Communiqué – Certification Examinations Update

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) is the regulated health profession College in the Province of Ontario mandated by statute to govern the professional practice of Massage Therapy in Ontario.

As with all regulated health professions colleges in Ontario, under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, one of the paramount objects of the College is the protection of the public. This in turn requires the College to ensure to the best of its ability and resources that only those qualified to practise the profession are issued a Certificate of Registration.

In May 2012, it was brought to the College’s attention that the computer-based Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) component of its certification exam had potentially been compromised, involving the harvesting and circulation of current exam questions.

“The College considers these actions to be egregious, unethical and unacceptable. Such actions further constitute a clear risk and threat to the integrity of the examination process, and therefore the qualifications and credentials of those candidates who are dedicated in achieving a legitimate passing score,” states CMTO Registrar & CEO, Vahe Kehyayan.

The College took immediate steps to investigate the allegations and analyze the potential impact that this breach would have on the College’s mandate to protect the public interest. As a result of this analysis, the College Council judiciously decided to cancel the MCQ portion of the certification exam for new graduates.

“There is an ongoing investigation to identify those involved in the breach, and it is the firm intention and resolve of the College to utilize all resources at its disposal to convict those responsible and deter any like-mined individuals from similar attempts. The College will undertake appropriate measures for any exam candidates who are found to have had an unfair advantage,” continues Kehyayan.

While adhering to the College’s mandate, it was also recognized that this measure could negatively impact recent graduates. This information was immediately communicated to the current exam candidates, Massage Therapy schools and registrants of the College.

In order to ensure a fair, objective and secure certification process, the College adopted a paper-based exam for the near future. It is not yet known the number of candidates who will apply for the November exam as this would be contingent on the graduation cycle of the various Massage Therapy schools across the province.

“While the College is acutely sensitive to the needs of its registrants, as well as candidates seeking registration, it has the statutory duty to balance those needs against the over-arching objective of protecting the public and ensuring that only those properly qualified to practise the profession are registered to do so. Fundamental to that process is ensuring that the entry-to-practice certification examination is appropriate, in order that the College as well as the public and those individuals who do qualify for membership can all be satisfied that those registered are in fact qualified to do so.”

Vahe Kehyayan, Registrar and CEO of the College continues to state that “the College is committed to quickly processing new registrants upon successful completion of the November exam, and will provide additional staffing resources to expedite the process to ensure that newly certified registrants can actively pursue their career as Massage Therapists.” 

The College will continue to utilize best efforts to communicate to its stakeholders with respect to this matter.