The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) requires applicants for registration to submit a Vulnerable Sector Criminal Record Check (VS Check) with their application.


Applicants for registration must satisfy the Registration Committee that they will practise Massage Therapy with decency, honesty and integrity, and in accordance with the law, and will display an appropriately professional attitude. Applicants meet this requirement, in part, by submitting a Vulnerable Sector criminal record check (VS Check) with their application for registration.

A VS Check is an enhanced criminal record check that includes a check of national databases maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and local police records where the applicant lives. A VS Check provides:

  • information regarding a record suspension (formerly pardon) for sex offences;
  • information regarding criminal convictions from Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and/or local databases;
  • findings of guilt under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, 2003;
  • outstanding entries such as charges and warrants, judicial orders, peace bonds, probation and prohibition orders; and
  • information about any absolute and conditional discharge.

Massage Therapists are in a position of trust and the clients in their care are in a vulnerable position. Accordingly, a VS Check is the appropriate level of criminal record screening for registration as an RMT. It supports the principles of transparency and accountability of the College and the profession in Ontario. More information about VS Checks is available on the RCMP website.


Applicants for registration with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) must submit a Vulnerable Sector criminal record check (VS Check) with their application for registration. The VS Check will include records of discharges (that have not been removed from police databases in accordance with the Criminal Records Act, 1985) and records of outstanding criminal charges of which the Ontario Provincial Police is aware.

The VS Check must be the original signed document obtained from the applicant’s local Canadian police service. The report must be dated no more than six (6) months before the date of registration. Photocopies are not accepted. The applicant’s full name as listed on their application for registration must match the name appearing on VS Check, and the VS Check must indicate that a search was conducted under all current, previous, former or maiden names. If the applicant had a VS Check conducted previously, they will not be able to use the same report for their registration with CMTO as the Criminal Records Act, 1985 requires that a separate VS Check be conducted for individual positions. The VS Check document will not be returned to the applicant so additional copies should be made before submitting the application. For more information, please see CMTO’s Initial Registration Checklist and Initial Registration Application Guide.

Assessment of VS Check Findings

If the VS Check includes information about a criminal conviction (a positive report), the applicant must submit a detailed explanation of the circumstances that led to the criminal finding and all relevant supporting documentation. The applicant may be asked to provide a copy of court transcripts related to the matter. An applicant who has a criminal record relating to any type of driving offence will also be required to submit an up-to-date (no more than three months old) Certified Complete Driver’s Record from Service Ontario. This information will be added to their application for registration.

The application, with the VS Check and additional information, will be assessed by the Registrar to determine if it must be referred to the Registration Committee for review. The assessment of positive reports will take into consideration:

  • how long it has been since the conviction;
  • the age of the applicant at the time of the offence;
  • the seriousness of the offence;
  • mitigating circumstances;
  • the applicant’s insight into their conduct
  • the applicant’s conduct in the intervening years; and
  • the relevance of the conduct to the practise of Massage Therapy.

If the application is referred to the Registration Committee, the applicant will be notified of the referral and provided with an opportunity to make additional submissions for the Registration Committee’s consideration.

Please note that not all criminal findings prevent an applicant from being registered. The Registration Committee will assess whether, given all of the circumstances, the criminal findings affect the applicant’s suitability to be a Registered Massage Therapist. Applicants may also appeal any decision to exclude or limit their practice because of previous criminal findings.

Toronto and Ottawa Applicants Only

If the applicant lives in either Toronto or Ottawa and is unable to obtain a VS Check from their municipal police service, they must contact the Registration Services department by email at


Approved: August 25, 2008  Update Effective: January 1, 2017  Reformatted: July 11, 2019  Reviewed: April 24, 2023

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