Department of Exercise Sciences

International Accreditation and Advisory Board for Clinical Exercise Physiology

The Department of Exercise Sciences is at the cutting edge of science and is proud of its internationally accredited Clinical Exercise Physiology programme.

Clinical Exercise Physiology

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

The Exercise Physiology programme was established in 2013, at a time when diseases and disorders linked to physcial inactivity, now afflicting a large number of New Zealanders, were rapidly increasing.

The Clinical Exercise Physiology Programme is comprised of a Postgraduate Diploma in Science followed by a taught MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology and is the first programme of its kind in New Zealand.

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 representing a wide range of medical conditions.

A growing body of science strongly supports the valuable role of the clinical exercise physiologist in helping to treat people following colorectal and breast cancer therapy, 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 ours is the first CAAHEP - accredited exercise physiology programme outside the USA.

"The CAAHEP accreditation enables our students to meet the requirements to sit the American College of Sport Medicine exam to become a registered clinical exercise physiologist which is their 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 are amenable to exercise as an intervention. But in order to prescribe the exercise, you need the specialist knowledge, not only about the exercise, but about the diseases and pathologies that the exercise is being applied to.

Our graduates have that ability.”

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.


2016 Annual Report

Admissions to MSc CEP programme: 12

Graduated: 12

Retention rate: 100%

Graduates who took the CEPNZ registration examination: 7

Pass rate: 100%

Graduate placements (within 12 months of graduation): 11

Number continuing with postgraduate studies: 1 (PhD)

Placement rate: 100%


Advisory Board

The Departmental 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.

Ours is the only programme accredited by CAAHEP outside the US.

The Advisory Board is made up of medical doctors, including an international member who is the Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, exercise physiologists in private practice, academics, a patient, a UoA staff exercise physiologist representative, and is chaired by the CEO of HealthPoint – a web site that links information between the medical profession and the community.

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: