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Authority responds to BBC File on 4’s programme ‘Assaulted by my Massage Therapist’

The BBC programme ‘Assaulted by my Massage Therapist’ which aired last night on Radio 4 highlighted the serious risk that unregulated and unscrupulous massage therapists can pose to the public.

The Authority always recommends choosing a practitioner who is regulated by law or who is on one of its Accredited Registers.  It is quick and easy to check who is on a Register before choosing treatment.

Practitioners who join an Accredited Register show their commitment to professional standards and ethical behaviour and are held to account.

  • We call on all massage therapists to join an Accredited Register to better protect the public

The BBC programme investigated the increasing use of online apps that allow people to book treatments directly with self-employed therapists. There is no regulation of apps or the checks they must provide.

  • We call on providers like these to ask their practitioners to join Accredited Registers to make sure they are well trained and meet high standards

We also think it is important that there are appropriate levels of criminal background checks for self-employed practitioners.

  • We are currently working with the Government, Accredited Registers and others to close this safeguarding gap

About Accredited Registers

Our Accredited Registers programme is backed by the Government. We set standards for, and accredit Registers of, health and care practitioners. This includes massage therapists and sports massage therapists registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council and sport rehabilitation practitioners (some of whom may provide massage therapy) registered with the British Association of Sport Rehabilitators.

If practitioners breach standards set by Registers, they can be removed and not permitted to join another Accredited Register. All Registers accredited by the Authority must have a robust complaints system.


Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care


Notes to the Editor

  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  4. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  5. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  6. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
More information about our work and the approach we take is available at