Sports Massage Qualification


Looking for some general advice on which qualification(s) to pursue to become a qualified Sports Masseur...i.e can you jump straight into a 'Sports Massage Diploma' at your local College, or do you need any introductory or basic training first? How long does it take to qualify?

I have been interested for several years and feel I have a good background and the right motivation to pursue this. Have a background in health & fitness (both through running and working in the health industry) and have recently completed a series of home study courses in Sports Nurtition, Human Anatomy & Physiology, & Health, Fitness & Exercise.

I feel the time is now right to pursue this - there is a gap in the market where I live, we are moving to a bigger house which can accommodate a private room for sports massage consultations, and in the current economic climate I think it is wise to have something to fall back on, with the possible future threat of redundancy or redeployment.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


  • Sports Masseur is not a Protected Title, anyone can claim to be one (you need to be registered if you want to call yourself a Physiotherapist). So you could start before you get any qualifications. Most people seem to go by word of mouth, but qualifications and membership of a professional body should help too.

    Oh, and make sure you get insurance.

  • Thanks Tom - that's a good point. Will look in to the insurance and membership to the professional body - I think that's very important to ensure customers have faith in what you are doing.

    I'm sure I heard from somwhere that you needed to do a basic body massage course before specialising in sports massage...I'm not sure how true this is? I'd rather just do one course than two, but will be willing to study however long it takes to get qualified. They do sports massage in my local college, and the next course runs in September. I guess that is the best place to start in terms of which course to do.

  • the local colleges that do level 3 sports massage like you do body massage course first.........

    but for the higher level 4 course then you do not need to know body massage as its nothing like sports massage at all........

    the level 3 will not teach you enough to know how to deal with injuries etc............and it will depend on who is doing the some local colleges .they just need to have done the course .they may never of practiced in the real world themselves.......

    but you can still call your self a sports massage therapist whichever.......

  • the difference in the course is also ref;ected in the price.......level 3 is around £100.......level 4 is closer to £2000

  • Thanks Seren....the £2000 option sounds the better course...what a price difference though, but worth it to get the better qualification!

    So basically - if only the cheaper level 3 course is available locally, I must first do the body massage course before pursuing the more specialised sports massage course?

    i'll have a hunt around and see what the colleges offer. I dont suppose you can recommend anywhere? I think Gower College only offers the level 3 course....may try Neath Port Talbot.

  • I think you may find that you can't become a member of a reputable professional body without first having the level 4 qualification. I'd also be quite wary as a sports massage client of anyone who didn't have extensive specific training, so if you're serious about it then you do need to put in the time/money.

  • UWIC in cardiff did the level 4 over a year...either wednesdays or 2 wekends a month .........may be more now........The sports massage association website might help..but a few years ago they were in a right mess...not sure if they have sported themselves out yet

  • If you've never done massage then the basic course can actually be quite useful before moving on to sports specific training. It teaches good technique, basic business practice, health and safety... and you get some experience. 
    Then you move on to Sports Massage and build on your skills.

  • but just accept that if you do level 4 they will tell you to forget everything you have been taught before as it is wrong image

  • I did mine with them


    Recommend. Their admin is shockingly bad but you will get such a variety of knowledge and one of the best basis in the country. Go for level 5.

  • Active Health Group are also part of the committee who are trying to get some policing to the industry. They really know their stuff.


    You'll probably get sufficient info with level 3 but honestly, you get more than you bargain for in level 5

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