Unit of competency details

SISFFIT028 - Apply evidence-based practice to exercise programs (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT051 - Establish and maintain professional practice for fitness instructionNon-equivalent. Title changed. Content from SISFFIT015 and SISFFIT028 merged to create SISFFIT051. Significant changes to content of Elements, Performance Criteria and Performance Evidence to reflect merged unit scope. Performance Evidence amended to focus on ongoing collaboration with health professionals, not on writing referral letters. Knowledge Evidence updated with significant additions and deletions. 09/Nov/2021
Supersedes SISFFIT528A - Apply research findings to exercise management strategiesNot 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 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Unit of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to source and evaluate evidence for contemporary exercise programs and apply findings to the prescription of exercise.

It requires the ability to identify, analyse, synthesise and action data from relevant information sources to plan and implement current approaches supported by evidence.

This unit applies to advanced 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. Plan information gathering.

1.1 Identify opportunities where research may be used to support and improve own professional practice.

1.2 Evaluate recent issues, trends, and events impacting fitness industry and exercise programming.

1.3 Identify appropriate research methodology to address research topic, type of data collection and analysis to be undertaken and potential uses of data.

1.4 Identify credible primary and secondary sources of information.

2. Research and analyse information.

2.1 Access and analyse suitable evidence-based information and data for required information.

2.2 Facilitate analysis by organising information in a way that supports analysis and future use.

2.3 Compare and contrast different sources of information to support analysis.

2.4 Assess strength, relevance, reliability and currency of information in the context of own work.

2.5 Assess feasibility, benefits and risks associated with the information.

2.6 Extract relevant information and integrate into development and modification of exercise strategies.

3. Apply research findings to own professional practice.

3.1 Assess ways in which research findings may be used, adapted or challenged in instruction and provision of fitness advice.

3.2 Modify approach to fitness programing activities and advice as required.

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

3.4 Continue to adjust own practice to optimise results.

3.5 Maintain records of research findings and application to exercise.

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 data from research sites and primary and secondary information texts
  • apply appropriate strategies to construct relevant meaning from research findings
  • organise, evaluate and critique ideas and information from a range of complex texts.

Writing skills to:

  • integrate research findings into contemporary exercise programs, using appropriate vocabulary, grammar and conventions.

Numeracy skills to:

  • extract and evaluate relevant mathematical information and data embedded within information sources
  • recognise statistical terminology and understand the significance of common statistical analysis.

Learning skills to:

  • continue with self-directed learning to ensure exercise management strategies implemented are relevant to current research findings.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • extract relevant information from research findings and integrate into development and modification of contemporary exercise strategies.

Self-management skills to:

  • maintain currency of exercise management strategies
  • continually access, evaluate and apply research literature suitable to client needs.

Technology skills to:

  • access, organise and update research findings.

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:

  • source, evaluate and apply relevant evidence-based information in at least five contemporary exercise programs, incorporating:
  • different issues related to meeting health and fitness goals of clients
  • documented comparison of evidence presented by two sources and evaluation of credibility and validity of data, including the checking of references and assessment of usefulness for each
  • modification of at least two exercise programs to meet short and long-term client goals
  • principles and models of evidence-based practice
  • suitable technology
  • at least ten of the following relevant established and reputable primary and secondary sources of information:
  • clinical research studies
  • peer reviewed medical, allied health and/or complementary medicine journals
  • reference texts
  • peer reviewed conference presentations
  • other journals
  • abstracts
  • popular media (magazines, newsletters, books)
  • other conferences and presentations
  • internet
  • surveys
  • annual public health reports
  • existing epidemiological and socio-demographic data
  • position statements
  • scientific review
  • epidemiological observation studies
  • cohort studies
  • controlled trials.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • current evidence-based exercise programs or activities to meet the needs of clients with goals related to improving health and skill related components of fitness
  • research strategies and techniques to source evidence based information and data
  • recent issues and events affecting the industry and exercise programming
  • relevant reference works
  • established and reputable sources of information:
  • Sports Medicine Australia
  • Australian Physiotherapy Association
  • National Heart Foundation
  • Dieticians Association of Australia
  • Exercise and Sports Science Australia
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • American Heart Association
  • clinical texts
  • reference works
  • recognised teachings
  • data analysis, statistical analysis and methods to justify the use of information for exercise programming
  • commonly used research methodologies
  • common terminology used in medical, allied health and complementary medicine research
  • reasons for undertaking research:
  • comparison
  • hypothesis testing
  • trend identification
  • own knowledge extension
  • to strengthen quality of own practice
  • sources of information, including established information:
  • books
  • journals
  • surveys
  • annual public health reports
  • existing epidemiological and socio-demographic data
  • current published research within own area of practice
  • principles and models of evidence-based practice:
  • rules of evidence
  • duty of care requirements associated with evidence-based practice
  • difference between evidence-based practice, continuous quality improvement and research
  • ways to evaluate the validity of information sources
  • cultural and ethical considerations for research
  • processes that support analysis of information and how to use them:
  • comparing
  • contrasting
  • challenging
  • reflecting
  • distinguishing relevant from irrelevant
  • drawing interdisciplinary connections.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in:

  • a fitness industry workplace or simulated environment that offers a variety of fitness services and facilities for clients.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to using research to support and improve professional practice.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • suitable technology for the research processes
  • established and reputable primary and secondary sources of information
  • planning and evaluation templates with space for inclusion of evidence-based improvements to professional practice
  • 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 evidence based information into contemporary exercise programs, 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 Diploma of Fitness or above; and
  • have at least 2 years 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