Course Title: Perform massage health assessment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: SPRT5090C

Course Title: Perform massage health assessment

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4319 - Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice

Course Contact: Joshua Davies

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4333

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff


Joanne Spriggs

9925 4289         

Nominal Hours: 100

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

This course is delivered concurrently with the following courses:
HLTCOM408D Use specific health terminology to communicate effectively

Course Description

This course describes the skills and knowledge required to observe the condition of the client and gather information relevant to the case in order to provide a basic massage.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTREM409C Perform massage health assessment


1. Determine the scope of the assessment and the client's needs

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Establish client’s purpose for consultation and identify the symptoms experienced

1.2 Determine client’s eligibility for service using clinic/personal policies

1.3 Explain services able to be provided and limits of available services clearly

1.4 Explore and clarify client’s expectation of the service/clinic

1.5 Define personal abilities, level of professional competence and parameters of role to the client and determine practice at all times

1.6 Identify factors likely to have a negative impact  on assessment in consultation with the client and strategies implemented to minimise the effects of these factors wherever possible

1.7 Refer client to other health care professionals  where the needs of the client are identified as beyond the scope of the services able to be provided, or if in the opinion of the practitioner the needs of the client are best met by doing so

1.8 Identify and promote the legal rights of the client


2. Obtain and record an accurate history of the client

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Seek information required from the client for the client’s history  in a respectful way with all enquiries asked in a purposeful, systematic and diplomatic manner

2.2 Collect and record accurate, relevant and well organised information in a form which can be interpreted readily by other professionals

2.3 Manage information in a confidential and secure way


3. Prepare the client for assessment

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Ensure the client’s body is not unnecessarily exposed during assessment/treatment

3.2 Respect client boundaries at all times

3.3 Seek client feedback on comfort levels


4. Perform an assessment of the client

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Obtain informed client consent prior to conducting assessment, in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations

4.2 Identify, establish and routinely observe essential requirements for the maintenance of clinical and practitioner hygiene

4.3 Anticipate potential sensitivities of the client , adapt approach is adapted accordingly to take these into account and take steps to ensure the client’s dignity is maintained at all times

4.4 Assess client through palpation, observation and sensory information gathering techniques

4.5 Identify contra -indications  to treatment

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

All class learning materials, notes and other key learning resources can be accessed via myRMIT at
A combination of activities will support student’s learning in this course, such as:
• Face-to-face &/or online lectures to cover theoretical and practical concepts for each topic in the course
• Students will learn to apply their skills and knowledge to work integrated learning (WIL) in the student & clinical practice environment, during simulations and classroom based learning
• Work experience &/or placements observation of performance in the workplace will be a valuable part of your learning experience
• Tutorial activities (individually and in teams) to discuss, debate, critique and consolidate your ideas and extend your understanding around key concepts within specific topics
• Online discussions and activities to support and collaborate with other students in your course and debate and discuss ideas
• Utilise and develop critical research and cognitive skills to find credible sources of health information
• Self-directed study time (eg. readings or activities around theory) to enhance and strengthen your knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts
• To further facilitate learning students are strongly encouraged to use a range of communication tools between themselves and their course instructor as well as between themselves and fellow students by using the online learning platform
• It is strongly recommended that students partner up with fellow students in order to practice assessment, treatment and palpation techniques

Teaching Schedule

                                                                                           Perform Massage Health Assessment 2015

RMIT Wk      Date                                                                                       Class                                                                                                   Activities/Assessments

     12         17/03/15           Introduction to PMHA, course requirements, Trail Guide of the Body, Navigating the body & terminology

     13         24/03/15           Navigating the body: regions of the body, planes of movement & bony landmarks of the lower leg

     14         31/03/15           Bony landmarks of the upper body. Quadriceps & Hamstrings                                                                                     Online Assessment 1

     15                                  Mid Semester Break 2nd - 8th April 2015  

     16         14/04/15           Gastrocnemius & Soleus

     17         21/04/15           Peroneus Longus, Peroneus Brevis & Tibialis Anterior

     18         28/04/15           Gluteus Maximus & Gluteus Medius                                                                                                                              Online Assessment 2

     19         05/05/15           Bony landmarks, Trapezius & Latissimus Dorsi muscles

     20         12/05/15           Temporalis, Masseter, Sternocleidomastoid & Erector Spinae muscle groups

     21         19/05/15           Pectoralis Major & Levator Scapulae

     22         26/05/15           Deltoids, Biceps & Triceps                                                                                                                                             Online Assessment 3

     23         02/05/15           Rotator Cuff muscles, Forearm Flexors & Forearm Extensors

     24         09/06/15           Practical Muscle Palpation Assessment

     25         16/06/15           Practical Assessment - Simulated Clinic Session: Using specific health terminology (Muscle Based Activity)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Biel, A 2005 Trail guide to the body, 3rd edn, Discovery books.

Brukner, P & Khan, K 2007 Clinical Sports Medicine, 3rd edn, McGraw-Hill. NSW. Magee, DJ 2006 Orthopaedic Physical Assessment, Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis.

Magee, DJ 2006 Orthopaedic Physical Assessment, Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis.

Viznizk, NA 2008 Muscle Manual, Quick Reference Clinical Consultant, Professional Health Systems, Canada. (Available online:

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course forms part of the Cert IV in Massage Therapy Practice.
Assessment is typically based around written and/or online tests, assignments, reflective journals, evidence portfolio’s, logbooks and/or practical demonstrations.
Assessment may also take place in a simulated work situation such as a supervised student clinic.
Competency based training requires the student to be in attendance in order for assessment to be undertaken.
Assessment is undertaken through successful completion of all assessment activities and classroom, project & industry participation.
Assessments are spaced across the duration of the course, in order for your teacher to provide you with progressive feedback.
Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
An RMIT assessment charter ( summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document, the Assessment policies and procedures manual (;ID=ln1kd66y87rc).

Assessment Tasks

1. Assessment 1 – Three Online Tests: 

Students will be required to complete three online tests based on theory content covered both online and in class. See dates below: 

Online Test 1: Week 14: 31st March 2015

Online Test 2: Week 18: 28th April 2015

Online Test 3: Week 22: 16th May 2015  


2. Assessment 2 - Practical Muscle Palpation Assessment:

Students will be required to correctly identify and accurately palpate a randomly allocated bony landmark and muscle. In the case of muscles, students must correctly state the muscle’s location, attachments, actions and innervation. 

3. Assessment 3 - Practical Assessment - Simulated Clinic Session:

During this practically based scenario assessment, students will be required to carry out a basic massage health assessment and short 10 minute treatment in a simulate clinic setting. Students will need to demonstrate a variety of essential knowledge and skills such as basic interpersonal communication skills, observation/record keeping skills and the correct application of appropriate massage assessment and treatment techniques.


Assessment Matrix

See Course Topic Schedule for Perform Massage Health Assessment

Course Overview: Access Course Overview