Life Coach Training - Open Learning Course

ACS Distance Education is an organisational member of the Association For Coaching. Students on the course are eligible to join the association as student members.
Life coaching is a rewarding and fulfilling career. This course will teach you how to help others. Support them to lose weight, be promoted, find a new career, resolve difficult problems. It will enable people in health, fitness, counselling, social work and other professions to help others set and achieve life goals. Develop your skills in setting and achieving goals, not only for yourself but for those who seek your assistance. Some students who have prior experience or training in a related field such as health, fitness, counselling, social work, psychology or naturopathy.

This course will enable people in health, fitness, counselling, social work etc to help others set and achieve life goals. Develop an appreciation of how different perceptions of the world can be just as critical as knowledge, skill and opportunity in a person's success or failure. The course also covers such things as coaching processes, coaching skills and goal setting; and is equally relevant to developing both physical and psychological well being in the client.


ACS is now an organisational member (OMAC) of the Association for Coaching (UK)

Learn Coaching for life skills, and gain life coaching certification through the Association of Coaching (UK)

 If you are interested in helping people, this is the course for you. Lose weight, change careers, be promoted, come to terms with illness or disability, overcome debts - these are just some of the problems that a life coach can support their client with.

Life coaches can work with their own clients, in their own professional practice. You offer support to your clients to improve their lives. Life coaching has made a difference to many people. It is a fulfilling and rewarding career.

Association for Coaching (
UK) - ACS is an organisational member (OMAC) of the UK Association for Counselling. 
 Students on the course are eligible to join the association as student members.



The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction
    • nature of life coaching
    • cognitive behaviour therapy
    • different approaches
    • the scope of life coaching.
  2. Individual Perception
    • psychology of self-perception
    • perceptual barriers
    • motivating clients to challenge their perceptions.
  3. A Well Balanced Life
    • the inter-relationship between psychology and physiology
    • stress
    • the psychology of balance.
  4. Coaching Processes
    • key coaching processes
    • assessment of the client's situation
    • dealing with emotions
    • setting goals
    • replacing negative habits with positive ones
    • leadership qualities in a life coach
    • imagination and enthusiasm
    • clarifying goals
    • recognition of limitations.
  5. Coaching Skills
    • understanding the communication process
    • body language
    • communication barriers
    • listening skills
    • assessing learning styles.
  6. Coaching and physical well-being
    • human nutrition
    • important factors in nutrition
    • physical well-being.
  7. Coaching and psychological well-being
    • the psychology of self-esteem
    • stress management programme
    • identifying stressors.
  8. Coaching Success
    • high achievement
    • coaching success
    • career guidance
    • managing your money
    • beginning a business.
  9. Goal Setting
    • values
    • aims and goals
    • types of goals
    • planning
    • future goals
    • steps for successful goal achievement
    • effort and attribution.
  10. Review and Adjustment
    • indications that a programme needs to be reassessed
    • client's lack of confidence
    • personality clash
    • over-achievers
    • health and safety issues.

NOTE: We also offer a 600 hour Certificate in Life Coaching, which will cover the area of life coaching is greater detail.


Duration: 100 hours



The learning outcomes in this course include:

  • Define life coaching and differentiate it from other professions such as psychotherapist, counsellor, personal trainer and so on.
  • Understand that people perceive the world in different ways, and identify ways to help clients change counter-productive perceptions without excessive discomfort.
  • Define a well-rounded individual and well-rounded life.
  • Define different coaching skills including listening, analysing, planning and focusing.
  • Identify ways in which life coaching can contribute to physical well-being.
  • Identify ways in which life coaching can contribute to psychological well-being.
  • Identify the areas in which successful life coaching can benefit a client.
  • Understand the importance enabling clients to develop aims, plans and goals.
  • Recognise the importance of reviewing and adjusting the life-coaching processes.


What is a life coach?

"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.



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." (notes taken from our Life Coaching course)



Risks are an important issue in life coaching, and are things which will guide a coaches actions. We will look at risk management in greater detail in chapter 5. Here we shall briefly review some potential risks.

Risks are a factor in any profession. In life coaching the risks involved may affect the client or the coach (or both). Many of the risks involved are subsumed within the main legal and ethical considerations which we have already reviewed, and it is the neglect of these which poses risks which may have serious repercussions for the coach. In terms of the client there are a number of things to be wary of.


Unusual cases - as a coach, you may come across some unusual cases where a client is seeking to satisfy a goal which may seem unethical or potentially illegal. For instance, they may wish to build up their physical fitness and strength in order to physically confront or attack someone they deem has done them wrong, or they may wish to build up the confidence to mount a legal battle in a case which could disadvantage an innocent third party. If you were to assist the client in their ambition you may find yourself under investigation. If you have any doubt about the legality or morality of a client's goals you should politely refuse to work with them.

Risks to the client - the most obvious psychological risk to the client is that you are unable to help them attain their goals. In this case, they may feel less confident about themselves and feel worse overall than they did before they came to see you. This is why setting achievable and realistic goals is so important, and why goals need to be carefully monitored and adjusted where necessary.

Another psychological risk is that a client comes to see you when in reality they need help from a health care professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. It is extremely important to refer these people on rather than attempt to help them, unless you are qualified to do so. Setting goals is not going to help them overcome underlying disorders and may only exacerbate their symptoms.

Physical risks towards the client are also an important consideration. For instance, you should not instruct a client who has physical post-surgery complications to undertake strenuous exercise which could cause them discomfort, pain, or relapse. Likewise, you shouldn't instruct a client to run along an inner city route which encourages them to cross hazardous road junctions. If you advise a client to eat a particular diet then you need to know that they do not have specific allergies to any of the ingredients they may consume, and have the appropriate education and understanding of nutritional needs. Gathering as much information as possible about a client will help you to avoid making dubious decisions or offering erroneous suggestions.     


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