ESSA Advertising Guidelines

Depending on the environment in which they practice, exercise and sports science professionals may be subject to a range of advertising legislation that includes, but is not limited to, the:

• Competition and Consumer Act (formerly known as Trade Practices Act)
• Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (National Law)
• Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Notes for Allied Health Providers, Section one, General.
• Therapeutic Goods Act
• Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

For example, while testimonials are permitted in general advertising, their use is prohibited in relation to the provision of regulated health services and businesses that provide regulated health services. Also, some professional associations such as the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) prohibit use of testimonials by their members. 

What does this mean for exercise and sports science professionals? 

Basically, it means that exercise and sports science professionals who work in a multi-disciplinary environment that includes regulated health professions* are, under law, not permitted to use testimonials.  However, exercise and sports science professionals who are sole traders or who work in a business that does not include regulated health services or dietitians may use testimonials as long as they comply with all relevant legislation. This applies equally to Accredited Exercise Scientists, Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Accredited Sports Scientists.

• An AEP who works with a physiotherapist, dietitian, and a personal trainer may not use testimonials to advertise their business. 
• An ASpS who is employed by a sports club that also employs a club doctor is not permitted to use testimonials to advertise their business. 
• An AEP with private clients may use testimonials from their clients that are a true and accurate reflection of the clients’ opinion and reflect the profession accurately. 
ESSA Advertising Guidelines   
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"Can I use testimonials in my advertising as an ESSA accredited professional?" infographic flowchart

Other useful resources include:
AHPRA Self-assessment tool
ACCC Self-assessment checklist