Latest Covid-19 (Coronavirus) News

16th MARCH 2022 - SCOTLAND Face Coverings Update
On the 15th March, the First Minister announced that there is to be NO change to the legal requirement for face coverings in most indoor public
settings and on transport. This includes businesses providing close contact services. This means that for at least another 2 weeks,
possibly closer to mid-April, there is a legal requirement to retain face coverings for both the therapist and their clients in all settings.
This also includes mobile. Therapists must also continue to wear a type IIR mask and eye protection when treating their clients face,
when the treatment necessitates the temporary removal of the clients face covering.
Medical exemptions apply for face coverings.
Scottish Government update is here

17th AUGUST 2021 - WALES Update
The main changes from Gov Wales with the update is to remove the legislative requirements and provide guidelines.
Whereas previously there had been specific instructions for Sports Massage, Acupuncture and Sports Therapy,
there is just a general update covering Close Contact Services.
Read further information from us here

15th JULY 2021 - ENGLAND Update
DUTY OF CARE - Advice for therapists in England only.
As per the latest Government Guidelines, the formal and legally required restrictions have been removed as of 19th July 2021
and the onus is upon personal responsibility for ongoing protection.
Read further information from us here

GCMT Statement on COVID 19 – Coronavirus

As a Council tasked with the protection of our professional associations and the public, and in light of the developing situation with the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), we refer organisations and individuals to the following guidance. The information and guidance is being updated regularly by the Department of Health and Social Care as well as Public Health England as the situation develops, so please remain alert for any updates. Guidance can be found here:


Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Resources - Updated 17th August 2021:


GCMT Mission Statement:

Providing a forum for industry discussion

The Council is an inclusive forum where Professional Associations and other organisations working in massage and soft tissue therapies can connect, discuss and resolve industry issues. The Council meets formally 3 times per year and one of these meetings will include the AGM.

We aim to represent the views of the whole spectrum of massage and soft tissue practitioners by working collectively in the best interests of the profession.


Aims and Objectives

The Council for Soft Tissue Therapies is the only forum where Professional Associations who represent massage and soft tissue therapies can come together to discuss and resolve industry issues.

The GCMT is the governing body for massage and soft tissue therapies that form all bodyworks and soft tissue techniques in the UK. We are a non-profit making body with the following aims and objectives:

  • To define and influence the quality of educational standards
  • To work together in the development of new and existing National Occupation Standards
  • To approve and support industry qualifications when appropriate
  • To act as a lobbying and pressure group in the areas of regulation, insurance and employment
  • To co-operate and collaborate for the benefit of our respective memberships and the broader profession
  • To share best practice and experience as Professional Associations
  • To encourage Professional Associations to develop evidence based research




Why ask the question? I've been personally involved with a PA for some years and if one thing has become abundantly clear to me it is the difference in expectations between what members think their PA should be doing, and the reality of why PAs are created.
Paul Medlicott, Chair, GCMT

'A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organisation, or professional society) is a non-profit organisation seeking to further a particular profession the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest.' Source: Wikipedia

To enlarge on one part of that definition, 'PAs seek to further a particular profession'. Ask yourself some fundamental questions:-

  • What voice would your profession have in the broader world without a PA?
  • Who would represent your profession in discussions with educators. awarding bodies, government bodies, governing bodies, regulators, sporting bodies, insurers etc.
  • How would the views of your profession be represented intelligently, objectively and without conflict of interest if you didn't have a PA?

Successful PAs pull together all the practitioners in that profession and give voice to that profession as a whole. For a PA to be successful it must be supported by the majority of therapists in that profession. The most obvious way of showing support is by joining and paying your subscription. Unless your profession is represented by powerful and credible organisations practitioners will not be taken seriously, and those who give their time to supporting and promoting the profession will have their credibility compromised when dealing with external parties.

By joining a PA you will be helping us to achieve the second part of the definition mentioned above i.e 'furthering the interests of the individuals engaged in that profession'. If we as PAs are to influence potential employers we must have the critical mass of practitioners behind us and we must be able to say with confidence and with credibility "we represent the profession".

The final part of the definition is about protecting the 'public interest'. All PAs do this to one extent or another even if there is a credible regulator in place. PAs should have robust disciplinary procedures, a publicised code of ethics and make their members aware of the requirements of the Advertising Standards Authority, Trading Standards and Data Protection. Our professions are caught between a rock and a hard place - HCPC regulation is unlikely to happen for any of our professions unless they are perceived as high risk, and the jury is still out on voluntary regulation - in this scenario PAs need to, at least temporarily, fill the void.

PAs do provide job opportunities, event work, discounted CPD and consumables, online shops, members' forums, social media, national registers, conferences, advice and support----but this is a small part of what they do and are not the main functions. The key responsibilities are mentioned above.

Your PA can make a difference but it needs your support. Collectively we already represent a significant number of practitioners, but there are just as many practitioners who have chosen not to be part of a PA, either because they can 'manage without a PA', or it does not fulfil in some way their own personal requirements. Joining your PA requires a small leap of faith, but you will be investing not only in your own future, but also the long term development of your profession.

Paul Medlicott is currently Chair of the Sports Massage Association, Chair of GCMT and a Director of the South Devon Tennis Centre. Prior to this he worked in the City for 28 years specialising in strategic planning, project and change management. He holds an MBA from Loughborough University. Paul has 3 children and lives in South Devon.

Soft Tissue Therapy is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is applicable not just to sports people but to anybody wishing to guard against or recover from a soft tissue injury.


The techniques used by soft tissue therapists have been developed to ensure effective and efficient results are gained from each massage given. Soft Tissue Therapy may:-

  • Improve circulation and lymphatic flow
  • Assist in the removal of metabolic waste
  • Sedate or stimulate nerve endings
  • Increase or decrease muscle tone
  • Increase or decrease muscle length
  • Remodel scar tissue when required
  • Assist in mental preparation for sporting participation

You do not need to be a sports performer to benefit from Soft Tissue Therapy. The benefits above can also help relieve the many day to day problems, repetitive strain injury, sprains, tension, fatigue, that everyone experiences. Many Soft Tissue Therapists work with a great range of clients in assisting with preventive treatment and injury recovery.

Council Members

Information & Contacts

Association of Biodynamic Massage Therapists
Active iQ
Amatsu Therapy International UK
British Association of Sports Rehabilitation and Trainers
Bowen Therapy Professional Association
Complementary Health Professionals
Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology
Complementary Therapists Association
YMCA Awards
Register of Remedial Masseurs & Manipulative Therapists
Massage Training Institute
National Association of Massage and Manipulative Therapists
The Association for Soft Tissue Therapists
Scottish Massage Therapists Organisation
Sports Therapy Organisation
Vocational Training Charitable Trust


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Contact a professional association with a view to becoming a member
  • The professional association will be able to accredit your training providing it meets current standards (your documents will be required in English)
  • The professional associations will source suitable insurance for you, one of many provisions made for members
  • Contact the Local Authority as you maybe need to be licenced in that area. Some professional associations have waivers for their members.
  • The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is the regulatory body for Massage Therapies and other complementary therapies in the UK
  • This is a voluntary system, supported by the Department of Health, which has recommended the NHS source complementary therapists from the CNHC register
  • For further information about regulation and the regulatory register, visit the CNHC website

  • GCMT is the governing body for massage and soft tissue therapies, setting the standards for the profession
  • Professional Associations support the therapist as an individual and promotes GCMT Standards throughout their organisations
  • CNHC protects the public by regulating massage therapists and other complementary therapists

  • The professional associations accredit schools to GCMT standards
  • Colleges of Further Education
  • Other schools
  • See our Research listings

There are large numbers of schools and training providers teaching massage therapies. To ensure the training offered meets current standards, it is advisable to compare curricula on offer with the GCMT Standards.