Unit of competency details

SISFFIT314A - Plan and deliver exercise to older clients with managed conditions (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT014 - Instruct exercise to older clientsNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015
Supersedes and is equivalent to SRFOLD001B - Plan and deliver exercise for older adultsE Updated and equivalent to SRFOLD001B Plan and deliver exercise for older adults 06/Jun/2011

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


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 required to plan and deliver exercise for clients aged 50 and over. It involves planning, demonstration, instruction, review and modification of activities and instructional techniques to meet client needs.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to exercise instructors and community fitness leaders who work in facilities that provide a range of exercise programs to older clients who present with managed medical conditions. The unit is applicable to those employed in fitness environments such as fitness venues, community facilities and those working autonomously in the fitness and health industries.

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 the exercise.

1.1. Apply appropriate pre -exercise screening  procedures for older clients  prior to participation in an exercise program  according to organisational policies and procedures  and legislation and regulatory requirements .

1.2. Identify the characteristics of the older clients and their needs and expectations .

1.3. Consult with family members where appropriate to clarify any risk factors identified in pre-exercise assessment in order to recognise the sign and symptoms of major types of injuries or conditions  that are commonly associated with older clients.

1.4. Obtain client's permission to seek advice from a medical or allied health professional  to clarify health, medical or injury concerns according to organisational policies and procedures.

1.5. Provide advice on alternative options for clients who are unsuitable for the planned exercise according to organisational policies and procedures, selecting options according to the clients needs.

1.6. Select exercises from an appropriate exercise repertoire  that match the client's needs, abilities and goals.

1.7. Select and modify appropriate equipment  according to needs of clients and organisational policies and procedures.

1.8. Determine the instructional techniques  appropriate to the clients and select and apply appropriate baseline assessments  that inform the benefits of exercise.

2. Instruct the exercise session.

2.1. Inform older clients about the physical changes  that occur with the ageing process  and communicate benefits of exercise for older clients to clients.

2.2. Show sensitivity to cultural and social differences 

2.3. Communicate the general features of balanced nutrition  and provide healthy eating information to improve overall health and support exercise goals.

2.4. Explain and demonstrate the exercises to clients and provide opportunities for questioning and clarification.

2.5. Modify exercises to ensure they are safe and effective for older clients.

2.6. Demonstrate and instruct correct use of equipment according to organisational policies and procedures and manufacturer's instructions.

2.7. Monitor exercise intensity, technique and safety of clients during session and modify as required according to client responses.

2.8. Apply appropriate motivational techniques  to encourage clients and make any required modifications to activities.

3. Evaluate the exercise session.

3.1. Evaluate the exercise session according to client and or caregiver feedback and personal reflection.

3.2. Provide feedback to the client group on their progress and any changes recommended.

3.3. Identify modifications  to the exercise plan  where relevant to meet needs identified through evaluation.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to provide clear instruction and constructive feedback to older clients, family members, medical and allied health professionals regarding the pre-exercise screening and alternative options
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • identify exercises targeted at specific fitness components or medical conditions and make modifications where required
  • select functional exercises that are appropriate for the clients, taking into account their abilities and interests
  • recognise conditions outside own scope of practice and make appropriate recommendations or referrals
  • planning and organising skills to plan and instruct the exercise session including accessing required equipment and making appropriate modifications to equipment and exercise selection
  • interpersonal skills to interact effectively with older clients
  • numeracy skills to manage the time of sessions and facility schedules
  • application of injury prevention strategies for older clients.

Required knowledge 

  • recommended healthy eating guidelines for older clients to enable the provision of accurate information to clients
  • the limitations of a fitness instructor in providing healthy eating information
  • the medical and allied health sector to enable appropriate recommendations and referrals be made to clients or family members
  • principles of biomechanics and exercise science to enable the selection of exercises appropriate to client conditions and needs
  • physiological, social and emotional processes of ageing to enable effective planning of programs
  • principles of exercise program design to cater for a variety of managed medical conditions
  • legislation and regulatory requirements and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe and appropriate conduct of exercise for older clients
  • general characteristics of the main older client, social and cultural groups in Australian society and the key aspects that relate to their cultural and religious protocols and preferences for exercise.

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:

  • screens older clients prior to commencement of exercise sessions and communicates results to family members where appropriate and recommends referral to appropriate medical or allied health professionals where necessary
  • develops a variety of sessions for a range of older clients that are fun, interactive and safe
  • provides accurate and current healthy eating information in accordance with recommended guidelines
  • modifies individual exercises to accommodate the specific needs of the client
  • evaluates exercise sessions and modifies exercise plans according to feedback received from clients and own evaluation.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure instruction of multiple exercise sessions that are of sufficient duration and breadth to allow the demonstration of competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • a facility or venue where a variety of exercise modes and equipment are available, such as a weights gym, exercise room and open air
  • relevant resources, for example, healthy eating information
  • appropriate documentation normally used in the workplace such as pre-exercise and assessment questionnaires
  • a range of client groups composed of older clients with a variety of managed conditions.

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:

  • observation of instructing and monitoring exercise sessions for older clients
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of the ageing process and how this relates to effective exercise planning
  • a portfolio of plans for exercise programs for older clients with different managed conditions
  • third-party reports from a supervisor detailing work performance.

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

  • SISFFIT309A Plan and deliver group exercise sessions.

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.

Pre -exercise screening  must include:

  • medical history
  • functional limitations
  • medication
  • lifestyle evaluation
  • fitness and health goals
  • exercise history
  • injury history
  • questionnaire
  • interview.

Exercise programs  may include:

  • cardiovascular
  • strength training
  • flexibility
  • agility
  • balance
  • fundamental movement skills.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • confidentiality of client information
  • client screening procedures
  • client referral procedures
  • ethical considerations in assessing older clients
  • use and maintenance of equipment.

Legislation and regulatory requirements  may include:

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

Older clients  may include:

  • adults aged 50 years and over who are:
  • healthy and active
  • have managed conditions
  • menopausal.

Needs and expectations  may include:

  • recreational
  • social
  • improved fitness levels, strength and functional movement skills.

Major types of injuries or conditions  may include

  • sprains
  • musculoskeletal
  • arthritis
  • joint instability
  • restricted range of movement
  • osteoporosis
  • cardiovascular
  • hypotension
  • hypertension
  • neurological
  • Parkinson's disease
  • other medical
  • diabetes
  • metabolic conditions
  • thyroid disorders
  • cancers
  • obesity
  • under-nutrition
  • continence issues
  • psychological
  • depression
  • dementia or early stage
  • respiratory
  • asthma
  • emphysema.

Medical or allied health professional  may include:

  • sports physician
  • sports doctor
  • general practitioner
  • physiotherapist
  • accredited exercise physiologist
  • occupational therapist
  • remedial massage therapist
  • chiropractor
  • osteopath
  • accredited practising dietician
  • psychologist
  • aboriginal health worker.

Exercise repertoire  may include:

  • contraindications and modifications
  • variations to provide differing intensities
  • level of client skill required
  • potential for combinations
  • exercise selection.

Ageing process  may include:

  • physiological
  • biomechanical
  • psychological
  • behavioural change and social needs
  • lifestyle and cultural
  • general population characteristics.

Injury risks  may include:

  • inadequate skill and physical preparation
  • overtraining
  • biomechanics and exercise technique
  • physical and mental preparation
  • poor core&postural awareness
  • fatigue and recovery.

Equipment  may include:

  • treadmill
  • cycle and ergometers
  • rowing machine
  • steppers
  • dumbbells and strength training equipment
  • chairs
  • resistance bands
  • small, interactive and circuit-based equipment
  • gym based equipment.

Cultural and social differences  may include:

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

Instructional techniques  may include:

  • transitions between exercises or games
  • session structure variations
  • communication skills
  • verbal and visual instructions relevant to client conditions
  • technique correction.

Baseline assessment  may include:

  • cardiovascular
  • strength
  • agility
  • flexibility
  • balance
  • functional motor skills

Balanced nutrition  may include:

  • energy balance
  • dietary guidelines
  • fuel for exercise
  • fuel for minimising post-exercise fatigue and maximising recovery
  • hydration levels
  • specialised dietary interventions requiring referrals.

Motivational techniques  may include:

  • goal setting
  • positive feedback.

Modifications  may include:

  • accommodating the physical changes and health conditions associated with ageing
  • accommodating the social and psychological changes that occur with ageing.

Exercise plan  may include:

  • identification of client needs and goals
  • an outline of the session components
  • order and sequence of exercises and flow of session
  • duration, intensity, volume, frequency
  • equipment
  • progression within an exercise program
  • appropriate music selection.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field