Unit of competency details

SISFFIT418A - Undertake appraisals of functional movement (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT018 - Promote functional movement capacityNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015
Supersedes SRFFIT009B - Undertake postural appraisal of low risk clientsN Based on SRFFIT009B but not equivalent. 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 undertake general postural appraisals to evaluate a client's posture, functional range of movement and muscle strength and weakness in preparation for the development of an appropriate exercise program.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to exercise trainers who work in facilities that provide a range of exercise programs to general populations including older clients and older adolescents who present with no major health conditions. The unit is applicable to those who are employed in fitness venues or who work autonomously in the fitness industry.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, 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. Prepare clients for postural appraisal.

1.1. Undertake exercise screening  of clients using recognised screening tool according to organisational policies and procedures .

1.2. Explain the aims of postural appraisal  and the procedure for the appraisal to clients.

1.3. Discuss the importance of identifying postural variances  and explain the relationship between posture and injury prevention to clients.

1.4. Inform clients of the legal and ethical limitations of the role of a exercise trainer according to legislation and regulatory requirements .

1.5. Select relevant postural screening tool and screening tests appropriate to the client.

1.6. Organise and prepare appraisal equipment  as required.

2. Assess client's range of movement.

2.1. Conduct movement tests to evaluate the client's joint mobility  according to industry standards.

2.2. Administer tests using appropriate equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

2.3. Identify restrictions in range of movement  and recommend client seeks external assistance if abnormal range of movement is observed.

2.4. Record assessment results using a standardised method and explain results to the client.

3. Analyse client's static posture.

3.1. Conduct a static postural appraisal  of the client using an appropriate posture analysis tool according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.2. Compare the client's posture to the ideal postural alignment  in order to identify common postural variances.

3.3. Analyse the symmetrical development of muscles  to identify any muscular deficits .

3.4. Identify and record joints, muscles and connective tissues that may require strengthening and or stretching.

3.5. Record assessment results and explain the results to clients according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.6. Recommend clients with postural variances or concerns seek external assistance according to organisational policies and procedures.

4. Observe client's dynamic posture.

4.1. Observe the client's dynamic posture while performing simple fitness exercises  according to legislation and regulatory requirements and organisational policies and procedures.

4.2. Analyse client movements to determine joint movement, muscle action and the role of muscle contraction.

4.3. Correct poor technique likely to cause postural variances and explain the potential for injury to clients.

4.4. Record information and provide feedback to clients according to organisational policies and procedures.

4.5. Recommend clients with dynamic postural variances or concerns seek external assistance according to organisational policies and procedures.

5. Provide information to clients relating to posture.

5.1. Provide information about the common causes of poor posture  to clients.

5.2. Provide strategies to address poor posture and reduce the likelihood of injury.

5.3. Discuss the role of appropriate exercise technique, when correcting inappropriate posture.

5.4. Advise clients of exercises or activities that are contraindicated or may further exacerbate any postural variance.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • interact with clients to convey information about aims and procedures of postural appraisals and outcomes of assessments
  • to respond to client queries
  • provide follow-up advice to address poor posture
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • select appropriate postural appraisal tools appropriate to the client's needs
  • evaluate the client's posture and make appropriate recommendations
  • literacy skills to record assessment results and analyse assessment information
  • self-management skills to recognise and respond appropriately to areas outside own scope of practice.

Required knowledge 

  • musculoskeletal system to conduct postural appraisals to inform the development of safe and effective exercise programs and provide information to clients including:
  • structure of joints
  • range of motion
  • function of muscles and muscle groups
  • joint integrity and risk of injury
  • types and functions of muscles
  • muscle actions
  • muscle fibre types
  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable:
  • appropriate collection, use and storage of client information
  • application of legal and ethical limitations of own role
  • purpose and process of postural appraisals to enable accurate information to be communicated to clients and accurate responses to be made to client queries
  • fitness industry standards and practices for the conduct of appraisals of clients in a safe and ethical manner
  • tools and methods to conduct postural appraisals that enable accurate information to be collected and analysed
  • ideal postural alignment to enable identification of postural variances for follow-up action.

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:

  • treats client information with sensitivity and discretion, displays client empathy, puts clients at ease during the appraisal process and communicates information and results appropriately
  • carries out postural appraisals according to legal and ethical limitations and refers to appropriate personnel regarding areas outside level of responsibility
  • utilises a range of postural assessment tools and activities and makes informed recommendations to the client for appropriate exercise programs or recommends external assistance
  • applies effective contingency management techniques to deal with a range of problems and issues that may arise during the appraisal process such as providing strategies to address poor posture and referring clients with abnormal appraisal outcomes to medical or allied health professionals.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure conduct of multiple postural appraisals for a range of clients including older clients.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a fitness facility with appropriate postural analysis equipment to conduct the appraisals
  • multiple clients with a range of real or simulated fitness needs and postural conditions
  • documentation such as health screening questionnaires and appraisal tools, relevant appraisal forms to record information and organisational policies and procedures relating to client appraisal.

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 interaction with clients to conduct a postural fitness appraisal
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of the role of the musculoskeletal system in assessing postural exercise requirements
  • portfolio demonstrating evidence of postural appraisals completed
  • 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:

  • SISFFIT421A Plan and deliver personal training

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.

Exercise screening  may include:

  • questionnaire
  • interview
  • visual observation.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • privacy
  • confidentiality
  • legal and ethical limitations of role
  • fitness industry standards
  • test protocols
  • use, care and maintenance of equipment
  • forms for appraisal
  • recording appraisal information

External assistance  may include:

  • exercise physiologist
  • physiotherapist
  • occupational therapist
  • accredited practising dietician
  • osteopath
  • chiropractor
  • diabetes educator
  • podiatrist
  • massage therapist
  • sports physician
  • medical practitioner
  • continence nurse advisor.

Postural appraisal  may include:

  • static or dynamic
  • views
  • positions
  • supine posture.

Aims of postural appraisal  include:

  • identify abnormality
  • determine degree and origin of deviation
  • determine effect on proposed or current exercise plan and goals
  • identify contraindications and postural risk factors associated with exercise
  • prevent injury.

Postural variances  may include:

  • structural
  • functional
  • kyphosis
  • rounded shoulders
  • winging of scapula
  • scoliosis
  • increased or decreased lordosis
  • excessive posterior or anterior pelvic tilt
  • genu varum or genu valgum
  • increased pronation of foot or ankle complex
  • increased supination of foot or ankle complex
  • hyperextension of knees
  • lateral tilt of pelvis or head
  • forward head posture
  • rotated patella

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

Appraisal equipment  may include:

  • flexometer
  • goniometer
  • plumb line
  • grid
  • plurimeter.

Joints  may include:

  • intervertebral segments
  • glenohumeral
  • elbow
  • lumbo-sacral
  • hip
  • patello-femoral
  • knee
  • ankle.

Joint mobility  may include:

  • flexion
  • extension
  • dorsiflexion
  • plantar flexion
  • horizontal flexion and extension
  • abduction
  • adduction
  • circumduction
  • rotation
  • supination
  • pronation
  • inversion
  • eversion
  • protraction
  • retraction
  • elevation
  • depression.

Range of movement  may include:

  • functional range
  • active and passive range
  • joint and muscle specific
  • joint and muscle specific tests.

Static postural appraisal  may include:

  • anterior
  • posterior
  • lateral.

Ideal postural alignment  may include:

  • normal spinal curves
  • straight line running through:
  • ear lobe
  • anterior shoulder joint
  • vertebral bodies of L 1 - 5
  • posterior hip joint
  • anterior knee joint
  • anterior ankle joint
  • transverses abdominus
  • pelvic floor muscles.

Muscles  may include:

  • erector spinae
  • rectus abdominis
  • internal and external obliques
  • multifidus
  • latissimus dorsi
  • quadratus lumborum
  • iliopsoas
  • rhomboid major and minor
  • pectoralis major
  • serratus anterior
  • levator scapulae
  • teres major and minor
  • supraspinatus
  • infraspinatus
  • gluteus maximus, medius and minimus
  • iliotibial tract
  • tensor fascia latae
  • piriformis
  • rectus femoris
  • vastus lateralis, medialis and intermedius
  • sartorius
  • biceps femoris
  • semitendinosus
  • semimembranosus
  • gastrocnemius
  • soleus
  • tibialis anterior
  • adductor magnus and longus
  • gracilis
  • sartorius.

Muscular deficits  may include:

  • diminished muscle strength and or endurance
  • limited flexibility
  • diminished muscle endurance.

Fitness exercises  may include:

  • muscle strength
  • muscle endurance
  • symmetrical development and range
  • co-ordination of movement.

Role of muscle contraction  may include:

  • agonist
  • antagonist
  • fixator
  • assistor.

Causes of poor posture  may include:

  • congenital abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system
  • poor muscle strength
  • poor muscle endurance
  • muscle imbalance
  • lack of mobility
  • damage to bony structures
  • damage to connective tissue including ligaments, cartilage
  • changes to line of gravity caused by pregnancy, inappropriate footwear, behaviours, work practices, sport or leisure activities.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field