Understanding Remedial Massage Therapist Qualifcations


Choosing a Professional Massage Therapist

Always find an Australian Qualifications Framework Practitioner in Massage Therapy.  This is a practitioner who has qualified under the strict guidelines and met the academic criteria set out by the Vocational Education Training Board of Australia.

  • Health Funds only recognise Massage Therapists who come within the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • All Massage Therapists must be registered to an Accredited Association ( e.g.ATMS, ARM) and Insured  
  • Qualifications and registration should always be visibly displayed.
  • Ask if the Therapist has Health Fund Registration Provider Number status.  Only qualified registered therapists qualify.  
  • The Therapist should have a current ABN.
  • The Therapist should have a Current First Aid Certification and P.I.Insurance
  • The Therapist should comply with their Association's Code of Ethics

You can check the name and postcode of any therapist through the ATMS website (www.atms.com.au), or other governing body ANTA, AAMT, ARM.

Health Funds


Previous to July 2009 Health Funds recognised Certificate IV Remedial Massage for health rebates, graduates after 2009 no longer qualify. (As of writing this Aug 2014 this may have changed)

Be aware of Health Fund Fraud.

Legally the person who administers the Massage treatment must only sign the Health Fund receipt. 

That person must hold a Diploma in Remedial Massage, registered with a Governing Industry body, current PL and PI insurance and current First Aid Certificate.

Every therapist must use their own personal provider number from the Health Funds. Provider numbers are not transferrable.

It is fraudulent to use another family member on the policy who has not had the service.

Safe Guarding the Public

Massage Associations in Australia are currently in a very proactive environment.  As the general public are utilising Remedial Massage more and more frequently these days, so too are the Governing bodies keeping a watchful eye on the Industry, looking more closely at our professional standing within the wider community. Standards are improving all the time.  I hope this guideline helps in your choice.

The discrepancy of Massage Fees? 

An example is a person holding a 'certificate'   A certificate is a course that although may take time completing the actual academic and study hours are limited. Therapists holding certificates can and are employed.  They do not however meet the legal criteria to receipt your service for Health Fund rebates.

The fees will often refect the qualification.

Many therapists may have a diploma in Remedial Massage but have only cerificates in Reflexology, Lymphtic Drainage, Aromatherapy etc.  Correctly speaking the therapist cannot call themselves a practitioner of these modalities unless they have obtained the Diploma.  Confusing to the public?  However the certificate enables the therapist to incorporate this adjunct into the massage.

 The condition they may utilise these modalities and incorporate them into a massage is when they hold a Remedial Massage Diploma. But if the entire massage is Aromatherapy it cannot be receipted as a Remedial Massage.  Yes it can be confusing!

A person with a certificate will often charge significantly less than a person with higher or advanced qualifications.

Qualified Therapists at Diploma level will always display their qualifications and Registration.






Explaining Remedial Massage Qualifications

Certificate IV Remedial Massage.

This is the foundation training to become a recognised MassageTherapist.  It is nationally recognised for a therapist to perform Remedial Massage at certificate level only. Therapists holding certificate only

do not generally qualify for Health Fund Rebates.   A certificate may be completed over a year part time to suit the student.  Obtaining a  Remedial Massage Diploma requires many more academic and supervised clinic hours.

Diploma Remedial Massage

A Therapist who has a diploma in Remedial Massage has the knowledge and skills to treat muscolskeletel problems using basic postural diagnosis and advanced soft tissues techniques.

Remedial Massage generally involves massaging the whole body, including feet. It is often firm working directly on painful muscles.

Remedial Massage is the most common and popular massage treatment. Remedial Massage is recognised by Health Fund Providers.

This area is in a state of change, should you want to know if your health fund rebates and how much,  please call your Health Fund.


Advanced Diploma Remedial Therapies

Many Therapists may have more than one body work diploma.

This advanced diploma enables therapists to treat at a Clinical Level.  It is also the gateway to a University degree.

The  combination of "touch, education and experience," not only triggers intuition but helps to recognise signs and symptoms adding an extra dimension to understanding the whole body when approaching problem areas and pain. It is not mystical nor a vagary. Thankfully new research is being done in the area of therapeutic massage and it's benefits regarding pain, so hopefully soon we can attach a scientific evidence based report to back these theories. 

A Treatment Plan

Viewing the body as a whole the practitioner will assess you and work to a treatment plan. Often the massage will hone in on specific muscle groups relating to your condition. It is important to convey as much information as possible relating to your condition in order to fast track the root and it's cause.  Muscle pain is often very debilitating. Answering a few questions will help us understand your problem.  Working in conjunction with you we will explain the treatment as we are working to help you understand our work in relation to your pain.

The main objective is to restore, regain mobility and reduce muscle pain.

This massage is a Clinical Massage.

 Our Duty Of Care

Our clinic will refer you to another Health Care Practitioner if we feel a problem is out of our field of training.

We do not advise on supplements or nutrional products.

We believe if you have any strucural/ postural problem that requires corrective exercises we prefer you visit a professional practitioner who works in body mechanics. E.G. Physiotherapist.

We do not administer exercise programmes.