Unit of competency details

SISFFIT421A - Plan and deliver personal training (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to SISFFIT021 - Instruct personal training programsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 02/Sep/2015
Supersedes SRFPTI001B - Plan and deliver personal trainingN Based on SRFPTI001B but not equivalent. SISSFIT421A incorporates outcomes of: SRFFIT006B Use and maintain core fitness industry equipment SRFFIT007B Undertake relevant exercise planning and programming SRFFIT012B Utilise an understanding of motivational psychology with fitness clients 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 be able to plan, deliver monitor and adjust personal training programs for a range of clients including older clients, in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to exercise trainers who provide a range of exercise programs to diverse populations and is applicable to those employed in fitness environments such as fitness venues or 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. Plan personal training program for clients.

1.1. Identify the fitness preferences , needs and expectations  of the client .

1.2. Apply pre -screening and assessment procedures  to identify client fitness levels according to organisational policies and procedures  and Legislation and regulatory requirements .

1.3. Clarify the fitness goals of the client.

1.4. Determine the client's preferred learning style .

2. Prepare personal training exercise plans.

2.1. Develop a personal training exercise plan to meet client's specific needs.

2.2. Select appropriate instructional techniques  and strategies to match client's learning style preferences.

2.3. Identify appropriate fitness equipment  within the exercise plan.

2.4. Identify appropriate session assessment techniques.

2.5. Evaluate the exercise environment  to ensure client safety according to organisational policies and procedures and Legislation and regulatory requirements.

2.6. Obtain permission for use of public spaces if required.

2.7. Minimise the negative environmental impacts by effectively using energy, water and other resources when planning, preparing and using the exercise environment

3. Demonstrate exercise activities and use of equipment.

3.1. Determine client's prior knowledge and skill in the activity.

3.2. Demonstrate the correct and safe performance of exercises to the client using appropriate anatomical terminology  as required.

3.3. Relate the location and function of the major bones  and major joints  to movement when instructing the client.

3.4. Relate major muscles  and their prime moving movements at major joints in the body to movement when instructing clients.

3.5. Demonstrate safe and appropriate use of fitness equipment according to organisational policies and procedures and Legislation and regulatory requirements.

4. Implement the personal training exercise plan.

4.1. Record the short and long-term responses of the client in relation to motivation to exercise.

4.2. Use motivational techniques  for individual training to increase performance and adherence to exercise.

4.3. Supervise regular client exercise sessions according to the exercise plan and workplace policies and procedures.

4.4. Recognise and use symptoms and effects of specific muscular fatigue and blood lactate accumulation during muscle endurance activities to adjust exercise intensity.

4.5. Apply the limiting factors of the body's energy systems to the setting of exercise intensities as required.

4.6. Maintain records on the personal training plan according to organisational policies and procedures and Legislation and regulatory requirements.

4.7. Recommend and implement steps that improve exercise adherence for a client.

5. Review and modify fitness goals.

5.1. Prepare and implement a goal setting review  session for the client.

5.2. Perform a follow up fitness assessment on the client.

5.3. Recommend clients who develop health, medical or injury conditions seek assistance from a medical or allied health professional  according to organisational policies and procedures.

5.4. Modify exercise plans for the client and prepare and deliver new exercise programs .

6. Plan and arrangement of equipment within a fitness facility

6.1. Develop floor plan for the arrangement of equipment within a fitness facility, taking into account the type of programs delivered in the facility, occupational health and safety requirements and manufactures specifications

6.2. Comply with manufacture's, legislated and Australian Standards for the use of electrical equipment

7. Evaluate and select equipment for a fitness facility

7.1. Outline the procedures to select and purchase new fitness equipment for a recreational facility

7.2. Select fitness equipment to meet facility and program needs

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • consult, advise and monitor client performance
  • provide clear instruction and constructive feedback and motivation
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • plan personal training programs according to the specific needs of clients
  • identify changes in the client's condition and make appropriate adjustments
  • adapt communication style to suit client
  • identify resource use to minimise the environmental impact
  • technical expertise in the fitness activities being provided to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the activity for the client
  • numeracy skills to manage the time of clients and facility schedules
  • decision making to determine appropriate interactions with clients according to industry standards
  • literacy skills to record and update client information and session plans.

Required knowledge 

  • the structure of the major body systems, bones, joints muscles and their function to enable the selection, instruction and adjustment of appropriate exercises to meet the needs of clients
  • anatomical terminology to enable accurate information to be provided to clients
  • motivational techniques to provide feedback and encouragement to clients to maximise exercise adherence
  • the safe and effective use of fitness activity equipment to enable incorporation of equipment use within the program
  • postural appraisal and functional movement and the implications for program design
  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable the safe delivery of exercise programs
  • environmental and resource efficiency practices related to the exercise environment.

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:

  • plans, demonstrates, instructs and adjusts exercises incorporating teaching and learning styles appropriate to needs of different clients
  • uses appropriate techniques to build rapport with and motivate clients with different needs
  • performs effective assessment reviews of a range of exercise plans and makes any required adjustments.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure planning and delivery of multiple personal training sessions for a range of clients with different needs to allow the candidate to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • a facility where a variety of exercise modes and equipment are available, such as a weights gym, pool, exercise room and an outdoor environment such as a running track
  • appropriate documentation and resources normally used in the workplace
  • a range of clients able to give information regarding progress in their individual exercise programs.

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 personal training sessions
  • portfolio of written exercise programs developed, monitored and adjusted for specific clients
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of body systems, bones, joints and muscles and their relationship to effective exercise
  • 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:

  • SISFFIT302A Provide quality service in the fitness industry.

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.

Preferences , needs and expectations  may include:

  • cultural considerations
  • fitness goals
  • perceived benefits
  • cost
  • time availability.

Client  may include:

  • experienced or inexperienced
  • older clients:
  • deconditioned males over 45
  • deconditioned females over 50
  • older adolescents:
  • 16 years and over
  • screened
  • active or inactive
  • pre-natal
  • post-natal
  • menopausal.

Pre -screening and assessment procedures  may include:

  • pre-screen and pre-exercise questionnaires
  • question and answer sessions
  • postural appraisal
  • written surveys.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • client supervision
  • communication protocols
  • privacy
  • records management and security
  • 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.

Learning styles  may include:

  • activist
  • pragmatists
  • theorists
  • reflectors
  • visual learners
  • auditory learners
  • kinaesthetic learners.

Instructional techniques  may include:

  • establishing rapport
  • instructional position
  • communication
  • demonstration and motivational strategies
  • positive feedback.

Fitness equipment  may include:

  • exercise balls
  • bars
  • steps
  • bands
  • abdominal assisters
  • plyometric training systems
  • pin loaded, cardiovascular, free weight, hydraulic, electronic and air-braked equipment
  • pool-based.

Anatomical terminology  may include:

  • flexion
  • extension
  • rotation
  • abduction
  • adduction
  • circumduction
  • inversion
  • eversion
  • pronation
  • supination
  • horizontal flexion and extension

Major bones  may include:

  • skull
  • cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae
  • sacrum
  • clavicle
  • scapula
  • humerus
  • radius
  • ulna
  • carpals
  • digits
  • pelvis
  • femur
  • patella
  • tibia
  • fibula
  • tarsals.

Major joints  may include:

  • elbow
  • shoulder
  • pectoral girdle
  • inter-vertebral
  • sacro-iliac
  • hip
  • knee
  • ankle.

Major muscles  may include:

  • trapezius
  • sternocleidomastoid
  • latissimus dorsi
  • erector spinae
  • rectus abdominis
  • internal and external obliques
  • quadratus lumborum
  • pectoralis major
  • rhomboids
  • deltoids
  • biceps and triceps brachii
  • forearm flexors
  • forearm extensors
  • gluteals
  • quadriceps
  • hamstrings
  • gastrocnemius
  • soleus
  • tibialis anterior.

Exercise environment  may include:

  • indoors
  • outdoors
  • aquatic.

Motivational techniques  may include:

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

Medical or allied health professional  may include

  • exercise physiologist
  • physiotherapist
  • occupational therapist
  • accredited practising dietician
  • osteopath
  • chiropractor
  • sports physician
  • medical practitioner
  • podiatrist.

Programs  may include:

  • gym
  • floor
  • pool
  • outdoor
  • water based
  • aerobic
  • interval
  • circuit
  • gym
  • fartlek
  • anaerobic threshold
  • strength
  • speed
  • power.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field