Unit of competency details

SISFFIT003 - Instruct fitness programs (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT040 - Develop and instruct gym-based exercise programs for individual clientsNon-equivalent. Title changed. Significant changes to structure and content of Elements and Performance Criteria. Performance Evidence amended: hours and client contact sessions removed, replaced with number and type of clients, and number and duration of sessions. Knowledge Evidence updated with significant additions and deletions. 09/Nov/2021
Supersedes SISFFIT304A - Instruct and monitor fitness programsNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015
Supersedes SISFFIT308A - Plan and deliver gym programsNot 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, knowledge and skills required to plan, instruct and evaluate a variety of fitness programs and circuit sessions aimed at the health-related components of fitness. It involves programming and instruction of cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility programs for low or moderate risk clients who have completed industry endorsed pre-exercise screening and risk stratification procedures.

This unit applies to fitness instructors who work in a variety of fitness locations such as fitness, leisure and community centres. These individuals typically work independently with some level of autonomy in a controlled environment. Work is performed according to relevant legislation 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 Calculate total training volume required to achieve client goals.

2.3 Develop and document program plans that incorporate key instructional information to target components of fitness.

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

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 Select and use communication techniques that encourage and support clients.

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

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

3.8 Complete session documentation and progress notes.

4. Evaluate program.

4.1 Monitor and evaluate exercise program at appropriate intervals.

4.2 Request and respond to feedback from clients.

4.3 Review own performance and identify areas needing improvement.

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

4.5 Evaluate program or activities and discuss modifications to program.

4.6 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.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret fitness industry and equipment manufacturer guidelines
  • interpret pre-exercise health screening results and documentation.

Oral communication skills to:

  • use active listening and questioning techniques to determine client preferences and offer and explain suitable exercises and programs.

Numeracy skills to:

  • calculate heart rate and use exercise intensity guidelines, including rate of perceived exertion
  • determine availability and appropriate timing for area use
  • determine safe and effective timing within sessions and programs.

Learning skills to:

  • maintain current knowledge of fitness training methods and equipment.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • modify session and program as required with consideration and awareness of expected training adaptations specific to client.

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. This must include period(s) totalling at least eight hours comprising at least eight different client contact sessions, and:

  • plan, document, implement and evaluate at least five fitness programs using the principles of program design to suit the needs of clients with goals related to health-related components of fitness
  • plan, document, implement and evaluate at least three circuit training sessions with interrelated components
  • conduct sessions that individually or cumulatively incorporate:
  • demonstration, explanation, and instruction in the following:
  • cardiovascular exercises
  • dynamic warm-up and cool-down components
  • resistance exercises:
  • squat
  • static lunge
  • push-up
  • triceps dips
  • prone back extension
  • shoulder press
  • abdominal crunches
  • bent over row
  • lateral raise
  • modified dead lift
  • prone hover
  • flexibility exercises – static and dynamic stretches
  • injury prevention strategies specific to client needs and program
  • 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.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • legislative and regulatory requirements regarding fitness programs, sessions and circuit sessions:
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • duty of care
  • organisational policies and procedures in regards to:
  • pre-session screening
  • overcrowding
  • ventilation and/or climate control
  • hygiene
  • participant to instructor ratio
  • emergency
  • risk management
  • standards of personal presentation
  • participant’s clothing and footwear
  • use, care and maintenance of equipment
  • principles of program design:
  • FITT
  • overload
  • progression
  • specificity
  • fitness program planning for improvement of health-related components of fitness:
  • body composition
  • muscle endurance
  • muscle strength
  • cardiorespiratory endurance
  • flexibility
  • program design and variables relevant to health-related components of fitness and factors affecting program design
  • components of a circuit training session plan:
  • phases:
  • preparation
  • conditioning
  • recovery
  • adaptation
  • rest intervals
  • required equipment
  • floor plan for equipment arrangement
  • circuit training session planning considerations and inclusions:
  • equipment
  • layout
  • number of participants
  • phases of session
  • training methods and consideration of intensity, program types, sets and reps, circuits, matrices, super-sets, pre-fatigue and interval training
  • benefits of fitness sessions and circuit sessions
  • contraindications and precautions to participation in session, and suitable modification options for participants where the safety of the participant is not compromised
  • exercises and programming requirements for:
  • flexibility:
  • dynamic or active range of motion
  • static
  • muscular endurance and strength:
  • balance and coordination
  • body weight
  • equipment
  • cardiorespiratory endurance
  • effects of different exercises on the major body systems:
  • cardiovascular
  • muscular
  • nervous
  • skeletal
  • methods of monitoring exercise intensity, techniques and progression:
  • heart rate
  • rate of perceived exertion
  • observation of technique
  • completed sets and repetitions
  • loads lifted
  • manufacturer and exercise equipment specifications for safe use and techniques
  • signs and symptoms of exercise intolerance
  • motivational techniques and exercise adherence strategies.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in:

  • a fitness industry workplace or simulated environment with clients with real or simulated health and fitness goals..

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures in relation to fitness programs and circuit training
  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • a variety of fitness industry standard equipment:
  • resistance
  • free weights
  • machines
  • proprioception and stability training equipment
  • cardiovascular training
  • an appropriate area for the delivery of circuit training sessions
  • client record forms
  • documented session plans with inclusion of identified modifications/adjustments needed
  • clients; these can be:
  • clients in an industry workplace, or
  • individuals who participate in role plays or simulated activities, set up for the purpose of assessment, in a simulated industry environment within a training organisation.

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • develop a variety of fitness programs over a period of time suitable for ensuring adequate time for the client to achieve several health-related components of fitness goals
  • demonstrate ability to instruct a variety of circuit sessions, catering for :
  • beginners, intermediate and advanced participants
  • low and high impact.

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

  • have achieved 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