The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario must have a formal complaints process in place. This process is established through legislation and is the same for all health profession regulators in Ontario. It gives any member of the public the right to have their complaint about a Massage Therapist’s behaviour, conduct or practice investigated by CMTO. Each step of the process is designed to ensure fairness to both the person who makes the complaint (the “complainant”) and the registrant (the Registered Massage Therapist, or RMT/MT for short) who is the subject of the complaint.

Filing a Complaint

A complaint must be received in writing, recorded on audio tape or on video, or other medium. Please ensure you include all the necessary information in your complaint. The complaint should include the name of the RMT, the time, place, date(s) and details of the event(s). CMTO has an online Complaint Form at the top of this page where you can submit your complaint online. Alternatively, CMTO can provide a PDF copy of the complaints form on request by emailing professionalconduct@cmto.com.

There is no time limitation on filing a complaint.

File a Complaint

Once a complaint is filed with CMTO, the complainant receives an acknowledgement in writing. When CMTO receives a complaint against an RMT, CMTO staff conduct an assessment to determine the impact of the complaint on the general public (e.g., is it low risk, high risk, etc.). Staff review several factors, including:

  • The nature of the allegations.
  • Whether the RMT has a history of other concerns or complaints, including whether there is prior history of similar conduct.
  • If there is deliberate harm to clients or deceptive conduct.
  • If the RMT acknowledges their conduct and reflects on how they could improve their practice.

Staff then use these factors to determine a risk score (i.e., low risk, medium risk, high risk), which helps determine how the investigation moves forward.

Within 14 days of CMTO receiving the complaint, the RMT receives a copy of the complaint, with a request for a written reply within 30 days. The RMT’s response may be forwarded to the complainant who may then have an opportunity to make further written comment. A panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), which is made up of both public members and RMTs, reviews the complaint.

At its discretion, the ICRC may appoint an investigator to assist with the investigation of the complaint. The investigator may obtain documents, which may include health records; visit the site of the alleged incident(s); interview people who may have pertinent information; or interview separately both the complainant and the RMT.

Once an investigation is complete, a report is prepared and submitted to the ICRC. The ICRC then reviews the report and supporting documentation and decides how to proceed. The ICRC must 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 CMTO.

The ICRC is only responsible for determining whether the RMT’s services were professionally and competently provided. The ICRC has no authority to assess injury, demand refunds or an apology from the RMT, or to award damages/compensation to the complainant.

When deciding what to do with a matter that has been investigated, the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) uses its own guide to determine risk to the public. When reviewing and deciding on complaints, the ICRC considers the following factors:

  • Seriousness of the alleged conduct (assuming the allegations raised are true).
  • The RMT’s knowledge, skill and judgement.
  • The RMT’s acknowledgment of their conduct and whether they identify how they can improve their practice.
  • Whether the RMT has a history of other concerns or complaints, including whether there is prior history of similar conduct.

The ICRC may do one or more of the following in response to a complaint:

  • Refer the RMT to the Discipline Committee for action if there are sufficient grounds for a charge of professional misconduct or incompetence or both;
  • Refer the RMT to another panel of the ICRC for further action if there is sufficient evidence to suggest physical or mental incapacity;
  • Require the RMT to appear before a panel of the ICRC to be cautioned;
  • Take other appropriate action such as requiring the RMT to undergo continuing education or remediation;
  • Take no further action.

Both the complainant and the RMT receive a written copy of the decision.

The review process is handled by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB). HPARB was created by the Ontario Government to conduct complaint and registration reviews and hearings about the registration, accreditation, and ICRC decisions of Ontario’s health profession regulators.

Either party has the right to appeal the ICRC’s decision within 30 days unless the decision is to refer the matter to the Discipline Committee or there has been a referral for incapacity issues.

Where there are serious allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence, a case may be referred to the Discipline Committee for a full legal hearing. Hearings are open to the public.

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 RMT 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.

When a RMT is found to have committed an act(s) of professional misconduct, the complete decision is available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website and CMTO publishes summaries of Discipline Committee hearings.

Complaint Process Audio Guide

ARABIC

الدليل الصوتي لعملية التقدّم بشكوى


CANTONESE

投訴程序錄音指南

FRENCH

Audioguide du processus de traitement des plaintes

MANDARIN

投诉流程音频指南

PUNJABI

ਸ਼ਿਕਾਇਤ ਪ੍ਰਕਿਰਿਆ ਲਈ ਆਡੀਓ ਗਾਈਡ

SPANISH

Audioguía del Trámite de quejas

TAGALOG

Gabay na Audio para sa Proseso ng Reklamo

Contacting the College

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 professionalconduct@cmto.com or call 416-489-2626 ext. 4149 or 1-800-465-1933 ext. 4149.

 

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