Direct Client Care

Registration Regulation

In accordance with the Registration Regulation made under the Massage Therapy Act, 1991, registrants with a General Certificate of registration may only practise Massage Therapy if they have:

  • Provided at least 500 hours of direct client care within the previous three years, or
  • Successfully completed a refresher course approved by CMTO within the previous 15 months.

Scope Statement

Section 3 of the Massage Therapy Act, 1991 states:

“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 tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain.”

Policy

In order to meet the currency requirement for maintaining a general certificate of registration, registrants must have either completed a CMTO-approved refresher program within the previous 15 months, or must have provided a minimum of 500 hours of direct client care within the scope of practice of the profession within the previous three years.

To count within the 500 hours of direct client care, the activities undertaken must:

  • Be completed by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT or MT) in a regulated jurisdiction in Canada, and
  • Contribute to the RMT maintaining competence in Massage Therapy assessment and treatment.

Direct client care includes:

  • Massage Therapy services provided on behalf of a client, and/or
  • Supervision of a Massage Therapist or Massage Therapy student who is providing Massage Therapy services on behalf of a client.

Direct client care activities include:

  • Assessment of the soft tissue and joints
  • Recommending, developing, or implementing a treatment plan based on the assessment of the client’s needs
  • Treatment of the soft tissue and joints
  • Conducting or supervising research in Massage Therapy that involves the assessment or treatment of clients with soft tissue or joint disorders
  • Overseeing and evaluating Massage Therapists or Massage Therapy students in a clinical setting

 

 

Adopted September 20, 2004 and revised May 15, 2017

 

CMTO’s Direct Client Care Policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In accordance with the Registration Regulation made under the Massage Therapy Act, 1991, registrants with a General Certificate (GC) of Registration may only practise Massage Therapy if they have:

  • Provided at least 500 hours of direct client care within the previous three years; or
  • Successfully completed a Refresher Course approved by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) within the previous 15 months.

 

What changed when the Direct Client Care Policy was updated?

In order to qualify as direct client care, the care must be provided by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) who is registered in and providing the care in Ontario, or by an RMT who is registered in and providing the care in another regulated jurisdiction in Canada. The updated policy is effective as of May 15, 2017.

 

Why will CMTO no longer accept care provided by an unregulated practitioner and/or provided in an unregulated jurisdiction?

Regulatory accountability is a critical component of practising the profession in the public interest. RMTs in regulated jurisdictions are required to meet rigorous requirements for registration as well as comply with ongoing requirements to maintain registration. They are accountable to their regulator for the professional services they provide. Regulation helps mitigate the risks inherent in the practice of the profession. Accordingly, CMTO’s Council determined that Massage Therapy services provided by an unregulated professional and/or provided outside of a regulated jurisdiction in Canada should not count as direct client care for the purposes of being authorized to practise with a GC in Ontario.

 

What if I’m registered as an RMT in Ontario, but providing care in an unregulated jurisdiction in Canada?

An RMT registered in Ontario, who is providing Massage Therapy services in an unregulated jurisdiction in Canada, cannot count the hours or practice in that jurisdiction towards their direct client care hours.

 

Why does CMTO only accept hours practised by an RMT in a regulated jurisdiction in Canada and not another regulated jurisdiction?

The regulated jurisdictions in Canada have developed a common Massage Therapy competency document, the Inter-jurisdiction Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators for Massage Therapist at Entry-to-Practise (PCs/PIs) that articulates inter-jurisdictional standards for entry-level RMTs. These shared practice competencies help provide consistency to Massage Therapy practice in regulated Canadian jurisdictions. This means that the hours of practice by an RMT in one regulated Canadian jurisdiction are comparable to the hours practised by an RMT in another regulated Canadian jurisdiction.

 

What happens if I’m unable to meet the requirement of providing a minimum of 500 hours of direct client care in the previous three years?

Registrants who have not provided a minimum of 500 hours of direct client care in the previous three years (the requirement for maintaining the authority to practise as a General Certificate holder) must successfully complete the CMTO Refresher Course. The Refresher Course is made up of two components, the Standards and Regulations E-Workshop (online) and a tutoring component. If the registrant does not intend to practise in Ontario for the foreseeable future, they may wish to move to an Inactive Certificate of Registration until they return to practice in Ontario.

 

If I move to Inactive Certificate of Registration, how do I reinstate my General Certificate (GC)?

An Inactive Certificate of Registration holder who wishes to reinstate their GC must meet the requirements in place at that time, including the requirement to have provided a minimum of 500 hours of direct client care in the previous three years. If that requirement is not met, the registrant must successfully complete the CMTO Refresher Course prior to reinstating their GC. The Refresher Course is made up of two components, the Standards and Regulations E-Workshop (online) and a tutoring component.

 

If I am a former registrant, how do I reinstate my General Certificate (GC)?

A former registrant who wishes to reinstate their GC must meet the requirements in place at that time and is encouraged to contact Registration Services for more information at registrationservices@cmto.com.