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 Code: VPS006
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
Get started!


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. 

 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

ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
 Principal John Mason is a member of the ANZMH. ACS Students are invited to join
Principal John Mason is a member of the ANZMH. ACS Students are invited to join

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

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 Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

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 (Learning Disability Studies).

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 for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Tracey Jones

Tracey has over 20 years experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects.

She is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

Sarah Pirecki

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

Alison Pearce

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS Agriculture, Wildlife and Ecotourism students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, a Quality Assurance Manager, a Research Technician, and has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures. She has worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

She has extensive experience of handling, husbandry, and management of a wide range of both small and large animals and has a particular love for nature and wildlife.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.