Thinking about studying a health coaching course? Here’s a few things to consider.
What is a health coach?
The terms health coach, nutrition coach or wellness coach are only relatively new. There are several international and Australian health coach course providers offering food & nutrition qualifications, training programs and online courses promising that you will become a “Nutrition Coach”, “Health Coach”, “Recognised Health & Nutrition Coach”, “Wellness Coach” or similar. The reality is that becoming a health coach in Australia really doesn’t grant you any particular level of professional recognition in the nutrition industry or boost specific job prospects for you.
Job prospects as a health coach
Once you graduate from any nutrition or online health coach course (including many degrees in nutrition) it’s likely that you will need to find your own niche and create your own success (i.e. it’s challenging to find paid, fulltime or permanent work in the field of nutrition – unless you are a research nutritionist employed by a university or industry or Accredited Practicing Dietitian employed by hospitals or industry). This is not to say that you cannot be successful in nutrition and health coaching – now more than ever there are enormous opportunities in the nutrition and health field (private practice, health food catering, menu planning, online health coaching, writing, blogging and social media all present amazing opportunities for us to help people take control of their diet and health). The thing is, in the face of some pretty impressive (and – honestly – unrealistic) claims from some health coaching course providers, it’s still important to remember that at the moment in Australia, health coaches or Health & Nutrition coaches are not widely recognised.
Please read our information page about choosing a nutrition degree or diploma here if you are interested in studying to become an accredited Australian nutritionist (study nutrition at a degree or advanced diploma level).
Are there specific health coaching courses or qualifications you need to undertake to become a health coach?
No. Technically in Australia, you do not need to study any course in order to call yourself a health or nutrition coach. Many online health coaching course providers suggest that their courses are recognised and highly sought after, where in reality, anyone can call themselves a health coach (or a nutritionist) without undertaking any food & nutrition studies or training in nutrition or health coaching courses at all.
To take out professional indemnity and public liability insurance for Health & / or Nutrition Coaching you will, however, need to complete an approved health coaching course. Beck Health & Nutrition health coach courses allow you to register as a Health & Nutrition Coach, as well as write menu plans and provide nutritional advice and guidance. Please see below for a more detailed description of what you are accredited to do as a Health & Nutrition Coach recognised by the IICT.
What does “recognised health coach course” mean
Some online health, wellness and health coaching courses claim that their courses are “recognised”. The big question here is – recognised by whom? As we have stated previously, there are currently no health or wellness coaching qualifications that are recognised by government (for example). In Australia, the government has two levels of education registration, ASQA (for skills-based training up to Advanced Diploma level courses) and TEQSA (for bachelor degree study or higher). Currently there are no qualifications (from Australian or international health coaching course providers) for health or wellness coaching that are recognised by the Australian government. Like our competitors, our nutrition and health coaching courses are not a part of the Nationally Recognised Training System.
Accreditation as a nutrition and health coach
Beck Health & Nutrition is a Platinum Training Provider with the International Institute of Complementary Therapists (IICT). Successful completion of our training programs in nutrition and health coach courses provide automatic eligibility for accreditation and formal recognition as a Nutrition & Health Coach, Health Coach as well as for the modalities of nutrition and sports nutrition. As a Platinum Training Provider, we can also offer a 50% discount for the first year of full membership accreditation via the IICT for our students (normally $139 – discounted price exclusive to Beck Health & Nutrition Courses is $69 for the first year of accredited full membership with the IICT).
To access this discounted accreditation membership please use the following link: http://iict.com.au/beckhealth
IICT is an independent accreditation membership body for the health and wellness industry. The IICT’s accreditation and insurance arrangements allow you to access professional indemnity insurance at discounted rates for Health Coaching, Health & Nutrition Coaching, Nutrition and Sports Nutrition. Professional indemnity insurance policies start from $193 per year (or 18 months – depending on current specials). The IICT are also active in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada – so your accreditation and insurance as a health coach is valid even if you are planning to work or practice overseas.
You will be accredited (and eligible to access professional indemnity insurace) as a Nutrition and Health Coach for the following:
- Paid consultations – Nutritional and dietary advice including:
- Impact of nutrition and dietary quality on health, wellness and disease
- Weight loss and healthy weight management concepts and approaches including the ability to assess popular and fad diets and ensure adequate nutritional intake via practical, food-based recommendations including menu plans and suggestions.
- Nutritional pre-screening via dietary records and food recall
- Practical aspects of meal planning and modification to best achieve dietary quality and nutritional requirements
- Understanding and explaining food labeling
- Identifying nutritional deficiencies or dietary gaps and providing practical, food-based recommendations to address such deficiencies or gaps
- Tailored nutritional approaches to address individual needs including cultural, lifestyle, motivational and behavioural factors
- Understanding of when referral to a medical or nutrition professional is necessary.
This list is confirmed as what type of activities that will be covered under the accreditation and insurance as a nutrition and health coach by the IICT and their associated professional indemnity insurance brokers. As described previously, it is important to remember that our nutrition courses are short-course (they are not intended to take the place of a degree in dietetics or nutrition science). Our courses will allow you to work (and access discounted professional indemnity insurance) as a Health & Nutrition coach or nutritional advisor.
Accreditation and insurance as a health coach or health and nutriton coach
Once you have received your accreditation from the IICT you can apply for professional indemnity insurance. IICT recommends AON insurance brokers who provide insurance for a many health, fitness and well being occupations. Insurance policies currently start from less than $150 for an 18 month cover period.
Many Beck Health & Nutrition courses are accredited with various health and fitness bodies. This means that if you are already a part of this industry, you can receive professional development points for your ongoing registration. All of our courses are accredited by the Australian Traditional Medicine Society. Our Nutrition & Diet for Exercise Professionals course is also accredited by Fitness Australia for 15 CEC points.
Why don’t Beck Health & Nutrition health coaching courses and programs include compulsory marketing and business coaching modules?
Beck Health & Nutrition specialises in nutrition and health education. While we are aware that other health coaching course providers offer business coaching modules, marketing etc, many of our learners have already developed unique skills via studies, training or life / work experience. However if you would like to also take specific business, coaching or marketing units, please let us know and we will provide a range of fantastic, professional and affordable study options for you.
Beck Health & Nutrition give you:
- Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of nutrition as it relates to diet, disease and wellbeing both at an individual, group and community level
- Confidence and skills to make informed decisions and judgments regarding the latest diets and health trends
- Menu planning and nutritional analysis skills for a wide variety of common circumstances including health, weight goals, athletic training, cultural preferences and dietary trends.
- A love of nutrition and health science as it relates to our everyday life and health goals.
Please note: Beck Health & Nutrition courses are not appropriate for accreditation as an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) or a Registered Nutritionist. Beck Health & Nutrition courses are also not eligible for student visas or immigration purposes for Australia. To find out more about studying nutrition in Australia, please read our information page.
Nutrition and health coach courses
Combines our Certificate of Nutrition & Diet course with your choice of nutrition specialisation (Nutrition for Stress, Anxiety & Depression, Childhood & Adolescent Nutrition, Sports & Exercise Nutrition or Healthy Body Weight Nutrition). This course is perfect if you are interested in becoming a health or nutrition coach, or if you want to write diet and menu plans or provide nutritional advice.
The Nutrition and Diet course provides a comprehensive introduction to the science of nutrition and dietary analysis. Direct accreditation for nutrition and health coaching.
The Certificate of Sports & Exercise Nutrition course explores the latest nutritional strategies to optimise and enhance athletic performance. Includes elements of exercise physiology, nutrition, dietary analysis and nutritional planning for athletes.
Presents the nutrition, motivation and lifestyle strategies to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and help manage type 2 diabetes.
Learn how to promote and tailor health and nutrition messages for community, groups and media.
This unique nutrition course provides a complete, up-to-the-minute study of the nutrition, diet, exercise and lifestyle research findings. Covers skills and knowledge to help optimise mental health and wellbeing through dietary strategies.
Accreditation, job opportunities, insurance and professional recognition for work in nutrition or as a health coach are always changing. If you have a particular question about choosing a course or career plan, we are happy to help.
Simply submit an enquiry form and we’ll try our best to help you out.
Disclaimer: this information is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate and current and is provided in good faith in order to assist people considering undertaking a course of study in nutrition, health or wellness coaching. Beck Health & Nutrition will not be held liable for any errors or omissions contained.