Unit of competency details

SHBBSPA007 - Provide stone therapy massages (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes SHBBSPA003 - Provide stone therapy massagesNon-equivalent. Unit Code, Application, Performance Criteria, Foundation Skills, Performance Evidence, Knowledge Evidence and Assessment Conditions have been updated. 15/Dec/2021

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 16/Dec/2021


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  02/Feb/2022 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SHBBSPA003 Provide stone therapy massages.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to provide full body massages with hot and cold stones.

It requires the ability to establish priorities with clients, and to select pre-heated stones, design massage and provide a stone massage treatment. Stone massage therapy can be an individual treatment or form part of a series of treatments.

This unit applies to beauty and spa therapists who work in day, destination and resort spas, and beauty salons. In this environment they work in a team but are responsible for individual client recommendations and treatment.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit

Unit Code 

Unit Title 


Provide body massages

Competency Field

Spa Services

Unit Sector

Spa Services

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Prepare for stone massage therapy treatment.

1.1. Check readiness of treatment area and availability of equipment.

1.2. Select type and a variety of stone sizes.

1.3. Immerse stones in temperature-controlled heater.

1.4. Prepare bowl of iced water to lower stone temperature as required.

1.5. Prepare and present self, according to organisational policy.

1.6. Use energy, water and other resources efficiently during preparation and subsequent treatment process.

1.7. Comply with health and hygiene regulations and requirements.

2. Establish client objectives.

2.1. Access and review client treatment plan if available.

2.2. Discuss stone massage requirement and lifestyle factors to identify treatment priorities with client.

2.3. Identify client skin condition, skin disorders and diseases and possible adverse reactions and discuss with client.

2.4. Review client medical history, medications and obtain medical approval prior to treatment as required.

2.5. Identify contraindications to stone massage, and refer client to appropriate professional as required.

2.6. Assess the capacity of stone therapy massage to meet client needs.

3. Design and recommend stone therapy massage.

3.1. Design proposed treatment for a single or series of treatments.

3.2. Discuss benefits and potential adverse effects of selected stones and treatment sequence with client.

3.3. Explain recommendations for duration, frequency and treatment costs.

3.4. Develop or modify treatment plan, record updates and obtain client consent.

4. Apply stones.

4.1. Prepare client and select size and type of stones to suit degree of adipose tissue and treatment plan.

4.2. Check client temperature tolerance and lower stone temperature as required.

4.3. Remove placement stones and apply massage medium to body.

5. Apply massage.

5.1. Position self to minimise fatigue and risk of injury.

5.2. Ensure client comfort and privacy throughout massage.

5.3. Use hot stones to perform gentle effleurage massage sequence on selected body areas.

5.4. Provide body massage with hot stones and use cold stones as required.

5.5. Adapt massage techniques and stone sizes to suit subcutaneous tissue and client relaxation.

5.6. Allow post treatment recovery time in a relaxing environment.

6. Review treatment and provide post treatment advice.

6.1. Evaluate stone massage treatment with client.

6.2. Manage client expectations of potential outcomes.

6.3. Recommend home care, lifestyle changes, products and future treatments to improve health and relaxation.

6.4. Update client treatment plan and rebook client as required.

7. Clean treatment work area.

7.1. Remove used linen and clean surfaces, equipment and stones according to organisational policies and procedures.

7.2. Restock equipment and products in preparation for next treatment.

7.3. Dispose of general waste to minimise negative environmental impacts and according to organisational policies and procedures.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret and follow manufacturer instructions and safety data sheets for safe dilution, handling, storage and disposal of cleaning products and equipment.

Writing skills to:

  • record treatment using correct terminology to describe body areas and anatomical positions.

Oral communication skills to:

  • discuss treatment contraindications and precautions tactfully
  • use and interpret verbal and non-verbal communication to develop rapport with client to convey service and product advice.

Numeracy skills to:

  • calculate treatment time and price.

Technology skills to:

  • operate stone heater
  • use client software to update client notes, record stock data and product purchases.

Unit Mapping Information

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SHBBSPA003 Provide stone therapy massages.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Supersedes and is not equivalent to SHBBSPA003 Provide stone therapy massages.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • provide five safe and appropriate stone therapy massages of at least 60 minutes each for clients of differing height, weight and age
  • design, record and update treatment plans and records for each client using correct anatomical terminology and specifying details of:
  • client feedback
  • contraindications and conditions
  • outcomes of previous and current treatment
  • massage details and stones used
  • post treatment lifestyle and product advice
  • products used
  • recommended future treatments
  • relevant medical history and medication
  • treatment duration, areas treated and areas not treated
  • treatment objectives
  • maintain temperature of stones to suit each client’s temperature tolerance
  • sequence stone therapy routine to maximise benefits for each client
  • adapt massage routine to stone therapy and each client needs
  • during the above treatments comply with health and hygiene regulations and requirements.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • state or territory and local health and hygiene regulations and requirements relevant to providing stone therapy massages
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to providing stone therapy massages:
  • client record management
  • equipment use and maintenance
  • incident reporting
  • linen use and laundry procedures
  • personal hygiene and presentation
  • presentation of treatment area
  • waste disposal
  • water use minimisation
  • work health and safety
  • legal and insurance liabilities and responsibilities regarding stone therapy massages
  • scope of practice:
  • when to refer clients to other practitioners
  • importance of not stating a diagnosis of a contraindication
  • limitations of stone massage
  • role of complementary therapist and medical practitioner
  • factors likely to affect suitability of treatments for client needs:
  • budgetary and time constraints
  • outcomes of previous treatments
  • physical attributes
  • effects and benefits of:
  • each type of massage movement and technique
  • each type of stone
  • variations in stone temperature
  • stone placement and sequencing
  • effects of stone therapy on body systems:
  • circulatory
  • integumentary
  • lymphatic
  • muscular
  • nervous
  • skeletal and articular
  • common disorders of body systems and their relationship to stone therapy massage
  • variations in sensory perception and its relationship to stone therapy massage
  • history of stone therapy massage
  • properties of different materials for stones
  • contraindications that prevent or restrict treatment or require clearance from a medical professional to proceed and relationship to stone therapy massage:
  • abdominal hernia
  • asthma
  • bacterial, fungal, parasitic and viral infections
  • cancer
  • heart conditions
  • loss of skin sensation
  • low blood pressure
  • intoxication or drug use
  • people prone to blood clots
  • post chemotherapy or radiation
  • post herpetic neuralgia
  • post surgery
  • pregnancy
  • recent fractures
  • skin lesions
  • skin trauma
  • sunburn
  • adverse effects to stone therapy massage and appropriate remedial action:
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea
  • skin irritation
  • lifestyle factors and benefits of lifestyle changes
  • sustainable operating procedures for the conservation of product, water and power
  • effects and benefits of aftercare advice, products and future treatments to maintain client stone therapy massage objectives.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in a beauty industry or spa environment; this can be:

  • an industry workplace or
  • a simulated workplace set up for the purpose of skills assessment, that provides services to paying members of the public.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • paying clients with different stone therapy massage requirements, who have the expectation that the services provided reflect those of a commercial business
  • hand washing facilities:
  • basin
  • hot and cold running water
  • liquid soap
  • single use towels or hand dryer
  • relevant workplace documentation:
  • blank client cards
  • organisational policies and procedures relevant to stone therapy massage treatments
  • equipment instructions
  • product instructions and safety data sheets.

Assessment must ensure use of:

  • cleaning and disinfection products and equipment
  • dry treatment area
  • individual work station consisting of:
  • adjustable treatment table with safe working access at both ends and sides
  • bowl for chilled water
  • individual electricity supply
  • trolley or stable surface for product and bowls
  • information resources including charts, electronic resources, texts, three-dimensional models and videos for anatomy and physiology and skin
  • full thermal stone set with a range of shapes and sizes for various body areas
  • massage oil
  • thermostatically controlled stone heating unit
  • treatment towels or linen, or disposable linen.

Assessment activities that allow the learner to:

  • complete stone massage treatments within commercially realistic speed, timing and productivity
  • demonstrate competency in an environment reflective of real work situations
  • manage tasks and contingencies in the context of the job role.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors and:

  • hold a qualification as a beauty or spa therapist
  • have worked as a beauty or spa therapist for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of this unit of competency.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=255d312b-db07-48f2-b6d6-1b0b06c42898