If you have already applied and been granted a CEE exemption from Sun Life, this does not affect you.
As we have previously communicated to our members, the Sun Life deadline to apply for Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) exemption was December 31, 2013. This deadline has passed, but we are still advising our members to submit their applications for exemption immediately to Sun Life.
We have previously communicated detailed information to you via email so please check your NHPC emails for this information.
If you do not apply for exemption or if Sun Life does not approve your application for exemption, the only way Sun Life will continue to recognize your practice is if you either:
Please review Sun Life’s exemption criteria.
We encourage all members who have not already applied for CEE exemption with Sun Life to apply directly to Sun Life immediately.
To apply for exemption, please send all your massage therapy training certificates and credentials, NHPC membership certificates, continued education certificates, and other letters of exemption directly to Sun Life.
The NHPC has no information on the status of pending exemptions or why exemptions may be rejected. All information regarding Sun Life’s exemption process is available solely by contacting Sun Life.
Sun Life has given two options for NHPC members to contact them:
The NHPC continues to advocate on your behalf for full recognition from all insurance providers across Canada. If you require any further information about this deadline or other aspects of the exemption process, please do not hesitate to contact the NHPC office as soon as possible.
All members must be Regular Members in good standing to be eligible for exemption with Sun Life.
Sun Life's Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) exemption criteria fall into two basic categories:
Automatic exemption applies to any NHPC massage therapy Regular Member in good standing who has:
A Case-by-Case Evaluation will be considered for any NHPC Regular Member in good standing who:
To apply for exemption with Sun Life, please email your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax them to 1-855-208-6032 or
1-855-273-2976. Your documents should include:
The NHPC welcomes its new Executive Director Kelly Sloan
New leadership will cultivate transparency and community with NHPC members
The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) is excited to welcome Kelly Sloan as the Association’s new Executive Director. Sloan brings more than 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector to this leadership role.
Before joining the NHPC, Sloan served as Executive Director to the Edmonton YWCA, the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Northern Alberta Chapter.
Sloan credits her collaborative leadership style to her Saskatchewan roots, where she learned to cultivate the values of honesty and community. “I look forward to joining the NHPC’s team of dedicated employees and Board of Directors and working on behalf of our passionate community of natural health practitioners,” says Sloan.
The addition of Kelly Sloan as Executive Director means that Acting Executive Director Michele Huszar will resume her role as the NHPC’s President of the Board of Directors. Acting President Michelle Blanchard will also return to her role as the Board’s Vice President.
The Association looks forward to starting the new year with strong leadership committed to professionalism and natural health.
For inquiries or interview opportunities, please contact:
Public Engagement Coordinator
Natural Health Awareness Week (NHAW) is an opportunity to experience how natural health practices can create a complete approach to health and wellness. A successful and proactive approach to wellness integrates traditional health care offerings with the services of natural health practitioners.
The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) is thrilled to have the support of municipalities across Canada like Edmonton, Red Deer, and Whitehorse. Having these cities officially declare January 12 to 18, 2014, as Natural Health Awareness Week means that they see the benefit of natural health and value natural health practitioners.
As more Canadians turn to complementary therapies to ease pain, curb stress, and maintain overall health, Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer "encourages everyone to be proactive in our approach to health and wellness and to visit a natural health practitioner in Red Deer during Natural Health Awareness Week."
To celebrate Natural Health Awareness Week, natural health professionals will be hosting events in their local communities and offering the public the ability to access the services of many different nature health therapies.
Join us in Red Deer! We will be advocating for natural health at this year’s Subway Healthy Living Expo on January 18, 2014 at Westerner Park in Red Deer.
A number of enhancements are coming soon to Alberta Blue Cross’ online health provider system. These features will make it easier for providers to submit claims online and more convenient for patients, as they only have to pay what their benefit plan does not cover.
The most recent enhancement allows providers to submit claims for members who are also insured by other benefit carriers. For example, if a patient’s primary benefit plan is administered by another carrier and Alberta Blue Cross is the secondary payer, providers can submit the difference online to Alberta Blue Cross. Other future enhancements to our online health provider system include single sign on and cancellation functionalities. More details will be available later this year.
The Alberta Blue Cross web site also features a directory of providers who offer online claims submission. Today, over 90 per cent of claims are submitted directly to Alberta Blue Cross at the time of service from most health providers.
If your office isn’t already submitting claims online to Alberta Blue Cross, get started today. Join the thousands of providers who are benefiting from this service.
Visit the Alberta Blue Cross health provider web page to view the user guides and complete the registration forms. Please send your completed registration and authorization for direct deposit forms to Alberta Blue Cross at your earliest convenience.
When Alberta Blue Cross receives your application, you will be provided with a password to access the web site. You will also receive a free countertop display to remind your patients that your office offers online claims submission for Alberta Blue Cross plan members.
If you have any questions, visit the Alberta Blue Cross health provider web site or contact Alberta Blue Cross Health Provider Relations at 780-498-8083 (Edmonton and area) or 1-800-588-1195 (toll free).
Sun Life does not recognize previous members of the Alberta Registered Massage Therapist Society (ARMTS) as part of its automatic exemption criteria for the Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE).
This will not affect any NHPC members who meet other relevant criteria and have already been exempted by Sun Life; and it may not necessarily affect NHPC members who were members of ARMTS. Members of the NHPC who were previously members of ARMTS and were trained in Canada may have enough longevity in their practice to be considered for exemption by Sun Life.
Most of those affected are NHPC members trained outside of Canada. Unfortunately, Sun Life will still not recognize foreign training as part of its exemption criteria and this is simply beyond our control.
This clarification only relates to Sun Life's criteria and only affects member exemption status with Sun Life. Any members exempted by Manulife and Alberta Blue Cross will continue to be recognized by those insurers.
The full list of previous organizations that Sun Life still recognizes for automatic exemption is as follows:
For more information regarding this or any other insurance-related matter, please contact our office at 1-888-711-7701 or email@example.com.
Starting in 2014, the Government of Manitoba will enforce its new Regulated Health Professions Act, which will restrict all health professionals from using the word "registered" unless they are part of a regulatory college.
The Government of Manitoba has yet to establish a regulatory college for massage therapists. The Regulated Health Professions Act is not regulation and is not establishing a college of registered massage therapists.
The NHPC has successfully argued that our members recognized to practice massage therapy should be unaffected by the new legislation. The Government of Manitoba has agreed to make an exception for some NHPC members.
Massage therapists who have completed 2,200 hours of initial education and training or written the CEE will experience no change. However, any massage therapist who does not meet these criteria is restricted from using "registered" and "RMT."
Any massage therapist who does not use the terms "Registered Massage Therapist" or "RMT" will not be impacted by this legislation.
Though this act is not regulation and the Government of Manitoba has yet to decide whether to establish a college of registered massage therapists or not, this act is legislation that must be followed by all practising massage therapists. This is not in any way regulation.
For more information about the Regulated Health Professions Act or any other Government initiative that affects natural health professionals, please contact Kathy Watson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-711-7701 ext. 228.
Over the past several months, the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada Association (NHPCA) has worked diligently with Alberta Blue Cross to negotiate extended eligibility criteria for massage therapists.
As of October 1, 2013, the following criteria will now support eligibility for the three member categories below:
NHPCA members, regardless of training and who are in good standing prior to January 1, 2011, will be considered eligible providers under Alberta Blue Cross's private and provincially-sponsored benefit plans.
These practitioners will not be required to demonstrate competence beyond the existing requirements of NHPCA membership.
NHPCA members, regardless of training, who joined from January 1, 2011, up until September 30, 2013, will be eligible providers under Alberta Blue Cross's private and provincially-sponsored benefit plans until December 31, 2014.
To remain eligible beyond December 31, 2014, these members must either:
NHPCA members who join the NHPCA on or after October 1, 2013, and who want to be considered eligible providers under Alberta Blue Cross's private and provincially-sponsored benefit plans, must either:
As an Association, we continue to recognize the competency of all our members through our credentialing and member application processes. In addition, the listed requirements allow members to meet Alberta Blue Cross eligibility standards
There is no application process required for eligibility as the standards are based on competence as assessed by the NHPCA through requirements for membership in good standing.
We already send Alberta Blue Cross lists of eligible massage therapists and this list will simply be modified to reflect eligibility according to the new criteria. There is no additional paperwork for you.
Until September 30, 2013, all existing NHPCA massage therapists who are in good standing with the Association will retain their eligibility with Alberta Blue Cross.
New members who join on or after October 1, 2013, must have completed 2,200 hours of formal training at a credentialed, recognized Canadian training institute or school, or must complete the Competency Equivalency Exam in order to gain recognition from Alberta Blue Cross.
No. The Government of Canada controls the criteria of its various health benefit plans.
If you have any questions regarding the Alberta Blue Cross eligibility, please contact our office at:
Toll free: 1-888-711-7701
Sun Life's Competency Equivalency Exam (CEE) exemption criteria fall into two basic categories:
Automatic exemption applies to any NHPCA member in good standing who is recognized by the NHPCA for Massage Therapy and who meets either of the following:
A Case-by-Case Evaluation will be considered for:
If you identify with either of these scenarios you can submit a request for CEE exemption and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
There is no exemption form for applying for an exemption with Sun Life. Instead, to apply for exemption please submit your diplomas, credentials, continued education certificates, a record of your current employment and work history, and any other CEE exemption approval letters you may have received.
Documents should be submitted to email@example.com.
The NHPCA has been in continued negotiations with Sun Life regarding their policy for foreign-trained massage therapists. At this stage, massage therapists who were trained in foreign countries must successfully complete the CEE or obtain 2,200 hours of recognized Canadian training in order to gain recognition from Sun Life for reimbursement of their services.
If your client claims are currently being approved by Sun Life
If you lack 2,200 hours of training and have neither passed the CEE nor been exempted from having to do so by Sun Life, your eligibility with the insurer will expire January 1, 2014.
If your client claims are NOT currently being approved by Sun Life
You will become eligible only if you upgrade to 2,200 hours of training, pass the CEE, or are exempted by Sun Life from having to challenge the CEE.
For any further questions, contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-711-7701.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2013 AGM held June 21, 2013, in Edmonton, Alberta. The AGM acknowledged the many activities of the past year and laid the groundwork for the success of future NHPCA initiatives.
The meeting met quorum. Membership accepted the 2012 financial statements and voted in favour of bylaw amendment #1 (which is outlined in full on page 32 of the 2013 Annual General Meeting Booklet).
In addition, the NHPCA Board formally acknowledged and said farewell to Stephanie Nunez-Braatz, whose completion of six years of service on the Board has contributed to the success of the Association.
The Board announced the appointment of its newest member, Colette Pierce, of Miniota, Manitoba. Colette is a long-standing member and volunteer of the NHPCA. The team is excited to welcome Colette to the Board.
The meeting also included a forum for questions and answers, and many members took the opportunity to voice their appreciation, questions, and concerns.
Finally, after the meeting was adjourned, members teamed up with the NHPCA Board, Committee volunteers, and staff to participate in an interactive planning session to brainstorm how the NHPCA can achieve its goals regarding membership expansion, public engagement, and strategic relationships.
The ideas and suggestions from this session will contribute to Vision 2020, NHPCA's new strategic plan for 2014 to 2020. Members contributed such great suggestions that we plan to reach out to other members who could not be present with an invitation to contribute. Watch for more information.
The commitment and creative spirit of our members was, as always, evident at this year's AGM and we cannot express enough appreciation for member attendance, participation, and continued support. This is the reason why this year we celebrate 25 years as an Association.
On June 25, Executive Director and Registrar, Colleen MacDougall, tendered her resignation after 12 years of service to the Association.
Michele Huszar, President of NHPCA will step in as acting Executive Director and Jan Bagot, Complaints Director, as acting Registrar until the roles are filled. Vice President, Michelle Blanchard, will step up as President of the Board of Directors to support Michele Huszar's temporary placement in the role of Executive Director.
The Board and staff of the NHPCA thank Colleen for her leadership and wish her every success in her new career path. If you wish to send your regards to Colleen, please send them to email@example.com.
Changes to the City of Calgary Massage License Bylaw 51M97 are effective January 1st, 2013. This will require NHPC members to provide proof of affiliation when renewing their business license in 2013.
Proof of affiliation is a valid NHPC membership certificate or insurance letter, which can be sent to the City of Calgary by email, fax, or in-person at their Customer Service Counter.
City of Calgary Changes Massage Bylaw & Adopts NHPC’s Collaborative Model
NHPC has been working with the City of Calgary this year to facilitate the adoption of the NHPC "collaborative model". This means changes to the "Massage Bylaw" that will ensure NHPC members are not licensed by the City of Calgary in the same category as escorts and exotic dancers.
NHPC members will fall into the Massage Practitioner category when they renew their license in 2013, if they provide proof of NHPC membership.
What You Need to Do
The City of Calgary has sent letters to all currrently licensed Massage Practitioners advising them of the changes and what actions they need to take to ensure they are correctly categorised when they renew their license.
A Massage Bylaw Information Open House was hosted by the City of Calgary on Monday, November 5, 2012. NHPC's Government Relations Manager, Kathy Watson, was in attendance.
More information on the Bylaw changes and the Open House is available from the City of Calgary.
It's been a pleasure for NHPC to work with the City of Calgary to advance the recognition of credentialed Massage Practitioners.
Over the past several months, NHPC has been in discussions with the City of Calgary on the revision of their "Massage Bylaw" and had proposed that the City of Calgary adopt NHPC's "collaborative model". In the past, NHPC members have been lumped in the same category as exotic dancers and escorts when applying for business licenses.
The NHPC's "collaborative model" has now been passed by Calgary City Council, meaning that NHPC members in Calgary, AB, will no longer be licensed in the same way as exotic dancers and escorts.
This is very exciting news for NHPC and its members, because it means that the City of Calgary has trusted NHPC to validate authenticity of its members as qualified health care professionals. Because NHPC has requirements to become a member, including a detailed application, criminal record check, graduation from a recognized school or program, and mandatory compliance with the Continued Competency Program (CCP), it is in the position to qualify members as healthcare professionals.
Details on the new bylaw are currently being worked out between the NHPC and the City of Calgary.
The Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) works with municipal administrators and elected officials to ensure the advancement of professions represented by the NHPC.
NHPC has been proposing that municipalities across Canada adopt a "Collaborative Model for Business Licensing of Natural Health Care". This municipal "collaborative model" provides the best possible public protection by capturing the recognition of all professionals working as natural health practitioners—including those who are members of a regulatory college and those who are members of a municipally recognized professional association.
Additionally, as it should be, the "collaborative model" removes municipalities from the responsibility of "credentialing" professionals and places that responsibility with regulatory bodies or associations.
For more information, contact Kathy Watson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 780-484-2010 or (toll-free) 1-888-711-7701.