Unit of competency details

SISFFIT016 - Provide motivation to positively influence exercise behaviour (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT050 - Support exercise behaviour changeNon-equivalent. Title changed. Significant changes to structure and content of Elements and Performance Criteria. Performance Evidence significantly amended with hours and client contact sessions removed, replaced integration of behaviour change into program planning and delivery for specified number of clients. Knowledge Evidence updated with significant additions and deletions. 09/Nov/2021
Supersedes SISFFIT416A - Apply motivational psychology to provide guidance on exercise behaviour and change to meet health and fitness goalsNot 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 061307 Health Promotion  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061307 Health Promotion  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 promote exercise and incorporate behaviour change strategies into fitness instruction, programming and provision of fitness advice.

This unit applies to personal trainers who work in controlled and uncontrolled environments. These individuals typically work independently with some level of autonomy. 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. Consolidate understanding of behaviour change strategies.

1.1 Source and access information on motivation and behaviour change relevant to fitness outcomes.

1.2 Use knowledge of motivation and behaviour change in day-to-day professional practice.

1.3 Discuss/explain how understanding of motivation and behaviour change contribute to client commitment and confidence.

1.4 Use a wide range of motivation and behaviour change relevant to fitness outcomes.

2. Apply knowledge to own professional practice.

2.1 Assess ways in which knowledge of motivation and behaviour change may be used, adapted or challenged in instruction and provision of fitness advice.

2.2 Identify current and emerging knowledge of motivation and behaviour change relevant to development of own professional practice.

2.3 Modify approach to fitness programming activities and advice as required.

3. Maintain and update knowledge of motivation and behaviour change.

3.1 Identify and use opportunities to update and expand own knowledge of motivation and behaviour change.

3.2 Monitor response to changes made to own professional practice or instruction.

3.3 Continue to adjust own practice to optimise results.

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:

  • source and comprehend often complex motivation and behaviour change information.

Oral communication skills to:

  • provide guidelines and suggestions tailored to client to increase incidental physical activity and adhere to regular exercise program
  • use open and closed probe questioning with clients to:
  • discuss client needs, expectations and goals
  • acquire information about current exercise behaviour, attitude, perceived barriers to exercise and determinants of exercise adherence
  • determine level of motivation, commitment and confidence to make positive fitness changes.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • make connections between own practice and conclusions drawn from information about principles of behaviour change.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • determine lifestyle modifications and strategies to promote behaviour changes and modifications.

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 three hours comprising at least three different client contact sessions and:

  • use knowledge of exercise behaviour change strategies to improve own instructional practice to improve exercise adherence of clients:
  • collect information from each client regarding attitude towards exercise:
  • belief systems and values
  • client expectations
  • coping techniques
  • social support systems
  • stage of readiness for change
  • perceived barriers to exercise participation and adherence
  • implement behaviour change models
  • provide guidance relevant to client characteristics
  • consider personal and situational factors
  • motivate clients during exercise programs using:
  • principles of goal setting
  • arousal control techniques
  • positive feedback.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • organisational policies and procedures in relation to:
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • confidentiality of client information
  • ethical considerations
  • strategies to promote exercise behaviour change:
  • contracting
  • prompts
  • reinforcement
  • perceived choice
  • feedback
  • rewards
  • self-monitoring
  • goal setting
  • social support
  • decision balance sheet
  • physical setting
  • exercise variety
  • minimised discomfort and injury
  • group training
  • enjoyment
  • periodic fitness and health assessment
  • progress charts
  • components of motivation to enable effective assessment of progress:
  • direction of effort
  • intensity of effort
  • persistence of behaviour
  • role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in exercise behaviour
  • methods of evaluating self-motivation, self-efficacy and stages of change
  • personal and situational factors that may affect behaviour and/or exercise adherence:
  • family, cultural and social situation
  • habits
  • lifestyle
  • personality
  • self concept
  • stages of change:
  • pre-contemplation
  • contemplation
  • preparation
  • action
  • maintenance
  • relapse
  • principles of goal setting:
  • short, medium and long term goals
  • SMART goals
  • outcome, process and performance goals
  • goal achievement strategies
  • goal support
  • evaluation and feedback
  • recording goals
  • arousal control techniques:
  • anxiety management
  • progressive relaxation
  • stress management
  • visualisation
  • self-talk
  • common barriers to exercise participation:
  • perceived versus actual barriers
  • initial low fitness level
  • time and access to facilities
  • self-consciousness in client
  • methods of collecting information about client’s attitude towards exercise
  • scope of practice for a personal trainer.

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:

  • motivation and behaviour change information and resources.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • planning and evaluation templates with space to identify improvements to professional practice
  • client record forms:
  • appropriate documentation suitable for acquiring client information regarding exercise and lifestyle factors
  • appropriate documentation for goal setting and monitoring of client progress and changes
  • 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 operated within a training organisation.

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • demonstrate ability to incorporate motivation and behaviour change knowledge into the instruction of sessions, catering for:
  • beginners, intermediate and advanced participants
  • improve client exercise adherence and motivate clients within industry realistic timeframes.

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

  • have achieved a Diploma of 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 Diploma of Fitness.


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