How can an Accredited Exercise Physiologist help?
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are allied health professionals with the highest level of training for prescribing exercise to individuals. AEPs hold, at a minimum, a 4-year bachelor degree that meets the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Level 7 requirements*. This equips AEPs with the knowledge, skills and competencies to design, deliver and evaluate safe and effective exercise interventions for people who have acute, sub-acute or chronic medical conditions, injuries and disabilities. These interventions include health and physical activity education, advice and support, and lifestyle modification with a strong focus on achieving behavioural change.
Exercise & Sports Science Australia is the peak professional body and sole accrediting authority for Accredited Exercise Physiologists. ESSA is also the accrediting body for Accredited Exercise Scientists, Accredited Sports Scientists and Accredited High Performance Managers.
To gain AEP accreditation with ESSA an individual must:
- Graduate from a minimum 4 years of study in an ESSA accredited course meeting the AQF requirements for Level 7 that leads to bachelor degree qualifications
- Meet the professional standards for exercise science, leading to accreditation as an Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES)*, including 140 hours of practical experience for the purpose of undertaking an exercise intervention to improve health and fitness, wellbeing or performance, or focus on prevention of chronic conditions
- Meet the professional standards for exercise physiology, including 360 hours of practical experience with clients with clinical conditions (eg. cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neurological)
AEPs are dual accredited, holding the foundational accreditation of AES in addition to their AEP status.
To maintain accreditation with ESSA, an AEP is required to:
- Hold and maintain a valid first aid and CPR certificate
- Hold and maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance
- Complete an annual continuing professional program comprising 20 points per annum
- Uphold the ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice
AEPs work in a number of environments, including but not limited to:
- Public and private hospitals settings
- Primary, secondary and tertiary health care
- Within private and multidisciplinary clinics
- Population health
- Workplace health and rehabilitation
- Ageing and aged care
- Fitness centres, gymnasiums, business
- Sporting settings
Click here for the Scope of Practice of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist
To learn more about exercise and hearing from experts such as Accredited Exercise Physiologists visit Exercise Right.
AEP vs. PT
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are not Personal Trainers. AEPs are allied-health professionals with Medicare Provider numbers and are trained members of the health and medical sector. Fitness professionals (e.g. personal trainers) are members of the sport and recreation sector.
- The Personal Fitness Trainer Qualification (Certificate 4) may be completed in less than 6 weeks of training.
- Qualified and insured to design and deliver fitness programs to persons of low risk only (i.e. “apparently healthy populations”).
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)
- Allied Health Provider
- 4 Year University Degree qualified and accredited with ESSA.
- Specialise in graded exercise therapy and lifestyle interventions for persons at risk of developing, or with existing chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries (i.e. ‘specific populations’).