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Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) play an integral role in occupational assessment and rehabilitation and contribute to the prevention and management of injuries sustained both in and out of the workplace. With effective practice, AEPs are able to minimise the social, physical, psychological and financial impact of workplace injury and illness and to maximise the health benefits of good work. In this unit, students will gain unique insights into the occupational rehabilitation industry in Australia and learn about the relevant legislative and compensable schemes with respect to personal injury and rehabilitation. The aim of this unit is to develop students’ industry specific knowledge and skills so they may be confident and competent in the practice of people oriented professional activities such as ergonomic assessment, job task analysis, functional capacity evaluation, work conditioning and return-to-work planning and programming.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Assess workstation ergonomics informed by knowledge of, and comprehension of, relevant legislation, ergonomic principles, work postures and workstation design standardsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12
LO2Critically analyse job tasks by selective application of ergonomic assessment tools and demonstrate critical thinking and decision making to interpret findings with respect to risk management and task optimisationGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO3Evaluate the functional capacity of workers, before and or after injury, to match physical abilities to the critical demands of job requirementsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO4Communicate a clear, accurate and comprehensive understanding of return-to-work rehabilitation processes for injured workers, including those with mental health injury(ies), that showcases principles of effective case management including consideration for relevant biopsychosocial factors evidenced to influence return-to-work outcomesGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC11


Topics will include:  

  • Introduction to occupational rehabilitation (OR)
  • Introduction to ergonomics, anthropometry and work posture
  • Workstation design and assessment
  • Work posture, manual materials handling & ergonomic tools.
  • Muscular effort and task analysis
  • Functional capacity evaluations
  • Investigation of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs)
  • Mental health in the workplace
  • Mobility aids, equipment fitting and use

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered through multi-mode delivery and aims to facilitate learner centred activities and inquiry-based learning. Learning and teaching strategies within this Master’s level unit are based on a blend of constructivism, social constructivism, and experiential learning. These strategies focus on active participation and developing a community of inquiry. This has led to the development of purposefully designed learning activities focusing on inquiry-based learning principles aimed at encouraging critical thinking, clinical decision-making, application of knowledge and skills, evidence for practice, collaborative peer learning, and critical self-reflection. 

Students participate in individual and small group activities based on analysis of current practice, to assimilate application of acquired knowledge and facilitate translation of learning into practice. Engagement in extended dialogue is encouraged to guide change to a more interprofessional, person-centred practice. Unit activities include, but are not limited to: 1) online asynchronous linearly designed workbooks with short lectures, video simulations, online discussion forums and quiz questions, and 2) weekly practical workshops, which include industry-specific skill development, case-study simulations, and work-based activities with reflection to enhance practice. Activities are aimed to facilitate acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills in case management and occupational assessment and rehabilitation planning.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks in this unit have been purposefully designed to prepare for and replicate authentic clinical practice, with an “assessment for learning” approach to provide evidence for judgement of learning and to reinforce, facilitate and support learning and its application. The assessment tasks have been designed to provide a broad range of tasks aligned to andragogic principles of adult learning, facilitating choice and self-direction for the post graduate student. The design enables timely judgement to ensure students have appropriate knowledge and skills prior to workplace application. 

The first assessment task (Ergonomic Assessment Report) enables students to develop their skills in ergonomic assessment to complete practicum reports and apply their learning of OHS related issues of workstations. The second assessment task (Task Analysis Report) enables students to develop a broader understanding of task analysis and application of ergonomic tools to achieve effective risk prevention and or intervention for a workplace activity. The final assessment task (Assessment Task 3 Return to Work Case Study and Report) enables students to apply advanced knowledge and understanding of functional anatomy and ergonomic principles in the compilation of a comprehensive return-to-work plan based on a real-life workplace injury. This task enables students to develop professional report writing skills and clinical justification skills.

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. Assessment 3 is a graded hurdle assessment and must be passed with a score of ≥50% to pass the unit. If on a first attempt, a student scores less than 45% in the graded hurdle, they will not receive a second attempt, and will not pass the unit. If on the first attempt, a student receives a score of 45-49%, they will be eligible for a second attempt. If a student scores less than 50% on the second attempt, they will fail the hurdle and therefore fail the unit. If a student achieves a score of ≥50% on their second attempt, they will pass the hurdle, however they will receive a score of 50% for this assessment task regardless of the grade achieved in the second attempt.                                                               

To pass this unit and meet the learning outcomes students must achieve both ≥50% in the graded hurdle, and an aggregate score of ≥50%.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Capabilities

Assessment Task 1

Ergonomic Assessment Report

Enables students to apply ergonomic principles of workstation design through undertaking field measurements relevant to typical workplace OHS related issues involving operator tasks, workstation design and optimal fit.


LO1GC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12

Assessment Task 2

Task Analysis Report

Enables students to apply the principles of ergonomics to solving a manual materials handling (MMH) problem in a workplace through provision of recommendations for risk mitigation strategies including prevention of WRMSDs.


LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12

Assessment Task 3

Return to Work Case Study and Report

Enables students to apply the principles of occupational assessment and rehabilitation to write a comprehensive return to work plan based on a real-life workplace situation.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11, GC12

Representative texts and references

Oakman, J., Clune, S. & Stuckey, R., (2019). Work-related musculoskeletal disorders in Australia, 2019. Canberra: Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia, (2018). Hazardous Manual Tasks: Code of Practice, accessed 14 May 2024, . Also available from: .

Safe Work Australia, (2017). Principles of Good Work Design: A work health and safety handbook, accessed on 18 May 2022 Also available from:

Safe Work Australia, (2015). Work-related Mental Disorders Profile, accessed on 18 May 2022, Also available from:

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