About the College


The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) is the regulator established by the provincial government to regulate the practice of Massage Therapy and to govern the conduct of Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) through the provisions of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) and the Massage Therapy Act, 1991. CMTO is dedicated to excellence in protecting the public’s interest, guiding its registrants and promoting the highest possible quality of the practice of Massage Therapy. Not to be confused with a school that teaches Massage Therapy, or the membership-based professional association (the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario), CMTO is one of 26 regulatory Colleges that oversee their respective health professions in this province, as set out in the RHPA.

History of the Profession

Massage Therapy came into increased prominence during World War I, as Canada helped to care for its soldiers overseas. Orthopaedic centres, devoted to conditions involving the musculoskeletal system, were among the many makeshift hospitals set up during this time. These centres began offering hydrotherapy and massage to injured soldiers. Over the span of World War I, nearly 2,000 soldiers were treated daily with massage, establishing Massage Therapy as a necessary and valued form of healthcare. CMTO has been regulating the Massage Therapy profession in the province of Ontario since 1919.

CMTO’s Mission

The College is dedicated to excellence in protecting the public’s interest, guiding its registrants and promoting the highest possible quality of the practice of Massage Therapy.

Click here to learn more about our mission values and guiding principles.

The Importance of Self-regulation

Massage Therapy is one of 26 self-regulating health professions in Ontario. Self-regulation is a model of regulation in which the public of Ontario, through legislation, grants the profession the ability to develop the rules that govern the profession. Without question, self-regulation is a privilege.

This privilege is maintained by focussing on the public interest and by our continuous commitment to place the needs of Massage Therapy clients before the interests of the profession.


The College is directed by a governing body – Council. According to the Massage Therapy Act, 1991, and the College by-laws, Council is composed of nine RMTs elected by their peers on a geographical or academic basis, and up to eight public members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

Click here to learn more about CMTO’s Council.

CMTO Activities

The primary function of the College is to act in the interest of the public and to ensure the quality of Massage Therapy practice. This means setting and enforcing the Standards of Practice and professional conduct for all RMTs in Ontario. CMTO also maintains a public register of RMTs and other information about the profession to assist the public in choosing an RMT for care. Some of the College’s responsibilities are outlined below, and stem from needs identified by the public and outlined in legislation:


Department Key Responsibilities
Registration Services
  • Develops, establishes and maintains requirements for individuals to whom Certificates of Registration are issued; and
  • Administers certification exams, issues Certificates of Registration and registration renewals to registrants of the College.

To learn more about the initial registration process, please click here. To find out more information about CMTO’s Certification Examinations, please go here.

Professional Practice
  • Promotes continuing competence and continuing quality improvement among RMTs;
  • Addresses changes in practice settings;
  • Develops and maintains CMTO’s Standards of Practice and standards of professional ethics; and
  • Guides RMTs and provides practice advice.

To learn more about Professional Practice, please click here.

Client Relations
  • Provides funding for therapy and counselling in the event that a client is abused by an RMT.
Professional Conduct
  • Investigates complaints about RMTs;
  • Conducts discipline hearings and disciplines RMTs found to have committed professional misconduct or an act of incompetence;
  • Investigates mandatory reports of abuse; and
  • Informs the public about illegal practitioners.

For more information about Professional Conduct, please click here.

Learn more about how regulation protects the public.