If you want to share information regarding this unit or seek advice from your peers click here.

 Unit 4- Demonstrate an awareness of health & safety guidelines


If you have done a similar course with us, you may have covered some of these health & safety issues before. You can use this prior learning as a base for the assignment for this unit but remember that each style of Qigong may have different concerns when performing the movements.

This unit looks at the health and safety issues that are connected with both teaching and performing the Eight Strands of Brocade. For your assignment you will need to summarise and make judgements on health & safety issues.

At the bottom of the page you will find a Risk Assessment for Tai Chi & Qigong classes. The risks have been assessed - you can download this and use it if you don't have a risk assessment in place & it will help you understand the risks involved.


4.1 Summarise the health & safety issues associated with teaching & performing the movements.

4.2 Explain the issues associated with the assessment of a new learner's needs.


Please listen to the audio file as you read through the study guide. 


Health & safety issues can loosely be divided into 4 categories:


Resources and Equipment.


Suitable Progression.


The list below cover just a few things that could be seen as risks that could require your attention.

Is the layout of the room suitable for this set of movements?

Are there windows to allow for ventilation?

Can the room be heated if the room is too cold?

Are there chairs in the room? Are they stacked to the correct height?

If you are using chairs, have you checked that they are in good repair?

Is the lighting suitable? This is especially important if you have a learner or learners who are visually impaired or have hearing impairments.

Is drinking water available for your learners?

Do you know where the First Aid kit is and are you a qualified First Aider/

Do you know where the nearest phone is?

Where will you place your CD player?

As an instructor of 8 Strands of Brocade you may be using music. This is not essential but it can help with providing for different learning styles and will aid relaxation.

The main H & S issue here is the CD or music player that you use. Is it safe?

This is well worth consideration to ensure that it does not become a hazard when your learners are moving around the room.

Will you be using any other resources that could be a H & S problem?

A handout can be found at the bottom of the page (as an attachment) to help you review the 'generic' health & safety concerns when teaching groups of people.



This is the main area of health & safety that you will need to be familiar with. When performing 8 Strands there are a number of Health and Safety issues that you need to consider and we will have looked these during your first practical session.

The initial thing that you need to do is to find out if your class is suitable for the learners who wish to attend.

You can do this by making an initial or diagnostic assessment of your learner and the health consultation form will help provide for this. (If you do not use one already, a suitable Health consultation form can be found in the attachments at the bottom of the wiki page). Details on the form must be kept confidential between your learner and you. Learners provide you with information regarding their health – are they diabetic, do they keep a heart spray on them, have they had any recent operations, do they have any muscular or skeletal problems etc. This information can then be used by you to help keep your learners safe.

Most important is the part that they are asked to sign. This ensures that you have taken all necessary precautions and have advised them to ask their GP or health professional if they or you are at all unsure about them attending your class. Remember that their health may change and unless they inform you of this you will not be able to advise them correctly.

Now we can move onto the actual exercises. The main concern with both Tai Chi and Qigong is knee/toe alignment. You will have dealt with this in a previous unit so all you need to do is to be constantly aware of this.

Correct body alignment is the key and Yang Fu Cheun’s 10 essentials will still provide a useful guide.

Other issues that are associated with the postures themselves or any adaptations are covered in detail during the practical day. Any contra-indications can be found on Unit 2 study guide but 2 important things to remember are:




Movement 4 -Turn head to Look Back - People with neck ailments should be very careful when doing this movement. Only turn the head a very small amount!  



Movement 6 - Touching Toes and Bending Backwards - People with high blood pressure or heart problems should not lower their head below their heart. 

 People with lower back stiffness or pain should avoid bending forward or backward too deeply from the waist.

Both of these health and safety issues are particularly important for the older population and the only way to find out if they are relevant for your learners is through the initial health assessment or PARQ form.


Suitable Progression 

Once a learner has been with you for quite a while, they may begin to look for something new. Maybe they are ready for a new challenge or maybe they do not have the required patience to learn about the postures in more depth.

What you would class as suitable progression for a learner, should vary with the individual. Things that you will need to consider first is do they have any health problems that would affect your advice? The next thing that you may want to consider before advising a learner, is what do they want to gain from their continued practice? Are they only interested in developing a range of exercise that they can perform or are they interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Tai Chi or Qigong?

The main thing to remember is that you, as an instructor, have limitations in what you are either qualified or experienced to teach. You need to know where or whom to send your learners to, so that they can continue their chosen journey.



Handout - H & S issues.doc Handout - H & S issues.doc
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Sample Health Consultation Form.doc Sample Health Consultation Form.doc
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Risk assessment of Tai Chi Qigong.doc Risk assessment of Tai Chi Qigong.doc
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