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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91829  Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science 
ORIGINATOR
Health and Fitness Professionals Academy (Pty) Ltd 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Advanced Certificate  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Sport 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  141  Not Applicable  NQF Level 06  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
This Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science is intended to expand the exercise science knowledge base of exercise professionals and to move them towards the development of foundational competence. This implies that the learner will develop an understanding of the knowledge and thinking which underpins actions to be taken and which, in turn, will lead towards the development of principled, flexible thinking, thereby increasing the capacity to generate new knowledge.

The qualifying learner will be capable of:
  • Demonstrating a sound foundation of knowledge and skills through the study of the latest strength and conditioning research.
  • Applying practical skills in the principles, methods and tracking of health related training and safety.
  • Demonstrating the development of enhanced reflexive skills acquired through the reading of relevant research material and contributing to the writing of scientific articles.

    Rationale:
    As many exercise professionals will predominately be working as independent contractors, the development of supporting skills and knowledge needed for this expert service work is imperative. It has been stated that expert service work is characterised by the performance of knowledgeable, customised, interactive labour, which implies the following:
  • A need for a knowledge base.
  • An understanding of client behaviour.

    Together, these ensure the production of a "made to order" exchange that relies on the personal trainer being able to use own knowledge and skills creatively and autonomously. Thus the exercise professional can act as a reflexive practitioner. With the increase in disease and the emphasis on 'conditioning' of the body for both daily and sporting activities, the need for reflexive practitioners has increased.

    This qualification will enable the successful learner to be able to use the latest developments in training techniques, nutrition and the treatment of injuries to develop programme interventions that will lead to improvements in the fitness levels and conditioning of both professional and recreational sportspeople, as well as with people whose special needs are often neglected in a regular gym environment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners have knowledge of sport/exercise science or fitness at NQF Level 5 and have completed, or will complete, a valid First Aid/CPR Certificate.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    The Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science, NQF Level 6 may be achieved in part or wholly through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) if a learner is able to demonstrate the necessary competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes embedded in this qualification. The demonstration of competence must be supported by evidence which meets the criteria of validity, currency, reliability and fairness.

    Current competencies in the fitness training industry will be assessed using the institutional RPL procedures. Candidates must, at the time of application, provide proof in the form of an academic record or other documentation to substantiate relevant practical experience. Such competencies may help gain access to the qualification or advanced placement therein.

    Access to the Qualification:
    Candidates applying for access to this qualification should:
  • Hold a recognised Higher Certificate in Exercise Science.
  • Be currently employed in, or have direct access to, a fitness or exercise environment to be able to complete the required workplace integrated learning. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The qualification consists of nine compulsory modules, eight of which are theoretical, totalling 111 Credits and one for experiential learning, which is worth 30 Credits. These credits together total 141 Credits - the minimum required to be awarded the qualification.

    Modules:
  • Kinesiology, 21 Credits.
  • Principles and Methods of Sport-Related Training, 37 Credits.
  • Safety and Injury Prevention, 24 Credits.
  • Exercise and Modifications for Special Needs, 20 Credits.
  • Psychology and Lifestyle Issues, 2 Credits.
  • Sports Conditioning Facilities, 2 Credits.
  • Assessment and Evaluation, 3 Credits.
  • Nutrition, 2 Credits.
  • Experiential Learning, 30 Credits.

    Total credits for the qualification: 141. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the functional anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal and endocrine systems of the human body.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of human bioenergetics, metabolism and human endocrine responses in the human body in order to optimise the physiological responses of all body systems to exercise.
    3. Conduct and record a kinesiological analysis of specific motor skills or movements of the human body.
    4. Select, conduct and interpret pre-participation screening and a variety of protocols to assess physical activity readiness and/or level of fitness of a given individual.
    5. Manage, project and conduct oneself in a professional manner within the sports and fitness context.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in this qualification. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The following Assessment Criteria may be applied in a generic manner or specifically to any or all of the Exit Level Outcomes:
    1. Explain the physiological adaptations of the musculoskeletal and endocrine systems to aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
    2. Develop training programmes to optimise the physiological responses of the body systems to exercise.
    3. Use a kinesiological analysis to develop a training programme which addresses the specific needs of a given individual.
    4. Design and demonstrate periodised conditioning and skills programmes which are tailored to meet the specific needs of sportspersons.
    5. Implement, monitor and modify exercise programmes to prevent injury.
    6. Design and demonstrate programmes which are tailored to meet the specific needs of special population clients.
  • Range of special needs includes, but is not limited to: Diabetes, weight reduction, Parkinson's disease, HIV and AIDS, Cardiac disease and locomotor disability.
    7. Define and implement appropriate nutritional guidelines to enhance sports performance for athletes.
    8. Demonstrate knowledge of the fitness conditioning environment and the context in which physical activity takes place.
    9. Demonstrate an understanding of how to manage, project and conduct oneself in a professional manner within the sports and fitness context.
  • Range of areas to be addressed: Own physical and psychological wellbeing; application of performance psychology; use of communication and teaching strategies; own and clients' stress management; application of relevant legal requirements, application of ethical practices as the norm; application of generic and brand administration and management principles.

    Integrated Assessment:
    At the start of the qualification, action plans are drawn up with each learner and feedback is given weekly as the course is carried out.

    After each weekly workshop, homework is completed and feedback is provided.

    Once examinations are written, feedback is given to learners on their results received. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science has been compared to fitness conditioning qualifications from Australia, the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK. It shows a substantial degree of similarity to the USA National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist-(CSCS) qualification.

    The outcomes of this qualification have been specifically compared to those of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) courses in Strength and Conditioning Coaching and to the outcomes of the NSCA-CSCS course and CYQ Level 3 Certificate in Instructing Sports Conditioning. (CYQ is the UK's leading awarding organisation for health, fitness and wellbeing and develops and awards industry-leading qualifications helping people across the world to develop new careers in the health and fitness industry and beyond).

    The Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science also includes special populations, thus showing similarity to qualifications offered by the American Fitness Professional Association (AFPA) Trainer of Special Populations.

    The Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science was developed after due consideration of the NSCA Strength and Conditioning qualification. This qualification is therefore comparable to the before-mentioned and, in some cases, exceeds its standards with the incorporation of a deeper understanding of the special population client. The standard of this qualification has been specifically compared to the UK fitness qualifications, but includes important principles such as periodisation, speed, agility and quickness, principles of athlete assessment, injury prevention and management, nutrition and ergogenic aids, as are found in the USA ASCA and NSCA qualifications. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
    This qualification articulates horizontally with other qualifications in exercise science, fitness or health at NQF Level 6.

    Vertical Articulation:
    This qualification articulates vertically with any Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science, at NQF Level 7. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    The examination question papers are set by internal examiners and the sent to an external moderator for verification. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    All lecturers, examiners and moderators involved in the delivery of lectures and any assessment must be in possession of a relevant qualification at least one level higher than that of the qualification being taught.

    All assessors must be versed in the theory of assessment. 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2015. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Health and Fitness Professionals Academy (Pty) Ltd 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.