Organisation name:Australian Diabetes Council
Brief outline of program:The Beat It program is an evidence-based exercise and lifestyle education/modification program. It consists of twice weekly group-based physical activity training plus fortnightly lifestyle education and nutrition sessions.
The twelve week Beat It program involves:
- Pre-exercise screening: Participants fill out a pre-exercise screening questionnaire. If risks are identified, participants will need to obtain medical clearance.
- Initial consultation: Accredited Beat It trainers (who have been trained in motivational interviewing) conduct an initial consultation with participants that covers areas such as goal setting, current lifestyle goals, physical activity levels, stage of change, perceived barriers and solutions.
- Individual initial assessment: Measures health and fitness parameters known to impact on cardiovascular risk, chronic disease risk, health, well being and quality of life. Parameters assessed include physical activity levels, cardiovascular fitness, musculoskeletal strength, general health and well being, as well as anthropometrical, biological and physiological measures of health.
- Progressive resistance and aerobic training sessions: Participants undertake supervised twice weekly, one hour exercise sessions over 12 weeks. Each session consists of warm-up, aerobic, resistance and warm-down phases and is individually tailored to participants.
- Lifestyle education and modification sessions: Participants undertake fortnightly sessions covering healthy eating, increasing physical activity, sustainable behaviour change and maintaining motivation.
- Group based final assessment: Accredited Beat It trainers conduct a final assessment at the end of the 12 week program that assesses the same parameters as the initial assessment.
- Six month post program assessment: Accredited Beat It trainers reassess participants six months after completing the program against the same parameters as the initial and final assessments.
In certain circumstances, modifications may be made to the program delivery to suit community needs. For example, an eight to 10 week version can be delivered if 12 weeks is too long. If geographical distances are too great to deliver the program twice weekly, a modified version may be delivered, consisting of some face-to-face sessions along with a home-based exercise program, with participant contact made via telephone. LGAs can contact the Australian Diabetes Council to discuss potential program modifications if necessary.
Program target:Beat It is suitable for all adults, including those with or at risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, or who have conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Who delivers the program?Only individuals who have completed the Beat It program training course may deliver the program. To be eligible for training, individuals must:
- have tertiary qualifications in Certificate IV in Fitness or undergraduate university studies in exercise and sports science, physiotherapy or equivalent; and
- hold current professional indemnity insurance.
Training provided to those who deliver the program:Beat It uses a train-the-trainer model to teach eligible fitness and health professionals the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver the program. Beat It program training courses are delivered face-to-face over two days.
Training courses are delivered by teams made up of accredited exercise physiologists, credentialed diabetes educators, accredited practicing dietitians and a program assessor. All these professionals have a minimum of two years experience in their field.
Training courses will be delivered in all states and territories. If distance presents a barrier to attending face-to-face training courses, online virtual classroom training may be made available on an as-required basis.
On completion of the training, Beat It trainers will be accredited through Australian Diabetes Council, Fitness Australia and Kinect and licensed to deliver the Beat It program.
Cost of training and licensing:The two day Beat It program training course and associated licensing is free.
Some subsidies will be made available to assist regional and rural trainers to access the training courses. Up to $230 per person is available for travel and accommodation costs, for a maximum of four trainers per course. Certain eligibility requirements apply.
Cost of participating in the program:Participant fees are set by individual Beat It trainers. To encourage trainers to set low fees, an incentive subsidy will be made available to trainers who charge $6 or less per session and can demonstrate that at least five participants attended at least 70% of the sessions. The $150 subsidy will be provided to one nominated trainer in each LGA in each six month period.
There is no cost to LGAs who want to utilise the program. However, LGA Grant recipients may choose to further subsidise participant fees or negotiate a low fee with trainers in their community (for example, by offering free use of a venue in return for a lower session fee).
Venue and equipment:Beat It can be implemented in a wide variety of settings, from gymnasiums right through to community centres with very limited or no access to exercise equipment.
How the organisation will engage with LGAs to offer the program:Australian Diabetes Council will contact LGA Grant recipients, either by phone or in person, to:
- explain the Beat It program;
- discuss LGA-specific demographics, needs, opportunities for adopting Beat It, and program delivery options;
- identify suitable venues and potential Beat It trainers;
- identify community stakeholders to be consulted;
- discuss possible Beat It program training course dates and locations; and
- discuss strategies for local program promotion and advertising.
Information packs will be sent to Healthy Communities Coordinators and identified community stakeholders.
Based on consultations with Healthy Communities Coordinators and community stakeholders, Australian Diabetes Council will then organise the schedule and locations for Beat It program training courses.
How the organisation will support the delivery of the program in LGAs:Australian Diabetes Council will conduct regular meetings with the Healthy Communities Coordinators in LGAs that choose to adopt the Beat It program. Contact will be made via teleconference, with one annual face-to-face meeting with each LGA where possible.
Australian Diabetes Council will assist trainers and LGAs with promoting the program locally, and will be responsible for liaising with Divisions of General Practice, Area Health Services, community health services, state based diabetes organisations, etc.
Beat It trainers in each LGA will receive support to deliver the program. All relevant materials are provided in a Beat It trainer manual, including training presentations, consent forms, attendance sheets, assessment sheets, letter of introduction to GPs, consumer information fliers, promotional posters, administration CD, etc. A dedicated website is also available where trainers can download information and materials. The website also has a ‘find your local trainer’ facility, allowing members of the community to find suitably qualified Beat It trainers in their local area.