Accredited Exercise Physiologist

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)

Accredited exercise physiologists specialise in clinical exercise interventions for a broad range of people at risk of developing, or have existing, medical conditions and injuries.

The role of an accredited exercise physiologist:

Accredited exercise physiologists specialise in clinical exercise interventions for a broad range of pathological populations. These persons may be at risk of developing, or have existing, medical conditions and injuries. The aims of AEP interventions are to prevent acute, manage subacute, manage chronic disease/injury, and assist in restoring one’s optimal physical function, health and wellness. These interventions are exercise-based and include functional capacity testing and individually modified rehabilitation to return participants to activities of daily living.


  • Have a Level 8 (Postgraduate) tertiary qualification with a focus on clinical exercise physiology or exercise  prescription for special populations. AND
  • Have undertaken at least 360 hours of professional practice in the categories defined by SESNZ and identified in practical log books (addition to the 140 hours of healthy individual populations completing in the Sport Science registration).
    • 200 hours to be completed across cardiac, metabolic and musculoskeletal domains (they do not need to be evenly distributed, but students do need to demonstrate competency in each domain).
    • 100 hours to be completed in any other AEP pathology domain e.g. cancer, mental health, respiratory or neurological
    • 60 hours to be completed in any AEP pathology or activity relevant to the professional standards

** Note: hours must be supervised by an AEP or relevant professional to sign off student competency

Continued professional development

To ensure currency of knowledge and experience, AEP’s are required to participate in ongoing professional development, and stay abreast of recent research. Yearly professional development requirements to maintain accreditation as an Accredited Exercise physiologist include:

  1. A minimum of 20 approved CPD points per membership year (1 January – 31 December)
  2. Hold a current cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certificate
  3. Hold a current first aid certificate

Continued practice is governed by SESNZ national re-accreditation, professional
development and professional accountability requirements.


Scope of Practice

  • Screening, assessing and applying clinical reasoning to ensure the safety and appropriateness of exercise and physical activity interventions, which includes conducting tests of physiological measures.
  • Assessing movement capacity in people of all ages and levels of health, well-being or fitness.
  • Development of safe, effective individualised exercise interventions.
  • Provision of health education, advice and support to enhance health and well-being.
  • Provision of exercise intervention and education for those at risk of developing a chronic condition or injury.
  • Provision of clinical exercise prescription, for those with existing chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries.
  • Provision of exercise-based rehabilitation and advice for patients following the acute stage of injury, surgical intervention, or during recovery to restore functional capacity and well-being.
  • The above tasks may occur at any level of primary, secondary or tertiary health care, and may include employment or volunteer work at an individual, community or population health level through various employers or industries.

*As part of developing our alignment with Exercise Sport Science Australia (ESSA), and desire to continually improve our accreditation pathway, from the 1st of January 2020, a theory and practical examination will be a compulsory part of the accreditation process for accredited exercise physiology (AEP). The theory and practical examination will take place after successful completion of the case study portfolio. Sport and Exercise Science New Zealand will be holding these examinations twice a year, by rotation, in Auckland, Waikato and Christchurch. Alongside this, ESSA will also hold examinations for us in Brisbane, commencing January 2020 

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