Unit of competency details

SISFFIT002 - Recognise and apply exercise considerations for specific populations (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package09/Nov/2021
Supersedes SISFFIT303A - Develop and apply an awareness of specific populations to exercise deliveryNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages.02/Sep/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 03/Sep/2015


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092103 Sports Coaching, Officiating And Instruction  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092103 Sports Coaching, Officiating And Instruction  07/Dec/2015 
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Unit of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to recognise exercise considerations common to specific population groups. It requires the ability to understand anatomical and physiological considerations and apply that understanding to client exercise participation aimed at improving health-related components of fitness.

This unit applies to fitness instructors working within the industry endorsed scope of practice when providing advice regarding fitness services and referral requirements for clients from the following specific population groups:

  • children
  • women
  • older adults
  • clients with a disability
  • culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups.

This unit does not apply to provision of exercise to higher risk specific population clients, or inappropriate exercise prescription for moderate risk clients.

This unit applies to fitness instructors who typically work independently with some level of autonomy in a controlled environment. Work is performed according to relevant legislation including working with children and/or vulnerable people checks, and organisational policies and procedures.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field


Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Identify client fitness requirements.

1.1 Consider and confirm client needs, expectations and preferences using suitable questioning techniques.

1.2 Review and advise client of outcomes of pre-exercise health screening procedures.

1.3 Refer client to medical or allied health professionals as required.

1.4 Identify potential barriers to participation.

1.5 Develop and document client profile for re-evaluation purposes.

2. Develop program plans.

2.1 Determine type of training, training methods and equipment required to achieve client goals.

2.2 Incorporate guidance/advice from medical or allied health professionals into the provision of fitness advice/or planning of instruction.

2.3 Develop and document program plans that incorporate key instructional information to target components of fitness, including guidance from medical or allied health professionals if required.

2.4 Explain benefits of exercise and anticipated structural and physiological adaptations as they relate to client goals and needs.

2.5 Develop customised training sessions that include a variety of exercises and equipment to meet client needs.

2.6 Discuss and confirm client understanding of potential signs and symptoms of intolerance, precautions or contraindications to exercise and recommended precautions.

3. Conduct exercise sessions.

3.1 Allocate sufficient space, assemble resources and check equipment for safety and maintenance requirements.

3.2 Provide clear exercise instructions and confirm client understanding.

3.3 Demonstrate exercises, techniques and equipment to client.

3.4 Monitor participation and performance to identify signs of exercise intolerance and modify as required.

3.5 Monitor client intensity, techniques, posture and safety, and modify program as required.

3.6 Seek ongoing guidance from, or refer client to, medical or allied health professionals, as appropriate.

3.7 Select and use communication techniques that encourage and support clients.

3.8 Modify session as required considering basic mechanics, safety and fitness outcomes.

3.9 Respond to clients experiencing difficulties and answer questions as required.

3.10 Complete session documentation and progress notes.

4. Evaluate program.

4.1 Monitor and evaluate exercise program at appropriate intervals.

4.2 Provide written and verbal feedback to medical or allied health professionals, as required.

4.3 Request and respond to feedback from clients.

4.4 Review own performance and identify areas needing improvement.

4.5 Identify aspects needing further emphasis or attention in future sessions.

4.6 Evaluate program or activities and discuss modifications to program.

4.7 Document and update records of evaluation and modification of programs.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement. 



Oral communication skills to:

  • use active listening and open and closed probe questioning to identify specific population client needs and preferences
  • explain course of action, including referral and fitness services, as required.

Numeracy skills to:

  • use heart rate calculations or other monitoring techniques during training, where relevant
  • use body mass index calculations during pre-exercise screening, where relevant.

Learning skills to:

  • maintain current knowledge of specific population requirements within scope of practice.

Unit Mapping Information

No equivalent unit.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=1ca50016-24d2-4161-a044-d3faa200268b


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • use industry endorsed pre-exercise screening tools and risk stratification processes to identify the risk level of at least ten clients across the following specific population groups:
  • children and adolescents
  • women
  • older adults
  • clients with a disability
  • culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups
  • prepare referral letters to relevant medical or appropriate allied health professionals with supporting pre-exercise health screening documentation for a client from each specific population group
  • plan, document, implement and evaluate suitable exercise programs within scope of practice for specific population clients:
  • five clients that don’t require guidance or instruction provided by medical or allied health professionals
  • five clients in response to guidance or instruction provided by medical or allied health professionals
  • conduct sessions that incorporate:
  • appropriate selection and monitoring of a range of gym-based cardiovascular and resistance equipment, according to industry guidelines
  • demonstration, explanation, and instruction of exercises
  • injury prevention strategies specific to client needs and program
  • suitable order and sequence of activities
  • session components that target the needs and goals of the individual
  • suitable duration, intensity, volume
  • ongoing clear and constructive feedback to clients and, where required, medical or allied health professionals
  • use of evidence based exercise adherence strategies specific to the population groups
  • modify programs for clients, addressing at least three of the following:
  • technical requirements
  • changing needs due to fitness adaptations
  • changing goals
  • client needs, objectives, likes and dislikes
  • technical difficulty adjustments of exercises
  • medical or allied health professional feedback
  • conduct periodic ongoing evaluation of outcomes from fitness programs in accordance with the established program goals and industry best practice.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • legislative and regulatory requirements regarding specific population exercise participation:
  • child protection
  • privacy
  • anti-discrimination
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • duty of care
  • organisational policies and procedures in regards to specific population exercise participation:
  • industry endorsed risk management protocols, exercise implications and referral requirements
  • overcrowding
  • ventilation and/or climate control
  • hygiene
  • emergency
  • standards of personal presentation
  • participant’s clothing and footwear
  • use, care and maintenance of equipment
  • industry endorsed client pre-exercise screening processes
  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures, exercise implications and referral requirements for:
  • low-risk clients
  • moderate risk clients
  • higher risk clients
  • when there are extreme or multiple risk factors present and professional judgement to decide whether further medical advice is required identification of clients at high or higher risk of an adverse event occurring during exercise
  • physical activity and exercise intensity and frequency guidelines
  • precautions to exercise relevant to the specific population in accordance with industry guidelines where applicable
  • benefits versus risk of participation
  • situations where cessation of exercise program is required, this may include but is not limited to:
  • chest pain at rest or during activity
  • severe breathlessness/feeling faint/dizziness/loss of balance
  • unusual fatigue or shortness of breath
  • asthma aggravation/attack
  • significant muscle, bone or joint pain (beyond what is normally expected during exercise)
  • a situation whereby the fitness professional makes a judgement that continuing the session is beyond their professional capabilities and scope of practice, and could potentially compromise client health and safety
  • signs and symptoms of poor exercise tolerance or unstable condition
  • role of medical or allied health professionals for referral processes:
  • accredited exercise physiologist
  • accredited practising dietician
  • chiropractor
  • continence nurse advisor
  • general practitioner
  • occupational therapist
  • osteopath
  • physiotherapist
  • podiatrist
  • psychologist
  • remedial massage therapist
  • sports doctor
  • sports physician
  • typical anatomical and physiological considerations for the following specific population groups:
  • children
  • women
  • older adults
  • clients with a disability
  • CALD groups
  • appropriate management for signs and symptoms of intolerance or an unstable condition:
  • cease or modify exercise
  • refer to a medical or allied health professional
  • call an ambulance if required
  • potential or actual effect of the condition on exercise behaviour
  • exercise adherence strategies.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in:

  • a workplace or simulated fitness industry environment that offers a variety services and facilities suitable for specific population clients.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • a variety of equipment appropriate for use by specific population clients
  • organisational policies and procedures related to specific population clients
  • manufacturer guidelines on equipment safety and usage
  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures
  • documented session plans with inclusion of identified modifications/adjustments needed
  • learning and assessment tools validated by an accredited/registered allied health professional with at least two consecutive years experience in clinical practice
  • specific population clients and medical or allied health professionals for referral processes; these can be:
  • clients, and medical or allied health professionals in the workplace, or
  • individuals who participate in project activities, role plays or simulated activities, set up for the purpose of assessment, within a training organisation.

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • develop a variety of exercise programs for specific population clients over a period of time, ensuring adequate time to allow for the implementation of required modifications
  • provide advice regarding fitness services and facilities for specific population clients
  • complete and update client records:
  • pre-exercise screening documents
  • program as prescribed
  • modifications
  • client consent
  • copies of any communications.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisation’s requirements for assessors; and:

  • have a Certificate IV in Fitness or above; and
  • have at least 1 year consecutive post qualification fitness industry experience in the application of the skills and knowledge of the Certificate IV in Fitness.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=1ca50016-24d2-4161-a044-d3faa200268b