Sport and Exercise Physiology

The sport and exercise physiologist (SEP) has expertise in non-clinical exercise physiology specifically around the assessment of performance and exercise prescription with the aim of improving athlete performance, fitness, health and/or wellbeing.

Scope of Practice

  • Apply the principles of exercise physiology in a non-clinical setting for the improvement of performance, fitness, health and/or wellbeing.
  • Knowledge of appropriate, reliable and valid methods for assessing physiological performance for a range of non-clinical populations in a variety of environments and sporting contexts.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of exercise prescriptions for non-clinical populations in a sport performance or health and wellbeing context.
  • Communication of findings in an accessible manner for medical staff, other sports science team members, coaches and participants.
  • Aid coaching staff in the development of training programmes often in conjunction with strength and conditioning staff.
  • Accurately monitor and record team or individual performance over time.
  • Working with researchers to develop new sport-specific or context-specific tests (e.g. team and individual sports or in – non-clinical – health/physical activity promotion settings) and exercise prescriptions.
  • Read and interpret a wide range of physiological studies to make them accessible for wider audiences including coaches, athletes and participants.

Skills and competencies

Candidate case studies should demonstrate the following;

  • The knowledge to employ a wide variety of energy system specific, sport specific and/or component-of-fitness-specific assessments tools (field and laboratory) to evaluate physiological functioning
  • Ability to monitor changes in energy system response over time through the use a variety of assessment tools.
  • Demonstrate expertise in an area of exercise physiology such as sport performance or physical activity promotion.
  • Ability to prescribe exercise to specific populations in a sports performance or non-clinical health context.
  • Ability to accurately interpret physiological data and monitor outcomes in the short or long-term.
  • Ability to relate own findings to the wider field and previous research to aid with interpretation of assessments.
  • Ability to explain and work in a way that is safe at all times for participants.
  • Ability to analyse data utilising equipment software and statistical tools such as SPSS etc.
  • Ability to communicate findings in an appropriate manor to the stakeholders (e.g., written reports, annotated video analysis)

Over the next 12 months the Exercise and Sport Science Accreditation pathway is under review. 

The review is being led by Dr Mel Bussey and Professor Andy Kilding, with the intention being to work with High Performance Sport New Zealand, key sports organisations and Sport New Zealand to further develop the accreditation pathway in sport science so it reflects the future ways of working that will likely be required for sports scientists working in performance and health (non-clinical) settings.

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