ITEC Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy

Our Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy is designed to advance Level 4 Sports Massage practitioners to our exceptionally high standards in the delivery of evidence-based Injury Assessment and Sports Massage Techniques.


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

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


Course Syllabus

Unit 459: 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 459
Conduct Complex Assessment for Sports Massage

Click here to read 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 460: 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 460
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

Additional information:

Tutor: Hollie Bailey

Hollie completed her BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy in 2008 at London Metropolitan University and has completed an MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Nottingham in 2014.

Hollie has over 10yrs experience working with various sports including rugby, ice hockey, football, ultimate frisbee and endurance events. Hollie has worked for GB junior Ultimate Frisbee for the past 6 years attending European and World Championships.

Hollie has formally worked as a full time lecturer and programme manager at Hartpury University and University of Worcester on the BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy degree. She is head of sports medicine for Dorset and Wilts County Rugby and a registered first aid tutor and certified Kinesio tape practitioner.

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 will then return to the Academy to sit your final exams usually 2-4 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.

  • 10 Case Studies (5 for Unit 459 & 5 for Unit 460)

  • Plus 20 treatments logged in consultation forms

  • 2 x assignments (Unit 459 & 460) - 2500 word minimum essays 

  • Practical Exam  (usually 2-4 months after the course contact days)

  • You will be required to sit a “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.

Entrance 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.

Course Dates

Please note: You will return after the course contact days to take your exams- from starting the course to qualifying, we expect a time scale of about 4 months. This will allow you time to practice your hand skills and complete your Case Studies and Assignment work.


This course requires attendance over weekends (5 days in total)  9.30am-4pm

APRIL 2020

April: 18th, 19th

May: 2nd, 3rd, 10th


Sept: 12th-13th, 19th-20th, 27th

Fast Track:

This course requires attendance Monday – Friday for 1 week  9.30am-4pm



4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th November 2019


ITEC Level 5 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy (5 classroom contact days)


(Includes polo shirt, tuition fees, exam fees, ITEC registration) 

For further enquiries please contact us:

01285 885122
[email protected]

How do I pay?

A 25% deposit is payable immediately to secure your place on receipt of your invoice, with the remaining balance due at least 4 weeks prior to the start of your course.

Payment can be made via bank transfer or cheque. If you would like to pay via Credit Card, please let us know upon receiving your invoice and we will send through a link for payment.

In certain circumstances, we can offer an instalment plan to help spread to course cost. Fees apply. Please get in contact if this is something you would like to discuss.

Recommended Books for Study:


Thursday evenings at The Cotswold Academy


If you are interested in looking at a career in this industry, planning to do a course with us or just wishing to look around, our free Thursday Evenings could be the place to start.