Course accreditation is a core function of ESSA, undertaken for the purpose of assessing courses of study against ESSA’s requirements for accreditation. To be eligible for consideration of accreditation, courses must at a minimum meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) requirements for a Level 7 qualification leading to a Bachelor Degree. ESSA’s course accreditation process is rigorous and provides potential students with assurance that an accredited course provides a high quality studying experience with outcomes that align with industry requirements for safe and ethical practice.
Course accreditation requirements are underpinned by the Exercise Science (ES) Standards and Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) Professional Standards developed by ESSA’s Exercise Science Advisory Committee and the Exercise Physiology Accreditation Review Committee respectively.
There are two levels of course accreditation available:
A course submitted for accreditation at the level of both exercise science and exercise physiology must meet both the ES Standards and the AEP Professional Standards. Students graduating from a postgraduate course accredited at the level of exercise physiology must also have met the prerequisite ES Standards and associated practicum requirements to be eligible for AEP credentialing with ESSA.
The ES Standards and AEP Professional Standards inform education providers about what students need to know and what they need to be able to do, before commencing practice in their profession(s) as an accredited exercise scientist (AES) or an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP). To achieve the level of accreditation sought, an education provider must demonstrate attainment of all requirements relevant to the stated accreditation level/s.
Graduates from a course accredited at the level of exercise science or exercise physiology are able to obtain credentialing with ESSA as an AES or AEP respectively, upon submission of their credentialing application to ESSA within two years of completing the accredited course.
ESSA’s Exercise Science (ES) Standards meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) requirements for Level 7 that lead to a Bachelor Degree qualification. These Standards provide a curriculum framework for education courses in exercise, sport and movement sciences and underpin all of ESSA’s other accreditation categories.
The ES Standards are organised into 15 study areas, each of which provide a guiding principle to outline the intent of the study area, assessment expectations, and elements of competency-based graduate outcomes. The ES Professional Standards are based on the minimum professional requirements of graduates working in all areas of exercise science.
ESSA’s Exercise Physiologist (AEP) Professional Standards meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) requirements for Level 7 that lead to a Bachelor Degree qualification. These Standards provide a curriculum framework for education courses in exercise physiology. The AEP Professional Standards are based on the minimum professional requirements for graduates to begin practice within the clinical exercise physiology profession and build upon the underpinning ES Standards.
The AEP Professional Standards are organised into 13 individual standards, each of which provide a guiding principle to outline the intent of the standard, assessment expectations, and elements of competency-based graduate outcomes. Standards 1 to 5 are generic standards broadly describing the practice of the profession. Standards 6 to 13 are pathology-specific standards that describe sets of knowledge and competencies that are needed to provide safe and effective exercise interventions for various broad-based pathology domains.