Winter 2018

The Transitional Council for the College of Massage Therapists of Alberta (TC-CMTA) is pleased to provide all stakeholders with the following update on some of the most recent activities taking place.

New Council Members

The TC-CMTA recently held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and is happy to announce the newest members of Council in addition to our newly elected Executive members:

President – Kim Moore Vice-President – Janet Mwamburi Secretary – Heather Kew
Treasurer – Christy Pritchard
Council Member – Susan Lewis-Waye Council Member – Heather Goddard Council Member – Christy Kasur Council Member – Mike Horne

National Accreditation

We are extremeley pleased to announce that effective immediately, the TC-CMTA has made arrangements with the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA) to take the lead on the review and approval of new Massage Therapy training programs in Alberta.

Most professions in Canada, particularly in the health sector, benefit from a national accreditation process for education programs and the TC-CMTA feels that Massage Therapy should be no different. The advantages of national accreditation are well-established and include:

▪ promotion of a common level of service provision nationally (benefiting patients)
▪ practitioner mobility (benefiting massage therapists, regulators and the national economy)▪ the availability of objective information about program quality (benefiting students)
▪ improved access to educational resources (benefiting programs)

For more information on the steps to become an accredited education institution through the CMTCA, please visit their website at: www.cmtca.ca.

Massage Therapy Landscape in Alberta

Recently, the TC-CMTA was asked to provide an outline of the landscape of the profession to Alberta Advanced Education. The draft Scope of Practice statement for Massage Therapy regulation is as follows:

In their practice, Massage Therapists do one or more of the following:

  1. a)  assess and treat the musculoskeletal system of the body, with the intent of producing a therapeutic outcome or provide preventative care,

  2. b)  treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction, injury, and pain by manipulation, mobilization and other manual methods to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, relieve pain or promote health,

  3. c)  engage in research, education and administration with respect to health services delivery and the science, techniques and practice of massage therapy, and

  4. d)  provide restricted activities authorized by the regulations.

Massage Therapists practice a wide variety of treatment modalities, including but not limited to:1

  • Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilizations

  • Active therapy such as strengthening, stretching, and other rehabilitative exercises

  • Hydrotherapy and water therapy

  • Postural exercise, ergonomics and patient education

    In order to reimburse claims, the majority of third-party insurance benefit providers now require Massage Therapists to have 2200-hours of training, 2200-hour equivalency through an examination or a substantial equivalency process, or to have met the requirement of a prior learning assessment review (PLAR) if trained before 2011 by the insurer.

  • 65% of current job postings require 2200hr of training.

  • 95% of Massage Therapists are self-employed and work in private practice, multidisciplinary

    facility or Chiropractic office.2

    According to a recent survey, the average income for a Registered Massage Therapist in Ontario was $42,771 before taxes, including both full-time and part-time Therapists. Most full-time Massage Therapists earn about $60,000 to $72,000, while part time therapists earn $12,000 to $17,000.3

    1 Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance (CMTA) http://www.crmta.ca/doc/20170111_MedicallyNeccessary_ClinicallyIndicated_FINAL.pdf
    2 https://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/occupations-in-alberta/occupation-profiles/massage-therapist/
    3 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/life-at-work/i-want-to-be-a-massage-therapist-what-will-my- salary-be/article19701634/

Provinces other than Quebec and Alberta require a minimum of 2200-hours of training whether the province has regulated Massage Therapy or not. Alberta has begun shifting to the 2200-hour training standard over the past couple of years. For individuals wishing to practice Massage Therapy in another Province or Territory, they may be required to prove that their training program meets the Inter-Jurisdictional Practice Competencies and Performance Indictors for Massage Therapists at Entry to Practice.

To prepare for regulation in Alberta, educational institutions will need to ensure that their graduates will meet the future Regulatory requirements and third-party benefit insurance requirements. This means that the educational facilities will need to meet the Inter-Jurisdictional Practice Competencies and Performance Indictors for Massage Therapists at Entry to Practice.

Currently in Alberta there are 28 licensed education programs teaching Massage Therapy, with approximately 350 graduates entering the profession every year. Educational programs are encouraged to begin the accreditation process as soon as possible to ensure their programs are meeting the national standards. Educational institutions are also encouraged to stay current by attending conferences, continuing education workshops and webinars to understand the landscape of Massage Therapy and Education in Alberta, and ensure accurate information is provided to students, create a working relationship with Provincial Associations.

For Massage Therapists there are many advantages to joining one of the Provincial Associations, including access to liability insurance, continuing education opportunities, professional recognition, advocacy and member services.

The following table shows the education required to join each Association (these may not be the only criteria, as it differs from organization to organization):

Member Association

CRMTA MTAA NHPC RMTA

Min Training Hours for Active Membership

2200-hours

2200-hours 1000-hours* 2200-hours

* The NHPC no longer approves new programs under 2 years.

Request for Proposal

The TC-CMTA will shortly be releasing a Request for Proposal for a Policy Anaylst to be retained on a short-term contract. The Policy Analyst will be responsible for undertaking policy development, researching assignments and projects including development project plans and budgets, undertaking all research and consultation and reporting to Transitional Council as required; providing research and analytical policy advice or support; and researching and undertaking analysis of issues and current environmental, practice and legislative trends and reports.