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) in the province of Ontario 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 the 26 regulatory Colleges that oversee their respective health professions in this province, as set out in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
As a self-regulating health college operating under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991(RHPA), the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario is required to have a formal complaints process in place. This process is established through legislation and is the same for all health regulatory colleges in the province. It gives any member of the public the right to have his/her complaint about a Massage Therapist’s behaviour, conduct or practice investigated by the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee. Each step of the process is designed to ensure fairness to both the person who makes the complaint (the “complainant”) and the College registrant (the Massage Therapist, or MT/RMT for short) who is the subject of the complaint.
The following outlines the process for filing a complaint against a registrant of this College.
Filing a Complaint
A complaint must be received by the Registrar in writing, recorded on audio tape or on video, or other medium. The complaint should include the name of the Massage Therapist, as well as the time, place, date(s) and details of the event(s). The College has developed a downloadable Complaints Form to help ensure you include all the necessary information in your letter.
There is no time limitation on filing a complaint with the College.
Once a Complaint is Received
Once a complaint is filed with the College the complainant receives an acknowledgement in writing. This will also confirm the commencement of the complaints process, for the purposes of complying with the time limits set out under the Regulated Health Professions Procedural Code (“the Code”).
Within 14 days of the College receiving the complaint, the Massage Therapist receives a copy of the complaint with a request for a written reply within 30 days. The RMT’s response is forwarded to the complainant who will then have an opportunity to make further written comment. A panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (made up of both public and professional members of the College Council) convenes to review the complaint.
Investigating a Complaint
At its discretion, the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) may ask the Registrar to appoint an investigator to assist with the investigation into the complaint. The investigator may visit the site of the alleged incident(s), interview people who may have pertinent information, or meet separately with both the complainant and the RMT.
Following the investigation, a report is prepared and submitted to the Committee. The Committee then reviews the report and supporting documentation and decides how to proceed. The Committee is required to make a decision within 150 days of receiving the complaint. If a decision is not reached within that time, the complainant and the RMT will be contacted by the College.
The Committee is only responsible for determining whether the Massage Therapist’s services were professionally and competently rendered. The ICRC has no authority to assess injury, demand refunds or an apology from the RMT, nor to award damages to the complainant.
The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee may do one or more of the following in response to a complaint:
Refer the registrant to the Discipline Committee for action if there are sufficient grounds for a charge of professional misconduct or incompetence or both;
Refer the registrant to another panel of the ICRC for further action if there is sufficient evidence to suggest physical or mental incapacity;
Require the registrant to appear before a panel of the ICRC to be cautioned;
Take other appropriate action such as requiring the registrant to undergo continuing education or remediation;
Take no further action.
Both the complainant and the Massage Therapist receive a written copy of the decision.
Appealing the Decision – HPARB
Either party has the right to appeal the decision of the ICRC within 30 days unless the decision is to refer the matter to the Discipline Committee or a referral for incapacity issues.
The review process is handled by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB), which is composed of members of the public appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the Minister of Health’s recommendation. More information about the HPARB is available at www.hparb.on.ca.
Where there are serious allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence, a case may be referred to the Discipline Committee for a full legal hearing.
When hearing a case, a Panel of the Discipline Committee acts in a similar role to a judge in a civil law case and makes a finding as to whether the registrant/Registered Massage Therapist (“RMT” or “MT”) committed the acts of professional misconduct or was found to be incompetent.
Where there is a finding of professional misconduct, the Panel has the authority to direct the Registrar to revoke (take away), suspend or impose a term, condition or limitation on the RMT’s Certificate of Registration.
Complaints Process Audio Guide
Audioguide du processus de traitement des plaintes
शिकायत प्रक्रिया ऑडियो गाइड (मार्गदर्शिका)
Guida audio alla procedura di reclamo
Audioguía del Proceso de reclamos
Contacting the College
The College takes all complaints and concerns about professional misconduct of any kind very seriously. If you would like to talk to someone about the complaints process or about the care or conduct of a Massage Therapist, please contact the Professional Conduct Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-489-2626 ext. 4128 or 1-800-465-1933 ext. 4128.