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Common RMT competency standards across regulated provinces


Common RMT competency standards
across regulated provinces

In June 2010, an Entry-to-Practice Competancy Profile for Registered Massage Therapists was approved across the three provinces where the profession is regulated.

July 27, 2010  By Massage Therapy Canada

July 26,
Toronto, Ont. – In June 2010, an Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile for Registered
Massage Therapists was approved across the three provinces – Ontario, British
Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador – where the profession is regulated.

Over the
last two years, Ontario
has worked with the other two provinces where massage therapy is regulated to
create one common set of competency standards for RMTs.

Inter-jurisdictional Competency Profile is an amalgamation of the BC and ON
competency documents resulting in a simpler, cleaner expression of the
competencies for massage therapy and will be of value to other provinces
seeking regulation of the profession.


"The working group of Registered Massage Therapists was able to move from
historical wariness to collaboration," says Wendy Hunter, RMT. "Once
this was achieved, we were able to begin the process of creating a new
document, national in scope, and focused upon a measurable description of the
practice of massage therapy at the time of entry to the profession".

In June of 2008, representatives from the three regulated jurisdictions in Canada met to begin developing a new taxonomy
(organized language), comparing the competency documents of British
Columbia and Ontario.
(Newfoundland and Labrador uses the same
document as Ontario).
This process was led by Dr. David Cane of Catalysis Consulting who had been
selected by the three regulatory colleges in response to a tender process. This
activity was supported by the three regulatory colleges and financed by Human
Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

Proposed practice competencies were developed from the two existing competency
documents, taking advantage of work done during the earlier
inter-jurisdictional review related to labour mobility. At the beginning of the
process, massage therapy associations were invited to the meeting in Newfoundland to provide
input on the document. Once a set of proposed inter-jurisdictional practice
competencies was established, the project team undertook an online validation
survey involving RMTs in the three regulated provinces. Response data was
compared by province, reviewing every competency for importance and for
frequency. The project team found almost no statistically-significant
provincial variation in responses.

An Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile for Massage Therapists and a Project
Report with Recommendations was presented to College Council and approved in
June 2010. Boards in BC and NL also approved the document.

"This approval has moved the profession of massage therapy from three
jurisdictions with different but duplicate processes describing entry-to-practice
competency standards to a national standard unifying the profession in its
expectations of the individual entering the profession", says Peggy
Bereza, Deputy Registrar of the College of Massage Therapists of British
Columbia. "Other jurisdictions across the country have been consulted
throughout the process of inter-jurisdictional competency development and have
expressed a keen interest in a national standard for massage therapy
educational programs and entry-to-practice examinations. All jurisdictions will
be involved in consultations as the work developing Performance Indicators

"The next phase, development of Performance Indicators for each of the
competencies, will involve broad collaboration and consultation with educators,
associations in non- regulated jurisdictions and the regulatory colleges,"
says Deborah Worrad, Registrar and Executive Director of the College of Massage
Therapists of Ontario. "This process moves the profession closer to
national entry-to-practice examinations and a national presence in health care

To view the complete Inter-jurisdictional competency profile, go to the
Competency Standards section of the College website:

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