Regulation, Ethics and Standards
In Australia, the exercise physiology profession is self- regulated with governance from the Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) National Board and regulation from the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions.
The ESSA has developed a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice and also adopts the National Code of Conduct for Health Workers. Exercise physiologists (including students) are bound by these standards and ethical codes.
Education and Training
ESSA oversees the accreditation of degrees in both Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology. The Practicum Guides can assist Exercise Physiologists considering student placements in understanding the minimum requirements in terms of hours, tasks and supervision for placements in both Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology.
Clinical Practicum Requirements
A student wishing to apply to become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) must complete a minimum 360 hours of practicum in the following areas:
- At least 200 hours spread across the areas of cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and metabolic domains to allow students to demonstrate capability as an entry level practitioner in these areas
- At least 100 hours in any of the other AEP pathology domains as specified in the AEP Professional Standards
- 60 hours in any of the AEP pathology domains or in any other activities relevant to the AEP Professional Standards
(For more information refer to page 11 of the Exercise & Sports Science Australia 2019 Practicum Guide available here)
Supervising an Exercise Physiology Clinical Placement
- Practicum supervisors must be suitably qualified to supervise students working with apparently healthy and clinical clientele.
- At least 200 hours of practicum must be supervised by an AEP.
- The remaining 160 hours may be supervised by an AEP or a qualified and experienced professional who holds a qualification (recognised or endorsed by a regulating authority such as a national association or AHPRA) for the activity/client condition they are supervising,
- Oversight of client safety, assessment and competency must be provided by an AEP for any activities that have not had direct AEP supervision.
- (For more information refer to page 12 of the Exercise & Sports Science Australia 2019 Practicum Guide available here)
- Also refer to the Preparing for and Managing Clinical Placements and Core Clinical Education Skills sections of this website.
- The ESSA also provides a variety of forms, records and templates that can be used by both students, clinical educators and supervisors during clinical placements.
- Currently, there is not a common evaluation of placement document/tool by which all Exercise Physiology students are to be evaluated. As such, each university will provide the clinical supervisor and site with their preferred document/tool. The current Griffith University Placement Assessment document is included as an example of a clinical placement evaluation document. Also refer to the Assessment of Students section of this website.