Unit of competency details

HLTREM408C - Apply massage assessment framework (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTMSG002 - Assess client massage needsThis version was released in HLT Health Training Package release 2.0 and meets the requirements of the 2012 Standards for Training Packages. Merged HLTREM407C/HLTREM408C/HLTREM409C Significant changes to the elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and frequency requirements. Significant change to knowledge evidence. Minimum clinic hours added. Additional assessor requirements. 05/Aug/2015
Supersedes and is equivalent to HLTREM4A - Apply Remedial Massage assessment frameworkUnit updated in V4 - equivalent competency outcome 24/Mar/2011

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Mar/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061711 Massage Therapy  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061711 Massage Therapy  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to interpret information gathered in the health assessment and make and review accurate assessment for basic massage treatment

Application of the Unit


This unit may apply to work in massage in a range of settings and contexts

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Analyse and interpret information received

1.1 Correlate results of the health assessment with case history

1.2 Recognise signs and symptoms  of condition in the client and identify as pre-requisites or contra-indications for treatment/care

1.3 Assess information gathered and assign priorities in consultation with the client using the knowledge and experience and theoretical principles applied by the practitioner

1.4 Gather, record and organise information in a way which can be interpreted readily by other professionals

1.5 Analyse body patterns  and differentiate by assessing signs and symptoms

2. Inform the client

2.1 Discuss rationale for the treatment with the client

2.2 Respond to client enquiries using language the client understands

2.3 Discuss referral and collaborative options with the client if necessary

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge :

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the body systems
  • Community resources and support services
  • Human physiology
  • Interpersonal and questioning skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of methods of preparing treatment and management plans
  • Knowledge and understanding of types of further investigation available
  • Legal and ethical considerations in treating clients with massage
  • Pathology and symptomology
  • Referral process
  • Regional anatomy
  • Relevant assessment options and procedures
  • Signs and symptoms of disease and disorder/dysfunction
  • Skeletal musculature
  • Systems and regions of the body including structure and function of systems, such as:
  • cardiovascular system
  • immune system
  • lymphatic system
  • nervous system
  • reproductive system
  • respiratory system
  • The correct preparations required for specific treatment
  • The endocrine system
  • The ethical and legal implications of the practice of massage
  • The indications, possible responses and contra-indications to treatments
  • The organisation of the body
  • The structure and function of the articular system - classification of joints and types and ranges of motion (basic biomechanics)

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

  • Access and interpret up-to-date information
  • Demonstrate communication and negotiation skills
  • Demonstrate consideration of the impact of client vitality on selected treatment
  • Demonstrate interpersonal and questioning skills
  • Establish urgency for treatment required
  • Identify bone landmarks, structures and individual muscles through palpation
  • Identify treatment options and establish treatment regimes
  • Interpret investigative findings
  • Prepare treatment plans
  • Prescribe treatment according to the time-frame appropriate to the client condition and the treatment selected
  • Prioritise presenting conditions
  • Provide advice

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this competency unit :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Observation of performance in the workplace or a simulated workplace (defined as a supervised clinic)
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible
  • Assessment may contain both theoretical and practical components and examples covering a range of clinical situations
  • Assessment of sole practitioners must include a range of clinical situations and different client groups covering at minimum, age, culture and gender
  • Assessment of sole practitioners must consider their unique workplace context, including:
  • interaction with others in the broader professional community as part of the sole practitioner's workplace
  • scope of practice as detailed in the qualification and component competency units
  • holistic/integrated assessment including:
  • working within the practice framework
  • performing a health assessment
  • assessing the client
  • planning treatment
  • providing treatment

Context of and specific resources for assessment :

  • An appropriately stocked and equipped clinic or simulated clinic environment
  • Relevant texts or medical manuals
  • Relevant paper-based assessment instruments
  • Appropriate assessment environment

Method of assessment 

  • Observation in the workplace
  • Written assignments/projects or questioning should be used to assess knowledge
  • Case study and scenario as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice
  • Clinical skills involving direct client care are to be assessed initially in a simulated clinical setting (laboratory)
    If successful, a second assessment is to be conducted during workplace application under direct supervision
  • Diagnosis from assessment notes or simulated assessments
  • Oral questioning

Access and equity considerations :

  • All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Related units :

This unit should be assessed in conjunction with the following related units:

  • HLTCOM404C Communicate effectively with clients
  • HLTREM401C Work within a therapy framework
  • HLTREM409C Apply massage assessment framework

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Signs and symptoms of condition may include :

  • Physical evidence
  • Behavioural evidence
  • States of disorder
  • Sensations
  • Onset
  • Duration
  • Location
  • Causation
  • Direction of chief complaint
  • Ameliorating and aggravating factors
  • Symptom qualities (intensity, severity, nature of complaint)
  • Non-verbal signs and symptoms
  • Functional disturbances

Body patterns may refer to :

  • Posture
  • Range of movement
  • Muscle strength
  • Contralateral comparisons

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable