Unit of competency details

SIHHBAS202A - Perform head, neck and shoulder massage (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 19/Aug/2013
(View details for release 1) Replaced20/Jul/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SHBHBAS002 - Provide head, neck and shoulder massages for relaxationNot Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. • Title changed to better reflect intent of the unit.• Knowledge requirements added. 30/Mar/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to WRHCS206A - Perform head, neck and shoulder massageUpdated and equivalent to WRHCS206A 19/Jul/2011

Training packages that include this unit


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  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

The release details of this endorsed unit of competency are set out in the table below. The latest information is at the top.




Editorial corrections. Competency field added.


Initial release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to provide a head, neck and shoulder massage.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to salon assistants and hairdressers in training, who prepare clients for other operators in the hairdressing salon team. The unit reflects a context where a relaxing head, neck and shoulder massage is offered prior to other hairdressing services.

A person undertaking this role works under supervision and guidance from others.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Prepare client for massage.

1.1. Question client  regarding any pre-existing conditions or injuries.

1.2. Examine client s head, neck and shoulder areas and record any notable observations  on client history.

1.3. Seek advice from supervising operator  before proceeding where client indicates pre-existing conditions or injuries.

1.4. Prepare service area, self and client for the massage treatment, according to relevant health regulations  and salon procedures .

2. Perform massage techniques.

2.1. Measure and apply massage medium  from salon range as directed by supervising operator.

2.2. Apply massage techniques  to head, neck and shoulder areas as prescribed by supervising operator.

2.3. Vary length of massage routine to suit client requirements and salon designated time lines.

2.4. Monitor client response  throughout the service and adapt massage routine as required.

2.5. Remove massage medium, according to manufacturer or supervising operator instructions.

2.6. Allocate client relaxation time to conclude the massage service, according to salon timeframes.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • interact with clients
  • question clients regarding pre-existing conditions or injuries
  • seek direction and advice from supervising operators
  • seek client feedback and adjust the massage routine
  • technical skills to:
  • perform a range of head, neck and shoulder massage movements
  • apply salon hygiene procedures
  • apply salon safety procedures at the basin
  • literacy skills to:
  • interpret product information and manufacturer instructions
  • interpret relevant health regulations and associated salon procedures
  • numeracy skills to:
  • measure and apply massage mediums to minimise waste
  • manage service time effectively

Required knowledge 

  • working knowledge of relevant health regulations regarding hygiene and infection control when working on clients
  • salon health and hygiene procedures
  • salon environmental controls relating to:
  • waste minimisation
  • recycling
  • energy efficiency, e.g. gas or electricity saving practices

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

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

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • consistently interacting with clients throughout the massage service to:
  • take into account any cultural or physical requirements
  • establish client requirements
  • ensure client comfort and safety
  • accurately interpreting and following verbal instructions from supervising operators
  • accurately interpreting and consistently applying manufacturer s instructions for the application of massage mediums
  • consistently applying salon procedures and safe work practices in regard to performing head, neck and shoulder massage
  • consistently applying head, neck and shoulder massage movements, including effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, hacking, vibration and movements across a range of clients and in salon time frames
  • knowledge and consistent application of health and regulations applicable to the service.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a salon or a simulated salon environment that includes a range of work situations such as client interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the salon
  • a fully equipped basin services area which includes as a minimum:
  • client chairs
  • a range of massage mediums
  • a plentiful supply of clean towels
  • clean client gown
  • documented salon procedures, such as:
  • operator comfort and safety
  • procedures that respond to state or territory and local government health regulations relevant to the service
  • environmental protection practices, such as:
  • waste minimisation
  • resource management
  • a range of clients with different massage requirements.

For further guidance on the use of an appropriate simulated environment, refer to the Assessment Guidelines in this Training Package.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation of the learner performing head neck and shoulder massage treatments on a range of clients
  • written or verbal questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test knowledge which may include:
  • relevant health regulations
  • salon procedures
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party reports of on-the-job performance.

Guidance information for assessment 

A unit of competency describes an individual skill but people rarely perform one skill at a time. Many skills are combined on a day-to-day basis in the workplace as part of work processes. This does not mean that each skill described by a unit of competency is prerequisite to another they are related skills.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, salon and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SIHHOHS201A Apply salon safety procedures
  • SIRXCOM001A Communicate in the workplace

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. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. 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) may also be included.

Client  may include:

  • men
  • women
  • children
  • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities.

Observations  may include:

  • skin conditions, including:
  • skin irritation
  • broken skin
  • scabs
  • scarring.

Supervising operator  may include:

  • senior hairdresser
  • more experienced apprentice or trainee.

Relevant health regulations  may include:

  • state or territory health regulations for hair and beauty salons
  • local council health regulations.

Salon procedures  may include:

  • client comfort and safety
  • operator safety
  • procedures that comply with state or territory and local government health regulations relevant to the service
  • environmental protection practices, such as:
  • waste minimisation
  • waste disposal
  • water efficiency.

Massage medium  may include:

  • scalp treatment products
  • hair treatment products
  • massage oil.

Massage techniques  may include:

  • petrissage
  • tapotement
  • hacking
  • vibration
  • friction.

Client response  may include:

  • verbal or non-verbal feedback
  • an indication of comfort or relaxation
  • negative feedback indicating discomfort.

Unit Sector(s)


Competency Field

Basin Services

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