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The ISRM education committee is made up of the most experienced therapists in the country and considered by many to be the pioneers of the modern-day approach to Sport & Remedial Massage. The training programme they have developed for ISRM derives from the range of clinical skills and knowledge they know are essential to do the job safely and effectively. Rather than being academics who decide how it should be done, these are the people who know how the job is really done! 

Learning outcomes (see below)
The ISRM qualification is built on a set of learning outcomes which together make up the skills and knowledge needed to start a professional practice in Sport & Remedial Massage Therapy. It is not made up of a fixed number of hours for a set of separate subjects. By having a learning outcome based approach we can focus on training people to do the job rather than just complete a course of hours per subject. It also encourages a greater integration between subjects and means that individual schools have the flexibility to devise a programme which best suits the particular needs of their students.

Quality tutors
It is not so much what is taught but how it is taught, that makes the real difference. Every therapist is unique and needs to develop a style that suits their own strengths and weaknesses. To achieve this in training, the ISRM require the practical massage tutors to be highly experienced ‘hands-on’ working massage therapists as well as classroom teachers. We also require a high student/staff ratio to enable plenty of one-to-one assistance.

Length of training
It takes considerable time to properly develop the practical skills of massage. The ISRM Diploma courses are spread over a period of at least 9 months to give students time to practice away from the classroom. This enables them to practice and consolidate their skills which can then be developed further at the next classroom session. This builds a solid foundation on which the advanced remedial techniques can be built on later in the training. For this reason the Institute does not support short intensive training courses.

All elements of ISRM training are assessed in a variety of ways. Written assignments are formally marked, and cross-marked for consistency and fairness, and there are mid-course practical assessments too. The purpose of these assessments is to focus the training and prepare students for the examinations at the end of the course.

External validation
The Institute is externally validated by Edexel/BTEC which is a national awarding body for vocational education and training. They have evaluated the ISRM qualification and graded it at a level 5 (NVQ equivalent) and oversee the Institute’s internal assessment procedures to ensure that high standards are consistently achieved.

ISRM – BTEC qualification, summary of Learning Outcomes

For successful completion the candidate must:

  • Be able to describe the structure and components of the musculoskeletal system with regard to their support and movement.
  • Be able to identify and explain the function of the bones, bony prominences and joints of the human skeletal system.
  • Be able to identify and explain the function of the muscle locations, origins and insertions on the human body.
  • Understand and explain the different types of muscle function.
  • Be able to describe and explain muscle physiology.
  • Be able to describe the structure and function of the major systems of the human body.
  • Be able to identify and carry out correctly massage techniques in the treatment of physiological conditions
  • Be able to demonstrate research techniques and correct referral procedures
  • Be able to recognise the signs of and explain the causes of the symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Be able to take clients’ case histories.
  • Be able to assess using several appropriate methods a client’s function and range of movement.
  • Be able to conduct a postural assessment and explain the reasons for the conclusions drawn.
  • Evaluate the outcomes of each treatment
  • Prepare for massage treatment
  • Demonstrate the application of standard massage techniques
  • Be able to explain the physiological effects, uses and benefits of the massage techniques.
  • Be able to treat areas of soft tissue dysfunction on a client, using Neuromuscular Techniques.
  • Be able to treat areas of myofascial restriction on a client, using a variety of Muscle Energy Techniques.
  • Be able to release local areas of soft tissue restriction on a client, using a range of Soft Tissue Release techniques.
  • Be able to release local areas of fascial restriction on a client, using Connective Tissue techniques.
  • Be able to demonstrate how to release chronic muscle tension using Positional Release Technique.
  • Explain the factors and phases involved in a rehabilitation programme
  • Explain and evaluate the techniques used to prevent injuries
  • Demonstrate and evaluate the treatment of a variety of injuries
  • Be able to give a client remedial exercise advice which meet the client’s specific needs.
  • Be able to demonstrate a knowledge of how to set up a business
  • Be able to explain the Basic Employment and Health and Safety Regulations relevant to a small business
  • Be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the code of ethics and practice relevant to professional practice.