The development of an accreditation scheme for accredited exercise physiologists
Selig, S., Coombes, J. S., Otago, L., Pascoe, D., Raymond, J., Torode, M. and Groeller, H. 2011, The development of an accreditation scheme for accredited exercise physiologists, Focus on health professional education, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 89-112.
Background: Accredited Exercise Physiologists provide exercise services for people living with chronic disease, disability or injury and are recognised in Australia as Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP) under a national certification system administered by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). A major breakthrough occurred for the AEP in 2006 when the Australian Department of Health and Ageing approved the AEP to deliver clinical exercise services for people with chronic medical conditions under the taxpayer-funded national health scheme, Medicare Australia.
Aims: In light of these developments, the authors recognised the need for new accreditation criteria, and our report summarises the work that we did on behalf of the profession and ESSA in restructuring the accreditation system.
Methods and Outcomes: We first performed a background study that defined the scope of practice of the AEP and benchmarked the AEP against other allied health professions in Australia and Clinical Exercise Physiologists internationally. We then constructed a new set of accreditation criteria comprising sets of pathologyspecific knowledge and experiences, together with a set of generic standards including communication, professional behaviour and risk management. All participating Australian universities (18 out of 27 responded) and 29 practitioner experts were then invited to provide comment and input into the draft guidelines. There was strong support for the new system that was implemented nationally on 1 January 2008 and is now administered by ESSA.
Conclusions: This work has stimulated an unprecedented level of activity in the Australian university sector in developing new curricula in clinical exercise science and practice, and is intended to lead to improved standards of clinical exercise practice.
Field of Research
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
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