach from liability to protect information shared on those session recordings should the client request recordings. The company and coach are released from liability and confidentiality the moment the recordings are requested. The client, by signing this form, agrees that if they request the recorded sessions, the company and coach are no longer liable for the information shared on those recordings. The company will then send the client access to the recordings over email via attachment, via Zoom Cloud link, or via Google Drive link. Due to cloud storage space, the client may be required to either watch and/or download the recording(s) to their own device or drive within a specified number of days.
Once the client has the session recordings in their possession, it is to be kept private to the best of their ability. The client agrees to not publicize the recordings or share them with anyone outside of their immediate circle. The client will not send the recording or links to the recording to anyone, and if they wish to share it with someone in their immediate circle they will only do so by playing it for them in person, to ensure the session is not being recorded, copied, or sent to anyone else for their use or gain. The client is paying the company for coaching, other people have not paid for access to the information and services provided to the client by the company and coach.
If, in special circumstances, it has been arranged for the client and coach to meet for a session in person, the client and coach will meet in a public place as determined and picked by the client. The coach will not meet the client at a private residence. Any information others overhear in those public locations, regardless if spoken by the coach or the client, are the responsibility of the client, as the client has determined the location, and Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC is not liable.
How Confidentiality Is Kept
During phone and Zoom video calls the coach will be in a private location where no one surrounding will be able to overhear the conversation. All notes taken about sessions by the coach will be hand written and secured in a locked location when not being used. The company will use external hard drives at times to store recorded coaching sessions or documentation filled out by clients. All external hard drives will be disconnected from the computer when the coach is not actively using the drive while present at the computer. All external hard drives will be secured in a locked location when not being used. All external hard drives will be password protected and encrypted using BitLocker. For an overview on how BitLocker works, go to https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/information-protection/bitlocker/bitlocker-overview
The following software services are not exhaustive and are subject to change at the discretion of the company. Software services that may replace those listed below will not have lesser security or confidentiality.
This online document, and all other online documents used by the company for client response and signature are on Jotform.com. Jotform is a password protected site with standalone form links and embed codes that are secure by default. All forms are served across a protected 256 bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) connection that uses a SHA256 Certificate. This is the same level of protection used by online banking or e-commerce providers. To learn more about Jotform’s security go to https://www.jotform.com/security/. If and when the company downloads these documents, they are saved directly from the website to an external hard drive.
The company uses Acuity (acuityscheduling.com) for scheduling and PayPal (paypal.com) as a payer. Both are password protected. Acuity Scheduling is a Squarespace company who participates in and is certified in compliance with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss–U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. For more information on their security go to https://www.squarespace.com/privacy. The client will require a PayPal account in order to pay for services. Please see your account and agreement with PayPal on how PayPal keeps your information secure.
The company uses HubSpot and Mailchimp to organize client contacts in a CRM (customer relationship manager) and to create group emails to send information to multiple clients at once in the form of newsletters and other information. Both websites and apps are password protected and encrypted. HubSpot, Inc. and Mailchimp participate in and are certified in compliance with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss–U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. For more information on how HubSpot keeps your information confidential and secure go to https://legal.hubspot.com/product-privacy-policy. For more information on how Mailchimp keeps your information confidential and secure go to https://mailchimp.com/about/security/.
The company uses Zoom to have video calls with clients and uses Zoom’s cloud system to store video recordings at times. The company has a paid healthcare account with Zoom, and therefore is HIPAA compliant and secure. Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC, and Zoom Video Communications, INC have signed a BAA (business associates agreement), ensuring they will not share information from video and audio taken on Zoom. Zoom is HIPAA and PIPEDA/PHIPA compliant and uses encrypted technology to ensure security through their platform. Please see https://zoom.us/healthcare and https://zoom.us/trust for more information on Zoom’s security and confidentiality during calls.
The link for the Zoom room received via email to clients for sessions has an individualized zoom room key that no other person will have access to aside from the coach. The coach has to allow clients to enter the Zoom room, ensuring that no one will enter the Zoom room in the middle of a client's session. Clients whom are waiting for their session while another session is wrapping up will be in a ‘waiting room’ and unable to enter the room until the coach let’s them in. The coach will not let the next client in until the prior client leaves. Sessions will be recorded through Zoom and will be recorded either to Zoom’s cloud, which is secure (see links above), or will be downloaded directly to an external hard drive while the session is taking place to keep the session confidential with the least likelihood of being intercepted.
The company uses Google Workspace for data storage via Google Drive, an email exchange server, a document creator, and various other tools. Google Workspace holds to the same standards, if not higher standards, to all the other software services listed above. Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC, and Google, LLC have signed a BAA (business associates agreement), ensuring they will not share any information from documents, videos, or anything else created and stored on Google Workplace, and thus is in compliance with HIPAA. Please see https://workspace.google.com/security/?secure-by-design_activeEl=data-centers for more information on Google and Google Workspace’s security and privacy policies.
The company is also unable to ensure the security and confidentiality of the recordings once they are in your possession as the company is forfeiting control of the security of those videos over to the client and the client’s security system on their devices. When the client requests recordings, the client is releasing the coach and company’s contractual obligation and liability to hold those requested recordings confidential, and therefore whatever is being discussed in those video recordings is no longer confidential and secure. The client is then responsible for whatever information is in those recordings and how they protect it. The company and coach cannot ensure confidentiality or security over the client’s electronic devices as the company does not have access or control over those devices, and the client accepts this and agrees to those stipulations
Limitations of Liability
By entering the coaching relationship, and signing the agreement, the client is agreeing that if they have any health difficulties or events of any kind arise during the course of the coaching relationship, the client is solely responsible for actions taken in those areas.
Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC, is not liable for an inability to deliver services due to a force majeure, whether an act of God or foreseen/unforeseen human-initiated circumstance, health or travel restrictions, quarantines or precautions imposed by any government entity or agency, local, state or federal law or ordinance, or any other act or circumstance outside of the company’s control.
The client is aware that life coaching is in no way to be construed or substituted as psychological counselling, occupational therapy, or any other type of therapy or medical advice/service. Life coaching is also not legal or business advice. Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC will exercise best professional efforts, skills, and care so the client may be coached to meet their aspirations for life coaching. The client understands and acknowledges that the coach and the company will not be liable, legally or otherwise, for the actions the client may or may not undertake as a result of the life coaching sessions. No assumption of responsibility is made, or given, to the company and coach for the client’s actions. The client requesting such services agrees not to hold the coach or the company responsible or liable in any form or fashion, for such actions taken of the client’s own accord. The method and process by which coaching is given, in no manner whatsoever, written or verbal, constitutes an agreement or liability on the part of the coach or the company for the client.
The client agrees that using and receiving any of the provided life coaching services are entirely at their own risk. Life coaching services are provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty for information, services, communication, coaching, uninterrupted access, or products provided through or in connection with the company’s service. Life coaching services are requested by the client's own choice and with inherent singular responsibility. Any actions or lack of actions taken by the client of such advice and services is done so solely by choice and responsibility of the client and is neither the responsibility nor liability of the company or coach, be it legal, medical, or otherwise. The client takes full responsibility in the decisions they make during and after being coached as well as the consequences. The client enters into coaching with full understanding that they are responsible for creating their own results.
In the event the client's mental, physical, or emotional distress is believed by the client to be related to or caused by the coaching sessions directly or indirectly, the client will not under any circumstance hold the coach or company liable for any loss or cost incurred by the client for that distress. Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC will have no liability to the client for such distress.
Periodically the company and coach may provide links to other websites or written print material which may be of value, interest, and convenience to the client. This does not constitute endorsement of material at those sites or any associated organization product of service. It is the responsibility of the client as a user of that media to make their own informed decision about the accuracy of the information at those sites, the site’s printed material, and privacy policies. In no event shall Queer Spectrum Life Coaching, LLC be liable for any incident or consequential damages resulting from use of that information and material.