In order to be allowed to register as, and carry on, a health professions corporation, the applicable legislation requires “that the corporation does not carry on, and does not plan to carry on, any business that is not the practice of the profession governed by the College or activities related to or ancillary to the practice of that profession” (ss. 2. (1) 6. ii.).
This policy statement has been created for Massage Therapy corporations to clarify what the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario regards as business that is related to or ancillary to the practice of Massage Therapy. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has given us no information on the meaning of the terms “ancillary” and “activities related to” the practice of Massage Therapy. The Ministry and/or case law may eventually give some guidance on the interpretation of these terms.
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.”
In the College’s view, activities carried out by Massage Therapists and by Massage Therapy corporations which do not strictly fit the definition of the scope of practice in the Massage Therapy Act, 1991 must be closely related to the practice of Massage Therapy and must be carried out within the context of an active Massage Therapy practice. The College considers that ancillary and related activities Massage Therapists may engage in would include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Selling massage-related supplies for home use;
- Teaching massage-related courses;
- Publication or selling of books or videos related to massage;
- The temporary investment of surplus funds earned by the corporation.
Massage-related is to be interpreted as meaning not within the scope of practice of Massage Therapists but having a direct relationship to the practice of Massage Therapy.
Members should also be aware that the College will only consider activities, including the ones listed above, to be ancillary or related to the practice of the profession if they are carried on in the context of an active Massage Therapy practice and do not themselves constitute the primary function of the business. The College will assess this factor with reference to, among other things, the amount of income generated by, and hours spent on, the actual practice of Massage Therapy versus the number of hours spent on related activities.
Members are reminded that the ancillary and related activities therapists engage in under this policy are not considered Massage Therapy and that they may not be billed as Massage Therapy.
If a corporation or its shareholders apply for a certificate of authorization claiming to be practicing exclusively the profession or related and ancillary activities, when, in fact, they are carrying on practices that are not either part of the profession or related and ancillary to the profession, they can be subject to professional misconduct proceedings or prosecution under the Health Professions Procedural Code in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 for providing false or misleading information for the purpose of obtaining a certificate of authorization.
Activities carried out by a therapist or a health profession corporation beyond the strict practice of Massage Therapy may not be covered under the member’s professional liability insurance and it may be necessary to make arrangements for separate insurance coverage for these activities.
Adopted: September 22, 2003 Amended: November 24, 2020