The use of acupuncture is a controlled act under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. Registered Massage Therapists may use acupuncture in their Massage Therapy practice only if they have first been authorized by CMTO to do so.


The Registered Health Professionals Act, 1991 (s. 27.1) prohibits health professionals from performing certain activities known as controlled acts.  It states “No person shall perform a controlled act set out in subsection (2) in the course of providing health care services to an individual unless, (a) the person is a member authorized by a health profession Act to perform the controlled act; or (b) the performance of the controlled act has been delegated to the person by a member described in clause (a).  1991, c. 18, s. 27 (1); 1998, c. 18, Sched. G, s. 6.”

However, under Regulation (107/96.8.2), Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) may use acupuncture in their Massage Therapy practice only if they are authorized by CMTO to perform acupuncture and it is performed:

  • Within the Scope of Practice of Massage Therapy,
  • In accordance with CMTO’s definition of acupuncture, and
  • In compliance with all Standards of


Confirmed Acupuncture Education Programs

The practice of acupuncture in Massage Therapy requires specialized training. RMTs who wish to practice using acupuncture must receive training from a ‘confirmed acupuncture education program’. Only education programs that have declared to CMTO that their teachings, evaluation process and instructor qualifications meet CMTO’s requirements are called confirmed acupuncture education programs.

To become a confirmed acupuncture education program, the program must submit a declaration to CMTO that:

  1. The program teaches all of the Acupuncture Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators (APC/PIs) as articulated and published by CMTO;[1]
  2. All of the program’s acupuncture instructors are authorized to use acupuncture (regulated in Ontario, in good standing,[2] and not currently under investigation);
  3. Their acupuncture program includes comprehensive practical and theoretical evaluation/examination of students for both the theoretical and practical components of the curriculum [and students must pass the evaluation(s) and/or examination(s) to graduate from the program];
  4. Every part of the program is taught in either English or French.

Confirmed acupuncture education programs must re-confirm annually that they meet the requirements noted above.

A list of confirmed acupuncture education programs is available on CMTO’s website.

Some education providers offer more than one program. Registrants are encouraged to contact the education provider directly to ensure that the acupuncture education program they wish to take is a confirmed acupuncture education program.

The list of confirmed acupuncture education programs may be modified from time to time. CMTO can refuse to include a program on the list (or remove it from the list) of confirmed acupuncture education programs if CMTO is aware that, despite confirmation by the program, the program does not meet one or more of the minimum requirements for inclusion.

Acupuncture Authorization

CMTO’s acupuncture authorization process for registrants wishing to use acupuncture in their Massage Therapy practice requires that the registrant must:

  1. Successfully complete a confirmed acupuncture education program
  2. Arrange for the confirmed acupuncture education program to submit documentation directly to CMTO confirming the registrant’s successful completion
  3. Complete CMTO’s online application process including declarations attesting that they:
    1. Will practise acupuncture within the Scope of Practice of Massage Therapy;
    2. Have read, understood and will practise in accordance with Standards of Practice, Standard of Practice for Acupuncture, APCs/PIs and all regulations;
    3. Have the knowledge, skill and judgment to safely perform acupuncture;
    4. Completed their confirmed acupuncture education program no more than three years earlier; and
    5. Possess the professional liability insurance required to perform

Once authorized, the registrant must complete similar declarations annually at renewal.

The confirmed acupuncture education program must be successfully completed no more than three years before the registrant applies for acupuncture authorization with CMTO. A regulated health professional who completed a confirmed acupuncture education program more than three years ago is exempt from the three-year timeframe if at the time acupuncture authorization is requested from CMTO:

  • The individual is a member of a profession in Ontario authorized to practise using acupuncture;
  • The individual is a registrant in good standing in that profession; and
  • The individual is currently authorized by that profession’s regulator to practise using acupuncture.


[1] Programs may confirm their compliance with teaching the APC/PIs retroactively to February 2013 (when the APCs/PIs were approved by Council).

[2] To be in good standing with their health regulatory college, the instructor must not be in default of payment of any prescribed fees; their Certificate of Registration must not be subject to a term, condition or limitation other than one prescribed by regulation; they must not be the subject of any disciplinary or incapacity proceedings; and their registration must not be revoked pursuant to any order that was issued by the Discipline Committee.


Approved by Executive on behalf of Council: Sept. 20, 2022

Updated to reflect wording and numbering of amended Registration Regulation: July 1, 2024

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