Recency of Practice
From 1 January 2022
All accredited professionals must gain 1000 hours of practice in the field over the previous 5 year period ensuring no more than 3 years without practice
This equates to 4 hours per week over 5 years OR 27 weeks full time over 5 years.
Practice is defined as ‘any role, whether paid or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a practitioner in their profession. Practice includes the direct provision of services to clients and other activities using professional knowledge and skills in a direct clinical or non-clinical way. It also includes non-direct relationships with clients, such as working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles; and any other roles that impact on safe and effective delivery of exercise and sports science services.’
Please note, continuing professional development is not considered practice.
If you are unable to meet the recency requirements you may be required to undertake a return to practice program.
Effective 1 January 2022 Recency of Practice Policy
2021 Recency of Practice Policy
What can be counted as practice?
Practice is as any role, whether paid or not, in which the individual uses their skills and knowledge as a practitioner in their profession. Practice includes the direct provision of services to clients and other activities using professional knowledge and skills in a direct clinical or non-clinical way. It also includes non-direct relationships with clients, such as working in management, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory or policy development roles; and any other roles that impact on safe and effective delivery of exercise and sports science services.
This definition is broad to capture the depth and breadth of exercise and sports science practice, however acceptable roles must use the expertise (i.e., knowledge and skills) of your ESSA accreditation.
It is important to note that practice is not limited to seeing clients but includes a variety of other types of activities related to your professional scope of practice.
Examples include rehabilitation, case management, assessment, functional capacity, education, return to work and advisory roles.
How many hours of practice do I need to accrue?
Accredited professionals need to accrue:
This equates to approximately 4 hours per week over 5 years OR 6 months full time over 5 years
How can I provide evidence of meeting recency of practice?
ESSA will accept any form of reasonable, verified evidence that demonstrates the recency of practice requirements. This must address ALL the following points:
Evidence of number of hours AND
Evidence of relevant practice activities AND
Be independently verified. This can be by a person who can confirm the details provided (e.g., letter from employer) or the type of evidence itself may provide the verification (e.g. payslips, contract)
Example type of documents that could be used include:
Detailed client case studies: these must be verified by an appropriately qualified professional
De-identified client case notes, client assessment results and/or client exercise programs
Detailed logbooks: suitable for applicants who are currently working and can provide evidence from their current work OR recent graduates who completed practicum logbooks as part of their degree
Position description describing roles and responsibilities
Experience conducting a research study
Awards for service to the industry
Resources developed for the workplace (related to the field of exercise science)
I am an employee working in exercise and sports science practice. What evidence should I provide?
If you are an employee, the easiest form of evidence will be a detailed employer letter that includes your roles and responsibilities, or a short employer letter AND a job description.
The employer should confirm the dates of your employment (i.e. start date) and how many hours you work (e.g. full time, part time, casual 10 hours per week).
Example letter 1 – click here
Example letter 2 – click here
I am self-employed. What evidence should I provide?
You will need to provide a portfolio of evidence that confirms hours and activities, and some verification. For example:
A self-written summary of your activities and how many hours you work + a copy of any contracts held
a self-written summary of your activities and how many hours you work + letter from a colleague/staff member (e.g., clinic/medical centre/gym) confirming your work
ESSA will consider any evidence that supports the recency requirements
What happens if I can’t meet recency of practice requirements?
If you are unable to meet the recency of practice requirements you may be required to undergo a return to practice program. Please contact the ESSA office to discuss your individual situation.
I am a recent graduate. How can I show that I have met recency of practice?
If you apply for accreditation within three years of finishing from an exercise and sports science degree you will not be required to provide evidence of recency of practice with your application.
I graduated more than three years ago from an ESSA accredited course, can I still apply for accreditation?
Yes. There are several requirements you will need to meet. If you have practiced after you graduated, you will meet the recency of practice requirement. If you have not practiced, you will need to complete a return to practice program outlined by ESSA.
I have not been accredited for a few years and have not been working. Can I be accredited again?
If you cannot meet the Recency of Practice requirements when you intend to become accredited again, you will need to complete a Return to Practice program. Find out more here.
I want to get my first accreditation with ESSA, but I don't have recency of practice. Can I get accredited?
You may still be eligible to become accredited. If you cannot meet the recency of practice requirement, you will need to complete a Return to Practice program.
Updated December 2021
If I hold more than one accreditation do I need to meet the recency of practice requirements for each different one?
No. Recency of practice requirements will only be applied once, regardless of how many accreditation's are held by the person.