Unit of competency details

SISFFIT020 - Instruct exercise programs for body composition goals (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT043 - Develop and instruct personalised exercise programs for body composition goalsNon-equivalent.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 SISFFIT420A - Plan and deliver exercise programs to support desired body composition outcomesNot 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 design exercise plans and programs to change and maintain desired and realistic body composition of clients.

It applies to exercise programs aimed at health-related components of fitness, with particular attention to body composition. This unit does not directly apply to provision of healthy eating information regarding body composition goals, however it does cover the calculation of energy expenditure to enable planning and instruction of appropriate programs to achieve identified goals.

This unit applies to the planning of programs for clients who have completed industry endorsed pre-exercise screening and risk stratification procedures.

This unit applies to personal trainers who typically work autonomously in controlled and uncontrolled fitness environments. 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 body composition requirements.

1.1 Consider and confirm client body composition goals, 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 achieving needs and goals.

1.5 Provide information to client on the relationship between healthy eating, exercise and health.

1.6 Determine daily energy expenditure of client.

1.7 Measure body composition of client using anthropometric standards.

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

2. Develop exercise plan to improve body composition.

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

2.2 Develop client personalised strategies to increase exercise adherence.

2.3 Develop and document program plans that incorporate key instructional information and short and long-term body composition goals.

2.4 Set realistic guidelines and confirm exercise plan with client.

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

3. Implement exercise plan.

3.1 Instruct client in specific programs and exercises.

3.2 Select and use motivational techniques that encourage exercise, and healthy eating adherence.

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

3.4 Monitor and record client progress.

4. Evaluate exercise plan.

4.1 Monitor and evaluate exercise program at appropriate intervals.

4.2 Reappraise client body composition at agreed stages of program.

4.3 Review client short and long-term goals and exercise plan.

4.4 Evaluate program or activities and discuss modifications to program.

4.5 Modify exercise plan for client and document 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 and critically analyse body composition appraisal results.

Oral communication skills to:

  • explain and discuss relationships between body composition management and specific client plan
  • collaborate with client to establish goals and motivate towards desired outcomes.

Numeracy skills to:

  • extract and evaluate information from calculations of daily energy requirements and pre-exercise health screening information.

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 ten hours comprising at least ten different client contact sessions, and:

  • plan, document, implement and evaluate at least five exercise plans that meet specific body composition needs and goals of individual clients
  • conduct sessions that consider each client’s:
  • training schedule
  • likes and dislikes
  • financial constraints
  • specific responses to questionnaire
  • religious restrictions
  • injuries
  • medical and exercise history
  • functional limitations
  • correctly measure body composition for each client using appropriate measures:
  • weight
  • height
  • hip circumference
  • waist circumference
  • skin folds
  • bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • body mass indices
  • appropriately use and apply anthropometric standards:
  • somatotypes
  • skin fold indices
  • body mass indices
  • waist-hip ratios
  • healthy weight range charts
  • use appropriate and motivating instructional techniques with each client to increase exercise adherence and positive health and fitness habits:
  • goal setting
  • intrinsic an extrinsic motivation
  • establishment of habits
  • positive reinforcement.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • legislative and regulatory requirements regarding exercise planning for body composition goals:
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • duty of care
  • privacy
  • anti-discrimination
  • Australian consumer law
  • business registration and licences
  • organisational policies and procedures in regards to:
  • ventilation and/or climate control
  • hygiene
  • emergency
  • risk management
  • standards of personal presentation
  • participant’s clothing and footwear
  • use, care and maintenance of equipment
  • client supervision
  • communication protocols
  • records management and security
  • industry endorsed client pre-exercise health screening processes
  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures, exercise implications and referral requirements
  • client considerations for planning exercise programs to target body composition goals:
  • training schedule
  • likes and dislikes
  • financial constraints
  • specific responses to questionnaire
  • religious restrictions
  • injuries
  • medical and exercise history
  • functional limitations
  • exercise programming principles to target body composition goals:
  • muscle hypertrophy
  • fat loss
  • lean body mass
  • barriers to achieving goals:
  • unhealthy eating
  • physically inactive
  • exercise patterns
  • lack of good quality sleep
  • stress management
  • management of body composition:
  • metabolism
  • energy expenditure
  • energy intake
  • balance between energy intake and energy expenditure
  • resting metabolic rate
  • thermogenesis
  • adaptive thermogenesis
  • thermic effect of food
  • thermic effect of exercise
  • changes to body composition
  • fat loss
  • muscle gain
  • factors affecting ‘weight’ on scales:
  • lean body mass
  • water
  • fat
  • clothing
  • role of medical or allied health professionals in relation to body composition programming
  • motivational techniques and strategies to support body composition goals:
  • building rapport
  • questioning techniques
  • feedback
  • goal setting
  • reinforcement
  • benefits and limitations of body composition appraisal methods.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in:

  • a fitness industry workplace or simulated environment with clients with real or simulated body composition goals.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures
  • manufacturer guidelines on equipment safety and usage
  • current industry endorsed best practice for client pre-exercise health screening and risk stratification.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • organisational policies and procedures:
  • privacy
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • confidentiality
  • referral forms and processes
  • recording and storage of information
  • body composition appraisal methods to suit the goals of clients
  • anthropometric standards
  • current fitness industry recognised methods for achieving body composition outcomes
  • session plan templates with space to identify modifications/adjustments needed
  • client record forms
  • 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:

  • develop a variety of body composition exercise programs over a period of time suitable for ensuring adequate time for the client to achieve several health and fitness-related body composition goals including:
  • fat loss
  • muscle hypertrophy
  • demonstrate ability to instruct sessions that cater 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 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