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Course title:         Accelerated  (University) Certificate in Life and Personal Coaching

Alternative title (if any):     see "further information" below. 

Awarding body:                   Calamus International University.  For further details of CIU please see the about page.

Status of course:                 This is a non-UK qualification. For status of CIU please see the status page.  CIU is accredited by the International Association for Distance Learning.  This course is also available without the "university" title as a UK qualification awarded by Calamus Extension College Ltd. See "further information" below. 

Entry requirements:            The course is intended primarily for therapists who wish to make the transition to coaching as an additional or new profession.  The course is also available to others with suitable backgrounds or for personal interest to anyone interested in self-development and helping others. 

Method of study:                 Distance learning (textbook-based)

Cost:                                       GBP (Pounds Sterling) 350.00  (see end of document for payment and enrolment instructions) Cost of textbooks extra.  

Completion time:                 3 to 6 months depending on background, experience and time available.   


Become a life coach and join one of the fastest growing professions!


The accelerated University Certificate in Life and Personal Coaching – Cert.LPC(CIU) is intended primarily for therapists who wish to make the transition to coaching as an additional or new profession.  The course is also available to others with suitable backgrounds or for personal interest. 


Studying this course will also be beneficial for those who work with people but who might not call themselves coaches, such as human resources managers, general managers, counsellors, therapists, complementary medicine practitioners, NLP practitioners, mediators, mentors, New Age and metaphysical practitioners and others, including CEOs of small businesses who wish to inspire and coach their colleagues towards success.  


The key differences between therapy and counselling are an important part of the course. Study of these principles will help coaches with liaison and cross-referral with therapists.   In many locations there are strict rules against practising counselling or therapy without an appropriate licence, and learning the fine distinctions between those arts and coaching will help you avoid overstepping professional boundaries. 


Many people are realizing that their current professional activities already involve coaching, or want to change from working with people with deep problems to working with normal people who wish to change their lives positively.  Such professionals wish to have certification without committing too much time, energy and travel.  This course meets such needs and helps you leverage your existing knowledge and training.


This course is for self-motivated, well-organised students who are used to learning new techniques as part of their professional or personal development.  The intent of the course is to promote a deep understanding of effective coaching for the curious and intuitively aware student.  We do not emphasise the “shallow” side of life coaching that concentrates on decluttering, time management and keeping your wardrobe up to fashion.  


The accelerated programme is taught in 5 modules covering one key skills model and drawing from four coaching models (Attraction, Co-active, NLP and Coaching with Spirit), introducing a wide variety of coaching techniques. As well as these five modules, an extended integrative essay of 3,500 words is required. The focus of this essay will be how coaching relates to, or can be integrated with, your current work or practice.


This CIU certificate course is by distance learning only and is delivered by correspondence. Academic credit will be given to students who wish to proceed to a non-UK degree course with Calamus International University later on. 18 academic credits will be given to successful students towards a Calamus International University degree programme.


Textbooks are required and CIU reserves the right to change the course content at any time if a book is no longer available. Students will need to purchase or acquire their own textbooks.


Since we pioneered this course some years ago, a number of other inexpensive, self-contained, self-study diplomas and certificates in coaching have come on the market.  The typical such course uses an in-house manual of about 150 pages or a single textbook of up to 250 pages.  Our course, because it makes use of a number of textbooks, contains at least five times as much content as the typical self-study course.  Some “live” courses that lead to a certificate in a couple of days do not even give you as much as 150 pages of content - no wonder some such courses are now free!  Thus, even when you take the cost of buying the books into account, this course still represents excellent value for money in terms of the knowledge imparted.


Coaching began as a helping activity that was unregulated and unaccredited.  Then one organisation, the International Coaching Federation, sought to be the pre-eminent coaching organisation and to be the sole or main accreditor. Since then its position has been challenged by many other national and international bodies in various countries.  There are many training courses accredited in different ways – some by bodies set up by the training school – or not at all.  Coaching is still unregulated, and it has become more diverse than ever.


In common with various other distance learning courses in coaching, this one does not include one-to-one coaching. Some students will already have experience of coaching and just wish to study in order to be certificated.  Students will be encouraged to self-coach during the course and to practice exercises on family and/or friends.  The phrase “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis” has long been known to those involved in hypnotherapy.  We would like to offer the view that “all coaching is self-coaching” – because true coaching fosters the inner ability to make sound and creative decisions for successful change.  Many top coaches have written books on how to coach yourself, emphasising the value of self-coaching.  Readers of such books will seek a coach when they wish to go further!


Extra benefits and recommended resources

  • You will be able to apply to join an international coaching organisation based in the USA. Details will be given to students.

  • A series of coaching e-books suitable for yourself and your clients will be provided free with the course.  We will also give you:

  • A list of the best, hand-picked collections of coaching tools and e-books that you can buy at great prices, to give you lots of additional time-saving material for launching a coaching practice. You won’t find all these gathered together in one handy list anywhere else.

  • A list of professional associations that coaches can join including at least one association that will accept coaches from any training route.  

  • A list of insurance providers for the UK.

  • A list of interesting on-line coaching resources.

  • A bibliography of coaching books to build your own library.

  • Various free articles, tips and items which will depend on what we have available at the time.

Some of these supplementary information sheets or files may be delivered at intervals during the course in order to allow time for updates and revisions. Some of the material may be available only as downloads from our own or related websites or as information on our web pages.




1.         The Coaching Transformation 


Key text:  Skibbins, David. Becoming a Life Coach: A Complete Workbook for Therapists. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Ltd., 2007.

Working through this unit’s textbook will provide practical skills and knowhow for the therapist or other helping professional who wishes to become a life coach. A crucial part of this unit will be learning the distinctions between working as a therapist and working as a coach, and interacting with clients on the basis of their ability rather than their need for help. 


2.         Attracting What You Want in Life


Key text: Leonard, Thomas J., The 28 Laws of Attraction: Stop Chasing Success and Let It Chase You. New York: Scribner, 2008.

Thomas Leonard (1955-2003), the founder of life coaching as a distinct profession, developed the model of “attraction” coaching. His book was originally called The Portable Coach: 28 Surefire Strategies for Business and Personal Success.  The current edition, which is eagerly sought by the self-help market as well as by coaches, is called. The 28 Laws of Attraction: Stop Chasing Success and Let It Chase You. This unit provides the opportunity to study how this model works and how the concept of attraction can be applied in all areas of life to achieve success. Learn how to discover your vision and purpose, organise yourself, deal with procrastination, make life fulfilling, be constructive and be yourself. The highly condensed strategies presented in the key text may be adapted as a toolkit to help a wide range of coaching clients, or may be cherry-picked as required.


3.         The Invisible Coach


Key text:  Whitworth, Laura, et al., Co-Active Coaching. Palo Alto, California: Davies-Black Publishing, 2nd edition, 2007. (includes CD of coaching materials)

This unit offers a superb collection of practical deep coaching skills within a holistic framework, and as well as providing a stand-alone coaching model, it is ideal for students bridging the gap between their other helping practice and the skills of coaching.  After discussion of the coaching relationship and context, the student proceeds to learn the coaching skills of listening, intuition, curiosity, the action-learning feedback loop, and self-management.  Even if you think you have most of these skills already, the coaching perspective will add a new dimension to your existing techniques. Three client-centred topics, balance, fulfilment and process, are covered, and a troubleshooting section helps you perfect your coaching. A comprehensive set of technique tools is provided which can inspire you to create your own coaching tools in conjunction with your existing expertise. Practical exercises are given which may be carried out on friends, colleagues or clients.


4.         The NLP Coach


Key text:   McDermott, Ian and Jago, Wendy. The NLP Coach: A Comprehensive Guide to Personal Well-Being and Professional Success. London: Piatkus, 2002.

In this unit, the two modern helping approaches of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Life and Personal Coaching are brought together. The student will learn the basic principles, strategies and tools of up-to-date NLP and how they fit into the framework of personal coaching. This integrated framework of NLP and coaching is then applied towards self-coaching success in different areas of life, from a balanced perspective valuing personal harmony, self-esteem, relationships, enhanced brainpower, health, wealth, happiness, rewarding work and spirituality.


5.         The Spirit of Coaching  


Key text: Belf, Teri-E. Coaching with Spirit. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, 2002.

This unit is about the relationship between life coaching and spirituality. Spirituality does not necessarily mean religion, and people use the term in different ways. However, essential to all views of spirituality is the sense of connection to a greater reality than oneself.  Coaching with spirit rests on three  “grounded principles” :  connection with self, connection with the client and connection with the Whole. These principles inform the art of coaching in various ways, producing a holistic view of coaching whether one is doing personal coaching, business coaching, marketing one’s coaching services, or training.


6.         Integrated essay of 3,500 words on “The Integration of Coaching into my Current Work or Practice”.


A handout will be provided giving possible ways of approaching the essay, taking into account the nature of your current occupation. Full-time parents/carers may tackle the topic from their perspective.




Lesson plans for each unit will be provided, setting study tasks and questions. Written answers to assignments may be returned to the college by post (to London) address or by email.


This is purely a correspondence-based course but students are expected to apply their knowledge of coaching to themselves and in interaction with other people, and how the student has done this should be reflected in the assignment answers. The tutor will give written feedback on assignments. Each assignment will be marked on a pass/fail basis. A “fail” simply means that the student requires clearer understanding of a topic, and the tutor may recommend revision or additional reading in order to repeat the required assignments.


Many students will already have the capability to study and apply helping techniques, but the core techniques of coaching are easy to learn if you are a reasonable communicator.  We are confident that the overwhelming majority of students will easily progress through the course.  


There are many approaches within coaching and it is acceptable for you to bring existing skills into your coaching style. Therefore, you may have your own unique way of approaching some of the set questions. Your own individuality and insight will be honoured – this course does not attempt to mould you into one coaching system.


Further information:


Overseas and British awards


You have a choice of two awarding bodies for the course:


Calamus International University  (this is a non-UK university registered in the Republic of Vanuatu)



Calamus Extension College Ltd. – a company registered in England and Wales.


See our about and status pages for information about these two educational organisations.


The choice is therefore between an overseas qualification and a private British qualification. People in the UK or overseas are welcome to choose  the private British award.


It is also possible to have both awards simultaneously and receive two certifications for an additional fee of GBP 50. 


Obtaining textbooks


The approximate cost of all the textbooks is GBP 120 and prices of individual books may vary from time to time.

The syllabus and other details may change at any time and we reserve the right to introduce new textbooks and units if any of the existing ones are unobtainable.


Qualification and Certification


Life and personal coaching is not regulated in the UK and, to the best of our knowledge and belief, is not regulated or licensed in any other country; nor is it likely to be, because coaching is not defined as medical or therapeutic.  Anybody can set up as a life coach and many therapists, counsellors, former managers and others have already done so. Nevertheless, certification will be increasingly important in order to attract clients and demonstrate that you have a coaching knowledge base.


Although several coaching accreditation bodies exist, this course is not aimed at any particular independent accreditation standards. However if you are insured already for counselling, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy or another form of helping, it should be a simple matter to ask your existing insurers to include the practice of life and personal coaching.   We will give advice on relevant professional associations.


See some coaching links here


How to apply


To avoid delays we suggest you send your application form by email to  If your application is accepted we will advise you how to make payment electronically.


Please complete the Calamus application form (click here for download) and return it by email, or send by post with your payment to:

Calamus Extension College Ltd.
27 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1N 3XX, UK


The full fee for the course is due at time of enrolment.


Payment for the course fee of GBP 350.00 (350 British pounds/pounds sterling) should be made payable to “CALAMUS EXTENSION COLLEGE LIMITED”. Students residing in the UK may pay by personal cheque. Students residing outside the UK should contact us re suitable payment methods or pay by PayPal.


Credit card payment options: credit cards accepted via PayPal or Google Checkout. Please ask us to issue a payment request.


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