You want to play by the rules and stay within your scope of practice — but you’re super confused about what that even is.
You want a business that allows you to help people, but that also doesn’t get you in any trouble.
And most of all, you want to feel confident helping someone, without worrying you’ll do something that’s outside your scope that will land you in hot water.
The problem is that coaches and consultants think that the scope of practice is just some secret, behind-the-scenes thing they’re supposed to figure out on their own.
So instead of talking to your potential clients, or site visitors, about who you are and what you do, you think scope of practice comes down to whether your services are inside the lines.
These are the 6-steps you need to take to get your business’s scope of practice legally legit…
1 // KNOW YOUR SCOPE
First thing’s first – you have to know your scope to be better prepared to talk about it. You need to know the scope of practice for your speciality, as well as whatever is a licensed version of what you do.
For example, if you’re a health coach, you need to know what’s consider nutritionist scope of practice in your state, or a physician scope of practice, so you make sure you don’t do that. (You can learn more about health coaches’ scope here!)
2 // DESIGN YOUR SERVICES
Now that you know what your scope is, take a look at your services. Do you offer something that clearly falls outside your scope? How could you change your services to comfortably and confidently fit within your scope?
3 // WORDS = ACTIONS
This is the *most* important tip I have. Your words (copy on your site, contracts, web policies, social media posts, emails, etc.) HAS TO match up to your actions in your content distribution and services.
You can’t say “I’m not a doctor/lawyer/financial advisor/etc.” and then do something that only that type of professional can do.
It is NOT enough to have a disclaimer or simply say “I’m not a [something]” but then act like that something.
All that will matter in the end is that you actually did it. The fact that you said, or had written somewhere, you wouldn’t will actually just make it worse. (<—- that’s just misleading!)
Your words must match up to what you do in practice.
4 // WEB POLICIES + WEBSITE COPY
Your website copy shouldn’t use words/phrases that go beyond your scope. And your services page should make it clear who you are, what you do, and how you help them.
Many of my clients even find it helpful to include a little blurb about who they don’t help, or what they don’t help with.
For example, I usually say something like, “I’m not for those entrepreneurs looking for legal advice or to hire their own lawyer! I offer DIY legal templates + a course, but I will not ever be YOUR attorney ; )”
Your website disclaimer is the policy that will be most important here — it clearly spells out who you are, what you do, who you help, and what you don’t do in fancy, yet protective, legal language.
And yes, your website disclaimer is SO much more than a “medical disclaimer” – it covers you and your business more broadly than just warning people to check with their doctor.
5 // TALK IT OUT
This is the part most people totally skip over! To me, it’s the one that will have the most impact and help you avoid the most trouble.
When you connect with potential clients (i.e., a discovery call), work your scope of practice into the conversation.
During the part of the call where you explain what you do, state who you are + what you do clearly and plainly.
If the potential client mentions during her call she’s looking for someone to design an eating plan for her and to review her blood work and offer supplement recommendations, you should work in your scope of practice when the time comes to share your services.
“It seems that you’re interested in having someone design a specific meal plan for you. I’m a health coach and what I do is help women discover eating in a way that makes them feel good in their bodies. Although I don’t design meal plans for my clients, my clients feel that the results they get from our work together is more sustainable because they learn how to eat, not just what to eat.”
Remember, this is just an example : )
6 // CONTRACT
Now that you’ve had the time to connect with your potential client over the phone, or maybe even by email, your contract should summarize your scope of practice and include a disclaimer for your work together.
That way, you have a signed copy of a written agreement stating the client was told who you are + what you do.
Hundreds of women contacted me last year to ask questions about scope of practice.
And it’s not their fault — the stuff you find online isn’t just confusing, it’s usually wrong!
There’s an entire module of Fearlessly Legal™ that teaches you scope of practice rules. You don’t have to search or worry anymore.
I walk you through how to design your services to play it safe, what you can/can’t say on your website, and how to use contracts and web policies to holistically cover your business.