Join The SMA

The SMA holds two main aims:

  • Upholding high standards for the training and further education of soft tissue therapists
  • Representing as wide a cross section of our industry as possible

As such, we accept applications from therapists with a broad range of backgrounds.

We have three membership categories: Full Member (comprising newly graduated therapists under the Graduate header), Student Member and Friend of the SMA.

Student membership is for any student specifically on a course to qualify in Sports Massage Therapy, not for applicants who are in full or part-time education for any other qualification. In order to register and be approved for this category, please complete the application form online and upload supporting evidence to prove your place on a Sports Massage Therapy course. This could take the form of a welcome letter or payment receipt and will ideally demonstrate the dates you are due to attend your course in person.

A Friend of the SMA is a category for those who are not practising (either through retirement or on sabbatical or any other reason) but who wish to remain in contact with the SMA and its activities. It could also be the appropriate category for those whose qualification backgrounds do not match any of the categories below.

Full membership is for therapists who have completed a qualification in Sports Massage or Soft Tissue Therapy. We use two metrics to place therapists within our membership system: a numbered grading based on the level of qualification completed and a grading of Bronze, Silver or Gold based on the experience gained since qualifying.


Membership Levels and Joining Criteria

Level 1

Student therapist or Friend of the SMA (not listed specifically on the system)


Level 2

Member has completed:

  • a Level 3 qualification completed on an intensive basis (click HERE to read our stance on intensive courses). This can be upgraded to a level 3 qualification by the completion of 50 hours logged treatments.
  • a Sports Therapy BSc with a mark of less than 60% in the Sports Massage module
  • another non-standard qualification, e.g. Sports Rehab BSc

Level 3

Member has completed:

  • a Level 3 qualification in Sports Massage Therapy completed over a minimum period of 12 weeks, with regular class attendance throughout that period
  • a Sports Therapy BSc with a mark in the Sports Massage module of at least 60%
  • an intensive Level 3 qualification with a 50-hour logbook of treatments OR accompanying a related BSc that allows for diagnosis and/or treatment of pathological tissue, e.g. Physiotherapy or Osteopathy
  • a Level 4 qualification completed on an intensive basis without a 50-hour logbook

Level 4

Member has completed:

  • a Level 4 qualification in Sports Massage Therapy from an Awarding Organisation (VTCT, ITEC, Active IQ) accredited by the QCF/RQF national framework for qualifications
  • a degree course from an SMA-accredited university
  • a BTEC Level 4 course in Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy

Level 5

Member has 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
  • a Level 4 qualification in Sports Massage Therapy written to the new National Occupational Standards (starting late 2020 onwards)

We recognise that holders of older qualifications will not easily fit into this structure due to the nature of the training industry pre-2009 and so we therefore assess these qualifications on an individual basis.

We can only use your formal educational qualification to apply this grading as that is generally the only externally assessed qualification you hold that is mapped to specific content.

We use CPD hours added to the dashboard to give members a grading of Bronze, Silver or Gold in recognition of experience gained since qualification. All members are expected to complete a minimum of 30 hours CPD per membership term once they are no longer in the Graduate category. Bronze membership recognises CPD completed in the first 1-4 years since qualification; Silver between 4 and 8 years qualified and Gold for longer than 8 years. All metallic gradings are contingent on CPD being added to the online log. We undertake random CPD sampling on an annual basis to make sure members are upholding high standards in their own development.

The above is for clarification only as both the numbered and metallic gradings are added by the SMA at the point of application – all you have to do is fill in the form and upload qualification and insurance certificates.

Ready to join thE SMA?

Having read all the above information on the SMA membership levels please click below to complete your membership application

JOIN THE SMA

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