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.

View the course prospectus

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 can now sign up to the next intake of the Practical Academy starting on May 4th 2021. The course is limited to 400 students and there is some pre-reading to do so don’t wait until too late!

FAQs

If enrolling on our intake dates the course will take 12 months to complete, if doing the course in your own time, at your own pace, then it could take more or less time depending on the time you can devote to it. You’ll learn live on a week-to-week basis, involving approx. 5-7 hours per week of total study time. This is of course highly flexible, meaning you can study around a busy life and choose study hours that work for you. It’s also not a problem if you take a 1-2 week break as you can read ahead and/or catch up again afterwards.


Once you sign up, our friendly team will be in touch to welcome you aboard and make sure you feel welcome! Roughly 4 weeks ahead of the course starting, you and your fellow learners will be enrolled into your cohort’s members' area where you will be able to access module 1 of the course, take note of key dates including assessment dates and course breaks, and liaise with Tom, our Head of Education, to discuss anything you need to in order to feel ready to go. At this time, you’ll also be welcomed into your cohort Facebook group and have the opportunity to meet your fellow learners and get to know each other.


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, while you’ll be OK to complete the Practical Academy, your knowledge may end up lacking in practice. 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 that have just been taught, meaning no big scary exam at the end of the course. These are open-book, written assessments which check your understanding of the theory of nutrition, as well as asking questions that ask you to apply your knowledge in hypothetical, real world client scenarios. We’re not testing your ability to memorise facts and science, we’re testing your ability to coach people.

Each assessment is available for 3 weeks at a time meaning you can pick a time that suits you, and once you open the exam you have 48 hours to complete it so you can take plenty of breaks if needed. If you do not meet the criteria to 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 as a qualified nutrition coach.


This course allows you to be insured to practice and work as a nutrition coach, both online and offline, as you will have an internationally recognised Level 4 qualification in Nutrition Coaching through Active IQ. After you graduate the world is your oyster, you could work 1-2-1, start online groups, work in your local community, work in corporate well-being, deliver talks, work in a gym or studio, the list is endless. To be inspired with your future potential after the BTN Practical Academy, and to give you ideas, here’s founder Ben Coomber discussing career options as a nutrition coach in a 20-minute lecture. Click HERE to watch.


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. When comparing courses it’s important to take note of this as a certification that isn’t covered by a regulating body may not mean much.


The course requires approx. 5-7 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 so you can always fit your personal development around your day to day. You are also able to start this course outside of the usual intake dates and complete it at your own pace, please see the relevant question at the bottom of this list for more details on starting the academy early.


The BTN Practical Academy is taught by a diverse team of passionate educators who are all specialists in their areas of teaching meaning you’re always learning from the best. 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 Fogarty (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 Fogarty (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 meaning that everyone who completes an assessment will have their attempt marked fairly and impartially. Having this in place lets you know that this isn’t a pay-to-pass course where certificates mean nothing, and that your assessment will be marked to the same standards as everyone else’s.

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 live webinars are held at 11am on Tuesday, every week, but they are recorded and available a few hours later in your student members areas for you to watch at your convenience. Watching the webinar live allows you to ask questions during the teaching, but by no means does missing it limit your ability to learn and partake in the course. We have students on the Practical Academy in most time zones around the world, so this course is built so you can learn at any time, from anywhere.


Yes, we have worked with students in every continent barring Antarctica because we are a 100% online education company. So long as you have an internet connection, you’re good to go!


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.


Ben Coomber, 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 at helping people from all walks of life eat, live, and feel better. 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. A business in a box.


The BTN Practical Academy opens its doors twice per year and in 2021 we start May 4th and November 2nd. We recommend that you enrol as soon as you are 100% committed to doing the course in order to secure your place and manage the pre-reading before the first live webinar. Signing up early 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 to discover any areas you may benefit from reading up on before the course begins.


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. A huge part of our teaching is also centred around behaviour change, a fundamental skill to master if you want the best results with all your clients.


No, not at all. Every year approximately 50% of our student cohort are non-coaches either doing the course for their own understanding and passion for nutrition, or to use it as a full or part time job alongside or instead of their current career. So 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.


The BTN Practical Academy might seem expensive if you just look solely at the raw cost, but look at what you are getting, not just now, but in the future. 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. Most graduates charge on average £30-40 per hour or £80-120 per month for their services, meaning the course pays for itself extremely quickly. Also, to help your future, our partnership with iPT and course mentoring will ensure you are successful after the course finishes. Finally, we have 12 and 18 month payment options to help you spread the cost in a way that suits you.


To ensure you are as successful as possible upon 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.


Yes. If you find you are a quick learner, are highly motivated and want to simply learn at your own pace, then it is possible to do our course this way and not enrol in one of our live cohort dates. This means we can send you the books, give you access to a recorded version of the course, and you can learn at your own pace and take the exams when you’re ready, with our full support along the way. If you would like to discuss this with us, email tom@btnacademy.com and we will schedule a call with you to see if it’s the right option for you. We like to chat with all students ahead of choosing this option so we can ensure we set you up in the right way and get you off to a winning start.


This is a really common sentiment, and 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.


First, the question(s) we need to ask are, who do you want to coach or how do you want to use your qualification, how much do you want to spend, and how fast do you want to do it? A nutrition degree is expensive, takes 3 years, and is often very focused on theoretical concepts, rather than real world practical coaching. Our Practical Academy is a Level 4 Qualification in Nutrition Coaching, is only £1875, and is all taught online over 1 year or less. So long as you don’t want to work in a hospital or professional sports team (for which you’d need a degree and HCPC or other registration), a qualification like ours is perfect. After our course you’ll be able to get insured to work in private practice, in groups, online, in the community, and in many other nutrition settings, and so if you’d like to help people eat well and feel awesome, we have all you need with our Level 4 qualification in Nutrition Coaching.


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.


Modules

  • 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

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…

Benefit BTN PN MNU FutureFit
AfN Certified Foundation Course (currently £75 off)
Regulated qualification level 4 - - 4
Course text books 5 3 0 0
1-2-1 mentorship throughout
Free career and business training
Free lifetime access to course and updates
Qualification externally regulated
Peer to peer learning and accountability
Weekly live webinars
Free 90 day online coaching system
Option to study now, or in co-horts

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Practical Academy 2020 Ben Coomber introduces the BTN Academy Practical Academy