• YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Performance Massage (610/0701/8)

    This qualification enables learners to perform massage at a fundamental level on nonpathological tissue, perhaps as an adjunct to a personal training or gym session.




    271 hours


    455 hours

    Endorsed by

    YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Performance Massage

    Qualifications Type

    Technical Specialism

    Qualification Number (QN)



    Operational start date – 1 March 2023

    Operational end date –

    Certification end date –

    Latest version of qualification –

    Entry Requirements

    • Aged 16+
    • Be fit enough to perform massage
    • Be able to communicate with clients, although these skills will be developed during the qualification.


    • Knowledge questions
    • Worksheets
    • Written tasks
    • Observations



    This qualification enables learners to perform massage at a fundamental level on nonpathological tissue, perhaps as an adjunct to a personal training or gym session.

    The purpose of this qualification is to provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide massage for preparation and recovery from strenuous activities. It also meets the pre-entry requirement for the new YMCA Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy (Soft Tissue Dysfunction)  – the only qualification mapped to the new NOS that meets the requirements for entry to SMA for membership as a sports massage therapist.

    Qualification details

    This qualification contains content to support learners to:

    • Understand the anatomy and physiology of the skin and major body systems including the cardio-respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, nervous, and urinary systems.
    • Understand the interaction between the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and the effects of exercise of body systems.
    • Understand soft tissue dysfunction, the process of soft tissue repair and the effects of performance massage on body systems.
    • Understand the importance of healthy eating, how to promote a healthy lifestyle and affect lifestyle can have on the effectiveness of performance massage treatments
    • Understand legislation and standards relevant to the massage profession, including scope of practice and the principles of professional practice
    • Conduct client assessments, design performance massage treatment plans and perform performance massage treatments
    • Apply the principles and methods of post-treatment care and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment plans

    This qualification has 3 assessment stages with 9 assessment tasks:

    Assessment stage 1 – Assesses learners’ understanding of fundamental anatomy and physiology, and lifestyle/health awareness

    • Questions/answers on:
      • Anatomy and physiology.
      • Lifestyle management and health awareness.

    Assessment stage 2 – Assesses learners’ understanding of the knowledge required, and the roles and responsibilities involved, when providing performance massage

    • Internally assessed worksheets on:
      • Further anatomy and physiology for performance massage.
      • Massage professional practice.
      • The principles of soft tissue dysfunction.
      • Assessing clients and treatment planning.
      • The application of performance massage.
      • Providing post-treatment care.

    Assessment stage 3 – Assesses learners’ skills required to perform performance massage

    • Observation

    See the qualification specification for further information.

    The YMCA Level 3 Diploma in Performance Massage is a pre-entry requirement for the YMCA Level 4 Certificate in Sport Massage Therapy (Soft Tissue Dysfunction). The Level 4 qualification is required for industry recognition as a sports massage therapist. These qualifications may be used to support access towards degree studies related to Sports Therapy and/or Sport and Exercise Sciences.

    UNUnit titleeLearningManual
    M/650/4982Fundamentals of anatomy and physiologyComing soonComing soon
    K/616/7949Lifestyle management and health awareness✔️✔️
    L/650/1361Further anatomy and physiology for performance massageComing soonComing soon
    M/650/1362Massage professional practiceComing soonComing soon
    A/650/6136The principles of soft tissue dysfunctionComing soon
    R/650/1363Assessing clients and treatment planningComing soon
    Y/650/1365Application of performance massageComing soon
    T/650/1364Providing post-treatment care adviceComing soon

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