Who is The BTN Practical Academy, Our Certified Nutrition Coaching Qualification for?

Nutrition is a science, but its application is an art, and our Level 4 qualification in nutrition coaching seeks to help you bridge the gap between the two. This online certified nutritionist course is ideal for current coaches to upskill; for anyone who is looking to move into the industry as a job or side project; or for anyone looking for the next level in nutrition mastery.

You’ll learn about nutrition, of course, but on top of that, you’ll also be given the skills and support you need to work with real people. We’ll impart the skills so you can truly make a difference in their lives. The course spans twelve months and four bespoke textbooks*. This certified nutritionist course is taught by dieticians, sports nutritionists, university lecturers, psychologists, GB athletes and experienced coaches. We want it that way to ensure that the information you’re given isn’t just evidence based. We want it to be practically relevant to you, and everyone you coach.

No prior knowledge is necessary, though we strongly recommend you check out the BTN Foundation Academy if you’ve never studied nutrition before. We’re available globally and can accommodate people from any time zone; all you need is a passion to master nutrition and the art of coaching.

Benefits of the BTN Practical Academy

  • Coach a diverse range of clients with completely different goals
  • Improve client adherence using the science of behaviour change
  • Truly master the anatomy, physiology and endocrinology relevant to nutrition
  • Improve your verbal communication skills, effectively overcoming client barriers and objections
  • Learn how to properly monitor consistency and adherence with clients
  • Be able to assess nutrition clients effectively and efficiently
  • Be able to set clients up for long-term, sustainable success
  • Increase your critical thinking skills and understand nutrition research
  • Get assessment tools, documents and plans to use with clients so you have all you need to successfully coach others, keeping them as they are, or branding them as your own
  • Join the BTN community, a group of coaches committed to changing lives
  • Learn around work and home life, in your own time
  • Know you are learning from a credible, certified industry training provider
  • Learn from 12 different specialist tutors and be supported the whole way
  • Get FREE access to the Institute of Personal Trainers for one-year post graduation to develop your business skills as a coach
  • Get FREE access and use of Fat Loss for Life, Ben Coomber’s online 90 day body and mind transformation program so you can coach online once you graduate
  • Gain an internationally recognised Level 4 qualification in Nutrition Coaching and become a world class nutrition coach

You will be able to book your place on the Spring 2021 Cohort shortly, please use the links below to sign up to our email list where you'll be able to stay informed about everything we're doing (as well as get two evidence-based health and nutrition emails per week!) or to reach out and speak to us.

View the course prospectus

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The benefits of studying with us

Study the fundamentals of nutrition online with The BTN Foundation Academy, a 10 module AfN certified course which you can start any time, enhancing your understanding of evidence-based nutrition. Then, become a certified Nutrition Coach with our yearlong BTN Practical Academy, our internationally recognised level 4 Active IQ qualification in Nutrition Coaching, which includes free business training, a free online coaching system and bi-annual conference access. How do we compare against other training providers? Let’s see…

Complete both courses for these benefits: BTN PN1 MNU FutureFit
AfN Certified Foundation Course (currently £150 off) Yes No No Yes
Regulated qualification level 4 - - 4
Course text books 5 3 0 0
1-2-1 mentorship throughout Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free career and business training Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free lifetime access to course and updates Yes No No No
Qualification externally regulated Yes No No Yes
Peer to peer learning and accountability Yes Yes Yes No
Weekly live webinars Yes No No No
Free access to bi-annual conferences Yes No No No

Find out more Download our course brochure

Who teaches The BTN Practical Academy?


The course will take 12 months to complete. You learn on a week to week basis, involving 3-5 hours per week.

Once you sign up our academy manager Tom Bainbridge will be in touch to welcome you aboard and enrol you into your cohorts members' area where you will be able to access module 1 of the course, view your recommended reading list, take note of key dates including assessment dates and course breaks, and give you the option to liaise with Tom to discuss any knowledge gaps you feel you have which we can help you to fill with recommended learning resources, bridging the knowledge gap before the course starts and getting you fully ready to start.

The BTN Foundation Academy goes far beyond 'the basics' and so while we understand that it's tempting to skip past it entirely if you've been interested in nutrition for a while, we would encourage you to take this decision seriously as you don’t want knowledge gaps as you develop. The Foundation Academy covers fundamental topics such as hydration, sleep, supplements, goal setting, understanding food labels, and macro and micronutrients in far more detail than the Practical Academy, and so if you have never studied these topics before then you stand to leave knowledge gaps if you don't consider doing the Foundation Academy first. As such it's recommended you look over the Foundation Academy syllabus in detail when deciding. If, however, you have studied nutrition before and feel confident with the topics taught on the Foundation Academy then you can enrol directly into the practical Academy. If you’re still unsure, read this comprehensive blog on the topic “Should I do the Foundation Academy first?”.

There are 5 assessments throughout the year, each relating to the modules preceding it. These are open-book written assessments which check your understanding of the theory of nutrition, as well as questions that ask you to apply your knowledge in hypothetical client scenarios. Each assessment is available for 3 weeks at a time, and once opened you have 48 hours to complete it. If you do not pass an assessment you are able to reattempt specific questions after receiving feedback - if it takes you two goes to understand a specific topic but you come out of it a better coach, that's fine by us! All assessments are individually marked and then internally and externally verified to ensure that marking is fair and accurate, meaning that upon completing the BTN Practical Academy you can be confident that you really earned your qualification and are competent to practice.

This course allows you to be insured to practice and work as a nutrition coach, both online and offline, as you will have a Level 4 qualification in Nutrition Coaching through Active IQ.

Yes – the official course title is “The Active IQ Level 4 Qualification in Nutrition Coaching”, which sits on the Regulated Qualifications Framework at Level 4, making it a level above the Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification.

The course requires 5-6 hours per week and it’s important for you to stay up to date with your learning, but falling behind a week or two then catching up is no problem. Each module can be completed at any time during the week, in multiple sittings if you need. You are also able to start this course outside of the usual intake times/dates and complete at your own pace, please see the relevant question at the bottom of this list for more details.

The BTN Practical Academy is taught by a diverse team of passionate educators who are all specialists in their areas of teaching. Ben Coomber (BSc, CISSN) teaches the ethical and practical coaching modules, Tom Bainbridge (CISSN) teaches modules that form the scientific theory of the course, Heather Osborn (BSc, RD) teaches population specific modules from a dietetics and intervention perspective, Dr Mark Fogerty (Phd) teaches modules centred on human physiology, Alex Manos (IIFMCP, MSc) teaches areas of functional health, the gut & stress, Will Hawkins (MSc) teaches client psychology and the stages of change, Jessie Mundell (MHK, P.KIN) teaches pre and post-natal coaching, Nardia Norman (BSc) teaches female specific nutrition, Phil Paterson (BSc, GB Athlete) teaches our endurance modules, Chris Kitson (M.Ost, Dip.ITS) teaches injury specific modules, and Dave Croslands (PED Specialist) teaches enhanced athlete awareness. A truly diverse and passionate team all with their own specialities which combine to teach an inspiring, broad and detailed nutrition coaching qualification.

Dr Mark Fogerty (PhD) who is the senior lecturer at Hull University Health Sciences Department is our Internal Verifier, this is an important role that upholds our quality standards and assessment consistency. Our External Verification is overseen by our awarding body, Active IQ. This ensures that our internal teaching and marking processes are well managed while adhering to regulated qualification framework requirements. These verification processes ensure we can uphold our qualification status and ensure all students graduate with a qualification in nutrition coaching in a fair and robust way. Each intake is individually assessed by our IV and EV to ensure cohort standards are maintained.

The webinars are held at 11am on Tuesdays, but they are recorded and available later for you to watch if you’re unable to tune in.

Yes, we have worked with students in every continent barring Antarctica because we are a 100% online education company, so study anywhere in the world with us.

Of course, here is the official PDF showing The BTN Practical Academy as an Active IQ qualification in Nutrition Coaching.

Click here to view a PDF of everything we teach on The BTN Practical Academy, our modules in detail.

Ben Coomber, BTN’s founder, has been a nutrition, fat loss and mindset coach for 13 years, and over those years he has refined a 90 day program that is highly successful in getting people from all walks of life in incredible shape. As a BTN Practical Academy student you will get full access to this program so you can copy, use or be inspired by it. You’ll get access to the website and sales page to copy, the whole 90 day program to edit and use, and a full understanding on how to coach people through a 90 day program 100% online. So if you have ambitions to be an online nutrition coach, this is the perfect added benefit of the BTN Academy for you.

The BTN Practical Academy opens its doors twice per year and in 2020 we start May 4th and November 2nd. We recommend that you enrol as soon as you are 100% committed to doing the course so we can give you a comprehensive education pathway prior to starting and give you time to do the Foundation Academy first if required. Signing up early via a deposit will also guarantee you get our early bird price. If you have any questions you would like answered, please request a call with us or email tom@btnacademy.com who will guide you through anything and work with you on an education pathway between now and starting the course which will guarantee success learning with us prepping you well in advance of starting with us.

As a Personal Trainer you have access to your clients for only a few hours per week, limiting the effect you can have with them. By offering nutrition coaching as an additional service alongside your exercise coaching you open the door to far better results with clients, leading to better testimonials and more clients over time. Nutrition coaching is also something you can offer as a separate service, enabling you to enter the online marketplace.

No, not at all. Every year approximately 40% of our student cohort are non-coaches either doing the course for their own understanding and passion for nutrition, are aspiring to be a coach in the future one day, or wish to combine it with other career or work place skills they have. So as long as you have a passion to learn all about nutrition, you can study the practical academy with us from the comfort of your home.

Of course. When you study with us we want you to enter the course with 100% certainty it’s the right decision for you. If you email tom@btnacademy.com we can give you a selection of modules to choose from so you can study a week of the course. This way you can see first hand what it’s like to study on The BTN Practical Academy getting a chance to read a textbook module, watch a recorded webinar of that module, and see any accompanying documents for that weeks module. Then you can almost test us and get a feel for exactly how the course runs week to week and how you’ll learn.

Enrolling in a course of this nature is an investment in yourself, your career and your future. Our course is extremely comprehensive and sets you up to coach people from all walks of life, so you have to consider the opportunity cost of completing a qualification in nutrition coaching. Most graduates are charging on average £40 per hour or £80 per month for their services upon graduation, and with our partnership with iPT and course mentoring we’ll ensure you are successful after the course finishes to capitalise on investing in yourself by doing this course. So, while it might seem like a stretch now, imagine what you could be earning as a coach with these skills and the business training to make it happen. It’s also why we offer monthly payments or the option to spread the payments over 18 months, hopefully making it affordable for all.

To ensure you are as successful as possible completing this course we pay for you to have access to the Institute of Personal Trainers for one year after the date of your graduation. iPT is a world class resource of business development tools for coaches of all walks to ensure industry success, with many modules being taught by BTN Academy founder Ben Coomber. You can check out iPT to see the value of this after you graduate.

As part of the course you’ll also get free access to our bi-annual conference (for the period you are enrolled on the course, so two free tickets) which takes place in spring and winter in either London or Manchester. We do this to bring our community together, learn in person, get inspired, meet tutors and students, and generally come together to learn in person and share some high 5’s. If you can’t make it as you are an overseas student, or travel is an issue, we record the conference and you can watch it online after the event. But if you can make it, do!

We have 2 course start dates for one key reason, the course can be intensive in its learning volume for some and we want to be able to fully support and mentor all students along the way to ensure you successfully understand everything as you go. The course takes 3-6 hours of study per week, and we always want to ensure students can keep up and manage the learning with their job and other life demands. But if you find you are a quick learner, are highly motivated and want to simply learn at your own pace, quicker than the one year timeline we run on, then we have a master Practical Academy. This means we can send you the books, give you access to our master course, and you can learn at your own pace and take the exams when you’re ready. If you would like to discuss this with us, email tom@btnacademy.com to discuss how this can work, and how we can set you up to start the course now.

This is a really common sentiment, but it's extremely understandable for two reasons.

  • Biology is hard
  • Biology is often taught in a way that isn't very engaging

We can't promise that the more in depth anatomy and physiology on our course is easy, but we can promise that we make it as engaging as possible, deliver it in multiple different styles, limit it to only what you NEED to know, and are continually on hand to help and support your understanding. Our course is a million miles away from "read this in a book then recite it in an exam or you fail" so don't worry if you don't consider yourself to be scientifically minded.

The barrier is almost always in the teaching, not in the student, and we make it our mission to support you however you need us to.


  • Module 1: Course introduction/What is evidence based practice?
  • Module  2: What is health?
  • Module 3: Critical thinking
  • Module 4: Reading research - What do we need?
  • Module 5: The digestive system
  • Module 6: The fasted and fed states
  • Module 7: Energy production and protein synthesis
  • Module 8: Coaching weight loss - The stages of change
  • Module 9: Coaching weight loss - Barriers and addiction
  • Module  10: Coaching weight loss - Nutritional programming
  • Module 11: Case study - Weight loss client
  • Module 12: Nutritional strategies to maximise hypertrophy
  • Module  13: Effective consultations
  • Module  14: Tracking and monitoring body composition
  • Module 15: Tracking and monitoring nutrient intakes
  • Module 16: Effective online coaching
  • Module  17: Food environment and habits
  • Module 18: Group online weight loss coaching
  • Module 19: Stress and your clients' progressModule
  • Module 20: Motivational interviewing
  • Module 21: Alcohol
  • Module  22: Case study - Shift worker
  • Module  23: Evidence based nutrition for endurance sports
  • Module  24: Assisted athletes
  • Module 25: Team sports nutrition
  • Module 26: Coaching bodybuilding competition preparation
  • Module 27: Nutritional considerations for making weight
  • Module 28: Female clients
  • Module 29: Pre and post natal clients
  • Module 30: Case study - Crossfit athlete
  • Module  31: Intermittent fasting
  • Module  32: Child nutrition
  • Module 33: Helping clients with diabetes
  • Module 34: Helping clients with PCOS
  • Module 35: Injury recovery nutrition
  • Module  36: Ketogenic dieting
  • Module  37: Allergy, intolerances and the immune system
  • Module 38: IBS
  • Module  39: Plant based nutrition
  • Module  40: Elderly clients
  • Module  41: Eating disorders in the fitness industry
  • Module 42: Case study - PCOS
  • Module  43: Case study - Female client with multiple barriers
  • Module 44: Exam preparation/Final Q&A

What our students say…

We’ve taught 1000s of nutrition coaches to date, all out there helping 100s of people change their lives every day, that’s our mission, to teach the nutrition coaches of the future…

What trusted industry figures recommend us?

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Practical Academy 2020 Ben Coomber introduces the BTN Academy Practical Academy