Unit of competency details

HLTAH406B - Assist with podiatry assessment and exercise (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 25/Mar/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to HLTAH406C - Assist with podiatry assessment and exerciseISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome. 06/May/2012

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061713 Podiatry  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061713 Podiatry  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to assist a podiatrist with the delivery and monitoring of specific client exercise and rehabilitation programs and in the completion of client foot health assessments

Application of the Unit


The application of knowledge and skills described in this competency unit may relate to functions such as delivering and monitoring exercise and rehabilitation programs that have been developed and are being monitored by a podiatrist, and the provision of assistance during podiatric assessment procedures

This could take place in a range of health settings

Work performed requires a range of well developed skills where some discretion and judgment is required and individuals will take responsibility for their own outputs

Allied Health Assistants operate within the scope of their defined roles and responsibilities and under supervision of an Allied Health Professional

For training and assessment pathways, experience in workplace application of the skills and knowledge identified in this competency unit should be provided as required to support allied health professions

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Pre-requisite units 

This unit must be assessed after successful achievement of pre-requisite units:

  • HLTAP301B Recognise healthy body systems in a health care context
  • HLTCSD305C Assist with client movement
  • HLTAH301B Assist with an allied health program

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare for the delivery of podiatry exercise program or assessment procedures

1.1 Interpret client  care plan prepared by supervising podiatrist and implement relevant exercise program or assessment procedure

1.2 Determine client availability according to organisation protocols

1.3 Gather necessary equipment 

2. Deliver podiatry exercise or rehabilitation  program

2.1 Explain to the client the purpose, rationale and requirements of each part of the exercise or rehabilitation  program

2.2 Determine the client's understanding of the purpose, rationale and requirements of the program

2.3 Assist client to follow instructions of the podiatrist, including those techniques used at home

2.4 Identify and note any difficulties the client experiences completing the exercise program

2.5 Provide feedback to the client

2.6 Identify and manage client compliance  issues

2.7 Work with the client to establish any necessary action

2.8 Work with client to determine and plan any follow up requirements and dates

2.9 Seek assistance when client presents with needs or signs outside limits of own authority

2.10 Report client difficulties  to the supervising professional

3. Assist with podiatry assessments

3.1 Determine client assessment requirements from the treating podiatrist and podiatry care plan or records

3.2 Provide the physical environment required to meet assessments in a manner that is safe for the client and operators

3.3 Explain to the client the purpose, rationale and requirements of each part of the assessment activity

3.4 Determine the client's understanding of the purpose, rationale and requirements of each part of the assessment activity

3.5 Assist podiatrist with assessment procedures , including handling equipment and recording data

3.6 Work with client and podiatrist to determine and plan any follow up requirements and dates

3.7 Identify and manage client compliance issues.

3.8 Seek assistance when client presents with needs or signs outside limits of own authority

3.9 Report client difficulties to the supervising professional

4. Clean and store equipment

4.1 Clean equipment  according to manufacturers and organisation requirements

4.2 Store equipment according to manufacturers requirements and organisation protocols

4.3 Report equipment faults to appropriate person

5. Document client information 

5.1 Use accepted protocols to document information in line with organisation requirements

5.2 Use appropriate terminology to document symptomatic expression of identified problems

6. Comply with supervisory requirements

6.1 Provide podiatry assistance according to the instruction of treating podiatrist

6.2 Provide client progress feedback to the treating podiatrist

6.3 Report client difficulties and concerns to the treating podiatrist

6.4 Implement variations to the podiatry care according to the advice of the treating podiatrist

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Structure and function of the skin and integuments
  • Basic biomechanics of the lower limb and gait cycle
  • Basic anatomy and physiology of the foot
  • Podiatry exercise and rehabilitation principles
  • Safe and effective use of equipment used in podiatry exercise and rehabilitation programs
  • Safe and effective use of equipment and instrumentation used in podiatry assessment procedures
  • Relevant organisation policies and procedures
  • Disease processes relevant to the client group/s
  • Client care plans, goals and limitations of podiatry intervention
  • Medical terminology
  • Roles, responsibilities and limitations of self and other allied health team members and nursing, medical and other personnel
  • OHS policy and procedures
  • Privacy and confidentiality requirements
  • Infection control protocols
  • Supervisory and reporting protocols
  • Record keeping requirements

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Implement podiatric exercise and rehabilitation practices
  • Undertake activity analysis - breaking activities down into component parts
  • Construct the environment for safe implementation of exercise and rehabilitation programs and assessment procedures
  • Demonstrate observation and recording skills
  • Work with OHS and infection control requirements
  • Work safely with electronic equipment and instrumentation
  • Demonstrate safe and accurate use of podiatry assessment equipment and instrumentation
  • Communicate effectively with clients
  • Provide legible, logical and appropriate documentation
  • Demonstrate safe and effective implementation of procedures under supervision

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Work under direct and indirect supervision
  • Communicate effectively with clients for therapeutic, assessment and monitoring support
  • Communicate effectively with supervisors and co-workers
  • Work effectively with non-compliant clients
  • Demonstrate time management, personal organisation skills and establishing priorities
  • Maintain accurate records

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this competency unit :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Observation of workplace performance is essential for assessment of this unit
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated for a minimum of seven different client specific podiatry foot exercise and rehabilitation/podiatry assessment sessions
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated for a minimum of seven balance and fall monitoring sessions
  • Consistent adherence to supervisory requirements

Access and equity considerations :

  • All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment :

  • Assessment must be completed in the workplace.
  • Relevant guidelines, standards and procedures
  • Supervision from a podiatrist
  • Resources essential for assessment include:
  • clients
  • equipment
  • documentation

Method of assessment 

  • Observation in the work place
  • Written assignments/projects
  • Questioning
  • Clinical case studies

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Supervision refers to :

  • Instructing, advising, and monitoring another person in order to ensure safe and effective performance in carrying out the duties of their position
  • The nature of supervision is flexible and may be conducted by various means including:
  • in person
  • through use of electronic communications media such as telephone or video conferencing, where necessary
  • Frequency of supervision will be determined by factors such as:
  • the task maturity of the person in that position or clinical placement
  • the need to review and assess client conditions and progress in order to establish or alter treatment plans in case of students and assistants
  • the need to correct and develop non clinical aspects such as time management, organisation requirements, communication skills, and other factors supporting the provision of clinical care and working within a team
  • A person under supervision does not require direct (immediate) and continuous personal interaction, but the method and frequency will be determined by factors outlined above

Clients may include :

  • Infants
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Elderly people

Settings may include 

  • Hospitals
  • Community health services
  • Private practice
  • Client homes
  • Aged care residential care settings

Therapeutic modality may include :

  • Heat and cold
  • Stretching and strengthening
  • Guided exercise (chair based, warm water, exercise equipment, etc)
  • Soft tissue massage

Exercise and rehabilitation activities may include but are not limited to :

  • Stretching programs
  • Strengthening programs
  • Improving range and quality of motion in joints
  • Improving proprioception and sensory feedback through guided and supported activity
  • Use of physical and mechanical aids and equipment
  • Supervised use of electronic therapeutic equipment (such as ultrasound, TENS)
  • Advice and support in selection of appropriate footwear

Assessment activities may include but are not limited to :

  • Assisting with collection of data such as:
    segmental blood pressure measurement (ankle-brachial index, digital brachial index)
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Cutaneous sensory testing (monofilament, calibrated vibration, sharp/blunt)
  • Gait assessment through image analysis
  • Gait assessment through electronic data collection
  • Recording information provided by podiatrist during patient assessment

Equipment may include but is not limited to :

  • Weights and resistance equipment
  • Ambulation and mobilisation aids and equipment
  • Measurement devices (goniometers)
  • Stethoscope
  • Sphygmomanometer
  • Doppler Ultrasound equipment
  • Monofilament
  • Calibrated tuning fork/vibration equipment
  • Treadmill
  • Image capture equipment (still and video cameras)
  • Computer hardware and assessment software
  • Therapeutic ultrasound equipment
  • TENS
  • Wax Bath
  • Heat/cold equipment

Client difficulties may include but are not limited to :

  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Neuropathy (central and peripheral nervous system)

Clinical standards , guidelines , policies and procedures may include :

  • Clinical standards (state and national)
  • Infection Control Guidelines for Podiatrists, Australasian Podiatry Council, September 2005
  • Industry professional bodies
  • Australasian Podiatry Council
  • Australian Podiatry Association (State)
  • Industry standards (state and national)
  • Podiatrists Registration Board (State)
  • Organisation policy directives
  • Privacy Act
  • Medical Records Act
  • Relevant Australian Standards
  • Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 4815 - 2001 (Office-based health care facilities not involved in complex patient procedures and processes - Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of the associated environment)
  • Australian Standard AS 4187 - 1998 (Cleaning, disinfecting and sterilising reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment and maintenance of associated environments in a health care facilities)
  • Australian Standard AS 2182 - 1998 (Sterilisers - steam-bench top)

Client compliance refers to :

  • Ability to follow instructions or suggestions
  • Willingness to follow instructions or suggestions

Information may include :

  • Podiatry care plan
  • Supervising podiatrists instructions
  • Client record
  • Checklists
  • Case notes
  • Other forms according to procedures of the organisation

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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