Re: Implementation of Language Proficiency Assessment

Concerns have been raised respecting the implementation of the language proficiency assessment policy, effective July 1, 2014.

This is not an additional registration requirement.  It has been a requirement of CMTO that an applicant must be able to speak and write either English or French with reasonable fluency, since 1993.  The College used to depend on graduation from an Ontario Massage Therapy program as demonstrating reasonable fluency.  However, in recent years concerns have been raised during the examination process that a number of candidates do not meet the fluency requirement.  It is for this reason that Council has established the policy that all applicants whose first language is not English or French or have not completed their secondary school education in English or French must demonstrate reasonable fluency through an approved language assessment.

The College has been exceedingly careful to apply a standardized and commonly accepted threshold for assessing reasonable fluency in either of Ontario’s official languages.  It has analysed the language requirements of practice based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and recognizes the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT), which was developed in partnership with both the federal and provincial governments and has been applied for many years to assess internationally educated applicants, and the Michener English Language Assessment (MELA) which is based on the CLB standard and is focussed on language skills particular to the Canadian health care workplace.

Communication with clients forms the basis for effective Massage Therapy care.  It is also important that a registrant can communicate with the College as it is  an important part of a health professional’s accountability and ensures that s/he can understand and comprehend College materials related to registration, complaints, discipline, and quality assurance requirements.

The College is not unsympathetic to some of the difficulties which applicants who will be required to complete a language assessment may face.  Applicants who are encountering undue hardship or feel that other aspects of their education may demonstrate reasonable fluency are welcome to make a submission requesting an extension or exemption to this policy.  Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis. Written submissions should be forwarded to the Certification Services Department: certificationservices@cmto.com.