4 Free Life Coach Certification Programs You Can Take Online

free life coach certification online

Getting certified as a coach is a great way to gain additional experience, put some structure behind your coaching methodology, and earn credentials your clients trust.

Comprehensive coaching certification programs with top organizations often cost thousands of dollars and take up to a year to complete. If you’re just starting, this may not be your option.

However, several coaching institutes and educational organizations offer free life coach certification online.

Let’s explore some top-rated free life coach courses with online certificates and how you can build a coaching career while you don’t yet have credentials.

How to Become a Life Coach Without Certification

While certification can provide credibility and structure, it’s not the only way to a successful coaching career. If getting certified isn’t in the cards for you right now because of financial or time constraints, you can still leverage other professional and personal experiences.

Coaching skills like active listening and asking open-ended questions can help you facilitate insights in your clients early on. However, it’s important to proactively educate yourself through other resources like books, online courses, and mentorship opportunities.

If you lack coaching credentials, you can still establish a strong brand through client testimonials and clear communication of your values and process. Offering pro bono sessions for your first few clients can help you get more confident in coaching while gathering feedback.

Building a coaching business without certification is about genuine dedication to helping your clients and continuous learning.

What Credentials Does a Life Coach Need?

Life coaches don’t necessarily need formal credentials, but they can provide credibility and assurance to clients. Common credentials include certification from recognized coaching organizations like the International Coach Federation (ICF). It offers three different levels of designations:

  • Associate Certified Coach (ACC),
  • Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and
  • Master Certified Coach (MCC).

Other recognized certifications include those from the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) and the International Association of Coaching (IAC). Degrees or certifications in fields such as psychology, counseling, or social work can also boost your credibility.

[ Read: Here’s Exactly How to Become a Certified Life Coach ]

Some examples of coaching lower thirds you may come across are:

  • Certified Life Coach
  • Leadership and Performance Coach
  • Executive Coach and Leadership Mentor
  • Transformational Coach and Wellness Expert
  • Career Strategist and Personal Development Coach
  • Certified Professional Coach (CPC)
  • Relationship Coach and Communication Specialist
  • Master Executive Coach
  • Business Coach and Marketing Mentor
  • Financial Coach and Wealth Strategist
  • Parenting Coach and Family Therapist

Remember that nothing earns your clients’ trust more than delivering results to them, and you can only do that through practical experience and honing effective coaching skills.

How to Get Certified as a Coach for Free

Comprehensive and immersive coaching certification programs normally cost thousands of dollars and take a few months to a year to complete. However, plenty of free alternatives online cover the fundamentals of coaching.

A few resources you can use to gain core coaching competencies are:

  • edX: Another great e-learning site that provides free courses on subjects like Positive Psychology by the American Psychological Association or Leadership and Change by the London School of Economics.
  • OpenLearn: OpenLearn, provided by The Open University, offers free courses on various subjects, including basic coaching principles.

These courses may not offer formal certification recognized by a coaching organization, but they can teach you some essential skills to incorporate into your practice.

4 Free Programs for Getting Your Life Coach Certification Online 

Besides e-learning sites, some coaching training centers and specialized online certification providers offer free introductory life coach courses. These lectures offer an insight into fundamental coaching techniques or a taste of the methodology taught in more comprehensive programs of certifying organizations.

Here are a few you can enroll in online.

Free Life Coach Certification Online by the Life Coach Training Institute

This mini-course offered by the Life Coach Training Institute leads you through short lessons on key subjects like:

  • The definition of coaching,
  • A demo coaching session,
  • How to practice active listening,
  • How to ask powerful questions,
  • How to keep your clients accountable, and
  • The basics of launching your coaching business.

It also includes some training activities on core coaching competencies and transcripts for all lessons. If you want to continue learning with the institute, you can later upgrade to their full online certification course for an affordable $195 or join their live boot camp for the same price.

Professional Life Coach Free Online Course by Alison

Alison offers a short CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited course on the fundamentals of becoming a professional life coach. It covers 6-10 hours of learning materials with insights into:

  • Successful strategies used in coaching,
  • Coaching questions for all coaching scenarios,
  • How to set SMART goals,
  • Overcoming limiting beliefs,
  • Differentiating between good and bad habits, and
  • How to discover your life purpose.

You’ll need to score 80% or higher in each course assessment to earn your certificate.

Free Introductory Life Coaching Lecture by Animas

Animas offers a free introductory session on Transformational Coaching. This interactive, small-group, three-hour training gives you a taste of the methodology and coaching philosophy Anima teaches in its more comprehensive certification programs.

In this brief lesson, you’ll learn about:

  • What the transformative coaching approach is,
  • The 5 career pathways you can pursue with it,
  • The 8 types of coaching specializations it can be used in, and
  • The professional journey of a transformational coach over their lifetime.

Besides the trainer-led presentations, you’ll have the chance to participate in group discussions over Zoom.

Free Life Coaching Certificate by eLearning College

eLearning College offers a three-month life coaching course you can join anytime and complete at your own pace. It covers the fundamentals of:

  • The purpose and objectives of life coaching,
  • The behaviors and practices of an effective coach,
  • Coaching and mentoring skills that help improve performance,
  • The importance of values in life coaching,
  • The most effective life coaching tools,
  • Common communication problems and how to resolve them.

After completing each end-of-unit assessment, you’ll receive a free CPD-accredited coaching certificate.

Other Paid Life Coach Certifications Worth Exploring 

If you’re ready to go beyond free introductory life coaching courses, you may want to consider enrolling in a more comprehensive certification program. Though they often come with a significantly higher price tag, they can be a worthwhile investment for your long-term career.

Here are a few respected organizations we’ve reviewed that received positive reviews from their graduates.

Erickson Coaching International

Erickson, a renowned coaching organization, offers comprehensive coach training programs focused on solution-focused coaching methodologies.

Erickson emphasizes practical skills and experiential learning and equips coaches with the tools and techniques to support their clients with their goals effectively.

Coach U

Coach U‘s programs teach core coaching competencies and essential business development strategies. This includes training in marketing, client acquisition, pricing strategies, and other aspects of running a coaching business.

They train coaches on an advanced skill set essential for long-term success in the field and the business skills to thrive in this competitive industry.

The Institute of Positive Psychology (IPPC)

The Institute of Positive Psychology (IPPC) sets itself apart by adhering to rigorous standards and best practices in coaching. Its certifications signify a commitment to excellence and integrity, incorporating advanced coaching techniques, cultural competence, and a strong emphasis on professional ethics.

IPPC-certified coaches can navigate complex coaching scenarios and provide coaching services with a holistic approach that incorporates positive psychology.

[ Read: The Best Life Coaching Programs to Get Certified in 12 Months or Less ]

Scale Your Professional Coaching Business

Mastering core competencies is key to getting your coaching practice off the ground. However, if you want to run your business efficiently, you also need a way to streamline your client management.

Paperbell does exactly that.

It’s an all-in-one client management tool specifically designed for coaches by coaches. It handles your contracts, schedule, payments, landing pages, and more so you can focus on making a difference in people’s lives.

Try Paperbell for free with your first client.

free life coach certification online

By Annamaria Nagy
Annamaria Nagy is a Brand Identity Coach and Copywriter. She's been writing for over 10 years about topics like personal development, coaching, and business. She was previously the Head of SEO at the leading transformational education company, Mindvalley.
March 20, 2024

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