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Massage Therapy Regulation in Saskatchewan

Current Status

The Saskatchewan College of Massage Therapy (SCMT) Working Group has been formed to support the move to regulation. Group members include:

  • Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC)
  • Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CMMOTA)
  • Massage Therapist Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS)

The Working Group plans to create a uniform and fair process for transition to regulation of massage therapy in Saskatchewan. As a first step, the Group is in the process of developing the following for the College:

  • Bylaws
  • Code of Ethics
  • Scope of Practice
  • Practice Standards
  • Transitional Assessment

 

December 2020 Update

On December 7, 2020, the Saskatchewan Minister of Health, the Hon. Paul Merriman, introduced Bill 3 - The Massage Therapy Act to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

The Massage Therapy Act establishes the College of Massage Therapy of Saskatchewan as the regulator and governing body of massage therapists in the province. This is a stand-alone regulatory body, separate from the three existing associations for massage therapists.

The Act brings recognition of health professional status to the vital work of Saskatchewan massage therapy services. It also creates opportunities for the profession to take its place in delivering professional health services that improve the health and wellness of Canadians.

 

Background on Massage Therapy Regulation in Saskatchewan

In the spring of 2015, the Saskatchewan government distributed the draft Massage Therapists Act for consultation. It was the first draft of proposed legislation that would regulate massage therapists in the province.

The NHPC organized other stakeholders to review the draft legislation and make recommendations for edits to the government. The stakeholders included Saskatchewan schools that offered massage therapy programs and associations with members in the province:

  • Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC)   
  • Massage Therapy Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS)
  • Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Association (CMMOTA) (formerly the Remedial Massage Therapists Association)
  • London and Counties Societies of Physiologists

The stakeholders met several times and were able to agree on most edits, but not on the clause defining transitional entry requirements. After reporting to government officials that they were not able to reach consensus, the meetings ended.

In 2019, the NHPC, MTAS, and CMMOTA, finally agreed that all members in good standing with these associations would become registrants of the college during the transitional period.

It was determined that members of LCSP were also members of one of the other associations mentioned, so they did not participate in the second round of discussion.

Once transitioned, registrants of the college will participate in a basic competency assessment required for safe practice. The results of the assessment will be used to create an individually tailored competency program to be completed within a specified time frame (three years was suggested).

This resulted in an April 2019 draft of the legislation (PDF) to regulate massage therapy in the province of Saskatchewan.

Although the government planned to move forward with first reading in the fall 2019 legislative session, it asked the associations to assist in a consultative process during the summer. The associations sent the consultation information to members for them to respond to the government.

Unfortunately, the government did not think the number of responses they received showed sufficient support for regulation, so they did not move forward with first reading in fall 2019.

In response to a request by the Saskatchewan Department of Health, the NHPC and other provincial associations surveyed their members in January 2020 to provide evidence of how many members support the regulation of massage therapists.

When asked if they supported legislation to enact regulation of massage therapists in Saskatchewan, 85% of NHPC respondents in Saskatchewan answered "yes."