The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare tells us that overweight and obesity is a major public health issue and a leading risk factor for ill-health in Australia….
For those wishing to specialise in Weight Management, you are not alone…. there are professional registration organisations catering to this specific industry and providing support to practitioners choosing to specialise in this ever growing profession.
Students achieving the 10576NAT – Certificate IV in Weight Management qualification are eligible to register with organisations such as the Global Weight Management Federation (GWMF) for professional membership and insurance. As an organisation committed to “improving the standards of the Weight Management industry with a united voice for obesity prevention and weight management”, the Global Weight Management Federation operates with structured guidelines for practitioners which are available on the organisation’s website.
In summary, the following information outlines the role of a Weight Management Practitioner as detailed in GWMF’s scope of practice.
What can and can’t a Weight Management Practitioner do?
A qualified Weight Management practitioner is able to provide clients with advice and practical solutions for losing weight or body fat by planning and delivering safe and effective weight management programs for individuals or groups which focus on education for permanent lifestyle changes.
Weight management programs include exercise recommendations, lifestyle modifications, general non-medical nutrition information as well as behaviour modification techniques.
A Weight Management practitioner is only to provide objective, unbiased feedback and is obligated to determine the best course of action to meet the client’s individual needs.
There may also be a need to help people find a balance between the outcomes they want to achieve and the activities, food and lifestyle they enjoy.
Qualified Weight Management practitioners are able to plan and deliver weight management programs for active and inactive members of the general population in low and moderate risk groups including those aged 50 years and over, adolescents (13 years and over) as well as people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Providing a service to higher risk clients (with stable and managed conditions) can only occur after receiving written consent and, where appropriate, documented guidance from the client’s treating health care practitioner on areas of the weight management program impacting on the client’s health and condition.
The scope of practice for a Weight Management practitioner does not include medical treatment, therapeutic treatment or rehabilitative prescriptions, diagnostic tests or procedures or providing a recommendation of any product which compromises a person’s health.
The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) available on the Queensland Government’ Skills Gateway, describes the occupation of a Weight Management consultant as one that assists with providing advice and practical solutions for losing weight or body fat through the following methods:
- interviewing clients to work out their needs
- treating emotional, psychological and physical imbalances of the body using natural techniques and diagnostic methods
- monitoring and correcting imbalances in the body using muscle testing techniques
- advising clients on dietary requirements and exercise programs
- recording clients’ weight and measurements
- instructing clients on the use of exercise equipment
- providing support and counseling
What career paths are available in the Weight Management industry?
The range of roles available to graduates of the Certificate IV in Weight Management 10576NAT include:
- Weight Loss Consultant
- Weight Management Practitioner
- Motivational Weight Management Coach
- Wellness Coach
- Health Coach
- Nutrition Coach