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ESSA Course Accreditation

Welcome to ESSA’s Course Accreditation online application program. 

ESSA offers two levels of accreditation within its course accreditation program: 

  • Exercise Science
  • Exercise Physiology

Course accreditation is a rigorous process. The award of ESSA course accreditation provides potential students with assurance that the course:

  • Provides a high-quality study experience.
  • Aligns with competency standards for entry into the profession.
  • Graduating from an ESSA accredited course provides the public with assurance that the practitioner will be highly trained and able to practice in the profession safely.

Course Accreditation Information

Click on the respective section below for more information about different accreditations.

Exercise Science Standards and Course Development 

ESSA’s Exercise Science (ES) Standards are a framework to inform education providers when developing curricula in exercise, sport and movement sciences. They allow graduates to meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) requirements for Level 7 that lead to a Bachelor Degree qualification (or above). They also underpin all ESSA accreditation categories.
 

The Exercise Science Standards are organised into 15 study areas that are based on the minimum professional requirements for graduates working in all areas of exercise science.
 

Graduating from an accredited exercise science course is a pathway to becoming an Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES) with ESSA. To be accredited graduates must show that they have integrated knowledge and skills learned through their course by completing clinical practicum.
 

The Practicum Guide sets out the AES practicum and supporting evidence requirements.


Resources for accredited course and clinical practicum development
Exercise Science Standards

Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework

Accredited Exercise Physiologist Professional Standards and Course Development

ESSA’s Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) Professional Standards are a framework to inform education providers when developing exercise physiology courses. The standards allow graduates to meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) requirements for Level 7 that lead to a Bachelor Degree qualification (or above).
 

Accredited Exercise Physiologists are an allied health profession within the Australian Health Care system. The AEP Professional Standards are the minimum requirements for graduates to begin practice in this profession and build on the Exercise Science Standards. 
 

Graduating from an accredited exercise physiology course is the pathway to becoming an Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES) and/or Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) with ESSA. To be accredited applicants must show that they have integrated knowledge and skills learned through their course by completing clinical practicum. The Practicum Guide sets out the AEP clinical practicum and supporting evidence requirements.

 

Resources for accredited course and clinical practicum development

Accredited Exercise Physiologist Professional Standards

Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework​​​​​​

Accredited Sports Science (Level 1) Professional Standards and Course Development

Coming soon


Important information: 

  • New course accreditations are required to initially complete a Qualifying Accreditation application prior to completing the Full Accreditation application. 
  • To Maintain Course Accreditation an Annual Report must be completed prior to 1st June for each year of accreditation. Click here to submit your report online.  


Applying for ESSA Accreditation

Click on the respective section below for detailed application information regarding full and qualifying accreditation, maintaining accreditation as well as annual reports.

Applying for Qualifying Accreditation​​​​​​

Participation in the qualifying accreditation process is a prerequisite for courses intended to be submitted for consideration of full accreditation. An application for qualifying accreditation must submitted at least 12 months before students are first enrolled into a course.
 

Education providers must liaise with the Course Accreditation Manager at least six weeks before they wish to submit a qualifying accreditation application, to organise a mutually agreeable date for the qualifying application to be submitted.
 

Before submitting an application for qualifying accreditation, education providers must ensure they have read and understood the Course Accreditation documents outlined below:
 

Current
Course Accreditation Requirements
Course Accreditation Standards
Course Accreditation Guide
Appendices (Exercise Science Standards and AEP Professional Standards)
Practicum Standards (in effect 1 January 2022, except for EP specifications which are effective in 2023)
 

Full payment of the qualifying accreditation application fee must be made when submitting an application for qualifying accreditation. An invoice will be generated upon receipt of the application. Please refer to ESSA’s web page Course Accreditation Fees, which lists all fees associated with course accreditation.

Applying for Full Accreditation

An application for full accreditation for a new course must be submitted as soon as the inaugural cohort of students commence studying the third to last semester of the course.
Education providers must liaise with the Course Accreditation Manager four months before the application is to be submitted, to schedule a mutually agreeable date for the application submission.


The Course Accreditation Manager will issue the invoice upon receipt of the application. Please refer to ESSA’s web page Course Accreditation Fees, which lists all fees associated with course accreditation.

Before submitting a course accreditation application education providers must ensure they have read and understood the Course Accreditation Requirements documents below:


Current
Course Accreditation Requirements
Course Accreditation Standards
Course Accreditation Guide   
Appendices (Exercise Science Standards and Accredited Exercise Physiologist Professional Standards)
Practicum Standards (in effect 1 January 2022, except for EP specifications which are effective in 2023)

For courses that are delivered at multiple campuses (either part or in full), education providers must read and understand ESSA's Multi Campus Policy if either all or part of the course that is submitted for accreditation is delivered at other campuses. Please note that where a course is also delivered by distance (off-campus), this is considered as a separate campus. For a course delivered at multiple campuses, information specific to each campus will need to be provided within the application form and this must be clearly highlighted. Tables may need to be replicated to provide information for each campus, as applicable.

Course accreditation is campus-specific. For education providers who already have an accredited course, but mid-accreditation cycle wish to apply to extend the accreditation of that course to another campus or to introduce the delivery of the course by distance, please contact the Course Accreditation Manager.

To commence a Full Accreditation application, please click here or click the “Apply Today” tab.

Maintaining Course Accreditation

Annual Reports

Education providers are responsible for maintaining the requirements for course accreditation throughout the accreditation period and are required to submit an annual report each year. In 2023, completed annual reports are required to be submitted by close of business on 1 June. 

One report is required to be completed for each course that an education provider has accredited with either full or provisional accreditation status, including double degree courses. A report must be completed regardless of whether an education provider currently has an application for re-accreditation under consideration, or if an education provider has received a course accreditation outcome in 2022. An Annual Report must also be completed if an education provider has an accredited course that has been discontinued but is currently in teach-out.

If an education provider has a course that is accredited across multiple campuses, statistical data for each campus and any other differing information (between campuses), must be clearly identified.  

The Annual Report can be complete online by clicking here.
 

Annual Fees

Annual fees are required to be paid in full by 1 June each year. An invoice for the annual fee will be provided four weeks prior to the annual fee due date. Payment of the annual fee is required for continued participation in the course accreditation process.
 

Notification of Course Changes

Education providers are required to notify ESSA of any changes to a course in respect of any of the minimum requirements for accreditation. This includes changes to academic staffing (in terms of any staff who were submitted towards meeting the minimum staffing requirements), student enrolments, course structure, course content, assessment methodologies, and practicum placements (significant loss of). 


Twelve months’ notice must be provided before any planned changes are implemented to the course structure or content that was submitted towards meeting accreditation requirements.

 

Please download and complete the Course Change Notification Form  to inform ESSA of all changes and email this to the Course Accreditation Manager to courseaccreditation@essa.org.au.
 

A fee will be incurred for the review of course changes. Fees levied to consider course changes are determined by the characteristics and extent of the proposed changes.
 

Changes to be made to course and/or unit codes and/or names must also be reported. However, no fees are incurred in this instance.

Applying for Re-Accreditation​​​​​

An application for re-accreditation must be submitted at the beginning of the final 12 months of the accreditation period. The date agreed between the Course Accreditation Manager and the education provider for the submission of the re-accreditation application must be no later than 28 February in the final year of accreditation.
 

Timely submission of the re-accreditation application is the education provider’s responsibility. Failure to submit a re-accreditation application in a timely manner may result in an application not being finalised before the accreditation expiry and a student cohort not being eligible for accreditation through ESSA. In this instance, ESSA accepts no responsibility for an application not being finalised before the accreditation expiry and accepts no liability for students graduating from a course and not being eligible to obtain accreditation credentialing with ESSA under the recognition of having graduated from an accredited course.
 

A re-accreditation application follows the same process as for an initial full accreditation application, and full accreditation fees will apply.
 

An Application Pack can be downloaded.
 

Applying for Full Course Accreditation.

Course Accreditation Fees

For the latest Course Accreditation fees including Full Accreditation, Qualifying Accreditation, Annual Fees, Accreditation Conditions, Course Changes and Appeals Fees, please click on the following link: Course Accreditation Fees (essa.org.au)


To commence an application please click here or select the “Apply Today” tab to create a new account or login with an existing account to commence the online application. 

  • Complete all answers ensuring appropriate information / evidence is uploaded with your application.
  • A “Manage Collaborators” tab is available in each application form and allows you to invite other individuals to upload or provide information in the form. 
  • Your application doesn’t have to be completed all at once, it can be saved at any time by clicking the save icon located at the bottom of the form. Then login again to access your saved form.
  • The Application Form includes mandatory questions that require answering before your application can be submitted. Incomplete mandatory questions will be identified when you attempt to submit the form. 

Once an online application has been received, an ESSA staff member will be in contact.