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The Evolution of the GEL Skillset….

What's new in the GEL skillset

Written by Kristine Beissner

October 7, 2023

News | Uncategorized

Recent updates to the Fitness Training Package have brought with it changes to the Group Exercise Leader Skillset as well.  

What’s different?

Whilst the GEL skillset has always contained group fitness, customer service and WHS units of competency (UOC), the current skillset also requires the completion of first aid as a compulsory element.

The requirements within each UOC have also evolved, with greater emphasis now placed on foundation skills like communication, teamwork and technology skills. A learner also needs to show the ability to perform a wider range of practical and knowledge tasks then previous versions.

The biggest change sits within the group fitness unit which now requires evidence of a learner’s ability to instruct group exercise sessions to at least six participants of all genders and ages, including seniors.

Regardless of the program a learner wishes to teach initially, they must now be able show their ability to competently instruct cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility exercises, with and without equipment.

Graduates must also be able to show they can:

  • prepare the environment and any equipment that is required
  • brief participants on what to expect in each class
  • pre-screen participants for known conditions and injuries
  • identify situations needing precautions, modification and recommendations on exercise participation
  • provide safety information tailored to the environment and type of exercise
  • complete accurate session documentation and evaluation reports
  • incorporate a range of instructional techniques i.e. instructor positioning, communication, voice projection, explaining and demonstrating safe exercise technique, verbal and visual cueing as well as motivational techniques
  • respond to people showing signs of over exertion or difficulty and modify their activities.
So, what exactly is a skillset and who does the GEL course best suit?  

A skillset as a short course designed to meet a specific industry need. They consist of a defined number of units of competency or subjects taken from a recognised training package.

GEL has been developed for instructors wishing to lead predesigned group exercise sessions offered by recognised training providers like Les Mills, Zumba and MOSSA. These programs are specifically developed to be taught in fitness facilities, gyms, leisure, sport, recreation and community centres in a defined, consistent and predictable way.

The GEL Skillset is not designed to qualify people to prepare their own fitness classes. To be able to design and develop unique fitness experiences, a Certificate III in Fitness and Group Exercise Instructor qualification is required.

Learn more about the difference between Certificate III in Fitness qualified Group Exercise Instructors and GEL on a previous Fitness Institute blog: https://fitnessinstitute.com.au/group-exercise-instructor-or-leader/

All RTO’s delivering the GEL skillset are required to provide the assessment and learning materials as outlined on the nationally recognised training (NRT) register: https://training.gov.au/

A short history of the GEL skillset:

When the GEL skillset was first developed in 2013 in line with the Fitness Training package of the time, there were only a few training providers in the market for what was then known as “pre-choreographed” fitness classes.

Since then, many more types of programs have been developed and many more training providers have entered the market.

To meet the ever changing needs of fitness businesses and the public who participate in fitness programs, the GEL skillset was reviewed again for release in 2015 and 2021.

Then and now however there are clear guidelines around the differences between the scope of practice for Group Exercise Leaders delivering exercise sessions created by training providers and Group Exercise Instructors who are qualified to design and deliver their own classes.

Exercise and active health organisation AUSactive’s scope of practice for professional industry registration of GEL’s is limited to leading predesigned group exercise sessions in predictable settings.

Discover more about how and why training packages and skillsets are designed, check out our blog:


Find out more about Fitness Institute’s GEL course here:


Learn more about assessment requirements of the 3 other GEL UOC’s on the following links:






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