Deakin University

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A university-based clinical exercise facility that serves as a clinical, teaching and research space

Deakin University opened its Clinical Exercise Learning Centre (CELC) in May 2011, initially staffed by four (now seven) Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP), and funded by the university. The main objectives of CELC are to provide (i) excellent clinical practicum learning opportunities for postgraduate students enrolled in the Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology that prepare students for subsequent external placements; (ii) learning opportunities that are vertically integrated with the preparatory components of the Masters, including pathophysiology units and pre-clinical units; (iii) learning opportunities that are also integrated with the external clinical practicum program that is embedded in the Masters; (iv) a clinical service to the community and strong referral networks with local GPs; (v) a research centre that is focussed on evaluating the efficacy of Accredited Exercise Physiology (AEP) services for a range of clinical situations, with a view to contributing to a future national evidence-based practice network supported by ESSA. Deakin University funds the CELC facility, equipment, consumables, limited car parking, practice management software and server and, most importantly, the staff. Therefore CELC runs at a loss even against fees charged and this was built into the original model. Staff include an AEP clinical practicum coordinator, two casual AEPs and several academic AEPs; the latter practise as a small part of their approved workloads. The practice model is for all AEPs to provide clinical services with referred clients who are billed as if CELC is a private practice, whilst concurrently teaching and mentoring students; the latter are expected to be active learners in CELC and have exposure to a wide range of pathologies and clinical situations. Billable hours are always provided by AEPs, not students, but students can assist. CELC provides clinical services 1:1:1 (client: AEP: student), 1:1:5 and 8:1:5. CELC was awarded national runner-up in the ESSA Exercise Physiology clinic of the year in 2011 and has grown its caseload to > 200 referrers in 2013. CELC recently designed a generic research platform and has begun to roll out research projects that are designed to translate 'traditional' research-based evidence of exercise benefits for chronic disease in order to evaluate AEP efficacy of practice in the Australian context. CELC provides a model for other universities, provided those universities see it for its learning value, and not to generate revenue or profit.


Title of book

Science of sport, exercise & physical activity in the tropics

Chapter number



163 - 172


Nova Science Publishers

Place of publication

New York, N.Y.





Publication classification

BN Other book chapter, or book chapter not attributed to Deakin

Copyright notice

2014, Nova Science Publishers




A Edwards, A Leicht