Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


(EXSC632 Clnical Assessment and Exercise for Neurological Conditions AND EXSC633 Lifestyle and Exercise Counselling ) AND (EXSC634 Clinical Assessment and Exercise for Musculoskeletal Conditions of the Lower Limb OR EXSC635 Clinical Assessment and Exercise for Cardiopulmonary Conditions OR EXSC639 Clinical Assessment and Exercise for Musculoskeletal Conditions of the Trunk and Upper Limb )

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Accredited Exercise Physiologist's (AEP's) adhere to professional standards to practice within the Australian healthcare system, underpinned by ethics and law. Within their scope of practice, AEP's must be able to work within local, government and industry policy, address individual client needs, and conduct themselves as a professional in the practice environment. In this unit, students will examine the ethical and core legal responsibilities that face the AEP in a clinical setting. Emphasis is placed on understanding and applying ethical decision-making and legal compliance in clinical exercise physiology practice. In particular, this unit provides a broad-based introduction to applied ethics in healthcare. Students will be introduced to fundamental business principles in the healthcare environment and will integrate those principles to manage a pop-up exercise physiology clinic in the later parts of the semester.

The unit aims to support AEP's in the application of principles of healthcare ethics to specific issues arising in the exercise physiology settings in order to promote the common good through serving the goals of healthcare practice.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Evaluate the social contribution of professional practice and the ways in which human dignity is supported, within the context of the promotion of the common good, integrating coherent knowledge of selected theories and concepts in normative ethics and applied healthcare ethics (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5)

LO2 - Conceptualise risk management principles associated with legal compliance, laws and regulations as they relate to professional practice within the scope of practice of accredited exercise physiologists (GA2, GA5)

LO3 - Work collaboratively to create provisions for an exercise physiology service specific to a marginalised community integrating intercultural perspectives of healthcare, principles of fundamental business management, risk management principles and normative and healthcare ethics (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7)

LO4 - Critically reflect on responsible clinical practice and experiential learning in a professional practice environment, informed by professional standards and the scope of practice for accredited exercise physiologists, to prepare for future practice in different workplace contexts (GA2, GA4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively


Topics include:

  • Introduction to ethical principles in health care 
  • Introduction to law for accredited exercise physiologists 
  • Legal concepts for accredited exercise physiologists 
  • Risk management and communication skills 
  • Working within the law 
  • Communication skills 
  • Consent and informed decision making 
  • Confidentiality and disclosure 
  • Documentation, record keeping and reports 
  • Professional liability and negligence 
  • Exercise physiology accreditation and discipline 
  • Health care complaints systems 
  • The Australian health care system 
  • Intercultural perspectives of healthcare including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Working with DHS (Medicare), WorkCover, DVA, TAC, private insurers 
  • Maintenance of professional competence 
  • Introduction to business principles: 
  • Human resources 
  • Finance 
  • Marketing 
  • Business planning 
  • The accredited exercise physiologist and interprofessional relationships 
  • Working with Third Party payers  
  • Other medical and allied health professionals 
  • Employers 
  • Community settings 
  • Case managers 
  • Research in clinical practice 
  • Entering practice and practice management 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered through multi-mode delivery and aims to facilitate learner centred, online and face-to-face learning. Learning and teaching strategies within this Masters level unit are based on a blend of constructivism, social constructivism, and experiential learning. These strategies focus on active participation within a community of inquiry. Purposefully designed online, face-to-face workshop activities, and facilitated clinical experience focus on inquiry-based learning principles aimed at encouraging critical thinking, application of knowledge and skills, evidence for practice, collaborative peer learning and self-reflection.

This unit offers the opportunity for students to enhance their theoretical knowledge, augment their applied clinical management skills and increase their appreciation of knowledge and skills of their interprofessional colleagues with the aim of translating learning into clinical practice. In the earlier stages of semester, synchronous and asynchronous activities, purposefully designed for individual and small group participation, will focus on analysis of current practice, to assimilate application of acquired knowledge and facilitate translation of learning into practice. Students will be encouraged to engage in extended dialogues in order to guide students towards a more interprofessional, person-centred practice. Students will attend face-to-face workshops across six weeks for spaced practice. A blend of case-based and problem-based learning activity activities are provided pre-workshop and used during workshop discussions. These cases are used both to drive learning and as exemplars for learning with the aim of developing higher order thinking and reasoning including: consideration, interpretation, appraisal and critical analysis of data, information and ideas for guiding students towards innovative reasoning, holistic person-centred care and responsible clinical practice.

In the latter parts of semester, teaching activities have been designed to deliberately engage students in different modes of experiential learning within the context of a simulated professional clinical workplace. Herein, student practitioners are supported by a team of clinical preceptors, or sponsors, to assimilate and apply old and new knowledge in the clinical management of real clients. This clinical experience is designed to realise the transformations of student practitioner to healthcare professional consistent with the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for responsible clinical practice.

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 enables students to demonstrate knowledge of ethical practice principles, and how they relate to the social contribution of professional practice. The use of an online presentation allows students to express ethical issues in a natural context, and by using an online medium develops technological skills which are in line with many employment presentation requirements. The second assessment provides students with an opportunity to further develop their knowledge of ethical practice for maintaining human dignity and applying it to appropriate risk management principles and legal compliance in an authentic case-based scenario. By combining these integral components of professional practice, students will have the knowledge required to implement a successful exercise physiology business, whilst maintaining true to the common good. The third assessment enables students with the opportunity to develop a standard of practice document for provisions an exercise physiology service specific to a marginalised community. Student must work collaboratively Collegial work on this assessment provides an authentic learning experience to real-world development of business principles and practices. The final assessment is a hurdle task, which provides a learning experience relevant to accredited exercise physiologists. Maintenance of a learning portfolio will enable students an opportunity to critically reflect on clinical performance and work integrated learning in a pop-up exercise physiology clinic. Features of the portfolio are designed to support students in planning future work integrated learning and initiate preparations for subsequent professional practice in different clinical workplace contexts. As the learning portfolio is a hurdle, students must demonstrate, at a minimum, the essential clinical competencies to practice responsibly with real clientele. Demonstration of these essential clinical competencies is necessary for safe and effective professional practice as an accredited exercise physiologist. Students will be given formative feedback during their clinical experience in the pop-up exercise physiology clinic and afforded an opportunity to implement that feedback prior to final evaluation of clinical performance at the end of the clinical experience.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Individual oral presentation 

Enables students to undertake an observation and analysis of a ‘real life’ ethical issue, and apply a comprehensive and systematic analysis of ethical decision-making as it applies to an accredited exercise physiologist’s practice.


LO1, LO2,  

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5

Individual report 

Enables students to demonstrate knowledge of risk management principles and legal compliance in relation to an exercise physiology scenario.


LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7

Group written report  

Enables students to develop the ability to integrate intercultural perspectives of healthcare, principles of fundamental business management, risk management principles and normative and healthcare ethics to the development of a standard of practice document specific to implementation of an exercise physiology service for a marginalised community. 


Group component (30%) 

Individual component (20%) 

LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7

Learning portfolio 

Enables students an opportunity to critically reflect on clinical performance and work integrated learning to plan future learning and prepare for subsequent professional practice.


LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7 

Representative texts and references

American College of Sports Medicine. (2012). ACSM’s Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines (4th ed). Lower Mitcham, South Australia: Human Kinetics.  

Breen, K, Cordner, SM, Thomson, CJH, & Plueckhahn, VD. (2010). Good Medical Practice: Professionalism, Ethics and Law. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 

Forrester, K, & Griffiths, D. (2014). Essentials of Law for Health Professionals (4th ed.). Marrickville, Australia: Mosby Elsevier. 

Kerridge, I, Lowe, M, & McPhee, J. (2013). Ethics and Law for the Health Professions (4th ed.). Sydney: The Federation Press. 

Roy, B. (2013). Medical Fitness Association’s Standards & Guidelines for Medical Fitness Centre Facilities. (2nd ed.). Monterey, USA: Healthy Learning. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs