Lifestyle and Wellness Health Coach Certificate

Program Overview

The Lifestyle and Wellness Health Coach Certificate will provide you with health coaching principles and skills to support the lifestyle and wellness goals of your clients and to promote general population health.


This program focuses on how to use health coaching to promote health and wellness around stress management, nutrition, and physical activity.  Learn how to foster relationships and communicate in a client-centred and motivational way to facilitate behaviour change.

The competency-based curriculum integrates theory and applied skills to help you develop a highly effective health coaching practice. Practice your new skills through live role-play with patient actors using standardized case examples.

How You Will Benefit:

Upgrade your skills and reinforce new skills through live simulation with patient actors. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • Communicate with clients and their families/support network about the importance of adherence to a healthy diet, physical activity, medications, and a variety of health outcomes (e.g., weight, blood glucose, blood pressure).
  • Apply a foundation of health coaching skills to motivate and guide behaviour changes.
  • Support the lifestyle and wellness goals of your client population and potentially reduce the use of health care resources that result from preventable conditions.
  • You have the opportunity to earn at the end of the program, on successful completion of all mandatory requirements:
    • Two digital credentials: (1) Health Coaching Therapeutic Intervention - Fundamental Skills credential and (2) Motivational Interviewing - Fundamental Skills credential.
    • A certificate of completion.

This program is part of the learning pathway for the Health Coach Professional Certificate (additional entry requirements apply).

What You Will Learn:

  • Relationship-based and client-centered communication is a key to behaviour change around stress management, nutrition and physical activity.
  • How to gain buy-in with the team, client, family, and system to support goals.
  • Behaviour change methods and tools including motivational interviewing.
  • Legal issues and entrepreneurship related to lifestyle and wellness health coaching.

Who Should Take This Program:

  • Regulated health professionals
  • Individuals with experience working in related health and/or wellness sector such as health and fitness centres, community care, primary care clinics, hospitals, pharmacies OR counselling role in schools, community/faith-based organizations etc.
  • Professionals or new graduates with a health-related diploma or bachelor’s degree looking to expand their role or start their own health coaching practice.
  • Internationally educated health professionals (eg. IENs, IMD) ) with a licence from their home countries

Entry Requirements:

  • Regulated Health Professional; OR
  • University or college degree in nursing, medicine, psychology, social work, dentistry, health promotion, kinesiology, physiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and other health-related fields; OR;
  • International health professionals (e.g. IENs, IMG ) with a licence from their home countries (additional requirements might apply); OR;
  • 1-2 years of work experience in the health and/or wellness or related counselling field; AND
    • Programs at the Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) are offered in English. To register in our programs, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the language requirements. You may be asked to demonstrate language proficiency. Click on the link to learn more: English Language Requirements

Please note:

International health professionals who meet program entry requirements are welcome to take this program. They must submit a copy of their degree certificate or transcript of their academic record (this will need to be in English and translated by a certified lawyer/institution). Please note all programs have been designed according to Canadian standards.

If you are unsure whether you meet the minimum requirements, please inquire at 416 736 2100 ext 22170 or

Please see Frequently Asked Questions for more information about health coaching and our health coaching programs.

Program Content

The program uses an interactive, competency-based curriculum, which includes a live role-playing simulation session with patient actors.


Topics Include:

  • Introduction to health coaching: The role of the health coach
  • Impact of health determinants and social and behavioral factors on health outcomes and how health coaching can be used for health promotion
  • Motivating behavior change through improving communication skills
  • Introduction to Motivational interviewing as a person-centered communication style that can enhance a person’s motivation for healthy change


Topics Include:

  • Advancing motivational interviewing skills
  • Building relationships between health coaches, clients and other health professional
    Creating a coordinated care plan to overcome barriers to behavioural change
  • Working with clients on the interplay between stress and health
  • Stress management and self-care strategies


Topics Include:

  • Physical activity, exercise, and sedentary behavior
  • Using motivational interviewing skills to overcome barriers to physical activity and exercise
  • Health risks of sedentary behaviours, and the frequency, intensity, and types of physical activities appropriate for specific chronic conditions
  • Using the current Canadian dietary recommendations, and people’s innate interest in food and nutrition, to facilitate cross-discipline collaboration in health coaching


Professional actors will be used to simulate a series of standardized cases and scenarios that may arise during the health coach process. The goal of this module is to enhance participants’ confidence and readiness to incorporate health coaching into their respective practices. Leading clinical experts will be on hand to provide participants with feedback on the applications of health coaching.

Topics Include:

  • How to implement your health coaching process and skills using a variety of simulated cases and scenarios with professional actors
  • Monitoring and self-evaluation of health coaching practice
  • Learning consolidation and application of new skills to current or future practice


ONLINE (LIVE WEBCAST) - Legal Issues for Health and Wellness Coaches

5 hours live webcasts (Mandatory)

Understand how to protect yourself legally under various challenging scenarios related to being a Lifestyle and Wellness Health Coach. Learn about professional ethics and the law and how they apply to your practice.

Topics include:

  • Ethics and communication in health care
  • Consent, capacity, and substitute decision-making
  • Privacy and confidentiality in health care

ONLINE (LIVE WEBCAST)- Starting Your Health and Wellness Practice

2.5 hours live webcasts (Optional)

This webcast will help you develop your health and wellness business idea in a private practice or within your organization. The webcast will focus on the practical aspects of establishing, maintaining, and growing a health and wellness practice to promote and support support healthier lifestyles, aging, and chronic disease management.

Topics Include:

  • Understand how to gain buy in and position health coaching services so people understand its value and impact.
  • Developing and refining your business idea using a lean start-up model and a business model canvas tool.


Leigh Caplan - RN, MA, CDE

Diabetes Nurse Educator, Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team


Portrait of Instructor Leigh Caplan in a Circle FrameLeigh Caplan is a Diabetes Nurse Educator in the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team and 2022 Diabetes Educator of the Year.   She has worked in the area of Diabetes Education for over 19 years. She has been the clinical lead on the expansion of the diabetes program at Sunnybrook and responsible for inter-professional diabetes education. Leigh is a faculty member of the Institute of Healthcare Communication: Choices and Change workshop, Choices and changes Mentoring Workshops with simulated patients and Coaching Clinicians for Enhanced Performance. Leigh is a tutor in University of Toronto Medical School’s Community, Population and Public Health (CPPH) -1 course. Leigh has been a tutor and facilitator of Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences’ Diabetes Educator Graduate Certificate course.

Leigh received the U of T Family and Community Medicine Interprofessional Teaching Award 2011 and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre University of Toronto Diabetes Educator of the Year 2012. Leigh has been an active member: On three projects by the Centre for Effective Practice, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. The Central Toronto LHIN Self Management Group Toronto Central LHIN: Diabetes Steering Committee. Government of Ontario Diabetes Strategy Self Management Working Group. Leigh is presently an active member: TC LHIN RCC New Hires Planning Committee Sunnybrook Academic FHT Education Committee  Banting & Best Diabetes Centre - Continuing Health Education & Professional Development Committee Meeting TC LHIN Self management Advisory Committee  Health Quality Ontario – Ontario Diabetes Evidence committee Expert Panel.

Certificate/Digital Credential

Certificate of Completion & Digital Credentials

Certificates of completion and digital credentials are issued approximately three to four weeks after the end of the program, as long as you have :

Please note, you must complete and submit your assignments and assessments before the program end date.

For more information, please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.


Schulich Executive Hotel on Campus

The Executive Learning Centre features:
• 60 executive style guest rooms on 12 floors each with a queen size bed
• Complimentary high speed internet access
• In room coffee/tea maker
• Wheelchair accessible

Call Reservations (416)-650-8300 book on-line: or