Unit of competency details

SISFFIT007 - Instruct group exercise sessions (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes SISFFIT309A - Plan and deliver group exercise sessionsNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015

Release Status:
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 plan, instruct, monitor and evaluate group exercise sessions, with or without music. It requires the ability to plan the selection, sequencing and progression of exercises and appropriate music to ensure safe participation in activities.

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. Develop session plans.

1.1 Consider participant group characteristics and identify expected fitness outcomes and session type.

1.2 Determine appropriate phases, exercises or choreography to meet group needs.

1.3 Select and sequence music, as required, according to duration, concepts and phases of session.

1.4 Incorporate motivational techniques to maximise exercise program adherence.

1.5 Develop and document session plans that incorporate instructional information.

2. Conduct session.

2.1 Confirm availability of area, assemble resources and prepare environment appropriately.

2.2 Check equipment for maintenance requirements, as required.

2.3 Confirm capacity to independently participate in session and modify as required to suit specific needs.

2.4 Provide clear instructions using effective communication and instructional principles.

2.5 Demonstrate exercises, techniques and equipment, and monitor participation and performance of each participant.

2.6 Modify activity, as required to cater for a multi-level group.

2.7 Respond to participants experiencing difficulties and answer questions as required.

2.8 Encourage group cohesion and manage conflicts as they arise.

3. Evaluate session.

3.1 Seek and acknowledge feedback from participants.

3.2 Evaluate participant response and feedback.

3.3 Evaluate own performance and identify areas needing improvement.

3.4 Implement modifications to future sessions where relevant to meet participant needs.

3.5 Update session documentation.

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 manufacturer guidelines to maintain and use equipment.

Numeracy skills to:

  • use the beat of the music to time sessions, ensure safety and enjoyment, as well as effective exercise
  • monitor intensity of exercise using methods such as heart rate or rate of perceived exertion, if required.

Learning skills to:

  • maintain current knowledge of group exercise training session methods.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • manage participant conflicts and behavioural concerns
  • identify participant problems during session and implement modifications required
  • implement injury prevention strategies.

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:

  • plan, instruct and evaluate at least five group exercise sessions
  • conduct sessions that individually or cumulatively incorporate:
  • pre-session instructions
  • safe and effective instructional techniques
  • modification of exercise options to meet individual needs
  • music to match participant needs
  • monitor exercise intensity during every session using at least one of the following methods:
  • heart rate response
  • perceived rate of exertion
  • talk test
  • use the following communication skills:
  • clear verbal communication
  • modelling and demonstration
  • use motivational techniques.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • legislative and regulatory requirements regarding group exercise sessions and group circuit sessions:
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • duty of care
  • copyright
  • licensing
  • 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
  • benefits of group exercise sessions
  • contraindications and precautions to participation in selected group exercise session, and suitable modification options for participants where the safety of the participant is not compromised
  • industry accepted guidelines and recommendations for determining contra-indications and precautions
  • potentially harmful practices to be avoided:
  • hyperextension of joints
  • exercising while sick
  • exercising in extremes of temperature
  • ballistic movements
  • high impact movements for clients with incontinence or musculoskeletal conditions
  • intervention strategies:
  • stopping or modifying the exercise
  • modifying equipment or its use
  • variations to group exercise sessions:
  • choreographed to music
  • with or without music
  • with equipment
  • without equipment
  • circuit style
  • freestyle
  • phases of group exercise sessions:
  • warm-up:
  • pulse raise
  • mobility
  • main cardiovascular workout:
  • using aerobic curve
  • pulse raise
  • main workout
  • build down
  • muscle strength and endurance
  • flexibility
  • function and safety of equipment suitable for group exercise to music
  • motivational techniques relevant to group exercise sessions
  • current industry guidelines relevant to group exercise sessions
  • principles of exercise program design:
  • muscle action
  • loading and volume
  • exercise selection and order
  • rest periods
  • repetition velocity
  • frequency
  • industry recognised repertoire for targeting cardiovascular, strength and conditioning and flexibility goals
  • the use of music in a group exercise to music session, with consideration of appropriate use of:
  • beats per minute
  • rhythm
  • phrasing
  • volume
  • realistic timings of original choreography for sessions, or parts of sessions, and sequencing of choreography to suit session type in regards to:
  • add on
  • 32 count phrase
  • verse and chorus
  • layering
  • safe and effective exercises and combinations of exercises in group sessions to suit the needs of beginners, intermediate and advanced participants
  • group management techniques to assist individuals within the group to achieve desired outcomes.

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 group exercise and circuit training
  • manufacturer guidelines regarding equipment usage and safety, as required.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • equipment and resources required for the delivery of the session:
  • appropriate music and music equipment, as required
  • appropriate area for instruction of group exercise sessions
  • group exercise participants; these can be:
  • group exercise participants in the workplace, or
  • individuals who participate in project activities, role plays or simulated activities, set up for the purpose of assessment, within a workplace

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • demonstrate the ability to instruct a variety of group exercise sessions:
  • with and without music
  • with and without equipment
  • using music for choreography or motivation, if required
  • 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 at least 2 years consecutive industry experience in the application of the skills and knowledge of this unit.


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