Scope of Practice

The practice of massage therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissue and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain. (Massage Therapy Act 1991)...

What are Standards of Practice
The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario has developed the Standards of Practice for Massage Therapists. Through the development and use of these Standards the College of Massage Therapists continues to display its commitment to the protection of the public, serving its members, and promoting the highest possible quality of massage therapy practice in a safe and ethical manner

The Standards of Practice are intended to be generic and have been developed to describe the outcomes of the various tasks the therapist is required to perform within the Scope of Practice. The Standards of Practice describe how well a therapist is expected to perform. How to do each task will be determined by the curriculum developed by the educational programs

The Standards of Practice form a live and dynamic document that will evolve as changes in practice evolve.

Why have Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice have been developed as a tool to determine whether a Massage Therapist can do the job at an acceptable level. These Standards will serve as a reference tool for:

  • The therapists to better understand their job requirements
  • Educators to address as objectives in curriculum design
  • Registration (admission to the College)
  • Complaints investigation
  • Discipline hearings
  • Fitness to Practice
  • Quality Assurance
  • Client relations
  • The public, by providing objective standards by which to assess the quality of treatment.

Confidentiality Statement
Massage Therapists are advised that giving information about a client to any person except as required or allowed by law or except to facilitate diagnosis or treatment of a client is considered to be professional misconduct under the Professional Misconduct Regulations.

Accountability for Standards
The Massage Therapist must comply with any requirement as defined in any existing legislation related to the performance of the therapist's job.

The Massage Therapist is only held accountable to meet a Standard if he/she is the person who has performed the task.

Relevant Legislation
Massage therapists are accountable to the following pieces of legislation:

  • Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA)
  • Massage Therapy Act, 1991 (MTA)
  • Regulations of the Massage Therapy Act, General (O.Reg. 544/94 as amended), Registration (O. Reg. 864/93 as amended)
  • Health Care Consent Act, 1996
  • Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 2000

Massage Therapists
Massage therapists assess the soft tissues and joints of the body and carry out the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function.

Educational Entry to Practice Requirements:

  • A diploma in massage therapy from a private vocational school in Ontario or a College of Applied Arts and Technology, or a course in massage therapy at an educational institution outside of Ontario that the Registration Committee of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) considers to provide equivalent competencies to those taught in the approved Ontario massage therapy programmes, as determined by means of a prior learning assessment of the applicant;
  • Successful completion of the CMTO’s Certification Examination;

Graduation from a massage therapy program within the previous three years or completion of a refresher course within the previous fifteen months approved by the CMTO.