Frequently asked questions

Who Runs Active Health Group?


Active Health Group was founded by Richard Johnson, who also founded the Sports Therapy Organisation back in the 1990s. Richard was the Training Director until 2020, and whilst still the Managing Partner, alongside Christian Platts, he passed on the baton to Kirsty Cooper, who now leads the inspirational team. The tutor and support team comprises of Student Support, Carolina and Jupiter; Tutors, Dawn, Charlie, Elaine, Jamie, Brian, Karen, Nikki, Beth, Dan, Linzie, and Cristo. We also have an awesome team of medical, academic and health associates and advisers who help us develop our training courses. Whilst training with us at AHG you may also meet examiners from STO, TQUK, VTCT, and ITEC, whose job it is to ensure good quality assurance on all of our courses.




Who recognises/validates/accredits/approves the courses?


Sports Therapy - STO, IICT, IMPH, CNHC Sports Massage - STO, CNHC, FHT, SMA, IICT, IPMH Health Coaching - UKHCA, IICT, CMA, IMPH Nutritional Therapy - FNTP, IICT, CMA, IMPH STO - Sports Therapy Organisation - UK IICT - international Institute of Complementary Therapists - UK and overseas CMA- Complementary Medicine Association - UK and overseas UKHCA - UK Health Coaches Association - UK and overseas SMA - Sports Massage Association - UK FHT - Federation of Holistic Therapists - UK
IPHM - International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine - UK and overseas
FNTP - Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners - UK CNHC - Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council - UK




Who issues the qualifications and certifications?


Sports Therapy - TQUK Sports Massage - VTCT Health Coaching - TQUK Nutritional Therapy - TQUK and RSPH RSPH, VTCT and TQUK are all UK Ofqual Regulated Awarding Organisations




What types of courses do you run?


Our training portfolio covers Sports Therapies, Myofascial Release, Bodywork, Fitness, Health Coaching and also Teaching and Assessing. We also run CPD workshops for therapists and a range of online courses. All of our courses are insurable for practitioners, therapists and trainers.




How do I pay for the courses?


Our courses can be paid for by Cash, Credit/Debit Cards and Bank Transfer. Where instalments are available, these must be paid for by equal monthly standing order or credit/debit card subscriptions, which are interest-free. Due to the huge costs involved (which would have to be passed on to our learners), we do not offer Adult Learner Loans (19+/24+).




What happens if I cannot complete the course in time?


All courses have deadlines, as you would with any accredited qualification, as these too have 'expiry dates'. If any student has had any life changes that means they may not complete their course in time, as long as we are kept informed, we can grant course extensions. These are done on an individual basis. Maximum course timeframes are as follows: Level 5 Sports Massage - 12 months Level 5 Sports Therapy - 24 months Level 6 Sports Therapy - 48 months Level 5 Health Coaching - 12 months Level 6 Health Coaching - 18 months




Where do you run your training courses from?


We have two venues in Manchester. Our main training venue is in the City Centre, and our alternative venue where we hold some of the modules, is 10 minutes out of the City Centre by car, or two minutes by train. Active Wellness Centre, 79 Lever Street, Manchester, M1 1FL The Manchester Monastery, 89 Gorton Lane, Manchester, M12 5WF www.themonastery.co.uk




What is the difference between a diploma in Sports Therapy and a Degree in Sports Therapy?


Probably around £30,000! In all seriousness, we are confident that our Advanced Diploma prepares you for work as well as, if not better than the BSc. The reason? Sports therapy is a hands-on profession, not academic, and we actually train BSc graduates (from sports therapy, physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation) on our sports courses because of the quality of our vocational training! We have had over 25 years experience in the Sports Therapy industry, including 19 years teaching the Advanced Diploma. Considering feedback we get from some college/uni lecturers teaching after graduating just months before, we can see why there can be a lack of good quality teaching out there! Teaching needs experience and that is something we have in abundance, considering our courses came before the Degree. It is also interesting to note that whilst the Advanced Diploma is accepted by the Regulator, not all Degree programmes are!




What is the difference between Active Health courses and those of other training providers?


When you train with us, you can be assured of the highest standard of training, backed by a national awarding bodies and working very closely with the governing bodies and regulators. When looking for a course, you should check who awards their certifications and who accredits their courses. For example, as well as our own fully accredited Active Health Group certifications, we ensure that we also offer external certification. With our Sports Therapy courses these are awarded by TQUK; Sports Massage by VTCT; Health Coaching by TQUK and Nutritional Therapy by both TQUK and RSPH. This dual certification means that not only are our students assessed by industry bodies, to ensure they meet the standards to go into practice, they are also assessed by the Ofqual Regulated Awarding Bodies, to ensure they meet their own exacting standards.

Not all training providers offer this!




Do I need a degree to be a sports therapist?


One of the main questions we are asked is "Do I need a degree to be a sports therapist?", and the answer is "No". The Sports Therapy diploma has been around for almost 40 years, and has always been aimed at getting its graduates either into work in sport or in private practice. The first Sports Therapy degree was set up in the mid 90's, and heavily weighted in academia. Indeed, Active Health Group have trained many degree graduates (of both Sports Therapy and Physiotherapy) who have decided to use our Level 5 courses as their 'post-graduate' training to gain the valuable hands-on soft tissue skills that we teach, and that are essential for this industry. Whilst experience has told us that you do not need a degree to work as a sports therapist, we understand that some people would like the challenge of undertaking a degree course. With a progression route in mind, we also developed our own, which is the Level 6 Masters Diploma in Clinical Sports Therapy. Unlike traditional university degrees, our Level 6 is a hands-on vocational programme, which builds on the Level 5 Advanced Diploma and includes our highly regarded Diploma in Myofascial Release. The Level 6 programme has a maximum duration of four years.




Sports Therapy or Sports Massage: What is the difference?


The two are commonly confused, however, Sports Massage is a single element of Sports Therapy. Level 3 Sports Massage focusses on basic massage techniques, performed on ‘non pathalogical’, or ‘uninjured’ tissue. This level, of course, in our opinion is suitable as a foundation course or even a 'taster', but not practitioner level as one cannot work on injuries. Most of the genuine accrediting bodies such as the Sports Massage Association do not accept Level 3 for membership, and they are not recognised by the Sports Massage Regulator.

Level 4 Sports Massage has additional soft tissue skills and allows for sports massage to be performed to prevent and treat injury. As injury treatments primarily involve the use of additional techniques such as cryotherapy, ultrasound, taping etc, sports massage treatments will be very limited for this purpose. Many of the Level 4 courses on offer do meet the standard for the Sports Massage Regulator.

Active Health Group do not run Level 3 or 4 Sports Massage courses.

Level 5 Sports Massage involves a greater amount of functional anatomy and is recognised by all the major accrediting bodies, and Sports Massage Regulator. It is aimed at working both in private practice, alongside Physiotherapists, Osteopaths etc, and in elite sports, as Soft Tissue Therapists. Sports Therapy courses start at Level 5 and their pre-requisites are Sports Massage and Anatomy & Physiology. Sports Therapy builds on Sports Massage to include advanced soft tissue techniques, orthopaedic assessments, cryotherapy, thermal therapy, athletic taping, sports first aid, electrotherapy and injury rehab. Most Sports Therapists will find that Sports Massage becomes a tiny proportion of their treatment.




What support do you offer when I qualify?


We are proud to be part of the largest network of sports therapists, anywhere! Our Alumni benefit from many free online courses and workshops to help with their practice, we also have private mentoring groups where we can offer continuing support. Most of our students have come to us through word of mouth, so it is absolutely in our best interest to ensure that we go above and beyond anyone else in terms of providing ongoing support for our graduates. We are extremely proud that some of our Alumni from the start of our history, still keep in touch with us, from all over the globe! Without sounding cliché, we do feel strongly that AHG keeps its family feel, as our students and graduates help stop our job feeling like work!




How do I enrol on to a course?


On each of our course pages, you will find dates that are linked to our external booking site. Click on your chosen course and then complete the registration form on our booking site. Alternatively, you can call us on 0161 312 5030. Our standard terms and conditions need to be agreed to before an application is processed to an enrolment.