How to Choose the Right Massage School

Choosing the right massage school is a crucial step in your journey towards a rewarding career in massage. Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision when looking into places to study.

Choose a Training Provider

If you are a complete beginner and want to become a professional massage therapist you need to choose a training provider that will offer a qualification that enables you to apply for insurance to practice on the general public. The most common qualification is a Level 3 Diploma in Massage or Sports Massage which we offer at the College of Classical Massage.  Our training is accredited by ITEC.

Massage isn’t a protected title in law and this is a self-regulated profession. By training with a college that offers a Level 3 Diploma, you know that you are getting a nationally recognised training standard which will be recognised by other educational and training institutes. This means that if you want to undertake any further training elsewhere, they will know what standard and level you have trained to. The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and is the national non-ministerial department in the UK that recognises the different levels of training.

Accreditation and Licensing

All ITEC/VTCT Diploma training are internationally recognised transferable and insurable qualifications. Once qualified and insured, you should also join a professional body.  These will provide you with a code of ethics and safe practice, some offer insurance as part of their package, and you will also get ongoing support through their magazines and online services.

There are many to choose from, for example:

  • The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT)
  • The Complementary Therapists Association (CThA)
  • The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

Pre 2016, The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) ran courses based on continued internal assessment during your training, with an internal verifier performing quality control on the assessments. Whereas the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC) courses were 100% externally examined. In November 2016, VTCT acquired ITEC and the joint organisation now offers these courses concurrently. Our Professional Diploma Training Massage courses are still externally verified.

The ITEC qualification prides itself on being an internationally recognised qualification. This makes it not only a recognisable and transferable qualification within training providers in the UK, but also in many countries around the world.

All of our diploma courses are fully accredited and designed for maximum learning to an advanced standard. Our Diplomas in Body/Holistic Massage; Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology, Reflexology, and Sports Massage are accredited by VTCT/ITEC (International Therapy Examination Council).

Curriculum and Course Length

Review the curriculum to ensure it covers a comprehensive range of massage techniques and related subjects. Consider the course length and structure, balancing between intensive and courses with a more extended duration. Our courses are held at weekends and on weekdays to cater for different studying needs and locations and our 1 day workshops are held on weekends.  Our ITEC Massage courses generally take approximately 6 months to study.

We occasionally get asked about two-week intensive trainings but we strongly believe that to develop your practical massage skills you need a longer amount of time than this.  There are also a lot of important and useful case studies to undertake so we feel that approximately 6 months is the optimum time scale for developing your practical skills, your confidence and your ability to become a caring and professional massage therapist.

Teaching Staff Qualifications

Look into the qualifications and experience of the teaching staff. Experienced instructors with diverse backgrounds can provide a well-rounded education.

Established in 1999, the College of Classical Massage is the longest-established private massage college in Brighton and Bath.  It was co-founded by Michael Gibbons who is still one of the main tutors on many of the Diploma Training Courses in Massage and Sports Massage.  He is an exceptional and highly experienced Bodywork Practitioner and Teacher. He has gained extensive knowledge over his 30 years in the Bodywork Industry. Originally training in Body Massage and Sports Massage, he has further developed his skills and experience with his training as a McTimoney Practitioner, studying for 4 years at the McTimoney College in Oxford. Gaining a Diploma in 1999. He has also trained in Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral therapy, Thai Yoga Massage, Remedial, and Deep Tissue Massage and Aromatherapy.

Facilities and Resources

Visit the massage school to assess the quality of facilities, including massage therapy rooms, equipment and any additional resources provided to students. This also gives you the opportunity to meet the course tutors and ask any questions about the course. We are committed to being a centre of excellence in all aspects of massage training and massage therapy and are delighted when potential students visit us prior to enrolling on our courses.

Student-to-Instructor Ratio

Smaller class sizes often mean more personalised attention. Consider the student-to-instructor ratio for a better learning experience. All our courses and workshops are delivered in small group settings, allowing the students to have a more interactive experience. Other experienced tutors also assist as and when required.

Clinical Experience Opportunities

Check if the massage school provides opportunities for hands-on practice. All of our massage courses include plenty of hands on practice with other students on the course, overseen by the tutor during the onsite teaching days.

Student Reviews and Alumni Success

Research student reviews and testimonials.  Past student success stories can provide insights into the effectiveness of the course and highlight different career pathways after graduating. We ask our students to provide reviews both during and after their training so that prospective students can see what it is like to train with us. These can be found on our website under individual course listings or posted as a Google review.

Accommodation of Learning Styles

Assess if the massage school caters to different learning styles, whether through visual aids, hands-on practice or other methods.

Cost and Financial Aid

Consider tuition and additional fees. Find out if there are payment plans to make the course more accessible. We offer an instalment payment plan to help students spread the cost of the more intensive longer courses and details of the payment plan can be provided as necessary.  Don’t be seduced by cheaper course fees.  Check out why a course might be so “competitively priced” – is it offering the same level of training?  Is the ratio of students to tutors less favourable?

Location and Commute

Consider the massage school location in relation to where you live and the ease of commute. Proximity may affect your ability to attend classes consistently. Our courses are held in Brighton, Bath and Sussex which allows students to access their nearest venue.  We can recommend local accommodation for students that may wish to travel to attend our courses.

Post-Graduation Support

Enquire about the school’s support for graduates, such as continuing education, events and resources for career advancement. Once you have your Level 3 qualification, this can be a springboard for other related certificated workshops or post-graduate training – for example, Sports
Massage, Reflexology, Deep Tissue Massage or Chair Massage. Do check out our website for details of our workshops and courses that we run throughout the year.

Trust Your Instincts

Trust your gut feeling during visits and interactions with the staff. Choose a massage school where you feel comfortable and supported. Choosing the right massage school is a significant investment in your future so take the time to research.  Visit and ask questions to make an informed decision that aligns with your career goals and learning preferences. We encourage potential students to visit or call us, ask questions and meet the tutor before enrolling on the course.  Choosing the right massage school is a big decision and we want to be able to help you with your choice.

We are here to support you through your massage career!

If you would like to find out more about the College and discuss your next steps.  Please contact us by phone on 01273 758424 or 07949 674524 or email: [email protected]. If you wish, you can also arrange a meet-up with the College Principal, to see the venue and have your questions answered.

Do check out our YouTube channel. We have plenty of massage videos to support your practice and inspire you with new techniques and ideas!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and details of upcoming courses.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This