intensive courses

The SMA believes that a hands-on skill like ours is best taught over a long period of time, where at least 50% of the contact time with a tutor is face-to-face, in order to give your skills the chance to develop slowly and with plenty of feedback. 

We define an intensive course (at either Level 3 or 4) as follows:

  • where the majority of teaching takes place as online modules for the student to work through at their own pace;
  • where the practical, hands-on teaching takes place over less than 8 weeks, with less than 48 hours contact time with a tutor
  • where there is a long gap between in-person attendance and sitting the final exam, in order to make it appear as if the course itself lasts 8 weeks

If the practical teaching for Levels 3 and 4 together takes place over fewer than 3 months then we define both as being studied for on an intensive basis.

If you have completed an intensive course, you can only apply to join the SMA if you complete in advance a treatment logbook of at least 50 hours of treatments, using THIS TEMPLATE, to be submitted at the point of application and demonstrating use of all techniques appropriate to your level of qualification.

**Please note that we do not accept under any circumstances courses that are online-only, where practical training takes place over five days or fewer or that are not externally assessed by an organisation such as the RQF or BTEC.  If you are in any doubt then please e-mail with a copy of your qualification certificate and/or details of the course.


 PLEASE NOTE: as of July 2021 we will not be accepting new applications from holders of qualifications gained through Focus Awards at any level as we are unable to verify that the course content meets industry standards.  If you hold a qualification gained through this Awarding Organisation then we suggest that you contact your training provider and ask them to contact Focus Awards on your behalf or e-mail Focus Awards directly and ask them to forward detailed course descriptors to Yvonne Blake,



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