CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist® Scope of Practice

Effective as of October 2014

The CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice defines the actions and activities that CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists® are qualified and insured to perform under their defined certification.

As a CSEP-CEP, your certification will be widely recognized across Canada and the world; your field of work may include: health promotion, fitness development, colleges and universities, clinical rehabilitation, and sport and athletic programs. You may also work in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centres, and fitness centres.

Download the CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice


The CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice

A CSEP-CEP performs assessments, prescribes conditioning exercise, as well as exercise supervision, counseling and healthy lifestyle education in apparently healthy individuals and/or populations with medical conditions, functional limitations or disabilities associated with musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, metabolic, neuromuscular, and ageing conditions.

The CSEP-CEP:

  • Conduct pre-participation screening, administer various health and fitness assessments, prescribe and supervise exercise programs, and provide counseling and healthy lifestyle education to general populations, high performance athletes, and those with chronic health conditions, functional limitations or disabilities across the lifespan.
  • Conduct pre-participation screening using evidence-informed tools that will support recommendations for individual client-tailored physical activity and exercise programs within the CEP's individual knowledge competency.
  • Accept referrals from license health care professionals who are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat acute and chronic medical conditions. The CEP may clear clients with one chronic health condition to work with a CPT. Further medical clearance should be sought if the health condition is unstable.
  • Use evidence-­informed behavior change models to facilitate physical activity and exercise participation, and lifestyle modification.
  • Interpret the results of comprehensive fitness assessment protocols to determine health, physical function, work and/or sport performance.
  • Monitor the influence of commonly used medications on the response to sub-maximal and maximal exercise during assessments and/or training sessions.
  • Use the outcomes from objective health and fitness assessments to design and implement safe and effective physical activity and exercise prescriptions for both healthy and unhealthy populations.
  • Make general, evidence-informed dietary recommendations if within the CEP's individual knowledge competency, recognizing when to refer to a registered dietician for more specialized counseling.
  • Measure and monitor heart rate, electric activity of the heart (using ECG) and blood pressure (by auscultation unless hearing impaired) at rest, during exercise and post-exercise. These measures can be used to identify, but not diagnose, irregularities during rest, sub-maximal, and maximal exercise.
  • Draw finger prick blood (capillary), or venous samples provided they comply with the current CSEP Blood Sampling Policy.
  • Conduct group physical activity or exercise with appropriately screened participant. Sessions can include any one or combination of aerobic, resistance, balance or flexibility exercises within the CEP's individual knowledge competency. Additional training and certification must be sough to ensure that the CEP has expert competence for difference exercise modalities where necessary.

The CSEP-CEP is not sanctioned by CSEP to:

  • Diagnose pathology based on any assessment or observation.
Download the CSEP-CEP Scope of Practice

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