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Regulation of a health profession is how governments, through legislation, protect the public from unqualified or unsafe health care providers. Legislation leads to defining and regulating competency, which demands safe, professional treatment supported by a complaints process.
Regulation occurs through a government appointed panel, called a College of Massage Therapy or Therapists, which protects the public from harm and verifies the qualifications of massage therapist registrants.
The College has strict rules and protocols to support safety and to determine the competencies of its registrants/members. The College also requires members to follow a code of ethics, standards of practice, and protection of title.
Massage therapy regulation has become an important development in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. The NHPC is engaged with the provincial government in each of these provinces.
There will be subtle differences in each province because each must follow its own process for health legislation.
With growing interest in the regulation of massage therapy, the NHPC consulted its massage therapist members in each unregulated province to determine if they support regulating as a health profession through the provincial government.
Massage therapy members from all unregulated provinces supported the regulation of massage therapists.
The responsibility of a College of Massage Therapists is to:
The College will have authority over 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 and investigating these complaints.
As the College of Massage Therapists is forming, currently practising massage therapists will 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 NHPC will continue providing a variety of member services, including:
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)