What is an accredited sports massage course?
So, what is an accredited sports massage course? And when you train as a sports massage therapist should you do an accredited course? I thought a short blog on the topic may prove useful when looking to enroll on a new course. To answer the later first, yes you should do an accredited course.
An accredited sports massage course is one that has been mapped to the National occupational standards.
Okay let’s go back to the beginning of the question and answer that next. Hopefully that will explain the importance of doing an accredited sports massage course.
Accredited sports massage courses are mapped to the National occupational standards (often referred to as NOS). These are the accepted standards of a particular industry. Firstly, training to an expected industry standard will make you more employable. Secondly, you will have obtained the level of knowledge required by the industry. And thirdly, a potential employer will recognise your qualification and know your level of competency. Often an employer will ask for a certain qualification or equivalent and accredited qualifications are easy to equate to.
It doesn’t matter which qualification you do if it is accredited, all should be equal and there are several out there. These include Active IQ, BTEC, YMCA and VTCT to mention a few. All of the accredited qualifications are recognised by Ofqual, meaning you can be sure stringent practices are in place. This is both by the course provider, i.e, us and the awarding organisation, in our case Active IQ. An accredited qualification will have checks in place to make sure that everyone is treated equally and that the same level of work is always required. Each qualification will teach the required levels of knowledge.
Non-accredited courses may cause issues
This doesn’t mean a non-accredited course isn’t going to be a good course, but you have less safeguards in place. You may find it harder to get an interview as employers won’t recognise the qualification. In some cases insurance companies may not recognise it either making it hard to get insurance.
I have had personal experience of this when I first did a qualification. I first had to have my anatomy and physiology completed elsewhere which luckily, I did. However, I couldn’t get insurance for my sports massage qualification. I had to fall back on my previous remedial massage qualification until I re-trained somewhere else. I ended up spending hard earned money on a course I couldn’t really use.
Always look for accredited courses
In short and from my own personal experience I always look for accredited courses now. Firstly this will guarantee to get professional insurance. Secondly you will be able to join one of the governing bodies such as SMA, STO, FHT, GCMT and STA. Thirdly your level of knowledge is to a required standard. And finally, and above all, any employer will recognise your qualification.
I hope this helps to clear up the difference between an accredited and non-accredited qualification. And, hopefully, goes some way to explaining why I would personally choose an accredited course. If asked I will always recommend accreditation when looking for a sports massage course.