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Frequently Asked Questions

ITEC qualifications offer the ideal pathway to kickstart your career in the complementary and sports industries.

  • ITEC qualifications hold recognition in over 39 countries worldwide.

  • The ITEC qualifications we provide are aligned with UK government standards (RQF) and regulated by Ofqual, ensuring your qualification is esteemed and meets professional standards in the UK. It will endure as regulations become stricter on unregulated qualifications.

  • An ITEC qualification demonstrates your comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the subject, top-tier practical skills, and professional readiness to work internationally.

  • ITEC registers and inspects all colleges delivering ITEC programs, maintaining rigorous training standards. External exam invigilators ensure impartial and high-standard assessment of your knowledge and skills.

  • ITEC graduates pursue diverse career paths, including self-employment as therapists, employment in spas, clinics, salons, health farms, the health service, sports centers, clubs, leisure centers, and even on cruise liners.

FHT accreditation ensures that training providers and prospective students can be sure that qualifications and short courses have been independently and externally assessed, meeting the highest standards.

The Federation of Holistic Therapists (fFHT) is the largest and leading professional association for therapists in the UK and Ireland. with thousands of members offering a broad range of specialisms - from sports and remedial therapies, to complementary healthcare and holistic beauty treatments – the FHT is a great association of choice for professional therapists.

The main difference between a Diploma and a Certificate is the amount of guided learning hours. A Certificate requires fewer recommended guided learning hours. All our ITEC Level 3 courses are Diplomas. We offer a Level 4 and Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage - this is the next level up from a Level 3 Diploma.

Its also important to note that the word Diploma and Certificate are not protected titles, so you will find online courses that refer to themselves as Diplomas but are infact not to a sufficient depth of training. This is where it is important to ensure that the qualification is an Ofqual Regulated (RQF) Diploma or Certificate, ensuring that it is to the level and depth that it is specifying. All ITEC qualifications are RQF. You can see a full list of registered RQF qualifications via the government website here.

Within the Level 3 sports massage course, you'll develop fundamental hand skills and the ability to conduct a thorough postural assessment to identify any bodily imbalances. We've enriched our Level 3 course by including Trigger Point therapy, typically offered at Level 4, recognising its significance in enhancing your treatments as a Level 3 therapist. By the course's end, you'll proficiently execute pre and post-event massages and deliver sports massage treatments based on your assessments.

Level 4 sports massage takes your skills to the next level by teaching specialised tests utilised by professionals like osteopaths and physiotherapists to comprehensively evaluate a client's condition. This allows you to pinpoint specific muscle or joint dysfunctions more precisely. You'll also master various techniques such as Soft Tissue Release (STR) and Muscular Energy Techniques (MET) to facilitate their recovery.

While Level 4 is crucial for competitiveness in the industry, many individuals opt to gain practical experience and earn income as Level 3 therapists before pursuing Level 4 studies.

At the Cotswold Academy, we are dedicated to providing high-quality training in Complementary Therapies and the Sports Massage Industry, aimed at ensuring that each student attains the highest-level professional qualification. Our approach combines expertly trained and passionate tutors, rigorous quality assurance in certification, and continuous student support, all designed to foster the growth of our students into highly successful therapists.

Government Regulated Qualifications - Why Train at The Cotswold AcademyIndividual Support - Why Train at The Cotswold AcademyBecome a Proffesional Therapist - Why Train at The Cotswold AcademySmall Classes - Why Train at The Cotswold AcademyHands-On Training - Why Train at The Cotswold Academy

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

  • Our courses are Accredited with ITEC (Diploma courses) and FHT (CPD short courses).

  • Passionate, experienced tutors committed to the highest standards in the industry.

  • Free Thursday Evenings in-person support sessions (every week) - available throughout your training and after you are qualified.

  • All ITEC Diploma courses have scheduled Zoom catch-up sessions throughout your learning (these are optional to attend).

  • A fun, friendly environment to study and meet like-minded people.

  • A dedicated college for your training (no hotel venues here!), complete with hydraulic couches, all massage equipment, and interactive whiteboards.

  • All our courses are eligible to apply for a student TOTUM card (formally known as NUS Extra), 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

Unfortunately, we have limited parking available, which is reserved for tutors and staff members only during weekday courses. However, there is free on-street parking within a 5-minute walk, we recommend The Whiteway (GL7 2ER). If your course is scheduled in the evening or on weekends, you're welcome to use this parking, and we can also utilise overflow parking in the adjacent business carpark.

In special circumstances such as disability, we can make pre-arrangements for you to park at the Academy. Please contact us to discuss this option. Additionally, paid parking options are available nearby. For more details, you can refer to Parkopedia

All class tuition and exams will be conducted at our stunning Grade II listed building located in Cirencester. Our address is:

24 Thomas Street Cirencester Gloucestershire GL7 2BD

Additionally, you're invited to book our therapy rooms, free of charge, for completing your case studies and treatment logs during your study period with us.

Once you've completed your final exams and successly passed all units, you'll be eligible to apply for professional insurance and begin practicing. Your ITEC qualification demonstrates your training to a high standard of excellence.

After completing your exams, it may take up to 6 weeks to receive your certificate from ITEC. If you're eager to start practicing immediately, we can provide a letter to help you secure insurance while you wait for your certificate to arrive.

For Diploma Courses:

Standard Terms: To secure your spot, a 25% deposit is required upon online booking, with the remaining balance due at least 4 weeks before the course begins.

Installment Plans: Spread the course cost over 6 months with our installment plan option, subject to a fee. When selecting your course, if an installment plan is available, you'll see the payment breakdown.

For CPD/Short Courses:

For 1-day courses, full payment is due upon booking. For 2+ day courses, a 25% deposit is required upon booking, with the remaining balance due 4 weeks before the course start date.

Payment can be made online or over the phone via credit/debit card during booking. For alternative payment methods like bank transfer or cheque, please contact the Academy to arrange manual booking.


Absolutely! We're proud to be affiliated with ELCAS. All our ITEC diploma courses are eligible for payment through ELCAS. Explore our course page here: ELCAS Learning Provider

Provider ID: 8410

Provider Name: Terapeutica Ltd T/A Cotswold Academy

Unfortunately, we're unable to accept +24 Advanced Learning Loans at the moment as we're not registered with Further Education and Skills - GOV.UK.

However, we do provide installment plans for our ITEC courses to help you manage course fees. You can find these options listed on each course page. If these options don't fit your needs, please contact us to discuss alternative payment arrangements. We're committed to supporting students in starting their journey and will explore every possibility to make it feasible for you.







To secure your spot on a course, you have two options:

  1. Online: Visit the course page you're interested in, choose your preferred date, select a payment option, and click "add course to basket." Proceed to checkout by clicking on the basket icon at the top of the website. Follow the prompts to complete payment using your credit or debit card. Note that a 25% deposit is required for courses lasting two or more days upon enrollment. For one-day courses or those starting within four weeks, the full balance is due upon enrollment (unless paying by instalments).

  2. Over the Phone: Simply give us a call at 01285 885 122, and our team will assist you in booking your spot over the phone.


At our Academy, we limit each course to 8-10 students, occasionally accommodating up to 12. In such cases, we would look to have 2 tutors present in the class to provide adequate support. We prioritise small class sizes to facilitate personalised attention and effective learning. Our courses emphasise practical training, providing students with hands-on experience essential for success in their future careers.

Sports Massage (Level 3 Dip. in Sports Massage)

Sports massage targets soft tissue imbalances caused by repetitive physical activity and trauma, whether from sports or everyday tasks like gardening or sitting at a desk. This type of massage, administered aims to boost performance, facilitate recovery, and prevent/ enhance recovery from injuries. Sessions typically include a thorough assessment of posture and range of motion followed by tailored treatments.

Swedish/Holistic Massage (Level 3 Dip. in Massage)

Swedish/Holistic massage is renowned for its relaxation benefits. Beyond relaxation, it enhances blood circulation, reduces muscle toxins, improves flexibility, and relieves tension through long, gliding strokes that follow the direction of blood flow to the heart. This therapy supports the body's balance and overall well-being. Typically the treatment would follow a massage routine administered in a calming environment to enhance its relaxing qualities.