JOINING AS A FULL MEMBER (MSMA)
FULL MEMBERS are considered fully qualified to practise as Sports Massage Therapists under the National Occupational Standards for the profession and are graded at either Level 4 or Level 5 by the SMA, depending on where the qualification was achieved. Full Members appear on our Public Register of Therapists and are entitled to use the styling MSMA after their name.
A Level 4 Member will have completed:
NB: Level 4 qualifications from Focus Awards do NOT meet the National Occupational Standards for Sports Massage Therapy and holders are therefore not eligible for SMA membership.
- a Level 4 qualification in Sports Massage Therapy from an Awarding Organisation (VTCT, ITEC, Active IQ, YMCA) accredited by the QCF/RQF national framework for qualifications that meets the SMA's minimum standards for delivery - please read our stance on intensive courses for more information about this.
- the Certificate in Advanced Clinical Massage Therapy as delivered by Jing Advanced Massage Training
- a degree course from an SMA-accredited university
- a BTEC Level 4 course in Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy
- A Sports Therapy BSc with a mark of more than 60% in any relevant Sports Massage modules
A Level 5 Member will have completed:
- a Level 5 qualification in Sports Massage Therapy from an Awarding Organisation (VTCT, ITEC) accredited by the QCF/RQF national framework for qualifications
- a BTEC Level 5 course in Sports and Remedial Massage or Soft Tissue Therapy
- the BTEC Level 6 Professional Diploma in Advanced Clinical Massage and Sports Massage as delivered by Jing Advanced Massage Training
- the Neuromuscular Physical Therapy course as delivered by NTC Ireland (post-2019)
- a Level 4 qualification in Sports Massage Therapy written to the new National Occupational Standards (starting late 2020 onwards)
Full Members are also awarded a metallic grading of Bronze, Silver or Gold based on experience gained since qualifying:
- Bronze members will have been qualified for longer than 1 year
- Silver members will have been qualified for longer than 4 years
- Gold members will have been qualified for longer than 8 years
Member gradings can be raised or lowered depending on the CPD the member logs - if a member's CPD is insufficient (i.e. demonstrating fewer than 30 hours per year) then a lower grading will be applied. If a member has gone above and beyond in terms of CPD and contribution to the industry then a higher grading can be applied at the discretion of the Board.
Please note: we can only use a formal educational qualification to apply a grading or advise on membership categories as that is generally the only externally assessed qualification you hold mapped to specific content. CPD qualifications can only rarely be used to help assess your competence level.
QUALIFICATIONS GAINED OVER 3 YEARS AGO
Where a qualification was gained over 3 years ago, we require evidence that an applicant has been working continuously and has therefore kept their skills up to date. Evidence might be provided in any of the following formats:
- A reference from a clinic manager, stating length of time with that clinic and average number of clients per month
- A reference/references from longstanding clients, indicating length of time you have been treating them
- Invoices or a contract to indicate how long a treatment room or other premises has been used by you
- Completion and submission of our CPD Audit Portfolio, plus accompanying evidence of course attendance or learning gained
All evidence will be assessed on an individual basis and we are open to other forms not listed above.