Governments regulate health professions to protect the public from unqualified or unsafe health care providers. They create legislation that defines provider competency and requires safe and professional practice supported by a complaints process.

Massage Therapy Regulation

Massage therapy regulation takes place through a government-appointed panel called a College of Massage Therapists, which protects the public from harm and verifies the qualifications of its members.

The College has strict rules and protocols to support safety and determine the competencies of its members. It also requires them to follow a code of ethics, standards of practice, and title protection.

In Canada, massage therapy is regulated in British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

Regulation is being actively pursued in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan. We are working with the government and other massage therapy associations toward regulation in each of these provinces.

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 a code 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 College
  • protect professional titles such as Registered Massage Therapist, RMT, and others
  • investigate and address public complaints
  • determine membership requirements, including education

The College does not provide practitioner liability insurance, membership benefits, or continuing education.

The Role of the NHPC After a College is Formed

We will continue to provide our members with the following after regulation takes place:

  • medical malpractice, commercial general liability, and contents insurance at competitive rates
  • Canada-wide membership and insurance coverage
  • extended health benefits and other discounted products and services
  • continuing education opportunities
  • one-on-one advice on managing a practice and client relations
  • relationship-building with other health professionals
  • advocacy on members' behalf to the government, College, and insurance industry
  • building public awareness of NHPC-recognized holistic health practices

Grandfathering Existing Massage Therapists into a College of Massage Therapists

As the College of Massage Therapists forms in unregulated provinces, currently practising massage therapists will have their previous experience, education, and professional standing with their association evaluated for transitional entry into the College.

The practice of recognizing current competencies for membership in the College is called grandfathering. Historically, massage therapists in newly regulated provinces are grandfathered into the College if they are in good standing with a profesional association when the College is formed.

Once the College takes over regulatory responsibilities, transitional entry will no longer be available. The College of Massage Therapists will determine the entry requirements that all practitioners must meet.

For this reason, it is important to keep your NHPC membership in good standing by providing safe and ethical treatment, completing your Continued Competency Program credits during your reporting period, and renewing your membership on time.

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)