For Universities

Building courses of excellence in exercise and sports science.

The National University Course Accreditation Program (NUCAP) provides universities with a framework to build courses of excellence in exercise and sports science, while aligning graduates with industry knowledge and requirements.


NUCAP Committee


The National University Course Accreditation Program (NUCAP) is comprised of two interdependent groups, the NUCAP executive group and the NUCAP committee.

NUCAP executive group

The role of the executive group is to ensure that NUCAP operates effectively, efficiently, consistently, fairly and equitably.  The group is responsible for the work that underpins the day to day operations of NUCAP (for example, overseeing the review of applications, writing policy, budgeting and recruiting committee members) and for adequately informing the ESSA Board of relevant issues pertaining to NUCAP.  The executive group includes the NUCAP chair and manager, one academic and one practitioner NUCAP committee member, the ESSA executive officer and the ESSA director of accreditation.

NUCAP executive group members

NUCAP committee

The NUCAP committee is responsible for the review of applications for full course accreditation and essentially operates like an assessment panel. There can be up to fifteen (15) members depending on the number of applications expected or received. The NUCAP executive group is responsible for ensuring that the membership best represents the field of exercise and sports science. There are two membership categories – academic and practitioner. An academic member is preferably a level D or E and a practitioner member must be considered to be senior in their field and have a working knowledge of university work practicum programs. There can only be one member from any one institution, organisation or business. Vacancies on the committee are advertised to the ESSA membership and academic units.

NUCAP committee members


Professor Tim Ackland

Professor Tim AcklandProfessor Tim Ackland is Winthrop Professor of Biomechanics and Head of School of the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, at The University of Western Australia. He has research interests in the mechanics of human movement with themes spanning exercise rehabilitation, high performance sport and human performance in industry. Prof. Ackland has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers as well as five academic books and 30 book chapters. He has served as a Director of Sports Medicine Australia and was on the steering committee for the establishment of ESSA (then AAESS). Prof. Ackland also chaired the Scientific Program Committee for the 5th IOC World Congress on Sport Sciences for the 2000 Olympics, and was Conference Co-chair for Sports Medicine Australia in Perth, 2001.

Associate Professor Anthony Leicht

Associate Professor Anthony Leicht is a senior academic within and former Director (2008-2011) of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science at James Cook University. He is an experienced exercise scientist/researcher with an international reputation and expertise in the responses to exercise with a particular emphasis on cardiovascular physiology including heart rate control. He has been an active member of ESSA since 2001 as a National board member, conference organiser, reviewer of funding and awards, developer of clinical and exercise science criteria, and is a current ESSA Fellow (2007). His research foci include topics that reflect his teaching interests of exercise physiology and exercise testing and he is a current Fellow of the European College of Sport Sciences (2010).  He has received several awards (e.g. University of Southern Queensland, International Society for Heart Research, ESSA) and is a current member of several national and international professional bodies associated with exercise science and physiology.  He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, on several editorial boards, and a reviewer for >20 international sport and exercise science and physiology journals. He is a former international and national basketball referee and an avid sports fan.

Professor Stephen Bird

Professor Stephen BirdProfessor Stephen Bird has worked for over 25 years in the Sport, Exercise and Health Arena.  Much of this time has been in universities in the UK and more latterly in Australia.  He has also worked in the hospital sector in Australia where he was the Director of a Centre for Population Health.  He is currently the Head of Exercise Sciences in the School of Medical Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne.In these roles his experience includes: successfully leading teams of academic staff through national teaching quality inspections (TQA) and Research Assessment Exercises (RAE); publishing research papers, books and magazine articles in the fields of sport performance, exercise, ageing and health; directing a regional centre for Sport Science Support and being a sport scientist for the GB orienteering team.Professor Bird is a member of ESSA and an accredited exercise physiologist with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, for which he chaired the physiology section and was a member of the national executive.  Within BASES he was responsible for developing the national program of supervised experience undertaken by post-graduate students seeking BASES accreditation.


Dr Rosanne Coutts

Dr Rosanne CouttsDr Rosanne Coutts is accredited with the Exercise and Sports Science Australia as an Exercise Physiologist and Sport Scientist (Sport Psychology). She practices in Exercise Physiology and teaches Sport and Exercise Psychology at Southern Cross University. Her clinical practice has a particular expertise in rehabilitation following fatiguing illness.She has been involved in a number of investigations into the efficacy of physical activity for special populations. Her development of graded walking as an activity for individuals diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been incorporated into the current Australian Medical Guidelines. Her approaches to practice include the construction of evidence-based interventions for the use of physical activity and exercise approaches that further enhance behavioural change towards a lifestyle approach to health and well being.

Professor Andrew Cresswell

Professor Andrew CresswellProfessor Andrew Cresswell, Med dr (Karolinska) is a Professor at The University of Queensland where he has joint appointment in the School of Human Movement Studies (HMS) and Division of Physiotherapy and is head of the Neuromechanics Laboratory and Director Academic within HMS. He obtained his Bachelors degree from The University of Ballarat, Australia (1997), his Masters degree from the University of Western Australia, and both his Medical Doctorate in Neuroscience (1994) and Docent in Human Neurophysiology (2000) from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He has previously held teaching and research positions at The University of Otago, The Karolinska Institute and The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences. His research is directed toward understanding how the human brain controls movement using biomechanical and neurophysiology techniques. His particular research interests lie within the areas of the neural control of eccentric and concentric muscle actions, neural aspects of muscle fatigue as well as reflexive and voluntary activation of the abdominal musculature during postural tasks. He has coauthored more than 60 peer reviewed publications in leading scientific journals in biomechanics, neurophysiology and physiology. He is currently an Associate Editor for Acta Physiologica and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. Andrew is a member of the executive council of the International Society of Biomechanics, President of The Australian and New Zealand Society of Biomechanics and  Chair of the Scientific Committee of Sports Medicine Australia. He is also a member of other societies including the Society for Neuroscience, The American Physiological Society, The American College of Sports Medicine and Sports Medicine Australia.

Dr Ian Gillam

Dr Ian GillamDr Ian Gillam is an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP) and consultant sports scientist and nutritionist with over 20 years of experience as an AEP practitioner, university lecturer, researcher and consultant to athletes from the Victorian and Australian Institutes of Sport. Dr Gillam has a special interest in the exercise and nutritional management of clients with chronic metabolic and cardiorespiratory diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disease, cardiac and chronic respiratory disease, arthritis and osteoporosis. Doctor Gillam also works as a sports science and nutrition consultant to the AFL Melbourne Demons Football club (since 2001), Scotch College Rowing and Cricket teams, and as a sports nutrition consultant to Tennis Australia’s National High Performance Academy at Rod Laver arena. Dr Gillam also provides advice to a wide variety of elite individual athletes in the sports including football, tennis, triathalon, rowing, basketball and cricket. Dr Gillam was a senior lecturer in exercise physiology and nutrition RMIT Bundoora, Swinburne University and is currently a member of the Course Advisory Committee for the Masters in Exercise Rehabilitation and lecturer in the Masters in Exercise rehabilitation at Victoria University.Dr Gillam was a member of the foundation Board of ESSA in 1992 and was more recently AAESS Vice President (Exercise Science) and National Board member of ESSA from 2000 – 2004 and was awarded a Fellowship of ESSA in 2003.  Dr Gillam was also National Vice President (Sports Science) of Sports Medicine Australia from (1998 – 2001) and was elected a Fellow in 1986.

Professor Peter Milburn

Professor Peter MilburnProfessor Peter Milburn is Head of the School of Physiotherapy & Exercise Science at Griffith University. Professor Milburn was originally trained in Physical Education at the University of Otago and then undertook graduate study at the University of Illinois where he completed a PhD in biomechanics. His first employment was as a high school teacher, but subsequently was an academic staff member of the School of Physical Education at Otago for 3 years, at the University of Wollongong in Australia for 11 years where he took a leading role in establishing the Human Movement programme, before returning to Otago in 1994 to coordinate research and postgraduate studies in the School of Physiotherapy. After 14 years, Professor Milburn returned to Australia in 2008 to take up his current position. His research interests are measuring the stresses on human structures using non-invasive biomechanical modelling techniques and determining how these structures are injured. Specific projects include the forces experienced by rugby players and their influence on cervical spine injury, shoe-surface interaction and sporting injury, and measuring lumbar stress in selected occupational tasks. Professor Milburn has received over $NZ1m to support this research and have published more than 60 scientific and technical papers. On a personal note, he is a former NZ Universities representative in track and field, played senior rugby for 10 years, am married to a former NZ champion gymnast and they have four adult children. Professor Milburn’s current recreational interests are more subdued and include golf, fishing, and swimming.

Associate Professor Leonie Otago

Associate Professor Leonie OtagoAssociate Professor Leonie Otago has recently retired as Head of the School of Human Movement & Sport Sciences at the University of Ballarat and is currently doing consulting with with a number of Australian Universities and sporting organisations. She was a member of the ALTC project group working on Curriculum renewal and Chair of the Sports Injury conference for Sports Medicine Australia. Associate Professor Otago is a leading researcher into injury prevention and risk management in sport and the biomechanics of injury. Studies have included the development of criteria for playing Australian Rules football and cricket on synthetic turf grounds and developing a strategic plan for research in Netball for Netball Australia. She has worked with organizations such as Sports Medicine Australia (National and Victorian branches), Smartplay Victoria, Tennis Australia, Netball Victoria, Netball Australia and been awarded grants from Sport and Recreation Victoria, Department of Human Services and VicHealth. She has also extensively researched the prevention of knee and ankle injuries and presented at both National and International conferences

Associate Professor Annette Raynor

Associate Professor Annette RaynorAssociate Professor Annette Raynor is currently Associate Head (Academic) in the School of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia, and Program Director for the Human Movement and Health Studies programs. In her role as Associate Head she works closely with program directors from a range of allied health disciplines including Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Medical Radiation and as such has knowledge and experience in curriculum development and the associated accreditation requirements in a wide range of allied health areas.Her primary area of teaching and research is in the area of Motor Learning and Control, with research interests in the control and learning of skilled movement, the processes underpinning expert decision making and the development of expertise. Her research has spanned the continuum of motor learning, from children with Developmental Coordination Disorder to expert performers in netball. Other research interests include the role of physical activity in Type 2 diabetes and in particular the effect on proprioception and lower limb complications.Annette completed all her academic qualifications at the University of Western Australia, before taking a position in 1994 as a Lecturer in Motor Learning and Control at the School of Physical Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.  Associate Professor Raynor returned to Australia in 2000 to take up a lecturing position at the University of South Australia.

Associate Professor Marg Torode

Associate Professor Marg TorodeAssociate Professor Torode has been a lecturer in the area of allied health for twenty five years. She brings to the NUCAP committee years of curriculum development experience across the allied health professions predominantly medicine, physiotherapy and exercise science. Having provided leadership (Head of Department) in three Universities, Associate Professor Torode also adds a sound understanding of the diversity of constraints determining or limiting curriculum development. She has been an active member of the professional bodies (SMA and ESSA) aligned to this discipline and hence can provide the perspective of the industry, practitioner and academic. Associate Professor Torode served as project manager on the Carrick discipline based Investigation “Meeting the challenges of clinical exercise science and practice” and is now the project manager for the 2008 grant: “Curriculum renewal in Exercise Science”. She was also a principal investigator on the $8.2 million International Centre of Excellence in sports science and management, for the development of education resources relevant to this discipline. Associate Professor Torode is currently Head of School, Exercise Science at the Australian Catholic University (NSW campus), a member of the Australian Sports Research Network and is serving on numerous External Advisory Committees for Exercise Science programs across Australia.

Associate Professor Peter Reaburn

Peter Reaburn is an Associate Professor in Exercise and Sport Science at Central QLD University in Rockhampton, Queensland. Associate Professor Reaburn obtained his PhD in Exercise Physiology at The University of Queensland (UQ) in 1994. After six years lecturing and running a sports science consultancy at UQ he moved with a young family to be an inaugural staff member in the now Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science program at Central QLD University in 1997. He was Head of the Department of Health and Human Performance at Central QLD University for eight years and then seconded into the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) team between 2009 and early 2011. AUQA is an independent, not-for-profit national agency that promotes, audits, and reports on quality assurance in Australian higher education with all Australian universities audited by AUQA every five years. Associate Professor Reaburn has served ESSA nationally as Vice-President (Sport Science) and an inaugural member of the ESSA Accreditation and Curriculum Advisory Panel. Associate Professor Reaburn is a masters athlete (running, swimming and cycling), netball coach, and author of four books that bridge the gap between sport science and sport. He is currently developing a postgraduate research program focused on aging athletes and loving being back working with young people and his industry.

Ms Wynter Chan

Ms Wynter Chan is an ESSA-accredited Exercise Physiologist and Sport Scientist. Wynter is a tutor within Victoria University’s Masters in Exercise Science program and is also a student clinical supervisor. Throughout her undergraduate studies at Deakin University (2004-2006) and postgraduate studies at Victoria University (2007-2008), she has worked with professional athletes from Australian Ballet and Western Bulldogs FC. Ms Chan consults privately in the area of musculoskeletal rehabilitation and her specialties are in Clinical Pilates and strength and conditioning. Ms Chan is looking forward to continuing her research in lower leg biomechanics.

Dr Herb Groeller

Dr Herb Groeller is a senior lecturer at the School of Health Sciences within the Faculty of Health Behavioural Sciences, University of Wollongong. He obtained a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education and Masters of Science (Hons) at the University of Wollongong and a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney. His research and teaching are broadly in the areas of exercise physiology, prescription and functional anatomy. Current research is focused on muscle strength adaptation, task failure and the development of physical employment standards with emergency and defence related services. He has also been a team member on two Australian Learning and Teaching Council funded research projects into curriculum development and renewal in Exercise Physiology and Exercise Science. Early in his career, he has worked as a practicing exercise physiologist within multidisciplinary centres in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, cardiovascular physiology and with a range of athletic populations.

Ms Sharrie Carter

Ms Sharrie Carter was an academic staff member within Curtin University from 2006 – 2008 and Edith Cowan University from 2006 – 2009 where she lectured in Sport Psychology. She has also been a committee member of the Exercise and Sport Science Course Consultative Committee with Edith Cowan University since 2009. Additionally she has over 5 years experience working as an accredited Exercise Physiologist and is the clinic manager of a rehabilitation practice. In this role she is also a supervisor for Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology and Exercise Practicum students from ECU, Curtin and Notre Dame Universities. Community activities have included a 10 year association with the AFL industry as an allied health professional focusing on injury rehabilitation and individual sport psychology. Ms Carter is currently completing a master’s degree with the aim of further studies within the Exercise Physiology field. Research interests include the role of mental imagery on the sport performance and sport anxiety and cardio respiratory disease.

Mr Marc Brown 

Marc Brown is a lecturer in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at the University of Wollongong (UOW) and is also the course coordinator for both the Bachelor of Science (Exercise Science) and the Bachelor of Exercise Science and Rehabilitation courses. In addition, he has supervised the clinical placement program at UOW and contributed to continuing education sessions for clinical supervisors as well as AEP’s. He has also lectured and contributed to curriculum development at both the University of Western Sydney and Sydney University, and has provided curriculum advice to other Universities and professional organisations. Marc is an accredited exercise physiologist with ESSA and was an accredited exercise specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine in the USA. He has an extensive background in clinical exercise physiology, specifically cardiorespiratory rehabilitation. He was the exercise physiologist and program supervisor for the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital in California for several years, was an exercise physiologist for the Central California Heart Institute, and was an exercise test technologist and exercise physiologist at the Orange County Cardiovascular Foundation in North Carolina before that. Marc has a Masters degree in exercise physiology and is in the process of finishing his PhD at the University of Wollongong. His research interests focus on exercise testing and programming for patients with systemic pathology; specifically cardiorespiratory issues and those with severe fatigue and exercise intolerance.

>Dr Robert Crowther

Dr Robert Crowther is a university lecturer and accredited exercise physiologist with over five years experience in both tertiary teaching and clinical experience. He has completed a PhD on the effects of exercise training on lower limb gait in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Dr Crowther is a lecturer in the School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences at James Cook University, with teaching interests in motor learning and control, student placement and clinical exercise physiology, with a particular interest in the neuromusculoskeletal aspects of gait and posture. He has published research in the area of gait and biomechanics with particular focus of gait variability (motor control). Dr Robert Crowther is also the principal/owner of a specialised gait rehabilitation clinic in Townsville, which has a range of clients from cerebral palsy patients to injured professional athletes, all of which have benefited from gait rehabilitation and retraining.


Mr David Nunn

David Nunn is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist on the Sunshine Coast, where he currently runs his award winning Private Practice, provides student clinical supervision and also sessional lectures to the University of the Sunshine Coast on Neurological Rehabilitation. He has a broad range of practical experience with working for Queensland Health, private practice, gyms and physiotherapy/multidisciplinary clinics, rural and remote settings and cardiac testing. With a desire to assist with providing a strong skill set for the next generation of Exercise Science / Exercise Physiology graduates, he is excited about the opportunities with NUCAP. Personally he would also like to put more time into documenting unique outcomes with rare movement disorders and intends to practice as a clinician for a long time.