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ITEC Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage

Course Syllabus

Unit iUSP158 Conduct Complex Assessment for Sports Massage

Click here to view full ITEC syllabus

  • Understand Neurological Presentations including:

    • peripheral nerve pathways
    • characteristics and organisation of Dermatomes
    • characteristics of Myotomes
    • common causes of neurological damage
    • common peripheral neuropathy patterns
    • presentations that require neurological testing
    • pathophysiology of common neurological injuries/soft tissue dysfunction
    • the importance of referral for neurological testing
  • Understand sports specific posture and gait

    • gait cycle
    • methods used to analyse gait
    • effect of foot deformities on gait
    • gait abnormalities
    • effects of postural deformities on sporting performance
    • principles of sports specific posture analysis
  • Be able to undertake assessment of sports specific postures and gait

  • Understand the principles and practice of complex assessment methods for sports massage including:

    • Subjective
    • Range of movement (Active,Passive)
    • Resisted (Isometric)
    • Postural analysis
    • Special tests (Ligamentous, Neural)
  • Be able to conduct complex assessment methods for sports massage

    • range of complex assessment methods
    • potential impact of yellow flags on prognosis
    • red flags and the importance of urgent medical referral
    • process of clinical reasoning and stages of problem solving

Assignment: Unit iUSP158 Conduct Complex Assessment for Sports Massage

Click here to view the assessment guidance form

Research and critically evaluate a variety of modalities to support soft tissue repair.

To include:

  • Neurological presentation
  • Sports specific posture and gait
  • The principles and practice of complex assessment methods for sports massage

Unit iUSP161 Provide Complex Massage Techniques for Sports Massage

Click here to view full ITEC syllabus

  • Use a range of complex techniques in Sports Massage, to include:

    • PNF (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation)
    • Muscle energy technique (MET)
    • Myofascial release
    • Active isolated stretching
    • Post isometric relaxation; reciprocal inhibition; isokinetic contraction; Isolytic contraction
    • Positional release
    • Strain/counterstrain
    • Neuromuscular technique
    • Passive stretching
    • Mobilisations and articulations
    • Be able to devise sport massage treatment plans from information gathered
    • Aftercare 
    • Understanding evidence based practice 
    • Evaluation of research 

Assignment: Unit iUSP161 Provide Complex Sports Massage Techniques for Sports Massage

Click here to read the assessment guidance form

Conduct a Review on Research Undertaken on Sports Massage/Soft Tissue Therapy

To include:

  • Critically appraise research undertaken on the use of Sports Massage
  • Draw conclusions on support for the use of Sports Massage

Unit UIP4: Infection Prevention (COVID-19) for complementary therapies and sports massage

The aim of this unit is to develop the learner’s knowledge and understanding of how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how to work safely. Learners will develop knowledge on the importance of social responsibility, the causes, transmission and effects of COVID-19, and the methods used to control transmission, such as correct hand hygiene and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They will also gain an understanding of the safe working practices required to protect themselves and their clients.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, learners will:

  • LO1 Understand the causes, transmission and effects of COVID-19
  • LO2 Understand social responsibility for the complementary therapy and sports massage sectors in relation to COVID-19
  • LO3 Understand the controls necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • LO4 Understand the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hand Hygiene and Personal Hygiene in the prevention of COVID-19
  • LO5 Understand potential hazards and risks and the workplace procedures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the complementary therapy/sports massage environment
  • LO6 Understand decontamination and waste management processes relevant to complementary therapies and sports massage

Course Overview

The ITEC Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy course is designed for Level 4 Sports Massage Therapists, Sports Therapists, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists working in Sport and Active Leisure, to give them understanding and complex skills and techniques to work as an evidence-based Advanced Sports Massage Practitioner.

Practitioners will develop the understanding and skills to carry out and analyse comprehensive subjective assessments of clients. You will learn how to undertake detailed bio-mechanical assessments, test and analyse the integrity of the muscular and neurological systems and develop complex treatment strategies based on sound clinical reasoning and evidence-based research. Practitioners will also develop the understanding and skills to prepare, apply and evaluate a range of complex Sports Massage/Soft Tissue methods to prevent and manage injury.

The main skills you will learn are:

  • Conducting Complex Assessment for Sports Massage – to include, understanding and undertaking assessment of sports specific posture and gait, conducting complex assessment methods for sports massage injuries and devising Sports Massage treatment plans from the information gathered

  • Providing Complex Massage Techniques for Sports Massage – to include applying evidence-based massage techniques and providing aftercare methods to complement the evidence-based massage techniques


Once you have chosen your coures dates for classroom attendance, you will have access immediately to the online home study that you can work through at your own pace. This will be delivered to you via videos, interactive presentations and written materials. You'll have scheduled video calls with your tutor to track your progress and ask questions throughout your online learning. The online content will include review of MET, STR and special tests as well as introduce complex assessment techniques including neurological testing and gait analysis. When you join us in the classroom for your 6 days attendance, you will review this and further explore and develop your assessment, and hand skills and rehab.


What's included: 

  • Online home study via interactive presentations, videos and written materials
  • Online learning material for ITEC Level 2 Award in Infection Prevention for complementary and sports massage therapists
  • 6 days classroom tuition
  • One-to-one video calls with your tutor on request
  • Bi-weekly group scheduled video calls for online learning support

You can view a sample of one of our course videos in the Videos tab


This qualification also includes the ITEC Level 2 Award in Infection Prevention for complementary and sports massage therapists which is now a pre-requisite for all ITEC courses. Details of the unit can be found on the course syllabus tab.


If you are new to the industry, take a look at our Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage.

Assessment Criteria

You will be required to complete a number of treatments/case studies at home after/during your course and supply the evidences of these. You can use family, friends, friends of frients etc to complete these. You will then return to the Academy to sit your final exams usually 3-4 months after your course contact days. 

We recommend around 5-10 hours of home study a week to complete your case studies, theory study and assignments.


Folder work/Evidences

After your contact days, you will complete: 

  • 15 Case Studies (5 people x 3 times)
  • Plus 14 treatments logged in consultation forms
  • 2 x assignments (Unit iUSP158 & iUSP161) - 2500 word minimum essays 

Examinations:

You will then return to the Academy to sit your exams (usually 3-4 months after your course):

  • "Mock" Practical Exam (usually 2-3 weeks before the “real” practical exam. This is to allow you a practice run, and for your tutor to give you feedback on areas to work on.)
  • Practical Exam, externally invigilated by ITEC
  • Multiple choice question paper (sat remotely) on Infection Prevention (COVID-19) for complementary therapies and sports massage

Entry Requirements

Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Required (or equivalent)

If you do not already hold a Level 4 in Sports Massage (or osteopathy, physiotherapy or sports therapy qualification), you will need to complete this prior to joining the Level 5 course. You can enrol onto the both the Level 3 and Level 4 course, or start with the Level 3, and join the Level 4 course at a later date, following on to Level 5. Find out more information about the ITEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage here or ITEC Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage here.

Why Train with Us

Here at the Academy, we are passionate about delivering quality training in Complementary Therapies to ensure each student gains a professional qualification of the highest level. We believe the combination of expertly trained, passionate tutors,  quality assured certification, and our on-going support for students, helps grow our students into highly successful therapists.

What set's us apart from the rest...?

  • iTEC Accredited 
  • Guaranteed small group tuition (max 10 per 1 tutor) for maximum individual support
  • Passionate, experienced tutors committed to the highest standards in the industry
  • Free Thursday evening support - available throughout your training and when you are qualified
  • A fun, friendly environment to study and meet like minded people
  • All our courses are eligible to apply for an NUS Extra card, giving you savings on lots of retailers.
  • We continue to support you as you make your way into the industry as a qualified therapist, with free talks on setting up a business, Facebook groups with job opportunities and continued contact with your Tutor

About Your Tutor(s)

Adrian Edwards

L5 Sports Massage Tutor

Adrian (Ady) is our Level 5 sports massage tutor.  He began his career in the Royal Navy and qualified as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist on leaving.  He was a sports massage therapy lecturer for Premier Training for a number of years and worked in professional rugby with the Cornish Pirates as Team Manager and Head Therapist for many years, then as Head Coach and Director of Rugby with Redruth RFC.  From 2009 he delivered the Level 2 Gym Instructor course to sixth-formers at Redruth Academy as well as taking on the role of pastoral leader for students throughout the school.  From 2009-2011 Ady delivered Sports Massage courses to graduate physiotherapists at Southampton University and is a senior tutor at the OSSM deliverying the Level 5 sports qualification.

Throughout his career Ady has continued to see his own patients, either from his home practice or at local clinics, and has made a considerable voluntary contribution within his local community assisting rowing teams and school rugby teams in strength and conditioning and soft tissue therapy treatments


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