Unit of competency details

SISFFIT023 - Instruct group personal training programs (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
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 and evaluate group personal training programs for a variety of clients in both controlled and uncontrolled environments. It requires the ability to plan individualised programs for clients who have completed industry endorsed pre-exercise screening and risk stratification procedures.

It requires the ability to instruct personal training sessions and programs to a group of people, whilst taking into account individual goals, programming requirements, personality and fitness level. The personal trainer ensures that the supervision ratio to client adheres to organisation policies and 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 group personal training program requirements.

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

1.2 Review and advise clients of outcomes of pre-exercise screening procedures and fitness appraisals.

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

1.4 Establish exercise intensities appropriate for each client within the group.

1.5 Identify potential barriers to achieving needs and goals of individuals within the group.

1.6 Develop and document client profiles for re-evaluation purposes.

2. Develop group personal training exercise plan and program.

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

2.2 Develop client personalised strategies to maximise group coherence and increase exercise adherence.

2.3 Develop and document program plans that incorporate key instructional information appropriate to group training and match client preferences.

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

2.5 Select appropriate session assessment techniques.

2.6 Obtain permission for use of public spaces if required.

2.7 Document group personal training plans.

3. Conduct group personal training sessions

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

3.2 Determine client prior knowledge and skills in the fitness activity.

3.3 Provide clear exercise instructions to the group and confirm individual client understanding.

3.4 Demonstrate exercises, techniques and equipment to the group, providing individual assistance if required.

3.5 Relate location and function of major bones and major joints to movement when instructing the group.

3.6 Identify major muscles acting at major joints when instructing the group.

3.7 Manage the use of different equipment by different clients within the same session, in a timely and safe manner.

3.8 Supervise clients performing a variety of exercises or variations in exercises, at the same time.

3.9 Monitor participation and performance and modify as required.

3.10 Select and use motivational techniques for group personal training to increase performance and adherence to exercise.

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

3.12 Complete session documentation and progress notes.

4. Evaluate personal training program.

4.1 Monitor and evaluate exercise program at appropriate intervals.

4.2 Request and respond to feedback from clients.

4.3 Perform follow up fitness assessments on each client, individually or as a group, as required.

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 Modify personal training plan for individual clients, or group, as required and prepare new exercise program.

4.8 Document and update records of evaluation and modification of program.

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:

  • evaluate and integrate collected information and ideas to construct group personal training programs.

Oral communication skills to:

  • use active listening and questioning techniques to:
  • determine client needs and preferences
  • identify suitable products and services for clients
  • motivate clients
  • instruct clients from a variety of different positions, that are constantly changing according to the needs of the group and individuals within the group
  • demonstrate and explain the safe performance of exercises to clients using appropriate terminology and confirm client understanding.

Learning skills to:

  • design, reflect on and redesign approaches to group personal training as an integral part of the review process.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • work with various personalities, learning styles and fitness levels of clients within one group
  • determine how to safely work with more than one client at a time, in constantly changing conditions where clients move about, within an appropriate space.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • prepare personal training plans that are appropriate for a variety of clients within one group, with consideration of personalities, goals and fitness levels of each client
  • determine appropriate training environments for clients within a group.

Self-management skills to:

  • organise client schedules, and facility schedules.

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 in a mixture of controlled and uncontrolled environments, and:

  • plan, document, implement and evaluate at least three group personal training plans and exercise programs for groups of three to twelve people that meet specific needs and goals of each individual within the group
  • conduct sessions that individually or cumulatively incorporate:
  • a variety of indoor and outdoor training environments, methods, and equipment:
  • ensures promotion of sustainability of the environment
  • choice of resources to minimise environmental impact
  • permission for use of public spaces, as required
  • flexibility training:
  • dynamic
  • static
  • proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation
  • resistance training:
  • free weights
  • gym equipment
  • body weight resistance only
  • cardiovascular training techniques:
  • continuous
  • interval
  • adequate spacing between clients
  • appropriate line of sight for clients
  • appropriate motivating instructional techniques to increase exercise adherence and positive health and fitness habits of the group:
  • goal setting
  • intrinsic an extrinsic motivation
  • establishment of habits
  • positive reinforcement
  • modify personal training plans 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 group personal training, equipment use and selection:
  • work health and safety/occupational health and safety
  • duty of care
  • privacy
  • anti-discrimination
  • working with children and/or vulnerable people check
  • organisational policies and procedures in regards to:
  • ventilation and/or climate control
  • hygiene
  • emergency
  • risk management
  • standards of personal presentation
  • participant clothing and footwear
  • use, care and maintenance of equipment
  • client supervision
  • communication protocols
  • records management and security
  • maximum number of clients within a group
  • client supervision in a group
  • industry endorsed client pre-exercise screening processes
  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures, exercise implications and referral requirements
  • program planning for improvement of health- and skill-related components of fitness:
  • body composition
  • muscle endurance
  • muscle strength
  • flexibility
  • cardiovascular endurance
  • balance
  • reaction time
  • coordination
  • power
  • speed
  • agility
  • proprioception
  • safety and preparation considerations for the use of plyometric training in group personal training
  • suitable training and monitoring techniques and exercises to achieve improved functioning of:
  • musculoskeletal system
  • cardiovascular system
  • nervous system
  • training principles relevant to the health- and skill-related components of fitness in the client’s program:
  • overload
  • progression
  • adaptation
  • specificity
  • individualisation
  • maintenance
  • training methods and consideration of intensity, program types, sets and reps, circuits, matrices, super-sets, pre-fatigue and interval training
  • types of conditioning and training, and expected adaptations, including timing, for:
  • speed
  • power
  • strength
  • flexibility
  • cardiovascular endurance
  • hypertrophy
  • muscle endurance
  • weight loss
  • agility
  • reaction time
  • balance
  • coordination
  • client considerations and needs:
  • client details
  • fitness levels and goals
  • training history
  • targeted adaptations
  • anticipated rate of client adaptation
  • number and nature of session programs
  • equipment requirements
  • facility requirements
  • review dates
  • application of exercise science, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics considerations to fitness activities and group personal training programs:
  • aerobic endurance and responses
  • hypertrophy training and types of muscle fibres
  • muscle tension
  • local muscle endurance training and recovery
  • neuromuscular coordination training, safety, skill and recovery
  • strength training, recovery times and techniques
  • stretching and flexibility methods, techniques and recovery times
  • predicted rate of adaptation
  • progression
  • recovery rate
  • reversibility
  • specificity
  • training threshold
  • manufacturer and exercise equipment specifications for safe use and techniques
  • signs and symptoms of exercise intolerance and appropriate management strategies
  • common barriers to exercise participation:
  • perceived versus actual barriers
  • initial low fitness level
  • time and access to facilities
  • self-consciousness in client
  • different learning styles of clients and methods to adapt training to suit these learning styles
  • motivational techniques:
  • goal setting
  • intrinsic an extrinsic motivation
  • establishment of habits
  • positive reinforcement.

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:

  • industry endorsed risk stratification procedures
  • manufacturer guidelines on equipment safety and usage
  • current industry endorsed best practice for client pre-exercise screening and risk stratification
  • organisational policies and procedures regarding the use of equipment and locations for group personal training sessions.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • client record forms
  • equipment and resources required for the delivery of the group personal training program:
  • resistance equipment
  • program cards
  • resistance bands
  • gym and fitness equipment
  • session plan templates with space to identify 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 operated within a training organisation.

Assessment activities that allow the individual to:

  • develop a variety of group personal training programs over a period of time suitable for ensuring adequate time for group to achieve several health and fitness related goals
  • demonstrate ability to instruct a variety of group personal training sessions where a variety of exercise modes and equipment are available:
  • weights gym
  • exercise room
  • an outdoor environment
  • 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