Exercise Right for Active Ageing Project: FAQs

The Exercise Right for Active Ageing Project (ERAA) is one of 27 projects funded by 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.

To access the Operations Manual, please click here.

The second round of Expressions of Interest are now open for full ESSA member Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Accredited Exercise Scientists.
Please click here to complete this EOI. This EOI will now close on Friday, 13 December 2019, 5:00pm AEST.

If you have any questions, please contact eraa@essa.org.au or call 07 3171 3335.


Additional Important Information

Training Modules
Value Added Services for Participants
Testing and Outcome Measurement
Business and Compliance
Eligibility and Exclusions
Session and Participant Planning

Exercise Right for Active Ageing Marketing 
Reference Group
Project Team - Key Contacts

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. 



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

The grant will provide subsidies for an initial mini-assessment and for each group exercise class. For both the exercise assessment and classes, the participant is required to provide a co-payment.

The subsidies are as follows:

Group session co-payments and subsidies
Co-payment of $8.00 (incl GST) per participant per session
Same cost to participant if the provider is not registered for GST
Grant subsidy of $5.50 (excl GST and if not registered for GST) or $6.05 (incl GST) per participant per session

Assessment co-payments and subsidies
The co-payment for participants in rural and remote regions (ASGS-RA 2-5) is lower than Major cities’ areas.

Rural and remote business locations:
Co-payment of $5.50 (incl GST) for the initial assessment
Same cost to participant if the provider is not registered for GST
Grant subsidy of $30.00 (excl GST and if not registered for GST) or $33.00 (incl GST) per assessment

Major cities’ business locations:
Co-payment of $18.50 (incl GST) for the initial assessment
Same cost to the participant if the provider is not registered for GST
Grant subsidy of $17.00 (excl GST and if not registered for GST) and $20.00 (incl GST) per assessment


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 which will be available shortly.

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 (inc. GST) ceiling limit to the reimbursement amount, so you should check with the ERAA project team before ordering.


The roll out of services delivered by telehealth (with a dedicated video link) will be starting in January 2020 and will be subject to criteria around geographic locations.

When will we be able to provide telehealth services?
ESSA will be reviewing current authorised providers by the end of the year and notifying businesses which businesses can deliver telehealth.

What technology and standards do I need to use telehealth?
ESSA has developed a checklist for ERAA providers to ensure they are providing best practice and meeting legislative requirements.

ESSA is also working on telehealth standards for all members and it is anticipated these will be available some time in 2020.

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
articipants in rural and remote areas.

As such, we are aiming to have 60% of all participants as women over 75, and 40% of all participants from a rural and remote location.

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

The ERAA team is reaching these targets through marketing via targeted Facebook advertising and partnerships with aged care providers and national groups. 

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 an equivalent 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 sessions.

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 (from January 2020).

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

Reference Group 

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

The group will meet 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.

Dr Sharon Hetherington – Evaluation/Knowledge Officer (part-time role 1.5 days per week)
Dr Sharon Hetherington has been involved in previous exercise-based initiatives for older Australians - the Healthy Eating, Activity & Lifestyle (HEAL™) program, Muscling Up Against Disability and active@home.

Her role in ERAA includes:

Providing assessment and evaluation support to the project,
Selecting and designing assessment tools and the data collection platform,
Data collection, analysis and outcome reporting to Sport Australia (the funder) and in the peer-reviewed press, and
Supporting the project with specialised exercise physiology knowledge about exercise and ageing.

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

Leanne Evans - Project Manager (part-time)

Leanne supports Guy and Sharon 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.