Difference between Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Personal Trainers

The difference between an AEP and PT:

I’m often asked about the differences between an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP), and a Personal Trainer (PT). So here they are:

  1. You may have heard of the term ‘ExerLogo with TMcise is Medicine”, and that’s because exercise is being used in the treatment for many chronic conditions and injuries. It’s highly essential that exercise is being prescribed in the correct manner, and is appropriate for the client and their condition.

So I ask you this: “Would you go to an unqualified doctor?” Would you trust them?

You wouldn’t trust someone who isn’t qualified – so why place your life, body and health in an unqualified trainer to prescribe exercise?

2.  An AEP has a 4 year University Degree, meaning they are allied health professionals           who tend to work with clients in the prevention and management of chronic                       diseases and injuries.

We prescribe exercise and provide support for clients / patients with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, osteoporosis, arthritis, pulmonary disease, mental health problems and many more. We are eligible to register with Medicare Australia (for our provider number), Department of Veteran Affairs, WorkCover and are recognised by most private health insurers such as HBF, HIF, Medibank etc.

3.  AEPS’s work in many different environments such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Private clinic or practice
  • Rehabilitation companies
  • Gymnasiums
  • GP offices
  • Mining companies and many others.

As AEP’s we are able provide training in areas such as safe manual handling; provide lifestyle education to help people manage their conditions, carry out sub-maximal and maximal fitness tests; perform functional assessments; perform body composition tests and musculoskeletal assessments.

                                    So how does the above differ from Personal Trainers?

  1. Personal trainers can gain a Certificate IV in Personal Training in less than 6 weeks of training.
  2. They are only qualified and insured to design and deliver fitness programs to low risk (“apparently health”) clients.


So, we need to remember that AEP’s are allied health professionals with Medicare Provider numbers who work in the health and medical sector.

Personal trainers are members of the sport and recreation sector, and can only work with low risk ‘apparently healthy’ clients, due to qualifications and insurance.