Course Description

Tailored to set you apart from the competition, Open Colleges’ Certificate IV in Fitness will train you to create fitness programs, screen and motivate clients, and successfully run your own Personal Training business. Designed by industry experts to train students in the very latest practices, this advanced qualification immerses you in the fitness world and ensures you are job-ready when you graduate.

Why study this course?

  • Built around a fictional gym, the course uses a combination of videos, podcasts and reading materials to guide you through your leaning.
  • Learning materials in the course introduce you to the types of people you will encounter in the industry. This equips you with the skills necessary to communicate and connect with all types of clients and co-workers.
  • The Certificate includes a work placement component which gives you the chance to practice your skills in a real world work environment.
This course involves work placement that currently needs to be undertaken in Australia. More information available in our FAQs

Potential career outcomes

  • Personal Trainer
Course number E1169
Qualification name SIS40215 Certificate IV in Fitness (Personal Trainer)
Course duration Maximum 14 months
Delivery Method Online with Work Placement
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Case studies, Demonstrations, Knowledge tests, Matching answers , Multiple choice questions, Practical assessments, Presentations, Reports, Scenario-based questions, Short-answer questions, True/False questions
Awarded by
  • Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197)


Entry to this qualification is open to individuals who hold a current first aid and CPR certificate and have been recognised as competent through a recognised training program or recognition process against the following units of competency:

  • SISFFIT001 Provide health screening and fitness orientation
  • SISFFIT002 Recognise and apply exercise considerations for specific populations
  • SISFFIT003 Instruct fitness programs
  • SISFFIT004 Incorporate anatomy and physiology principles into fitness programming
  • SISFFIT005 Provide healthy eating information
  • SISFFIT006 Conduct fitness appraisals
  • SISFFIT014 Instruct exercise to older clients
  • SISXCCS001 Provide quality service

Students are also required to have:

  • Completed schooling to Year 10.
  • Completed a qualification at the Certificate III level or higher.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Physical requirements

You will be required to undertake tasks related to a Certificate IV in Fitness qualified Personal Trainer during your work placement. Tasks may involve: demonstrating exercise, spotting of exercises, physical activity and the requirement to fulfill maintenance/risk management procedures.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Module. Modules 1 to 7 have been released and are available. The subsequent Modules will be available on the following dates:

  • Module 8: September 2017
  • Module 9: September 2017
  • Module 10: September 2017
Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Healthy eating

In this module, you will learn about the type of nutrition advice you can provide to clients. This will improve your confidence in providing healthy eating advice by teaching you how to interpret information within the Eat for Health Program to their clients. It will be taught from the perspective of a qualified professional explaining the importance of a Personal Trainers’ scope of practice.

  • Comply with the scope of practice in provision of nutrition advice.
  • Identify situations outside of scope of practice.
  • Identify client needs within the Eat for Health Program.
  • Develop client profiles of food choices and eating patterns.
  • Provide eating pattern and health status information.
  • Influence healthier eating patterns.

Facilities and equipment

This module will provide you with an opportunity to experience what occurs in a fitness facility in periods of down time or towards the end of the day, once clients have gone home. The module details the importance of upholding a regular maintenance procedure within a fitness facility and the importance of upholding an appropriate risk management plan. The narrative of the module will include a qualified Personal Trainer explaining policies and procedures of the fitness facility.

  • Perform routine equipment maintenance.
  • Conduct equipment repairs.
  • Store equipment to maintain serviceable condition.
  • Conduct maintenance checks of facilities or areas.
  • Check supplies.
  • Clean facility areas.
  • Contribute to facility or activity administration.

Develop exercise programs

Reaching Module 3, you will be expanding on their exercise programming knowledge. Within this module, a range of new exercises and activities will be explained and students will be introduced to the importance of long term exercise programming. The module will involve a senior Personal Trainer explaining Functional movement to students and requiring them to create a plan based on client’s goals and pre-exercise screening results.

  • Consolidate understanding of functional movement.
  • Inform clients of importance of functional movement.
  • Recognise and analyse client functional movement.
  • Consider static posture.
  • Implement functional exercise strategies.
  • Consolidate understanding of exercise science principles.
  • Apply knowledge to own professional practice.
  • Maintain and update knowledge of exercise science principles.
  • Identify client fitness goals.
  • Develop program plans.
  • Conduct exercise sessions.
  • Evaluate program.

Working with health professionals

You will be provided with information on the policies and procedures behind referring clients to appropriate allied health and medical practitioners. The module is presented from the perspective of an in-house Physical Educator/Physiotherapist providing information to the new Personal Trainer.

  • Refer to medical or allied health professional.
  • Receive and respond to referrals.
  • Deliver and monitor client fitness program.
  • Report on client progress.
  • Maintain client records.

IT in fitness

There is an increasing industry demand for Personal Trainers to fully understand the use of software and IT in the fitness industry. Module 5 is designed to help you present your work professionally using basic software. It will explain the importance of using these tools to efficiently maintain client records and create databases, as well as how to utilise technology to improve their Personal Training services.

  • Use appropriate workplace health and safety (WHS) office work practices
  • Use appropriate word-processing software
  • Use appropriate spreadsheet software
  • Use a third application software package

Instruct Personal Training programs

By Module 6, you should be able to use basic software and have a good understanding the role of a Personal Trainer. This module focuses on instructing programs for clients and using motivational strategies to help your clients' adherence to exercise. The module will have case study clients that come to you for support and personal training.

  • Identify client fitness requirements.
  • Develop personal training exercise plan and program.
  • Conduct personal training sessions.
  • Evaluate personal training program.
  • Consolidate understanding of behaviour change strategies.
  • Apply knowledge to own professional practice.
  • Maintain and update knowledge of motivation and behaviour change.
  • Identify client body composition requirements.
  • Develop exercise plan to improve body composition.
  • Implement exercise plan.
  • Evaluate exercise plan.

Personal training

You will have developed your knowledge behind personal training by now. Module 7 will focus on the different strategies used to motivate and monitor clients in a group environment.

  • Identify group personal training program requirements.
  • Develop group personal training exercise plan and program.
  • Conduct group personal training sessions.
  • Evaluate personal training program.
  • Plan sustainable activities for work in open spaces.
  • Conduct minimal impact activities.
  • Monitor impacts and changes.

Instruct young clients

To expand the understanding of specific populations, this module will focus on helping you understand how to work with clients between the ages of 13-17.

  • Identify fitness requirements.
  • Plan exercise session.
  • Instruct exercise session.
  • Evaluate exercise session.
  • Identify client needs.
  • Recommend services.
  • Customise services.
  • Confirm services.

Establishing a business

This module will introduce you to the course's business units. The course narrative involves you wanting to move out of the fitness facility to work autonomously. It covers the legal and risk management requirements of working for yourself. You will also gain an understanding of how to segment the market and how to target your service to a specific group of people.

  • Identify and implement business legal documents
  • Comply with legislation codes and regulatory requirements
  • Negotiate and arrange contracts
  • Develop marketing strategies
  • Determine a marketing mix for the business
  • Implement marketing strategies
  • Monitor and improve marketing performance

Business management

In this module, you will be given the tools required to develop your own business plan. At the completion of the course, you will have developed basic business management knowledge.

  • Implement financial plan
  • Monitor financial performance
  • Identify elements of the business plan
  • Develop a business plan
  • Develop strategies for minimising risks



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Boris Bojanovic

Boris' passion for strength training has lead to a multifaceted career as a competitor, coach and presenter. With a degree in Exercise Physiology, his major area of interest is functional anatomy and how to optimise movement for performance and injury prevention.

Boris' is a Corrective Exercise Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, and also provides teaching for Rehab Trainer, Australian Institute of Kettlebells/Functional Training Institute and CrankIt Fitness. Boris has also written articles and developed educational materials for Fitness Australia. He gets immense satisfaction from using his expertise in corrective exercise and functional training to help clients and educate other trainers.

Matthew Burns

Matthew has been employed within the fitness industry and education sector for 6 years as a personal trainer and as a PDHPE teacher/Trainer & Assessor for Fitness and Sport & Recreation. As a personal trainer, Matthew has worked for a number or gyms across Sydney and has run an independent personal training business. Matthew’s passion for learning about the body continued into his university years, where his primary focus was Exercise Science (Bachelor) and Secondary Education (Diploma). Matthew also holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Pool lifeguard Certification, Certificate III in Fitness and was a sponsored fitness model in the under 30 Australian National Bodybuilding (ANB) Nationals competition in Sydney 2012. 

Matthew Morrison

Matthew is a registered Australian Strength and Conditioning Coach with experience training AFL draftees, elite level junior rugby union players and highly ranked Muay Thai fighters. Matthew holds a Diploma of Fitness, a Certificate IV in Fitness, a Certificate III in Fitness, and a Certificate III in Nutrition and Dietetic Assistance, as well as a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

An ardent advocate for fitness, he runs his own personal training business, has worked with one of Australia’s leading supplement companies and continues to work closely with Barbarian Muay Thai fight team. An athlete in his own right, Matthew has a passion for, and competes in, both Muay Thai and Kickboxing.

Phil Casey

Since receiving his Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Phil has held a number of specialist posts in both hospital and community settings, including roles in pediatrics and working with diabetics. He has also worked as a chiropractic assistant in Sydney’s CBD for five years, a role which saw him perform exercise rehabilitation sessions for clients.

Also qualified in sports/remedial massage and personal fitness training, Phil has 20 years fitness industry experience including personal training, facility management and sales.

As an educator, Phil has over six years’ experience teaching a range of face-to-face and online courses across anatomy and physiology, Certificate III and IV in Fitness and the Diploma of Fitness.

Phil McKay

Phil has completed a Certificate III and IV in Fitness and a Diploma of Fitness. Phil began his career as a gym instructor and also worked in personal training. He later moved into a fitness coordinator role, supervising a team of personal trainers and group fitness instructors. After a few years of managing a professional gym, Phil started his own fitness studio. Phil wants to use his experience to help his students take their passion to change their lives, and develop better health and wellbeing.

Professional Accreditation

Upon graduation you may apply to join Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia.

Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia are the two peak health and fitness industry associations and provide support services for Fitness professionals by aiding registered members attain employment, further their education and keep them informed of the latest Fitness Industry developments.

The course contains a minimum of 60 hours of work placement

It is advised that you will be assessed in a fitness/ health workplace. The workplace will need to provide fitness/health services. Various pieces of contemporary fitness equipment should be made available to clients and staff.

Units within the course require the demonstration of skills to plan and instruct a variety of training sessions within an environment with appropriate facilities, equipment and materials such as free weights or exercise machines.

Assessment must also ensure access to access to a range of clients with real or simulated fitness goals. It is strongly recommended that you commence your work placement no earlier than module 3.

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197). The testamur will be issued by Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd.

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