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Massage Therapy Regulation

Regulation of a health profession is how governments, through legislation, protect the public from being harmed by treatment. Legislation leads to defining and regulating competency, which demands safe professional treatment supported by a complaints process.


Massage therapy regulation has become an important development in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia.

What is NHPC's Role in Regulation?

With growing interest in the regulation of massage therapy, the NHPC consulted its massage therapist members in each province to determine if they support regulating as a health profession through the provincial government.

Massage therapy members from all unregulated provinces supported going forward with the regulation of massage therapists.

The Role of a Regulatory College

The responsibility of a College of Massage Therapists is to:

  • regulate the conduct of massage therapists through standards of practice and codes of ethics
  • act in the interest of the public by reducing risk of harm
  • provide a public record of practitioners who violate the College's Code of Ethics
  • maintain a public registry of all massage therapists in the province

The College will control the requirements for membership based on education and other factors. It will be responsible for managing the registry of practitioners and dealing with regulatory matters, including public complaints. It will also initiate an investigation when a public complaint is received.

Grandfathering of Existing Massage Therapists into a College

As the College of Massage Therapists is forming, currently practising massage therapists have their previous experience, education, or professional standing recognized for transitional entry into the College through grandfathering.

Historically, it was standard practice to grandfather massage therapists in regulated provinces into the College if they were professionals in good standing with an association.

Once the College takes over the regulatory responsibilities, transitional entry will no longer be an option. Instead, the government-appointed College of Massage Therapists will determine entry requirements.

The Role of the NHPC After a Provincial College is Formed

The NHPC will continue providing a variety of member services, including:

  • access to extended health benefits and other discounted products and services
  • continued competency support
  • Canada-wide membership
  • malpractice, liability, and contents insurance at preferred rates
  • relationship-building with Registered Massage Therapists (RMT) and other health professionals
  • government advocacy
  • industry relations and insurance advocacy
  • advocating to reform tax laws to benefit massage therapists and their clients

Regulatory Organizations in Canada

The Federation of Massage Therapy Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FOMTRAC)
College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia (CMTBC)
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO)
College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland and Labrador (CMTNL)
College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick (CMTNB)
College of Massage Therapists of Prince Edward Island (CMPEI)