Information about Fitness Australia registration, services and support
Information about Fitness Australia registration, services and support
An online version of the APSS was developed by the Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management project and is available at www.fitnessriskmanagement.com.au/screening-tool
No. Organisations cannot brand the tool and infer that it is part of their intellectual property as this is in breach of copyright law.
Options available include:
Using the national standard that has been endorsed by the three national fitness, exercise and sports medicine peak bodies will deliver enhanced credibility and confidence to your clients.
For issues such as risk management and safety, demonstrating that you meet evidence based national standards that re supported by industry authorities will make more of an impact than promoting your own logo in isolation.
You can add additional questions that you might ask a new client (e.g. client contact information, risk warnings/disclaimer statements or other information collected for the purposes of delivering your services). However, the questions and the process of the APSS must be used in their entirety, as they are in the tool, and must be referenced appropriately (Exercise and Sports Science Australia, Fitness Australia and SMA, 2011).
The reason for this is that they are evidence based and have been carefully designed to elicit client responses that will uncover health risks that might contra-indicate exercise and which require further guidance from a medical or allied health professional. Using only part of one of the stages or altering the intended process may prevent accurate risk factor calculation and risk assessment which could lead to unsafe and unsuitable exercise prescription and advice.
Stage 1 of the APSS tool is the compulsory stage, and so is expected to be used for all casual gym visits (either using gym facilities or participating in a group exercise class) to ensure businesses and professionals are meeting their duty of care in screening for high risk clients.
In relation to casual swim clients, the APSS would generally be applied for structured exercise as opposed to casual swimming; however Stage 1 could still be applied. Fitness Australia recommends that professionals and businesses liaise with Royal Life Saving and other Aquatics peak bodies for guidance in these situations.
No, one form is sufficient for ongoing attendance. It is recommended that he client management process that is used by a business or trainer should enable screening results to be kept on file and easily checked for casual visitors who wish to participate in a class or use a service.
The APSS has been designed for use with adults. It is not a system designed for use with children and does not take into account conditions specific to children or periods of childhood development that are related to specific vulnerabilities.
Standards related to provision of fitness services for children do stipulate that pre-exercise screening is an essential component of managing health risks for children undertaking exercise programs. The Kids in Gyms Guidelines includes some examples of screening questions suitable for children.
All minors must have a parent or Guardian present to sign a pre-exercise screening form and provide consent to the activities that will be undertaken. In addition, the supervising instructors must all hold a current Working with Children Check (or equivalent in your state or territory) and any instructor prescribing exercise programs or leading classes should hold relevant Exercise Professional Registration.
When do I need to complete specific training for working with age groups e.g. Older Adults or Children?
Refer to Question 6 of the APSS Stage 1: "Do you have any diagnosed muscle, bone or joint problems that you have been told could be made worse by participating in physical activity/exercise?"
This question relates to a current problem that could be made worse by activity, rather than a past injury that a client has fully recovered from. Almost everyone has experienced some level of soreness following unaccustomed exercise or activity. This is a common physiological response and not what this question is designed to identify. Soreness due to unaccustomed activity is not the same as pain in the joint, muscle or bone. Pain is more extreme and may represent an injury or serious inflammatory episode or even infection. Many chronic conditions cause pain and / or limitations in daily tasks. If the person has a condition such as arthritis or back problems then this is important to know for exercise prescription.
If the 'yes' response is related to an acute problem then it is possible further medical guidance may be required. This is an example of where professional judgment is required and follow-up questions may be warranted. Refer to the APSS Textbook for more detailed guidance about injuries or conditions that require medical or allied health guidance.
In a rehabilitation situation, a treating Physiotherapist is an appropriate allied health professional to be overseeing the exercise program. If a client attends without a Physiotherapist, having them complete stage 1 of the APSS and provide written confirmation from their treating Physiotherapist to guide exercise prescription is required. In this case it may also be appropriate for the Exercise Professional to phone the Physiotherapist to gain verbal advice about the client’s conditions as well (and to document this).
Clients with a disability should be treated in the same way as able-bodied clients and in both cases, pre-exercise screening is imperative to identify any health risks that require further direction and to guide exercise prescription. In any case, referral to a health professional is not about denying access but rather about seeking guidance prior to developing an appropriate exercise program.
ABS statistics demonstrate that approximately one in five Australians or 4 million people have a disability (such as mobility, vision, hearing and learning disabilities) and disability rates increase with age. Therefore, failing to incorporate disability and seniors facilities and services into your business strategy will place your business at a disadvantage. In addition, businesses have a legal obligation to provide equality of experience for all. Remember that staff training (not just of fitness staff but front desk and customer service staff as well) is an essential component of delivering an inclusive service and ensuring that appropriate practices are delivered when dealing with disabled clients.
It is true that clients have often overcome quite a few hurdles to even make an inquiry with a fitness service, and that the last thing we want to do is turn them away (potentially to competition down the road). It is also true that the fitness industry has to date employed relatively inconsistent pre-exercise screening practices and for some sectors there has been little or no screening at all. Aim to:
Important Statement: From 1 August 2017, a Registered Exercise Professional (REP) will be called an AusREP. We have not amended all the documents to reflect the change. If you require an updated version or have any queries in relation to the changes, please contact us on 1300 211 311.