Exercise Right for Active Ageing Project: FAQs

The Exercise Right for Active Ageing Project (ERAA) is a national exercise project for older Australians. It is one of 27 projects funded by the Australian Government via Sport Australia as part of the Move it AUS - Better Ageing Grants Program. Our grant of $1.838 million is one of the equal highest amounts awarded.

The ERAA project grant has been extended to 31 December, 2021 and offers an opportunity for full members: Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Accredited Exercise Scientists to grow the aged care segment of their businesses.

The aim of the project is to increase physical activity among inactive Australians aged 65 and over through group classes.

The Sport Australia grant subsidises pre/post assessments, 12 weekly classes, in-home pre/post-assessments to support telehealth, telehealth platforms and community engagement/promotion.

ESSA has partnered with Monash University to produce peer reviewed research articles to add to our evidence base.

Member Benefits:
  • Low risk opportunity to grow your 65 and over market (attract and retain new clients) with subsidies for group classes, assessments and home visits
  • Promotion of your business to potential clients via the via Exercise Right for Active Ageing landing page and Exercise Right newsletters
  • Referrals via Facebook campaigns and radio / newspaper advertisements
  • Digital and hard copy marketing resources which incorporate the Sport Australia logo 
  • Promotional articles via national bodies (e.g. National Rural Health Alliance, Australian Association of Gerontology, Association of Men’s Sheds, Lung Foundation)
  • Marketing budget up to $800 for local engagement
  • Free CPD
  • Supportive member networking webinars to share best practices
  • One free dynamometer per practice
  • Want to hear about an ERAA Provider's experience - click here!

  • More information: Contact Guy Byrnes or Leanne Evans, eraa@essa.org.au or 07 3171 9682
     

    Additional Important Information


    Training Modules

    As part of the benefits of providing subsidised assessments and classes to older Australians, each member will need to complete FREE ESSA accredited CPD prior to enrolling participants in the project. 

    This will consist of 6 x 1.5-hour workshops on the following topics:

    • Volunteering Services Australia – Local Volunteering and Community Engagement (2 x 1.5-hour workshops)
    • Musculoskeletal Australia – Best Practice Framework for the Delivery of Older Person’s Physical Activity Programs (2 x 1.5-hour workshops)
    • ESSA – Exercise Right for Active Ageing Induction – (2 x 1.5-hour workshops) 

    The following ESSA accredited CPD sessions MAY be required if you fit the criteria below: 

    If you practice in a rural and remote area (R2, R3, R5 of the ASGS-RA), you are required to complete the following CPD. Refer to the ABS classification here to determine whether your practice is in a rural and remote area (Australia Bureau of Statistics Remoteness Classifications ASGS Remoteness Areas [2016]):

    • National Centre for Farmer Health (2 x 1.5-hour modules) – Health specific needs of rural and remote Australians including farmers and farm workers and the conduct of exercise screenings at rural field days (for members working in rural and remote areas).

    If you or any of your staff member have been employed for less than two years, you are required to complete the following CPD:

    • How to Build and Maintain Your Client Base (2 x 1.5 hour modules) – Strategies to attract and retain clients in this cohort; including alternative revenue streams.

    All modules will be delivered by webinar and recorded as podcasts. 

     


    Agreement


    The business owner will be required to sign an agreement that will outline responsibilities in delivering the services for the ERAA project.

    The agreement will cover requirements including:

  • The completion of CPD workshops prior to accessing subsidies by all business owners and their staff involved in the delivery of the project,
  • Pricing details, subsidies, co-payments and auditing,
  • Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System (APSS) Screening Tool,
  • Assessment protocols,
  • Pre- and post-survey testing, data entry and invoicing, and
  • The use of marketing resources supplied by ESSA which incorporate the Sport Australia and Exercise Right brands.
  • To receive a copy of the agreement, please email eraa@essa.org.au.


    Subsidies for participants


    Group session co-payments and subsidies (excl. GST) as of 30 October 2020.

    Activity

    Co-payment

    Subsidy

    Total

    Additional Supplements

    One hour group session (per person per week)

    $7.20

    ($8.00 incl. GST)

    $9.92

    ($10.91 incl. GST)

    $17.12

    ($18.83 incl. GST)

     

    Metro pre-assessment

    $16.81

    ($18.50 incl. GST)

    $22.68

    ($24.95 incl. GST)

    $34.49

    ($43.44 incl. GST)

    In-home

    $80.51

    ($88.56 incl. GST)

    Rural pre-assessment

    $5.00

    ($5.50 incl. GST)

    $34.50

    (37.95)

    $39.50

    ($43.45 incl. GST)

    In-home

    $80.50

    ($88.55 incl. GST)

    Post-assessments

    No co-payment

    $60.00

    ($66.00 incl GST)

    $60.00

    ($66.00 incl GST)

     



    A standard co-payment of $8.00 (incl. GST) must be collected from participants for each one hour session, regardless if providers are registered for GST or not.

    Additional Subsidies are available for travel time to in-home assessments.

    In addition to the assessment, providers will be allowed to claim 30 or 60 minutes of travel time at the following rates:

    • 0-30 minutes: $60.00 (excl. GST)
    • 30-60 minutes: $120.00 (excl. GST)

    Please note:
    • Travel includes travel to and from the client’s residence
    • ESSA will not reimburse kms, however, you should be entitled to claim this as a tax deduction (please check with your accountant).

     


    Value Added Services for Participants

    In addition to receiving subsidised classes and assessments, ESSA requires AEPs and AES (members) to provide the following value-added inclusions for participants (clients):

    • A free trial exercise class within existing group classes,
    • Pre- and post-testing,
    • Where appropriate, customised individualised exercise referrals to some of the 26 other Move it AUS - Better Ageing Grant funded projects,
    • Advice on accessing Medicare and private health insurance,
    • Help with selecting and installing motivational applications on mobile devices, and
    • Facilitated walking groups and/or social gatherings.

    In some cases, members will be providing access to participants via telehealth. More details are provided below.


    Testing and Outcome Measurement

    Outcome measures are one of the key metrics that will be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the project and testing is mandatory for each participant joining the program:

    • Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System (APSS) Screening Tool
    • Pre-and post-testing using a testing battery of 8-12 tests and behavioural questions developed by the ERAA Evaluation/Knowledge Officer
    • Attendance records for each participant for the mini-assessment and each group class
    • Participant and practitioner experience surveys

    The data entry and testing procedures will be outlined in more detail in the ESSA Induction Module and in an Operations Manual.

    Please note the information in the FAQs supersedes information in the Manual.


    Business and Compliance

    Is there an option to add more staff members as providers?
    Practice owners or contact people should contact the ERAA team to discuss if they want to include more providers as this will be decided on a case by case basis.

    Can I replace a provider that leaves my business with a new provider?
    Yes, you can allocate a new provider to facilitate existing group sessions. 
    The new potential provider will need to compete the compulsory CPD before providing group sessions. 

    Can we keep our own practice records, for example keeping SOAP notes? What information needs to be uploaded on the ERAA portal?
    Providers should keep their own practice records, in line with best practice and the ESSA Code of Conduct. 
    The information required on the ERAA portal includes results of the pre- and -post-assessment, and attendance at each group session.

    If a participant does not complete their 12 sessions within 16 weeks, can they be re-referred?
    No, participants can only access the project once. If they do not complete their sessions within 16 weeks, they should be assessed at their last session, or as soon as possible afterwards.

    What happens if a participant is on the waiting list for a Home Care Package, but gets approved during their 12-week program?
    Participants cannot access the ERAA project at the same time as another compensation scheme. 
    If participants start another compensation scheme, such as a Home Care Package, then they should end their participation in the ERAA project, and complete their post-assessment.

    Can the co-payment be paid by another organisation or scheme?
    Participants are expected to contribute to their own care; and cannot use funding from another source or scheme to cover the co-payment. For example, they cannot use private health insurance to cover their co-payments. 

    What do we do if we don’t have a hand grip dynamometer?
    The business can complete a reimbursement form to order a dynamometer. A maximum of one dynamometer can be ordered for each location indicated on the membership agreement. There is a $35.00 (incl. GST) ceiling limit to the reimbursement amount, so you should check with the ERAA project team before ordering.


    Telehealth 

    Services can be delivered by telehealth (with a dedicated video link) and you can list to provide as a state service for the following states and territories based on your geographical location:
    • QLD,
    • NT,
    • NSW,
    • ACT,
    • VIC,
    • TAS,
    • WA, or
    • if you prefer, you can choose to only provide for a specific region (e.g. Sydney only).
     
    To access the government subsidies, we require the following co-payments for telehealth classes:
    • $8.00 for each one hour in-person class,
    • $6.00 for each 45 minute Telehealth class,
    • $4.00 for each 30 minute Telehealth class, and
    • $3.00 for each 20 minute Telehealth class.
    The subsidies only apply to 12 classes no matter how long a class is delivered.

    What technology and standards do I need to use telehealth?
    ESSA has developed:
    • ESSA Telepractice Policy Statement and Checklist
    • ESSA Telepractice Standards for ERAA providers and members to ensure they are providing best practice and meeting legislative requirements.
     

    Eligibility and Exclusions


    The eligibility criteria for participants are:

    • Over 65 years of age, and
    • Classified as inactive according to the Department of Health national physical activity guidelines. View these here.

    How do the targets for women over 75 and rural and remote participants affect recruiting participants?
    The following targets are priority groups for the ERAA project:
    • Women over the age of 75, and
    • Participants in rural and remote areas.

    As such, we are aiming to have 60% of all participants as women, and 60% of all participants from a rural and remote location.

    As a provider, we still want you to accept all participants who are over 65. 

    Can participants join an existing group session; or do we need to set up new classes specifically for this project?
    No, ESSA recommends you enroll new participants in your existing classes which are suitable for this age group. You only need to set up new classes if you do not already offer suitable classes for older people.

    What kind of classes can I run?
    There are no restrictions on the activities you can offer for this age group. You can run classes like Pilates, falls prevention, strength, balance, strength and balance, circuits, aqua, hydrotherapy, cardio, aerobics, low impact, walking, Tai Chi, general fitness/strength, condition specific, and clinical.

    Are we able to provide high functioning and low functioning groups to match sessions to the participants’ abilities?
    Yes, there are no limitations on the type of group sessions you can provide.

    What help can you offer me to join the project? 
    Our project staff are here to help you:

    • Our Project Coordinator can guide through our registration process
    • Our Research Officer can help you with testing and data collection and 
    • Our Project Officer can help you with payments. 

    How often do I get paid?
    Subsidies are paid weekly into your nominated bank account, assuming you update your class attendances.

    Can participants access any other health or Medicare funding?
    The over-arching exclusion is not to have participants accessing our grant if they are currently accessing the ERAA program on a long-term basis.

    With the example of participants accessing aged care funding from the Department of Health, the following participants are excluded:

    • Commonwealth Home Support Services – allied health services only
    • Home Care Packages – levels 1 to 4
    • Residential Aged Care Funding/ Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) funded clients – low and high care as this funding can be used for Allied Health services
    • Medicare Type II diabetes allied health group referrals

    Members of the public who are accessing a Team Care Arrangement (TCA) and similar chronic care plans are still included for the following reasons:

    • As the GP and participant develop the plan, there is not always flexibility to access or preference exercise physiology (e.g. the doctor developed a plan for podiatry services; the participant does not have the same flexibility as somebody with a Home Care Package or NDIS to choose group exercise sessions instead).
    • Somebody accessing 1-2 individual sessions of a chronic care plan would not be receiving the same frequency of services as under the other excluded funding streams.

    Can a participant be re-eligible for a grant subsidy after completing their 12-week program?

    No. Each older Australian can access the Exercise Right for Active Ageing once for up to 12 sessions.

    Do participants have to be sedentary or inactive, or can they be currently participating in other group or individual sessions?
    Eligible participants must satisfy the inactive guidelines, and should be new clients to your business.

    The following are the guidelines from the ERAA project manual:
    For the purposes of the Program, physical inactivity is defined as: ‘People who do less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days each week’, in line with the Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians. 

    The aim of the project is to introduce a potential new client base to exercise led by university-trained professionals, for this reason existing clients are not suitable and may already qualify for other funding or compensation. 


    Can participants come from a residential aged care facility or an independent living unit?
    Participants in residential aged care funding are not eligible for the project as they can potentially access Allied Health funding through their Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) funding. 

    Participants in an Independent Living Unit (ILU) e.g. retirement villages are potentially eligible if they are not receiving similar funding from another source.

    Session and Participant Planning

    How many sessions a week can be provided for each participant?
    Each participant can only receive a subsidy for 1 x one hour session per week. 

    Participants may also choose to engage in other exercise opportunities outside of the project. 

    When do the participants get screened? 
    Participants must be screened before taking part in exercise classes before the assessment or the free trial session, whichever one comes first.

    How can participants safely join trial classes if they have not been properly assessed? 
    Participants should be screened using the ESSA pre-exercise screening tool before any physical activity. If the provider decides it is safe for participants to exercise, then they can join a trial class. 

    Can trial sessions be provided after initial consults to learn participants’ full medical history? 
    Yes, the trial class can occur at any point after screening and before the first subsidised session. 

    Can participants join an existing group session; or do we need to run groups specifically for this project?
    Participants can join existing group sessions.

    Why is there no balance specific assessment, when falls risk increases with age and sedentary behaviour?
    The five physical exercises were chosen to test a range of inter-connected abilities including lower limb strength, mobility and balance which together form a quick assessment. The Timed Up and Go and 30 second sit to stand tests provide indicators for falls risks. 

    Are we able to provide high functioning and low functioning groups to match sessions to the participants’ abilities?
    Yes, there are no limitations on the type of group sessions you can provide.

    How long do participants have to complete their 12 sessions?
    Each participant has 16 weeks to complete sessions starting from the first session (class) date (not the assessment).



    Exercise Right For Active Ageing Marketing

    As part of the project, business owners will have access to marketing resources to promote the project within your local area including:

  • A digital tool kit (social media tiles, website and email banners, etc.), and
  • Printed promotional kit.

  • The Exercise Right website has a dedicated section with information about the Exercise Right for Active Ageing Project for potential participants including:
    • Eligibility criteria,
    • Costs for participants,
    • Brief description of the advantages of AEP and AES led classes for this age group,
    • List of authorised providers, and
    • List of authorised telehealth providers.

    You can find the website here: https://exerciseright.com.au/betterageing/

     


    Case Studies

    Read how our Exercise Right for Active Ageing grant has helped members fill their classes.

    Click here.



    Reference Group 

    ESSA has established a Reference Group of members involved in the delivery of the ERAA Project. 

    The group meets regularly during office hours (QLD time) online using ZOOM.


    Project Team

    The day to day running of the project is administered by two ESSA staff members. Their background and roles are described below:

    Guy Byrnes – Project Coordinator (full-time)
    Guy Byrnes has experience working in the older Australians’ space as part of the Regional Assessment Services and coordinating a Commonwealth Home Support Services grant including the development of an-in home exercise program called active@home. 

    Guy is based in the ESSA office full-time.

    His role in ERAA includes:

    • Day-to-day administration of and communication about the project,
    • Coordinating the administration of training, marketing and communications initiatives, and
    • Implementing support, problem solving and trouble shooting.


    Channa Marsh – Evaluation/Knowledge Officer (part-time role 1.5 days per week)

    Channa has been involved in previous exercise-based research projects for older Australians and is currently completing her PhD in exercise prescription.

    Her role in ERAA includes:

  • Providing assessment and evaluation support to the project,
  • Selecting and designing assessment tools and the data collection platform, and
  • Data collection, analysis and outcome reporting to Sport Australia (the funder) and in the peer-reviewed press.
  •  

    Other ESSA staff members that will help deliver the project include:

    Leanne Evans - Project Manager (part-time)

    Leanne is ESSA’s Senior Policy & Relations Advisor. She manages the relationship with Sport Australia and supports the Project Team in delivering the activities associated with the project.

    Nyomee Dickinson - Project Officer (part-time) 
    Nyomee provides financial and administration support to the project on a part-time basis.

    Please feel free to email the team or contact them via the ESSA number 07 3171 3335.