It looks like national accreditation for massage therapy education will be commencing as early as 2015.
The newly established Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (MTCFA), currently led by the “founders’ group,” has commenced the work of incorporating the MTCFA under the Not For Profit Corporations Act. The founders’ group consists of three stakeholder representatives: Randy Ellingson for the Canadian Council of Schools, Lori Green for the Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance, and Corinne Flitton for the Federation of Massage Therapy Regulatory Authorities of Canada.
The founders’ group is also tasked with drafting the by-laws, developing the descriptions for the roles, responsibilities and qualifications of board members, and developing a nomination process for the appointment of the initial board of directors of the MTCFA.
As of this writing, the founders’ group is consulting with the massage therapy community about a number of proposed documents: the process for nomination and appointments to the first MTCFA board, criteria and process for selecting board members, and the description of the board members’ roles and responsibilities.
Early this year, the MTCFA launched the council website, which contains information about the planned national accreditation for massage therapy education, and updates on the progress of the founders’ group.
According to the October 2013 report released by the national accreditation planning committee, the MTCFA is expected to begin the accreditation process on its second year of operation in 2015 – starting with four program reviews and accreditation. The number of reviews will increase each year and by 2020, the council will have accredited a total of 74 programs, nationally.
National accreditation is the next best thing to massage therapy regulation. It ensures that educational institutions teaching massage therapy programs are at par with nationally accepted standards, and elevates the level of competencies of practitioners across Canada – regardless of whether they come from a regulated or non-regulated province.
As national accreditation elevates the level of education for would-be massage therapists, it also compels educational institutions to raise the standards of their curriculum and effectively weed out the uncommitted and underperformers.
This will also open up more opportunities for massage therapists as practice mobility gets easier and recognition of their high standard of education becomes more pronounced.
An undertaking as big as this needs the support of all stakeholders involved, and it looks like the entire profession is rallying behind this – and why not? A national accreditation body for massage therapy education signifies that the profession is all grown up and is poised to become a significant player in the health-care realm – as it should be.
For updates on the development of the national accreditation for massage therapy education, visit the MTCFA website at www.mtcfa.ca .
Mari-Len De Guzman, Editor
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