Current Status of Massage Therapy Regulation

The Saskatchewan College of Massage Therapy (SCMT) Working Group has been formed to support 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 will create a uniform and fair process for transitioning to regulation. It is currently developing the following documents for the College:

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

December 2020 Activity

In December 2020, the Saskatchewan Minister of Health, Hon. Paul Merriman, introduced Bill 3 - The Massage Therapy Act to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. To complete the legislative process, there must be two more readings of the Bill; the Act will be declared once the regulatory college council is functioning.

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

The Act recognizes Saskatchewan massage therapists as health professionals. It allows the profession to take its place delivering recognized health care services that improve the health and wellness of Canadians.

Background

In the spring of 2015, the Saskatchewan government distributed the draft Massage Therapists Act for consultation. The NHPC and other stakeholders reviewed the draft legislation and made recommendations for improvement.

Stakeholders included schools that offer massage therapy programs and other massage therapy associations.

The stakeholders met several times but could not agree on 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 agreed that all members in good standing with the three associations will be grandfathered into the College. Grandfathered members will participate in a basic competency assessment for safe practice. Assessment results will be used to create individual competency programs to be completed within a specified time frame.

The grandfathering agreement resulted in the April 2019 draft legislation (PDF) to regulate massage therapists. The government planned to have the first reading in the fall 2019 legislative session, but asked associations to first consult their members. The government determined the number of member responses did not reflect sufficient support for regulation and did not move forward with the first reading.

In January 2020, the NHPC and other associations surveyed their members to provide evidence of how many members support regulation. 85% of NHPC massage therapy respondents supported the regulation of massage therapy in Saskatchewan.