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We are very pleased to announce a further two STO accredited Foundation Degrees; at City College Plymouth and Exeter College.
STO continue to work with FE and HE establishments and private training providers to ensure the standard of Sports Therapy training in the UK increases each year.
20 STO members provided pitchside first aid and injury treatments at the MR7s rubgy festival, on what was a bitterly cold, rainy and windy weekend! Positive feedback was received from the organisers, players and parents, most of whom did not know what Sports Therapy specifically was, but said they would seek out someone local for follow up treatments, as it was excellent!
Pictures can be found in our gallery here.
We are very pleased to announce that we now accredit the BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, from Marjon; and the FdSc Sports Therapy from Nescot.
We are continuing to work with training providers to raise standards of education in the Sports Therapy profession. We have shown that if a training provider is not prepared to work to higher standard, we are not prepared to work with them, nor to accept their graduates for membership.
This stance has proven popular with the Furher and Higher Education establishments, and we are currently discussing options with a number of colleges and universities.
It has been brought to our attention that some schools and colleges delivering QCF Sports Massage courses, are delivering them with far less in-class hours than is required. Whilst this issue is being dealt with by the regulator, we have amended our membership terms.
STO are a quality driven organisation, and as such we will refuse membership where we feel the applicant does not meet our standards or where we cannot guarantee that the delivery of the qualification has been undertaken to the requirements set down nationally. With this in mind, we will no longer automatically accept ActiveIQ or VTCT qualifications, unless it is demonstrated by the applicant that the delivery of their course has been within the minimum requirements.
Whilst there are still Professional Associations that will accept QCF qualfications without checking that the delivery has met the standard, STO will object to any such person being verified onto the CNHC register. We will continue to monitor what we believe to be a serious threat to the standards in our profession.
It has been a busy year so far, and even though we havent made any news updates since January, it doesnt mean that nothing has been happening!
Apart from the huge success at the international rugby event in June, where STO supplied 36 Sports Therapists and Sports Massage practitioners, to offer massage, first aid, sports therapy treatments and pitchside cover, our members have been in great demand at events throughout the UK! As STO is a 'one stop shop' for sports therapy requirements, many organisations approach us for support. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us, to add your name to our events team!
On an industry level, there has been some changes, and after lobbying for almost 2 years, the CNHC register has been changed from the Sport & Remedial, to the Sports Therapy, register. Stricter criteria has been applied to register, and those solely with Sport & Remedial Massage qualifications have been moved to the massage register. It is great news for Sports Therapists, as it shows our greater skills-set, which we felt deserved its own place on the register.
STO have also re-joined GCMT after a 2 year absence. GCMT has a much needed new management team which resurrected it from the brink of collapse, and has a new lease of life, which means that STO officers are very happy to once again give time and effort to its work. It is unfortunate that SRTC has, in our opinion, gone the way that GCMT went a few years ago, however, as STO are still a major verifying PA for CNHC, we are still at the forefront of dealing with industry issues. STO no longer recognises SRTC, as we feel that it is now just a collaboration of two PA's, one of which isnt involved in Sports Therapy, and the other, we feel, is too diverse to be able to concentrate on the important issues that face our industry.
STO officers are still working hard to further sports therapy, and its allied profession of sports massage, and we are happy to be doing this with other like-minded PAs at GCMT.
Tickets are selling well for our conference on Saturday 29th September, being held in Manchester. We have listened to our members, and as times are hard for most of us, we have provided an installment option to pay for this. Also we were also overwhelmed with members asking to see 'new faces' amongst our speakers. We have some amazing talent in our industry, and these do very well on the speaking circuit, however, our members want to see something new, and with a huge array of talent to choose from, we have some new faces that will inspire and teach you at our conference!
We are always striving to improve our memberships, and as a result, we have decided to move our membership renewal date to May 1st. Those of you with current membership can either renew on 1st March, as usual, in which case your membership will run to 31st April 2014, or your current membership can be extended free of charge until 31st April.
Changing our 'strapline'! Why??
You will have noticed that at the top of the home page on our website, is the sentence 'Sports Therapy Organisation - for all your Soft Tissue Therapy and Athletic Training needs!'. We have decided to change to this strapline as its time that we defined what a Sports Therapist is, and not only that, for our Sport Massage Practitioner members, show that they are more than just 'skin rubbers', which is a derisory term that we have heard too often from other, so called, professionals!
Lets look at an STO Sports Therapist, the skills they have will allow them to treat a huge range of soft tissue conditions, in acute, post acute and chronic stages. They can treat postural deviances caused by soft tissue dysfunction and environmental stresses, and they can offer both prehabilitation and rehabilitation, which makes them best placed to work in an 'athletic training' environment (to pinch a very good American title!). As a Sports Therapist can assess for most soft tissue conditions, as well as checking fitness levels, they can work autonomously.
What about STO Sports Massage Practitioners? Training in sports massage has come a long way in the past 20 years, and STO are proud to have been involved in some of the major changes over the past few. The National Occupational Standards have meant that most courses include many of the latest treatment techniques, that actually make a difference to a client. At higher levels, the training also includes assessment skills so that the therapist can make an informed decision as to whether or not to carry out a soft tissue treatment, much like a trained sports therapist.
In our opinion these skills can improve not only the performance of athletes, but also help them to be less prone to injury.
It may be time for us, as a profession, to look at what we call ourselves, but in the meantime, STO will work continue to work hard to promote all of our skills.
Sports Therapy Organisation would like to confirm its commitment to pursuing dialogue with all members of the Sports Therapy industry, in relation to regulation and standards.
We hope 2012 will bring a closer working relationship with all inolved.
Open Letter from the Society of Sports Therapists
This is an open statement from the Society of Sports Therapists, received by the Sports & Remedial Therapies Council. The statement contains many inaccuracies and misleading information, and has been responded to in the statement below.
Whilst we will continue working with all associations, organisations and establishments involved in Sports Therapy and Remedial Therapy, we cannot allow this kind of misleading information to go unchecked.
Regulations for Sports Therapists and Remedial Therapists
Sports and remedial therapists in the UK are going to be regulated from January 2010. The announcement was made by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) whose role is to regulate the practice of natural and alternative therapies in the UK as well as set the standards within the industry.
The CNHC had been demanded for several years in order to provide safety and minimum standards to a previously unregulated industry. Until the CNHC opened its doors to sports and remedial therapists, there was no national regulator that sports people and their trainers could go to, to seek fully qualified practitioners who meet minimum standards. In January that will change.
The CEO and Registrar of the CNHC, Maggie Dunn, said: "This is not only an important development for the CNHC but also for the sports industry. Any sports and remedial therapist applying to the CNHC register does so in the knowledge that they have to meet specific standards."
Dunn also reminded the delegates at the conference at which the announcement was made of the timeliness of the expansion of CNHC's role, saying "This is vital at a time when the country is preparing for the greatest sporting event in the world, the Olympics. We need to be delivering quality on every level in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics and the admission of sports and remedial therapist to the CNHC register is an important development in this process."
The CNHC has not yet been operating for a full year, but has accepted registration from professional therapists in the fields of aromatherapy, massage therapy, reflexology, shiatsu and nutritional therapy. Practitioners who are accepted are allowed to display the CNHC quality mark.
By mid 2010, the register will open to yoga therapy practitioners, cranial sacral and Bowen technique and the Alexander technique. It is entirely voluntary for practitioners to register, but with consumers becoming increasingly cautious about who is treating them, it will soon be a commercial necessity.
We have received a number of queries from some of our members who are also members of the SST, regarding a letter sent to them relating to Statutory Regulations.
To clarify the points raised in the letter, we can state that the Society of Sports Therapists are the only organisation to have made an application for the regulation of Sports Therapy, that has been considered by the Health Professions Council.
There is another association that has claimed to have done this, and, we agree with the SST, that this statement is extremely misleading. One of our representatives was at a recent meeting, and reported back that the Health Professions Council has suggested that Sports Massage would not be considered for statutory regulation, as an independent profession, but that it is best suited to be 'self regulated', something which STO are working on, with the General Council for Massage Therapy.
The position of STO is this; we are a professional organisation for Sports Therapy and Sports Massage, and as such, are entitled to be involved in the regulatory processes (both 'statutory' and 'self regulatory'). We support the Society of Sports Therapists in their work towards statutory regulation of Sports Therapy, and we would directly oppose those associations making false claims. STO have not made any application for the regulation of Sports Therapy, (nor has it ever claimed to have)as this has already been made by the Society of Sports Therapists, and as such any other application made to the HPC would be counter-productive, and not in the interests of our members, or the industry as a whole.
The regulation of Sports Therapy would mean that Sports Therapists get the recognition they deserve, and the title would be protected, ensuring that the public are treated by professionally trained therapists.
If you have any comments on this subject, please feel free to contact us.