If you are working with people who need help with their relationship with alcohol, we know that you will want to do this in the most responsible way possible. 

Working with people who have been or who are alcohol dependent requires specialist training, and working with those who are alcohol dependent without the necessary training can cause them harm.

Please do not assume that a line on your website stating that you do not work with rock bottom or dependent drinkers will mean that they won't sign up for your service.

All Sober Coaches need to be proactively doing everything they can to ensure that they only work with people they are trained to work with, and need to have an understanding of alcohol dependence. 

Before you agree to work with someone, please consider -

Could this person be alcohol dependent?

- please employ your own integrity and common sense if you suspect someone could be alcohol dependent.
- please use the AUDIT tool below, to help determine if someone could be alcohol dependent.
- please advise anyone who you suspect of being alcohol dependent to seek the more specialist treatment they need through their GP.

Could this person be signing up for your services whilst intoxicated?

- we would encourage a 'cooling off' period, since some people who are desperate for help may sign up for services whilst intoxicated. Spending money whilst intoxicated can cause a person to drink more.

The AUDIT Tool
The AUDIT can help identify alcohol dependence.

The AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) is a simple and effective method of screening for unhealthy alcohol use, defined as risky or hazardous consumption or any alcohol use disorder. Based on the data from a multinational World Health Organization collaborative study, the AUDIT has become the world’s most widely used alcohol screening instrument since its publication in 1989.

Click here for the AUDIT Tool 

Useful Courses

 It is essential that Sober Coaches are educated about and understand alcohol dependence, to ensure that they do not begin working with someone who needs specialist treatment.

The Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice Training course by Alcohol Change UK is a fantastic start to educating yourself about alcohol dependence, so that you are offering the very best support that you can, and you are helping to protect those whose alcohol dependence makes them vulnerable. 

We are delighted to share the Alcohol Change UK e-learning Identification and Brief Advice course

Please click here for details about the course

 'The aim of this course is to enable professionals to identify those drinking above lower risk levels, give simple brief advice and make referrals to appropriate services. The overall aim of this course is to provide participants with the skills and techniques that make them feel confident to effectively engage with non-dependent alcohol misusing patients, who may not realise that they may be taking risks with their health. Participants learn how to use World Health Organisation validated tools to identify patients’ levels of health risk from alcohol and how to intervene appropriately with those who could benefit from cutting down their alcohol consumption.'

Signposting People To The Help They Need

As a Sober Coach you have a duty of care, and that includes those people who you believe need more specialist treatment. 

It is all credit to you that you are honest with them and explain that working with a Sober Coach is not what they need.

Taking the time to signpost them to more appropriate services and treatment could help prevent someone from progressing further, and could even save their life.

A person's GP is the best place to start

Alcohol Change UK provides essential suggestions for next steps 

 Get Help Now

Other links to support


Change Grow Live

Forward Trust

What Sober Coaches And Trainers Are Saying...

"As a grey area drinking sobriety coach I was getting more and more people coming to me distraught and upset after receiving a poor coaching experience and this is why I feel so proud to be part of the Sober Code. It’s clear that people feel extremely vulnerable when they need help with their drinking, and the Sober Code offers a free safe space to find the valuable resources so they can be treated with the  kindness, respect and dignity that they deserve." Soberdave

"Sober Code is a huge move forward within the alcohol-free space. By committing to the Sober Code, we are recognising that our primary duty of care is to our clients and that we will ensure that their health and well-being is at the centre of all coaching that we provide."
Jenny Downs, Cooperative-Coaching 

"The Sober Code initiative is a giant step towards ensuring a coachee’s well-being and dignity are central to any alcohol-free coaching they receive. It’s a great way for coachees to feel assured that the coach is  adhering to the highest coaching industry standards. I believe Sober Code will pave the way to help protect vulnerable drinkers looking to change their relationship with alcohol. The code will give peace of mind to coachees who deserve the best from an alcohol-free / sober coach." 
Nigel Jones, Accredited Life & Sober Coach, Founder of 9KM BY 9AM and Author of Walking Back To Happiness: The Secret To Alcohol-free Living & Well-Being

"Ros Dodd Sobriety Coaching welcomes Sober Code. Given the nature of alcohol addiction it is essential the coaching industry recognises its limitations for the safety of those seeking help. We foster respect and understanding with our clients. Should a prospective or other client who has alcohol dependency seek our services, we always direct them to their GP so that they can receive appropriate support."
Ros Dodd Sobriety Coaching

"Having professional standards and Codes of Ethics is vital in the area of Sobriety Coaching as it is in any area of Coaching or Therapy to protect the client & coach relationship and ensure the psychological safety of the client. Having robust training and abiding by those standards and governing bodies is something that should be a given in a coaching professional but is not always the case. Always check that your coach has training and accreditation and insurance and feel free to ask for the Code of Ethics if these are not displayed on their website. Coaches are professionally trained to a high standard, are not just influencers or people with lived experience. You can ask for references and do shop around in discovery calls for someone who feels like a good match and is well trained. I well trained and ethical coach will be delighted to provide all of these things. I am so pleased that Sober Code is working to raise awareness of this and to establish common guidelines and agreed codes of conduct amongst professionals working in the largely unregulated space of alcohol use disorder and coaching.
Kate Baily, ICF Accredited Coach & Author

"As the founder of The Sober Club and the associated Sober Coach Training programme, I wholeheartedly endorse Sober Code. It's a beacon of support and guidance, offering a unique framework that can revolutionize the world of (unregulated) sober coaching by ensuring that practitioners adhere to a set of principles. It offers a solid foundation in understanding the complexities of alcohol dependence, and I love the emphasis on compassion, empathy, and being non-judgmental, while still creating a safe and supportive environment for clients. Sober Code encourages coaches to act as trusted guides, signposting clients to the services that will best support their recovery. Ultimately what we all want for our clients, is hope, self-belief, and the tools necessary to embrace a life they don't want to escape from. Sober Code and its commitment to fostering compassionate and effective sober coaching, elevates the standards of professional practice, so that together we can help to significantly improve lives."
Janey Lee Grace, The Sober Club Accredited Coach Training

Sober Code - A resource for people who need help with sobriety and a voluntary Code of Ethics for those who wish to work with them.