What Is My Scope Of Practice?


what is my scope of practice

Your Role As A Fitness Professional

Our role as a fitness professional can be interpreted quite broadly; we know there are a lot of grey areas in our industry. Have you ever wondered what you’re actually ‘allowed’ or insured to do? How can you train clients? Can you train older adult? What about children? What type of training does your insurance cover?

Let’s start with the basics. A fitness professional is defined as:

An individual who possesses the knowledge, skills and competency for safe and effective exercise and fitness program design, instruction, assistance and assessment, for low-risk populations, within their scope of practice according to their level of qualification.

Code Of Conduct

As a PAA registrant, you have committed to adhering to our Code of Conduct that outlines five key principals: rights, relationships, responsibilities, professional standards and business conduct. Registration is designed to ensure that registered exercise professionals practice within the Code of Conduct as well as within the scope of their completed qualifications and ongoing training and in accordance with national professional standards.
Physical Activity Australia will register you based on two things:

  1. Your qualification
  2. The specialisations you have completed within your studies

So, if you have completed

  • Certificate III in Fitness then you can register as an Exercise Instructor
  • Certificate IV in Fitness: you can register as an Exercise Trainer
  • Diploma in Fitness: you can register as an Advanced Personal Trainer
  • Specialisations such as Group Exercise Trainer, Group Exercise Leader, Older Adults Trainer and Children’s Trainer, then these will be added to your qualification ie Cert III, Cert IV or Diploma in Fitness

Scope Of Practice

Your scope of practice is the minimum vocational and educational requirements of your qualification and specialisations and states what is expected of you as part of your professional obligations to safely deliver and prescribe exercise to clients and maintain an appropriate level of insurance cover. Professional obligations for all registered exercise professionals include:

  • Safety
  • Risk management and assessment
  • Pre-exercise health screening for clients (see Pre-exercise screening template for new clients)
  • Application of first aid when required (see See First aid in the workplace – WorkSafe Victoria and Model Code of Practice First aid in the workplace)
  • Fitness assessment and analysis in accordance with knowledge and skill obtained through qualification and/or continuing education
  • Development of safe, effective and appropriate exercise programs tailored to client or group needs
  • Exercise delivery inclusive of demonstrating, instructing, monitoring, reviewing and modifying program content including technique, method and progression
  • Working within professional limitations to provide basic healthy eating information and advice through the application of nationally endorsed nutritional standards and guidelines
  • Provision of general nationally endorsed public health information that will educate and support positive client health outcomes.

We offer some free templates in our Trainers’ Toolkit:

  1. Building your risk management strategy
  2. Fitness Business Risk Management Template
  3. Risk Management Template

Ongoing Professional Development

Commit yourself to ongoing professional development. Not only is it a requirement for registration renewal, professional development is essential for you, your career and your clients. You can choose to expand and update your current skills or embrace the challenge of learning new ones. View our list of accredited courses here or learn more about professional development here.

To renew your registration, you must provide evidence of 6 PDPs (professional development points) attained within the previous two year registration period, plus up-to-date CPR and first aid certificates. Renew your registration.

Effective Communication and Referrals

Know what is outside of your scope of practice and be open about this with your clients. Some people think that all personal trainers can offer nutrition advice which isn’t the case. Tell your client about the services you can offer and let them know you can refer them onto someone reputable for services that are not within your scope of practice.

Also Read

Want to know more?

Not sure if you have completed the right units for the work you’re doing with your clients? Are you looking to upskill to broaden your scope? Call the PAA office or email your transcript to us and we can help you out.