Certificate in Life Coaching

Learn about human behaviour and counselling , coaching, counsellor, finance, fitness, state of mind, and how to help others to improve all aspects of their lives

Course CodeVPS006
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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At some point in their lives, everybody seeks advice from friends, family or professionals to help them make decisions or decide how to handle a particular situation or event. The life coach makes available the kind of consistent assistance and support that may be lacking in a person’s life or difficult to obtain when consulting family or friends who may have quite different perspectives.

A life coach can become a confidante, helping the client determine what is important, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and ascertain where they want to be in six months, a year, ten years. Life coaching involves assisting the client set personal and professional goals and establishing a workable strategy to attain them within a given time frame. For clients, a life coach can provide a life-changing experience, an invaluable opportunity to take control over their lives and fulfil their dreams. Life coaching can help people in many different aspects of their life, from physical and emotional well being to career success and financial management. This course will prepare you to offer life-coaching services to others, or to support yourself through personal change.

So you want to become a life coach? We can help you.

A life coach is a person who supports others through the processes of finding a way past their perceived or real limitations and taking responsibility or achieving valued goals. This course will develop your ability to facilitate that kind of change in others so that they can achieve practical outcomes.


Association for Coaching (UK) - ACS is an organisational member (OMAC) of the UK Association for Counselling. 

This course is recognised by the Complementary Medical Association.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Life Coaching.
 Psychology & Counselling BPS102
 Stress Management VPS100
 Careers Counselling BPS202
 Life Coaching BPS305
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 12 modules.
 Anger Management BPS111
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Counselling Skills II BPS110
 Health & Fitness I BRE101
 Human Nutrition 1 BRE102
 Starting A Small Business VBS101
 Conflict Management BPS201
 Family Counselling BPS213
 Nutrition for Weight Loss BRE210
 Relationships & Communication Counselling BPS208
 Business Coaching BBS304
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301

Note that each module in the Certificate in Life Coaching is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Like the coach of elite athletes, the life coach is results oriented, and his or her main tasks are to help clients recognise, overcome or remove barriers to personal growth and development, and develop strategies for achieving goals that will enable the individual to develop his or her full potential. Again like the sports coach, the life coach will be required to accurately assess the client’s aptitudes, strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals in order to arrive at a program that is specifically tailored to that individual. Unlike a sports coach, however, life coaches may also have to manage clients’ reluctance, lack of motivation, inaccurate perceptions and other psychological barriers to effective self-management. Life coaching is primarily about helping clients develop the skills and attitudes that will enable them to manage themselves and their own lives.
People may contact a life coach for very different reasons: to help them make better financial or career decisions; to get them motivated; to help them overcome feelings of frustration, helplessness, or lack of confidence; to help them manage personal relationships; to help them develop practical life skills. However, the reasons for contacting a life coach may not be the primary issues that are causing the client distress or dissatisfaction, and much of the life coach’s work will be to lead the client on a journey of self-discovery.
Like all inner journeys, life coaching must begin with the client’s present situation and the many internal and external influences upon it. Life coaching begins with working with the client to understand where the person is at, psychologically, physically, financially and inter-personally. Only after obtaining a more accurate, clear picture of the client’s Present can both client and life coach identify elements in the client’s Past that may be hindering growth in any particular area, and plan strategies for the client’s Future that will encourage and nurture progress.
Some areas in which a life coach may be asked to provide assistance and support are:
  • interpersonal relations
  • self-esteem and confidence
  • development of physical well being
  • public and professional image
  • personal finances or business
  • career development
  • practical life skills, such as time management.

How to become a Life Coach

How to become a life coach varies from country to country. It is possible to take courses to qualify as a life coach. Many of these are offered by coaching institutes but there are some available through government-run colleges. Some private institutions also offer coaching courses via distance education which can vary considerably in subject matter and number of hours taken to complete them. 

Other people may find that they are able to use their experiences from previous jobs, such as coaching, counselling and so on, and use that to develop themselves more as a life coach. Some countries have certain requirements as to the qualifications and experience required by a life coach, whilst other countries have not yet formally stated the qualifications or experience required. To date, however, the industry remains unregulated in most countries.

If you are planning on working as a life coach, it is advisable to check in the country you intend to work in as to the requirements for that country. You should consider things such as:

  • Qualifications needed
  • Experience required
  • Registrations with organisations required
In order to provide the best possible service to a client, it is important to undertake a course in life coaching. People seeking a life coach will at least want to know that they have undertaken some kind of training.

As with the clients of life coaches, life coaches themselves come from a broad range of backgrounds. What they have in common is not only a desire to help others achieve fulfilling lives, but also a striving towards enhancing their own personal development.

Often, life coaches may have come from other areas of work. For example, they may be a fitness trainer and also want to offer life coaching as part of their repertoire. They may be a counsellor who wishes to move into life coaching, or a nutritionist who wants to do life coaching on the side. At other times, they may be someone with a lot of life experience who believes they have something to offer others.

Some life coaches prefer to coach within their area of expertise. For example, the fitness trainer may prefer to coach people with fitness-related issues. Others will seek to broaden their knowledge of other areas so they can add them to their coaching repertoire.

Some of the important skills a coach needs to have or develop are:
  • Good listening skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Empathy
  • Punctuality
  • Leadership
  • A good sense of humour

Well, there is no real set answer to that. Life coaches may work for themselves or for someone else.

Working for an Organisation
Occasionally life coaches may work for another organisation. They may offer coaching support to staff or clients as part of the organisation. For example, a consortium of counsellors may also have life coaches who can offer additional support to their clients.

Coaching Consultancy
There are now consultancies in many major cities who may employ one or several life coaches. These operate in much the same way as a counselling practice or psychology clinic whereby a new client is paired with a coach whose skills or training closely match the areas the client has articulated as being areas they would like to improve or change. 

Other Coaching Institutions
Some life coaches can work within coaching institutions. For example, in the field of sport, athletes may have coaches who help them improve their sporting performance, but a life coach may be employed to look at other aspects of that person's life and help them in those areas. For example, a top athlete may suddenly start to lose races. Their training coach can help them to try and maintain their sporting performance, but it could be due to other issues – they are no longer interested, they have a financial crisis, they have a personal crisis at home and so on – a life coach may be better able to help them with these things.

Generally speaking, most life coaches are self-employed. They may work from their own home or office supporting clients. Obviously, when working as a self-employed person, the life coach also has to take account of their own accounts, administration, and marketing, whilst also being responsible for finding new clients. Some life coaches may work full time with clients, but others may choose to only work part-time (perhaps because they are semi-retired). Some may work as a life coach whilst still working in another job.  It will really depend on the life coach and what they hope to achieve from their work.

In whichever way you choose to become a life coach, it can be a very fulfilling career.

Risks and Challenges
Some of the disadvantages include:

  • Can involve unsociable hours.
  • Some clients may be overly demanding.
  • May take time before positive changes can be observed in clients.
  • Can be disheartening if unable to work with a client.
  • Some clients may become dependent.
  • There may be times when you are not financially secure if you are not able to  achieve a sufficient level of clients.

As a coach, you have to have the resilience and perseverance to be able to withstand the hard times and to make the most of the good times. After all, you are a mentor and, for some, a role model, and you will not be regarded highly if you are observed to be dealing with your own problems inappropriately. 

Other Options

Perhaps you would like to help people improve their lives through life coaching or counselling, but you are not ready for the certificate yet. What about –

Sports Psychology

Have a look at all of our psychology and counselling courses.


What You Could Do With This Course

Life coaches offer something different to counsellors and therapists. Coaching is more concerned with helping people explore their possibilities and reach their potential, rather than how to deal with relationship difficulties or mental health problems. As well as helping people set and achieve goals, life coaches may be involved in assisting people with diet, exercise and other areas of wellbeing. This certificate builds on our life coaching module by adding other relevant areas of study such as human nutrition, fitness and managing stress.

This course is particularly useful for people working in, or aspiring to work in:  

  • Life coaching
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Personal training
  • Human Nutrition
  • Alternative therapy
  • Health professions



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Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Lear
Jacinda Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo
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