Methods of gathering screening information

It is a legal and ethical matter that every client should be thoroughly screened, before they begin an exercise programme. The screening should assess their health status, fitness levels and readiness to exercise.


Questionnaire– This method allows the instructor to gather specific information about the client’s health issues and readiness for exercise. It is the best method if you have limited time as it doesn’t require face to face interaction and can be relatively quick to complete depending on the amount of questions. However, questionnaires don’t allow for clarification of questions and the ability to explain answers resulting in answers which aren’t completely true. There are various questionnaires available which can be given to clients such as:

  • PAR-Q – For assessing the medical health status
  • EQ5D – Assessing the general well-being
  • IPAQ – Assessing the physical activity levels

Interviews- The interview process allows one to one consultations creating a rapport and building trust between both the client and instructor. An interview allows information to be verified and elaborated on, whilst also monitoring body language. This making the information as truthful as possible. Interviews require a private area to carry them out as all information that is shared is done in confidence. This may also be a daunting activity for clients with low confidence levels, meaning the instructor must be able to adapt their communication style to put the client at ease.

Observation- This process allows for gathering information on aspects which don’t require questions such as gender and posture. It also helps gather information which clients may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about such body fat, this putting the client at ease and not lowering their confidence. This method is quick and allows an immediate answer on aspects which can be assessed visually. Nevertheless, some observations require a certain level of experience or a degree to make an informed assessment that can be used to plan and be developed upon.

Physical Assessment- This technique is used to obtain the details about a client’s current health and fitness status.  The assessment indicates a range of health assessment including: blood pressure, heart rate and body mass index. Along with assessing several fitness aspects such as: flexibility, muscular and cardiovascular. These calculations deliver bassline information that can be used to create the exercise programme. Ultimately, to carry out this style of assessment any equipment used must be of good quality and well maintained and informed consent must be received from the client.


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