The course examines the prevalence and consequences of falls and fractures, costs, demographic trends and the implications for independence and quality of life. The theoretical work covers the physiological and psychological systems involved in postural stability and bone health and the impact of disease processes on falls and fractures. Risk assessment and health and safety related to accident prevention are key areas, together with the practicalities of establishing a programme. Practical work examines the structure of a falls prevention programme with considerable emphasis being placed on how to demonstrate, adapt and progress exercises and provide alternatives for individuals with specific medical conditions; also the skill of supervising group exercise. Candidates are required to identify a “faller” and complete a Case Study as part of the assessment.

Course Aims

  • Provide training for exercise and health professionals to facilitate service provision and meet National Service Framework standards
  • Establish quality-assured service provision in community settings
  • Enable consistency in communication, understanding of roles and sharing of skills between the professionals involved
  • Enable self-referral into the programme following pre-assessment, and acknowledgement from GP
  • Improve access for this vulnerable group of participants by increasing frequency and flexibility of exercise programmes
  • Encourage education about the benefits of exercise for reducing falls and injury among primary care professionals and lay people

Following completion of the course, the candidate should:

  • be able to plan and deliver an exercise programme for frailer older people, which will safely and effectively improve their physical function, and in particular their postural stability, in order to reduce their risk of falls.
  • be able to support this practice with relevant background knowledge of – – The causes and consequences of falls and fall-related injuries. – The evidence relating to physical activity, falls and fall-related injuries. – The medical conditions and medications likely to be encountered. – The adaptations to practice, programming and supervision of falls and injury prevention sessions

Course Objectives

  • Provide safe, effective, enjoyable exercise programmes
  • Provide graded transitions between the primary care and community leisure settings
  • Build on the functional gains achieved through physiotherapy and occupational therapy
  • Provide support to physiotherapists working in the clinical and community setting
  • Provide on-going assessment of health and functional capacity
  • Provide social opportunities to increase long-term commitment to exercise


Level 3 Exercise Referral


CPR: Evidence of current CPR proficiency must be brought to the assessments.

Theory Paper: Candidates will take a 2 hour theory paper on Day 3

Practical, Session Plan and Self Evaluation: On Day 4 they will produce a session plan, then teach and self-evaluate their teaching of a falls prevention exercise session for 1 hour. This will include a warm up followed by dynamic endurance and balance exercises, strengthening and flexibility exercises – floor, chair and standing alternatives – walking and adapted Tai Chi movements. Particular emphasis will be placed on specific adaptations and progressions. A minimum of 30 minutes of teaching will be observed.

Case Study: They will also have to complete a written Case Study on a “faller” and submit the written case study relating to this individual for assessment. The Case Study is provided to the students via a set of videos and a written précis of functional assessments, health and other questionnaires completed and full written instructions on the presentation of the case study for marking are given on the course.

Awarding Organisation:

Endorsed by PD:Approval for REPs recognition