The profession of Massage Therapy is regulated in British Columbia, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The regulatory bodies are responsible for setting the competency requirements for entry into the profession, for issuing certificates of registration to those who meet established standards of qualifications and practice, and for ensuring that they continue to maintain the standards. The Profession of Massage Therapy in these Provinces is composed of Provincial Professional Associations and works alongside 23 other health care professionals and are members of the Regulated Health Professions Act, (RHPA). The government has determined that it is in the public interest that only registrants of a Massage Therapy College are entitled to use the titles “Massage Therapist” and any other name or description that implies that the person is registered with the College. This title protection has been established because the government recognizes that, when someone sees the title Massage Therapist, they can be assured that the person:
a) is accountable to a regulatory body with the authority to investigate public complaints;
b) has extensive training in massage therapy and health care from an accredited school;
c) takes mandatory education upgrading courses;
d) carries a minimum of $1 million professional liability insurance.
For example, in Ontario, under the Massage Therapy Act, 1991, no person other that a member of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, shall use the title “Massage Theapist” nor use “Registered Massage Therapist“. A penalty of $10,000.00 and suspension from the profession will apply if there is such abuse of these titles. In Ontairo, to merit this title of “Massage Therapist”, a therapist must study an approved curriculum (current minimum core curriculum guideline requirement is 2,200 hours) and must pass the Registration Examinations.
In the other provinces and territories, employment is subject to demand, and qualifications requirements are set by individual employers. However, employers may still require a diploma from an accredited school and membership in the appropriate provincial professional association. Membership is available but voluntary in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
Why should my Massage Therapist be Registered?
Being registered with a Provincial College is essential as it provides some assurances to the public that the individual doing therapeutic massage treatments has Professional and General Liability insurance coverage and is also regulated by a Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics by the Provincial College. The registration number is an important piece of information necessary for reimbursement by third party health insurance providers.
For general information on the profession of massage therapy in Canada, you can contact:
Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA)