Unit of competency details

SISFFIT309A - Plan and deliver group exercise sessions (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT007 - Instruct group exercise sessionsNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015
Supersedes SRFGEX001A - Plan and instruct a group exercise classN Based on SRFGEX001A and but not equivalent. SISFFIT309A incorporates outcomes of: SRFCTC001A Plan and instruct a circuit training class 06/Jun/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 07/Jun/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
CUA40313 - Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and ManagementCertificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management1-4 
CUA40213 - Certificate IV in Community CultureCertificate IV in Community Culture1-4 
CUA30313 - Certificate III in Assistant Dance TeachingCertificate III in Assistant Dance Teaching1-3 
CUA40211 - Certificate IV in Dance Teaching and ManagementCertificate IV in Dance Teaching and Management
SIS30310 - Certificate III in FitnessCertificate III in Fitness1-4 
CUA40311 - Certificate IV in Community CultureCertificate IV in Community Culture
CUA30311 - Certificate III in Assistant Dance TeachingCertificate III in Assistant Dance Teaching
CUA30211 - Certificate III in Community Dance, Theatre and EventsCertificate III in Community Dance, Theatre and Events
CUA30213 - Certificate III in Community Dance, Theatre and EventsCertificate III in Community Dance, Theatre and Events1-4 
SIS30313 - Certificate III in FitnessCertificate III in Fitness
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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  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge to plan and instruct group exercise session to music. It focuses on the planning, selection, sequencing and progression of exercises and appropriate music, and instructing and monitoring client to ensure safe conduct of activities.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to exercise instructors who provide a range of exercise programs to diverse populations.

This unit is applicable to those working in fitness venues, gyms or other exercise environments.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Plan and develop the group exercise session.

1.1. Determine the expected fitness outcomes and session type  for the client group.

1.2. Plan appropriate phases  of the session and a varied exercise repertoire  or choreography to meet the needs of the client group.

1.3. Provide for a beginner, intermediate or advanced level of workout appropriate to the needs and levels of the client group.

1.4. Select and sequence music  according to duration, concepts and phases and type of session.

1.5. Develop sequence of choreography to suit session type

1.6. Access music according to organisational policies and procedures  and legislation and regulatory requirements .

1.7. Incorporate motivational techniques  to maximise exercise program adherence.

2. Deliver the session.

2.1. Prepare exercise environment according to organisational policies and procedures.

2.2. Explain common types of injuries  that would prevent participation in the session and confirm that clients are not affected.

2.3. Deliver pre -session instructions  according to effective instructional principles .

2.4. Deliver the selection of exercises using appropriate instructional methodologies, sequencing and progression.

2.5. Monitor the performance of clients and adjust any technical errors  to ensure safety.

2.6. Monitor exercise intensity  and adjust as required.

2.7. Use motivational techniques  and arousal control techniques to positively influence the performance of clients during exercise sessions.

2.8. Recognise and respond to inappropriate client behaviour to effectively manage group cohesion.

2.9. Provide constructive and positive encouragement to clients, showing sensitivity to cultural and social differences .

2.10. Modify exercises to meet individual needs.

3. Develop a circuit training session plan.

3.1. Identify the aims  of the circuit training session.

3.2. Define expected outcomes of the circuit training session.

3.3. Identify a broad and varied exercise repertoire .

3.4. Plan and document a circuit training session plan  using the principles of exercise planning  according to industry guidelines .

3.5. Design clear and structured forms or cards for use in a circuit training session.

4. Deliver a circuit training session.

4.1. Confirm appropriate exercise area  according to legislation and regulatory requirements and organisational policies and procedures.

4.2. Check circuit equipment  is in good working order prior to commencement of session.

4.3. Use energy, water and other resources effectively when preparing and maintaining equipment and activity areas to reduce negative environmental impact.

4.4. Communicate session objectives and the principles and benefits  of circuit training to clients.

4.5. Explain common types of injuries that would prevent participation in the session and confirm that clients are not affected.

4.6. Instruct session according to circuit training plan and legislation and regulatory requirements and organisational policies and procedures.

4.7. Demonstrate and instruct correct use of equipment during circuit training session, according to organisational policies and procedures and manufacturer instructions.

4.8. Demonstrate exercises within the circuit training session using appropriate instructional principles .

4.9. Monitor client intensity, technique and safety during the session and suggest modifications where required.

4.10. Recognise signs and symptoms of overtraining and potentially harmful practices  and implement appropriate intervention strategies  according to organisational policies and procedures.

5. Evaluate the session.

5.1. Seek and acknowledge feedback  from clients.

5.2. Evaluate client response  and feedback.

5.3. Evaluate own performance  according to planned outcomes and organisational policies and procedures.

5.4. Identify potential improvements to enhance future sessions.

5.5. Modify the session plan where relevant to meet client needs.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • ability to move in a controlled and efficient manner while instructing or participating in a variety of exercise-to-music sessions
  • communication skills, including safe and effective cueing to:
  • provide clear and accurate instructions
  • encourage clients
  • effectively manage group cohesion
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • identify improvements to energy, water and other resources for environmental sustainability
  • select and sequence exercises and music to meet client needs
  • identify client problems during the session
  • address client issues through appropriate intervention
  • self-management to review and reflect on own work performance in effectively planning and instructing a session according to client expectations
  • conflict resolution skills to identify and respond to inappropriate behaviour to enable effective management of group cohesion
  • planning and organisational skills to:
  • plan a circuit session
  • plan a group exercise session
  • prepare the exercise area and equipment
  • select appropriate instructional techniques
  • make modifications to the session
  • language and literacy skills to produce and document a circuit training session plan for the session
  • technology skills to operate music equipment
  • ability to maintain timing to beat of music when appropriate
  • numeracy skills to manage the time of clients and facility schedules
  • ability to apply injury prevention strategies and resources for group exercise sessions.

Required knowledge 

  • signs and symptoms of harmful practices and overtraining
  • organisational policies and procedures and relevant legislation to enable the safe and effective conduct of group exercise sessions
  • music beat, tempo and phrasing to select appropriate music for exercise sessions
  • the physical, psychological and social reasons for participating in group exercise to enable the application of effective motivational techniques
  • injury prevention strategies related to group exercise
  • principles of exercise planning and repertoires to enable the selection and sequencing of exercises appropriate for beginner, intermediate and advanced clients
  • principles of instruction to enable instruction of an effective session
  • potentially harmful practices and the reasons why they are avoided to enable safe client participation in the circuit or group exercise session
  • instructional and motivational techniques suitable for group exercise and circuit training sessions to support client adherence to exercise
  • physiological, psychological and biomechanical changes that occur with circuit training to enable informed planning
  • Group exercise session types and their suitability for meeting client needs
  • Group management techniques to assist individuals within the group to achieve desired outcomes
  • Common injuries which may preclude participation
  • Environmental and resource efficiency practices related to the use of activity areas and group exercise equipment.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • plan, instructs and monitors client performance, and responds appropriately to client behaviour to maintain an effective exercise environment
  • applies appropriate techniques to motivate group
  • selects and uses music effectively within group exercise sessions
  • safe and effective cueing
  • plans circuit sessions with interrelated components, monitors the progress of the session.
  • applies effective contingency management techniques to deal with a range of problems and issues that may arise during the session, such as equipment failure or client overtraining, and makes adjustments in response to changing situations
  • instructs sessions that meet client expectations, comply with legislative and organisational requirements, and are of sufficient duration to allow the candidate to demonstrate techniques to instruct and review circuit sessions
  • evaluates client and own performance and identifies improvements for future sessions
  • uses appropriate delivery technique to enhance client learning and performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure planning and instruction of a variety of exercise session, including circuit and group exercise for different client groups which are of sufficient duration to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • a facility where an exercise area with access to audio equipment is available
  • appropriate documentation and resources used in the workplace
  • documentation such as circuit training session plans and manufacturer specifications for equipment use
  • a range of client groups with a range of exercise needs and expectations.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of instruction of exercise sessions to music
  • oral or written questioning on knowledge of the principles of instruction
  • third-party reports from supervisors detailing work performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SISFFIT311A Deliver approved community fitness programs

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Session type  may include:

  • beginners
  • step
  • low and high impact
  • new body or sculpt
  • circuit
  • pre-choreographed
  • routine format
  • muscle conditioning
  • flexibility
  • relaxation
  • free weights.

Phases  may include:

  • planning
  • warm up
  • conditioning
  • recovery
  • adaptation.

Exercise repertoire  may include:

  • contraindications and modifications
  • variations to provide differing intensities
  • potential for combinations.

Music  may include:

  • beats per minute
  • rhythm
  • tempo
  • motivational value
  • phrasing
  • quality
  • volume.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • pre-session screening
  • overcrowding
  • ventilation
  • hygiene
  • client to instructor ration
  • climate control
  • emergency
  • risk management
  • standards of personal presentation
  • clients' clothing and footwear
  • use care and maintenance of equipment.

Legislation and regulatory requirements  may include:

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • duty of care
  • privacy
  • anti-discrimination
  • copyright
  • licensing
  • child protection
  • trade practices
  • consumer protection
  • environmental
  • business registration and licences.

Aims  may include:

  • competition or performance targets
  • self improvement
  • fitness targets
  • lifestyle adjustments.

Exercise repertoire  may include:

  • cardio
  • strength and conditioning
  • flexibility.

Circuit training session plan  may include:

  • phases of:
  • preparation
  • conditioning
  • recovery
  • adaptation
  • rest intervals
  • required equipment
  • floor plan for equipment arrangement.

Principles of exercise planning  may include:

  • frequency
  • intensity
  • duration
  • movement
  • environment
  • program type.

Industry guidelines  may include:

  • peak-body guidelines
  • national standards for the use of electrical equipment
  • number of machines on a single circuit.

Exercise area  may include:

  • indoor
  • outdoor.

Cultural and social differences  may include:

  • modes of greeting, farewelling and conversation
  • body language, including use of body gestures
  • formality of language
  • clothing.

Motivational techniques  may include:

  • arousal control techniques and theories
  • zone of optimal function.

Pre -session instructions  must include:

  • verbal pre-screen
  • personal introduction
  • outline of session level
  • pain or discomfort
  • rests
  • correct exercise techniques and breathing.

Instructional principles  may include:

  • establishing rapport
  • teaching positioning
  • session organisation and formation
  • visual and verbal cueing with variety
  • visual previewing
  • verbal communication
  • body language
  • mirror imaging
  • demonstration
  • pre-cueing
  • rehearsal
  • combinations
  • movement breakdown techniques
  • use of learning curves
  • monitoring and encouraging session response.

Technical errors  may include:

  • hyperextension
  • limb position
  • ballistic movements.

Exercise intensity  may include:

  • heart-rate response
  • perceived rate of exertion
  • form and fatigue
  • motivation and enthusiasm suitable to the session format.

Feedback  may include:

  • structured
  • unstructured
  • verbal
  • non-verbal.

Client response  may include:

  • education
  • motivation
  • exercise technique
  • satisfaction.

Own performance  may include:

  • instructional and choreographic techniques
  • session format
  • appropriate intensity
  • managing client behaviour
  • responding to feedback
  • managing time allocation.

Benefits  may include:

  • physiological
  • psychological
  • social.

Common types of injuries  may include:

  • muscle or soft tissue injury
  • back injury
  • heart condition.

Potentially harmful practices  may include:

  • hyperextension
  • exercising while sick or in extremes of temperature
  • multiple repetitions
  • ballistic movements
  • spinal hyperextension
  • loaded knee hyperflexion
  • on-the-spot pounding
  • straight leg sit-ups
  • lever length.

Intervention strategies  may include:

  • stopping or modifying the exercise
  • modifying equipment or its use.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field