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Scope of practice

It's really important to me that you are aware of my scope of practice as a health coach.


As a member of the UK Health Coaches Association, I operate to their recommendations, as well as those specific to my training provider - Functional Medicine Coaching Academy.

UK Health Coaches Association 

  • Health and wellness coaches work with individuals and groups in a client-centred process to facilitate and empower the client to develop and achieve self-determined goals related to health and wellness


  • Coaches support clients in mobilising internal strengths and external resources, and in developing self-management strategies for making sustainable, healthy lifestyle, behaviour changes.


  • As partners and facilitators, health and wellness coaches support their clients in achieving health goals and behavioural change based on their clients’ own goals and consistent with treatment plans as prescribed by individual clients’ professional health care providers


  • Coaches assist clients to use their insight, personal strengths and resources, goal setting, action steps and accountability toward healthy lifestyle change and may offer supporting resources from nationally and internationally recognised authorities, such as current government and public health guidelines and peer-reviewed sources.


  • Coaches must unless otherwise credentialed and able to do so legitimately, avoid giving specific personal health advice, but may offer a client direction to health and wellness information and resources from nationally/internationally recognized, robust evidence-based and peer-reviewed authorities, so that clients can draw their own conclusions, gain confidence and a sense of empowerment.


Where the prescribed Scope of Practice of a Member’s training school and that of the UK Health Coaches Association differ, Members are expected to hold themselves to the higher standard.


Doing no harm

In common with all health professionals, health and wellness coaches must follow a ‘do no harm’ mandate by refraining from or carrying out any actions that would harm clients or patients.


For all UK Health and Wellness Coaches, these actions include:

  • assessing symptoms

  • diagnosing conditions

  • interpreting lab results

  • giving specific dietary advice

  • removing food groups

  • prescribing treatments or therapeutic interventions (including nutritional)

  • making claims to prevent or cure any condition


or engaging any other activities that could ultimately:

  • harm a client or patient

  • lead to legal lawsuit

  • invalidate insurance cover

  • bring the UK Health Coaches Association and the Health Coaching profession into disrepute


The boundaries of the health coaching Scope of Practice may include, but is not limited to:

  • coaching an individual

  • coaching a group

  • writing a blog or articles

  • holding or participating in webinars, speaking and educational events

  • communicating in online forums, meetings, with colleagues, peers, HCPs


The exception to this is where a coach holds multiple, active credentials and insurance. See below.


Holding multiple credentials

While Health and Wellness Coaches do not, per se assess symptoms, diagnose conditions, interpret lab results, give specific dietary advice, remove food groups, prescribe treatments or therapeutic interventions (including nutritional) or make claims to prevent or cure any condition - if they also hold active, nationally recognized professional credentials and insurance (for example as a nutritionist, nutritional therapist, dietician, nurse, doctor, pharmacist, psychologist, physiotherapist, mental health specialist, osteopath, chiropractor) they may provide expert guidance related to that topic, but must act within the Scope of Practice of that or those profession(s).


Getting informed consent

In such a case, it is the health coach’s professional responsibility to confirm in writing the Scope of Practice for any and each service agreed with a client, and to act within the Scope of Practice for health and wellness coaching and/or the Scope of Practice for the relevant profession or active, credentialed and insured.


Seeking collaboration

Health and Wellness Coaches should actively seek collaborations with other health care practitioners such as doctors, dietitians, nutritionists and other practitioners and therapists to be the anchor of a truly whole-health creating endeavour.



Our Full Members must hold a valid insurance schedule that covers the qualification as detailed in the Member's qualification certificate. Student Members must also obtain insurance; however the Student insurance is very limited and it is essential that Student Members read and understand the following statement:


UK Health Coaches Association

February 2021

Functional Medicine Health Coaching

Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) Role:

A Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) partners with individuals and groups in a client-centered process to support their health.


FMCA graduates are trained to work closely with clients around all of the lifestyle factors (sleep/relaxation, exercise/movement, nutrition, stress, relationships) that influence health. T​hey are experts in behavior change and employ effective techniques such as motivational interviewing and appreciative inquiry. ​Health coaches possess the skills required to create connection, trust, and rapport. This directly leads to improved communication with the treating practitioner, a better understanding of the therapeutic plan, and a deeper commitment to following treatment recommendations.


The coaching process is successful because it empowers clients to draw on internal strengths, develop self-knowledge, and embrace self-management strategies in order to make the often-challenging lifestyle changes necessary for optimal health.

An FMCHC has a solid understanding of the foundations of Functional Medicine. They are fully trained to utilize many of the IFM resources, such as the Timeline, Matrix, and Food Plans. This background allows them to understand and, with the addition of their coaching skills, support the client to implement Functional Medicine treatment plans into their lifestyle.


A health coach moves beyond the diagnosis-prescription model to co-create and execute a plan with the client that inspires him or her to a path of better health. Additionally, under the delegation of the treating practitioner, an FMCHC may be able to provide further assistance related to labs and supplements.


A FMCHC does not assess, prescribe, diagnose, treat, or interpret results.

If you have ANY questions regarding Scope of Practice, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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