Forming a Regulatory College in Saskatchewan

Massage therapy regulation in the Province of Saskatchewan has been an important issue for many years.

In 2015, a draft of the Massage Therapy Act was proposed by the Saskatchewan government, based on an application for regulation made by the Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS).

The draft Massage Therapy Act specified that MTAS would become the College and that currently practicing massage therapists would be required to write an entry to practice exam in order to join the College.

In response, the NHPC met with the Minister of Health to address concerns regarding the proposed legislation. To address the seriousness of passing legislation without input from the NHPC and other associations, a campaign was launched encouraging NHPC massage therapists to contact their MLAs to express their opposition.

Following this campaign, the government asked the NHPC and the other associations, as well as massage therapy schools, to work together to make changes to the draft.

These discussions culminated in a Stakeholder Report provided to the government in January 2017.

This report outlined recommended changes to the draft massage therapy legislation. The stakeholders reported that they agreed on 52 of 53 areas, including:

  • a College be formed independent of any massage therapy association
  • once a College is operational, entry requirements for new graduates would be 2,200 hours of training from an approved program and the completion of an entry-to-practice exam

Consensus was not reached on the issue of grandfathering currently practising massage therapists into the College, and some stakeholders, including the NHPC, presented their own proposals to the government on this question.

In July of 2017, the Minister of Health in Saskatchewan notified all stakeholders that legislation of massage therapy would be postponed. The government requested that all associations agree on a grandfathering method and address risk of harm to the public before it moves forward on any proposed legislation.