Unit of competency details

SISFFIT420A - Plan and deliver exercise programs to support desired body composition outcomes (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISFFIT020 - Instruct exercise programs for body composition goalsNot Equivalent. Updated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015
Supersedes and is equivalent to SRFFIT013B - Provide information and exercise related to nutrition and body compositionE Updated and equivalent to SRFFIT013B Provide information and exercise related to nutrition and body composition 06/Jun/2011

Release Status:
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 
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

Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, knowledge and skills required to design exercise plans and programs to change body composition in clients. It requires the application of healthy eating standards and guidelines to provide accurate healthy eating information to clients and the ability to recognise and work within professional limitations.

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 who present with no major health conditions. The unit is applicable to those employed in fitness environments such as fitness venues and those working autonomously in the fitness industry.

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. Review pre-appraisal screening information

1.1. Access and review initial client pre -appraisal screening information  according to Legislation and regulatory requirements  and organisational policies and procedures .

1.2. Ascertain additional health information  about the client  as required prior to body composition appraisal .

1.3. Identify client's goals and targets for body composition.

1.4. Provide information to client on the relationship between healthy eating, exercise and health.

2. Conduct a body composition appraisal of client.

2.1. Measure the body composition of client using anthropometric standards .

2.2. Determine the client's daily energy requirements .

2.3. Refer client to the appropriate medical or allied health professional  based on any health, nutritional or dietary disorder, or medical or injury concerns.

2.4. Show sensitivity to cultural or social differences 

3. Design an exercise plan to improve body composition

3.1. Set realistic short and long term goals to meet client needs

3.2. Apply body -composition management  guidelines to develop an exercise plan relevant to the client's goals  and fitness levels.

3.3. Utilise the principles of balanced nutrition  to provide healthy eating advice for the client.

3.4. Set realistic guidelines and appropriate exercises to meet client goals

3.5. Outline healthy eating options and hydration requirements for the exercise plan to clients.

3.6. Apply current industry standard Occupational Health and Safety guidelines to the planning, according to organisational policies and procedures.

3.7. Discuss and confirm the exercise plan and healthy eating advice with the client and record according to organisational policies and procedures.

4. Implement and monitor exercise plans to address body composition outcomes

4.1. Instruct client in specific programs and exercises.

4.2. Apply principles of behaviour modification to encourage exercise, guidelines and healthy eating adherence.

4.3. Monitor and record progress.

4.4. Determine the appropriate exercise modifications or changes to healthy eating  advice in conjunction with relevant medical or allied health professionals

4.5. Communicate proposed change to the exercise plan or healthy eating advice and reason for any change to the client.

4.6. Reappraise client's body composition at agreed stages of the program

4.7. Review client short and long term goals and exercise plan.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • discuss and negotiate the fitness requirements of clients and provide healthy eating information
  • provide clear and accurate instruction and feedback to support body composition goals
  • problem-solving skills to analyse clients dietary and lifestyle patterns and design appropriate and achievable exercise programs
  • interpersonal skills to develop a rapport with clients to ensure information provided about healthy eating options and body composition is received effectively
  • numeracy skills to calculate daily energy requirements
  • literacy and numeracy skills to enable the completion of plans, records and other related documentation.

Required knowledge 

  • the relationship between healthy eating options and current Australian dietary guidelines for a balanced diet to enable the provision of accurate information to clients
  • structure and function of the digestive system and the effect of healthy eating on other major body systems
  • factors that influence fat-loss response to exercise to enable effective goal setting
  • appropriate methods and protocols for collecting general information about eating habits from clients
  • own role and limitations in providing healthy eating information and situations requiring advice from suitably qualified medical or allied health professionals
  • body composition measurement methods and the relationship between body composition, fat distribution and health to enable the development of realistic and achievable exercise plans and healthy eating advice aligned to client needs and targets
  • guidelines for developing exercise plans to change body composition.

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:

  • communicates effectively with clients to ascertain needs and goals and applies appropriate motivational techniques to support client success
  • provides current and accurate general healthy eating advice appropriate to the needs and goals of clients and recognises and refers situations outside own scope of practice
  • correctly measures body composition for clients using appropriate measures
  • designs, implements and reviews exercise plans appropriate to the body composition needs and goals of multiple clients
  • applies all organisational policies and procedures and legislative requirements.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • development of body composition and exercise programs to support healthy eating for multiple clients who present with differing needs.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • a facility where a variety of exercise modes and equipment are available, such as a weights gym, pool or exercise room
  • clients able to provide information regarding diet and lifestyle and pre-appraisal screening information
  • appropriate documentation and resources normally used in the workplace, such as organisational policies and procedures.

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 consulting with clients to determine body composition goals and to provide information on the relationship between healthy eating and health
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of healthy eating standards and guidelines
  • portfolio demonstrating evidence of accurate body composition appraisals
  • food diary and healthy eating checklist and analysis
  • 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:

  • SISFFIT302A Provide quality service in the fitness industry
  • 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.

Pre -appraisal screening information  may include:

  • training schedule
  • food likes and dislikes
  • financial constraints
  • responses to questionnaire
  • lifestyle evaluation
  • interview
  • informed consent
  • clearance or referral letter from a medical or allied health professional.

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

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • privacy
  • confidentiality
  • referrals and forms for appraisal
  • recording and storing client information.

Health information  may include:

  • nutritional supplements
  • religious restrictions
  • dietary choices
  • medical conditions
  • injuries
  • prescribed medication
  • medical and exercise history
  • functional limitations.

Client  may include:

  • experienced or inexperienced
  • adult
  • active or inactive
  • older client
  • no major dietary or nutritional concerns
  • pre-natal
  • post-natal
  • menopausal.

Body composition appraisal  may include:

  • weight
  • height
  • hip circumference
  • waist circumference
  • skin folds
  • bioelectrical impedance analysis
  • body mass indices.

Healthy eating  may include:

  • general healthy eating principles
  • national dietary guidelines and recommendations.

Anthropometric standards  may include:

  • somatotypes (body shapes)
  • skin fold indices
  • body mass indices
  • waist-hip ratios
  • healthy weight range charts.

Daily energy requirements  may include:

  • basal metabolic rate
  • activity effect on metabolic rate
  • muscle and lean body mass
  • thermogenesis

Cultural or social differences  may include:

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

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
  • diabetes educator
  • counsellor
  • podiatrist

Management of body composition  may include:

  • metabolism
  • balance between energy intake and energy expenditure
  • energy expenditure:
  • resting metabolic rate
  • thermogenesis
  • thermic effect of food
  • thermic effect of exercise
  • adaptive thermogenesis
  • energy intake
  • changes to body composition
  • fat loss
  • muscle gain.

Client's goals  may include:

  • fat loss
  • fitness
  • performance enhancement
  • muscle gain
  • improved health
  • improved self image.

Balanced nutrition  may include:

  • energy balance
  • recommended daily intake of nutrients
  • fuel for exercise
  • fuel for minimising post-exercise fatigue and maximising recovery
  • hydration levels
  • food groups
  • dietary guidelines
  • essential nutrients
  • food labelling and preparation.

Motivational techniques  may include:

  • building rapport
  • questioning techniques
  • feedback
  • goal setting
  • reinforcement.

Exercise modifications  may include:

  • frequency, duration, intensity and type of sessions
  • balance of cardio, stretching and resistance exercises.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field