Membership Information and Terms & Conditions

Please read prior to applying for membership








Please read the all of the following instructions carefully to check your eligibility to join, and the application process.

Stages of the application process:

  • Step 1: Fill in the online application, providing detailed information, regarding qualifications and choosing a membership type, which is most relevant to your core qualification. (ex. If you have a Sports Therapy Diploma, or certificate, please choose the membership type: ‘Sports Therapy’). 

  • Step 2: Once you have applied, please send us proof of your qualifications and insurance, either via post or scanned and e-mailed to You will then receive an e-mail stating whether your application has been successful. If yes, then please go ahead and pay for your chosen membership type.

  • Step 3: Once we have received your qualifications and payment you will receive an e-mail containing your certificate and ID number, along with more detailed information, regarding your membership benefits.  Please allow 96 hours for processing from the time you send in your qualifications.

*Important information: 

Sports Therapy Organisation (STO) Membership Terms and Conditions

1. Membership is open to therapists who hold a qualification which is recognised by the STO.  We reserve the right to change this requirement at any time, without notice.

2. In all cases, applicants must hold qualifications that meet minimum standards of training, up-to-date insurance and a first aid qualification.   Copies of these must be sent.   If you are unsure if your qualification is accepted please check before applying.

3. If you do not have current insurance, you will need to obtain this within 10 days of membership acceptance. – Failure to obtain insurance within this time will result in membership being cancelled.   Any refund of fees paid will be minus an admin fee of 30%.

4. We do not accept qualifications that are completed purely by distance learning for practitioner level membership. We reserve the right to refuse any application.

5. Regarding our Gold membership, you can pay either the full amount or the set amount for a set period of 3 months. Our memberships are annual, starting from the date of payment. If you decide to pay in instalments, just keep in mind that you are contracted to pay the full amount over the course of 3 months.  Failure to make payment will result in the balance full balance being requested within 7 days.  Failure to pay all the instalments will result in removal from membership with no refund of any payments made, and you will not be accepted back into membership for a period of 3 years.

6. Once you have received your membership refunds are not possible.  This includes 'auto-renewals'.  It is your responsibility to ensure that if you do not want to automatically renew your membership, you chose this option on your profile when you first apply.  The same applies to any payment method you use.  STO are not responsible for overpayments as we have no access to your financial accounts.   Any overpayments requiring a refund will result in a 30% admin fee being applied.  If you are paying by instalments, we are not responsible for you cancelling your payments.  If you fail to cancel your payments when the balance has been paid, we reserve the right to charge a 30% admin fee for any refunds that may become due.  Please ensure you cancel your payments when necessary and if you decide not to renew your membership.   Refunds of membership fees are not possible.

7. If you do not send us the correct information (certificates and insurance) within 10 days of applying, we will cancel your application and make an administration charge of 30% of the fee paid.

8. All members must abide by the STO Code of Conduct and any other Code of Conduct that we adopt.  Any members failing to abide by the Codes, will be sanctioned.   Sanctions can range from membership suspension or removal.  In all cases, refunds of membership fees will not be given.

9. It is necessary for STO to contact our members as part of our terms of business.  All members must opt-in to receiving contact from STO.  Shall a member decide to opt-out of contact, membership shall cease with no refund of any fees paid.

10. Any member that has accessed the STO Balens Block Insurance scheme is reminded that cover is only valid with current membership.  Should any member not renew their membership, stop paying for membership, or cancel membership, we will contact Balens to inform them of this under terms of the agreement.

If you have any questions, regarding the application and approval process, please

Our membership is open to the following:

  • Sports Massage Practitioners

  • Sport & Remedial Massage Therapists  (Level 4 or 5)

  • Sports Therapists  (Level 5 and above)

  • Sports Massage Therapy qualifications are not accepted for Sports Therapy level membership, please join as a Sports Massage member.

  • Sports Rehabilitators (Level 5 and above for full membership)

  • Physiotherapists (either working in sport or with post-grad sport qualifications)  (BSc for full membership)

  • Sports Podiatrists (BSc for full membership)

  • Equine Sports Therapists (Level 4 and above for full membership).

  • Advanced Clinical Massage & Sports Massage Therapists (for holders of Jing Level 6 qualification)

  • Please note, whilst we do look at your qualification, we also need to check the amount of ‘classroom’ based training that you undertake.

  • Your membership ‘type’ will be that of your core qualification.

Examples of qualifications and membership:

  • Joe Bloggs – Level 5 Diploma in Sports Therapy:  Joe Bloggs MSTO, DST

  • Joe Bloggs – Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Sports Therapy or Foundation Degree in Sports Therapy:  Joe Bloggs MSTO, AST

  • Joe Bloggs – BSc Sports Therapy:  Joe Bloggs, MSTO GST

  • Joe Bloggs – Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage:  Joe Bloggs MSTO, SMT

  • Joe Bloggs – Level 5 Diploma in Sports Massage:  Joe Bloggs MSTO, DSM

  • Joe Bloggs – Physiotherapy Member

All memberships are annual from the date of payment. Membership fees are £120 for gold membership package; £40 for silver, graduate and affiliate membership package;  £24 for student membership package.

All member entitlements are only available whilst you have current membership and insurance.  Access to free training and discounts will cease if membership lapses.  There will be no refund of any membership fees paid.  Free training courses cannot be carried over until the following year.

A guide to STO membership descriptors. All STO members can be distinguished by the initials MSTO after their name. Members will also have an abbreviation of their working title displayed, details of which can be found below.  It is a personal choice whether a member uses the abbreviations, however, use of the initials MSTO will serve to promote our organisation and its members.  Affiliates can use the initials ASTO.

  • MSTO – Member of Sports Therapy Organisation.

  • DST – Diploma in Sports Therapy (Level 5 or Foundation Degree)

  • AST – Advanced Diploma in Sports Therapy (Level 5)

  • CST – Advanced Diploma in Clinical Sports Therapy (Level 5)

  • GST – Graduate Sports Therapist (BSc or Level 6/7)

  • SMT – Sports Massage Therapist (Level 3)

  • SMP – Sports Massage Practitioner (Level 4)

  • DSM – Diploma in Sports Massage (Level 5)

  • SRM – Diploma in Sport & Remedial Massage (Level 5)

  • Phys – Physiotherapy

  • Pod – Podiatry

  • GSR – Graduate Sports Rehabilitator

  • ACSM – Advanced Clinical & Sports Massage (Level 6)

  • EqST – Equine Sports Therapy

  • EqSM – Equine Sports Massage

Please note:  If you have a Sports Massage Therapy qualification at any level, you cannot call yourself a Sports Therapist.  Any member not adhering to this will be required to cease using the term or risk having membership cancelled.  

We do not accept qualifications from the following providers, as they do not meet the national sports massage guidelines set down by GCMT and CNHC: (Please note if you apply to join with one of the following qualifications, we reserve the right to charge a 30% admin fee as we will have to reject and refund your application.  Please DO NOT attempt to join with the following qualifications).

  • British School of Yoga

  • Stonebridge Associated College

  • Open College Network

  • Barnes School of Sports Therapy  (if undertaken as sole training course)

  • Sports Therapy Education (if undertaken as sole training course, a Sports Massage qualification will also be required)

  • Centre of Excellence 

  • New Skills Academy

  • Udemy

  • Coursera

Or any course that is solely completed online.  If in doubt please contact us for clarification before you apply and pay.

We do not automatically accept the following qualifications, so to speed up application, please ensure you state:

  • Place of study

  • Classroom hours

  • Name of assessor

Qualifications affected:  ITEC, VTCT, ActiveIQ, Lincoln College.

We do not wish to discriminate against anyone, however, we want to keep the highest standard of membership possible, and therefore we reserve the right to refuse any application.  Where we do refuse an application, and where possible, we will give advice on how to reach the standard we require.  If your application is refused, we will issue a full refund of membership fees unless your application form was not completed correctly, in which case we reserve the right to apply a 30% admin fee.

If you wish to join STO but do not have a current insurance policy, and want to use the discounted insurance from our partner, you will have 10 working days from applying for membership to produce your insurance certificate.  Details of our insurance partners will be given once membership has been applied for.  If you do not obtain insurance within 10 working days, we reserve the right to cancel your membership and charge an admin fee.

Please note, it can take up to 10 working days for your payment to clear, please allow this time for your application to be processed.  We cannot process any application until your payment has cleared.  Usual clearance times: PayPal up to 3 working days unless it is sent as an e-cheque in which case it can be 10 working days.