Department of Exercise Sciences

International Accreditation and External Advisory Board for Clinical Exercise Physiology

The Department of Exercise Sciences is proud of its internationally accredited Clinical Exercise Physiology programme.

Clinical Exercise Physiology

In New Zealand, Clinical Exercise Physiology is a recognised allied health profession. Clinical Exercise Physiologists are registered with Clinical Exercise Physiology NZ, and with the NZ Clinical Physiologists Registration Board, which issues annual practicing certificates to hospital-based, and community-based respiratory, cardiac, sleep, and renal dialysis physiologists. New Zealand has joined several countries including Australia, USA, UK, and Canada in recognizing the value that Clinical Exercise Physiologists add to the wellbeing and health of those afflicted with chronic disease.

The Clinical Exercise Physiology programme at the University of Auckland was established in 2013, when diseases and disorders linked to physical inactivity were rapidly increasing and afflicting a large number of New Zealanders.

The Clinical Exercise Physiology Programme, the first programme of its kind in New Zealand, comprises a Postgraduate Diploma in Science followed by a taught MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology that includes a research project.  

The two-year postgraduate programme ensures our graduates are able to safely assess cardiorespiratory fitness and prescribe safe and effective exercise for people of all ages and a wide range of medical conditions.

A growing body of evidence strongly supports the valuable role of the clinical exercise physiologist in helping to treat people prior to major surgery, following colorectal and breast cancer therapy, and people with type 2 diabetes, cardiac, respiratory, and kidney disease, arthritis, stroke, and clinical depression.


Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) logo
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

On the 15 January 2015, the US Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited our Clinical Exercise Physiology programme. This level of accreditation is the highest available internationally, and the University of Auckland was the first CAAHEP - accredited exercise physiology programme outside the USA.

"CAAHEP accreditation enables our students to meet the requirements to sit the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM) exam to become a registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist which is ACSM’s top category of certification.

This means our graduates are allied health professionals, working in clinical settings with individuals who may have a number of different diseases and pathologies.

Cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disorders, obesity, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, or depression is amenable to exercise as an intervention. However, in order to prescribe the exercise, specialist knowledge is required about the appropriateness of individually prescribed exercise for specific diseases and pathological conditions.

Our graduates have that ability.”

Associate Professor Greg Anson, Head of Department, Department of Exercise Sciences


CAAHEP Annual Reporting

Each year the Department of Exercise Sciences is required to provide an extensive report regarding programme outcomes in order to maintain its accreditation status. Important outcomes include:

  • class enrolment numbers
  • retention and graduation numbers
  • the placement rate in employment within 12 months of graduating, and
  • the number of graduates who pass competency examinations and are registered by Clinical Exercise Physiology NZ and the Clinical Physiologists Registration Board.


2017 Annual Report

Admissions to MSc CEP programme: 17

Graduated: 17

Retention rate: 100%

Known graduate placements (within 12 months of graduation): 13

Number continuing with postgraduate studies: 0

Placement rate (known): 75%


Advisory Board

The Department’s Clinical Exercise Physiology Advisory Board is a requirement of our Clinical Exercise Physiology (CEP) programme accreditation.

The programme is accredited by the US Commission on Academic Allied Health Education programs (CAAHEP), using American College of Sports Medicine competency standards.

The University of Auckland was the first of programme accredited by CAAHEP outside the USA.

The Department’s Clinical Exercise Physiology External Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is chaired by the CEO of Healthpoint – a New Zealand online health services directory that links information between the medical profession and the community. Board members include medical doctors, an international member who is the Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, a patient, exercise physiologists in private practice, University academics, a UoA staff exercise physiologist and a CEP student representative.

It is important that prospective postgraduate students considering CEP as a programme and career option understand that our programme obtains advice from this body of Advisers as part of our accreditation remit.

For more information about the governance of the Clinical Exercise Physiology programme, please see below:

  • Kate Rhind, Chair (Healthpoint),
  • Greg Anson (Head of Department, Exercise Sciences),
  • Chloe Davidson Trevor (Clinical Exercise Physiologist, EPR clinic, private practice),
  • Richard Edlin (Health Economist, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences),
  • Stacey Reading (CEP Clinic Director, Exercise Sciences),
  • Rebecca Meiring, (CEP Deputy Clinic Director, Exercise Sciences),
  • Eloise McCullough (CEP Student Representative in Exercise Sciences),
  • Randy Thomas (Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic),
  • Hannah Lowe (Clinical Exercise Physiologist, The Centre for Health, private practice),
  • Jocelyne Benatar (Cardiovascular Research Unit, Auckland City Hospital),
  • Jim Stinear (Exercise Sciences),
  • Graham Paterson (Unisports Medicine, St. Johns)
  • David Willis (Health and Rehabilitation Clinic client)