Unit of competency details

SISFFIT050 - Support exercise behaviour change (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes SISFFIT016 - Provide motivation to positively influence exercise behaviourNon-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

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Nov/2021


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  15/Dec/2021 
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Unit of competency

Modification History

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SISFFIT016 Provide motivation to positively influence exercise behaviour.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to establish current patterns of client exercise and support clients to make changes to optimise fitness outcomes, health and wellbeing. Support for behaviour change reflects evidence-based approaches and can be integrated into fitness assessment, program planning, instruction and evaluation.

This unit applies to personal trainers who work independently with clients using discretion and judgement to develop and deliver individually tailored client exercise programs, and to provide support to individual clients. They practise in settings such as fitness facilities, gyms, leisure and community centres, client workplaces and homes and outdoor locations.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.

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. Establish current patterns of client exercise.

1.1. Use questioning and active listening to obtain information about client’s current exercise patterns, attitudes and motivation for change.

1.2. Build trust and rapport with client by using client-centred communication showing sensitivity and empathy during interactions.

1.3. Identify perceived and actual barriers and other factors that currently influence client exercise behaviour.

1.4. Use information to assess client readiness for change and implications for fitness instruction.

1.5. Identify situations where client needs fall outside scope of own role and refer to relevant health professional.

2. Assist clients to plan for change.

2.1. Source and critically evaluate current and emerging evidence-based information about behaviour change to support professional practice and client needs.

2.2. Provide clients with information and techniques for making exercise behaviour change based on their specific needs.

2.3. Explain ways of setting and monitoring exercise activity goals that are specific, measurable and realistic.

2.4. Support clients to set their preferred goals and nominate specific behaviour changes based on their individual exercise program.

2.5. Maintain records of client goals and exercise preferences according to record keeping and confidentiality procedures.

3. Support the change process.

3.1. Use observation and client discussion to monitor client progress towards changed behaviour and goals.

3.2. Identify and use opportunities to provide positive feedback and reinforcement to clients about exercise behaviour change.

3.3. Use techniques that address barriers and assist clients to maintain commitment to agreed exercise activities.

3.4. Identify potential changes to improve client outcomes through reflection on client feedback and own performance.

3.5. Adjust goals and approaches in collaboration with client based on reflection and progress being achieved.

3.6. Update client records to reflect changes and progress.

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 potentially complex and unfamiliar evidence-based information about exercise behaviour change.

Writing skills to:

  • use fundamental sentence structure to summarise both factual and subjective information in client records.

Oral communication skills to:

  • provide clear and succinct information to clients about behaviour change techniques
  • ask open and closed probe questions and actively listen to elicit information from clients and to determine client understanding of information provided.

Unit Mapping Information

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SISFFIT016 Provide motivation to positively influence exercise behaviour.


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

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SISFFIT016 Provide motivation to positively influence exercise behaviour.

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 evidence-based information on exercise behaviour change from credible sources
  • evaluate key aspects of the above information, and identify how it can be used to provide client-centred behaviour change advice
  • support the exercise behaviour change process for three clients as part of the design of their personalised exercise programs, and for each of the three clients:
  • collect information about:
  • client motivation for exercise behaviour change
  • client stage of readiness for change
  • barriers to client exercise participation and adherence
  • assist client to plan for exercise behaviour change according to their individual needs:
  • support client to identify ways they can overcome barriers to exercise participation
  • provide information about behaviour change techniques
  • assist client to nominate behaviour change actions
  • support client to set exercise activity goals
  • consistently use client-centred communication during all interactions
  • maintain client records that include details of information exchanged, client exercise goals, change techniques used and client progress
  • for one of the above three clients:
  • monitor client progress towards exercise behaviour change and achievement of exercise activity goals over a four week period via ongoing communications
  • use client-appropriate techniques to enhance client adherence to agreed exercise activities
  • complete a follow up assessment of client and discuss progress, achievements and changing needs.

Knowledge Evidence

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

  • procedures for maintaining client records and confidentiality of client information
  • scope of practice for a personal trainer in supporting exercise behaviour change:
  • responsibilities and limitations
  • professional boundaries
  • situations where referral to a health professional is required for support with exercise behaviour change and role of relevant health professionals:
  • psychologists
  • general practitioners
  • sources of evidence-based information about contemporary and emerging exercise behaviour change techniques
  • how to determine the credibility of information sources
  • client-centred communication techniques for establishing and building trust and rapport, and how they vary depending on individual client characteristics
  • methods of collecting information about client’s current exercise knowledge, patterns, attitudes, motivation and commitment to change
  • factors that may affect exercise behaviour and the process of change:
  • family, cultural and social determinants
  • established lifestyle behaviours
  • experience of previous attempts at exercise behaviour change
  • common barriers to exercise initiation and adherence, and how these may be overcome:
  • low importance placed on exercise
  • time and access to appropriate facilities
  • initial low fitness levels and low confidence
  • previous negative experiences
  • body image concerns
  • stages in the behaviour change process and how these apply in a fitness industry context:
  • pre-contemplation
  • contemplation
  • preparation
  • action
  • maintenance
  • relapse
  • the role of relapse, when it may occur and how it can be managed
  • evidence-based techniques for promoting exercise behaviour change at different stages of fitness planning and implementation:
  • assessment and programming:
  • contracting
  • goal setting
  • client choice and self-direction
  • implementation:
  • exercise selection and variety
  • client self-monitoring activities
  • using natural supports and social networks
  • monitoring:
  • prompts and reinforcement
  • feedback and rewards
  • ongoing assessment and progress measurement
  • ways that techniques may be used and adapted for clients at different levels and stages of engagement with exercise activities
  • approaches to goal setting and achievement:
  • setting short-, medium- and long-term goals
  • importance of goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based
  • different types of goals:
  • outcome
  • process
  • performance
  • common client strategies that can be used to achieve exercise behaviour change goals
  • recording goals and progress, and types of technology that can assist
  • the role of arousal control and basic features of the following strategies in exercise behaviour change:
  • progressive relaxation
  • visualisation
  • positive self-talk
  • methods and techniques used to:
  • engage with clients about progress
  • reflect on client feedback and own performance.

Assessment Conditions

Skills can be demonstrated in:

  • the workplace, or
  • a simulated workplace set up for the purpose of skills assessment.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • interaction with clients; these can be:
  • clients in an industry workplace, or
  • individuals who participate in simulated activities used for the purpose of skills assessment
  • current information about evidence-based approaches to exercise behaviour change
  • template client records for goal setting and recording progress
  • procedures for maintaining client records and confidentiality of client information.

Assessors must:

  • satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations requirements for assessors, and
  • hold a Certificate IV in Fitness, and have a collective period of at least two years’ experience working in fitness instruction, where they have applied the skills and knowledge covered in this unit of competency; the two years’ experience can incorporate full and part time experience, or
  • be a registered or accredited practising health or exercise professional with a degree and experience relevant to this unit of competency.


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