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Adult Pre Exercise Screening System (APSS)

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© CQUniversity 2021

If you have completed other courses within this ExpertTrack you may have encountered this document before. We feel it is important to highlight it again as a valuable tool for ensuring you have all of the information at hand to develop sensible and effective training plans for your clients.

As a fitness professional, you have an obligation to complete a pre-exercise screening using a tool such as the Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System.

In Australia, three national fitness organisations have formulated a standardised approach to the adult pre-exercise screening system to ensure an evidence-based system for identifying and managing health risks for exercise. Similar assessment designs exist in most countries and can be found using a simple internet search, however we believe the Australian approach to be a gold standard globally.

The APSS divides assessment into three stages which makes the decision to refer or not much more straightforward.

It is the fitness trainer’s responsibility and industry best practice to conduct a valid and comprehensive screening and risk stratification process.

When an industry recognised pre-exercise health screen is conducted correctly, it will help determine whether exercise and physical activity intervention are safe for any particular individual and help build respect from AHPs.

You can download a copy of the Adult Pre Exercise Screening System by clicking on the image below, or in the downloads section at the bottom of this page.


Clients can be categorised as high, moderate or low-risk clients

High Risk: One or more signs/symptoms of or diagnosed cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease.

A thorough medical examination should take place and clearance given before commencing physical activity or exercise at any intensity level.

Moderate Risk: Do not have signs/symptoms of or diagnosed cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease but has two or more cardiovascular disease risk factors.

May safely engage in low-to-moderate-intensity physical activities without the necessity for medical examination and clearance.

Low Risk: No known or signs/symptoms of a cardiovascular, pulmonary or metabolic disease and no more than one cardiovascular disease risk factor.

Physical activity/exercise program may be pursued safely without the necessity for medical examination or clearance.

Source: Fitness Australia, 2019.

© CQUniversity 2021
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