Physical Activity Providers: who can help?

Physical Activity Providers: who can help?

It can often be difficult to know where to go and who can help with physical activity. Here, we explain the roles of three key physical activity providers.

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)

  • Accredited Exercise Physiologists specialise in the delivery of safe and effective exercise, lifestyle and behaviour change programs.
  • The goal of these programs is usually to prevent or manage illness and injury.
  • AEPs can work in a range of settings including aged care, fitness centres, workplaces, sport settings and private clinics.
  • AEPs are the most qualified professionals in Australia when it comes to prescribing exercise.(1)


  • Physiotherapists can assist in recovery from an injury, preventing further injury, reducing pain and stiffness and increasing mobility. Physiotherapists often work with people who have chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and pelvic floor muscle issues.
  • Physiotherapists can help improve balance to prevent falls. This includes assisting with use of aids such as walking sticks or frames, wheelchairs or crutches.
  • Physiotherapists provide exercise treatment programs for an individual or a group.(2)

Registered Exercise Professionals (e.g. Personal Trainer/Exercise Instructor)

  • Registered Exercise Professionals can plan and deliver exercise to those at low and moderate risk.
  • They can work with people at higher risk as long as their condition is stable and they have had input from a doctor or allied health professional. (3)

How to get help

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)

There are a couple of ways to get help from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP).

  • Talk to your GP to see if you are suitable for a Chronic Disease Management Plan for Medicare rebated appointments.
  • If this is not an option, then you can still access an AEP with an out of pocket cost. This may be covered by your private health provider. Click here to find an AEP in your region


There are a few ways you can go about seeing a physiotherapist

  • Contact the public community physiotherapy department in your region to check what services are available:
  • Talk to your GP to see if you are suitable for a Chronic Disease Management Plan. This means you will get a Medicare rebate for up to five appointments in a calendar year. Depending on which physiotherapist you go to you may be charged a gap fee, so be sure to ask when you book your appointment if this is a concern for you.
  • If this is not an option, you can access a physiotherapist with an out of pocket cost. The cost will vary depending on where you go, so you might like to call around to see how much physiotherapists near you charge. If you have private health insurance, you can ask your provider how much of the appointment cost they will cover. Click here to find a physiotherapist in your region

Personal Trainer/Exercise Instructor

Personal Trainers and Exercise Instructors work in a variety of settings including gyms and community health centres. You do not need a referral to access their help.

To find a trainer near you visit Fitness Australia


Physical Activity Programs

[1] Source: AEP Scope of Practice 2018 and exerciseright

[2] Source: APA website what is physio and exerciseright

[3] Source: Fitness Australia Scope of Practice for Registered Exercise Professionals June 2019