Road to Regulation

About Regulation

An important note: The massage therapy profession is not yet Manitoba regulated in Manitoba

Massage Therapy has been approved to become a regulated health profession. MTAM is currently leading the work with the Government of Manitoba to finalize legislation.

It is a challenging environment to balance being a member-based association and protect the public.  On one side, we are an Association who advocates for our members and builds the profession. On the other side, we act in a limited capacity as a regulator, to help provide the public an avenue for protection.

Further complicating this in Manitoba is that there are other organizations representing smaller numbers of practitioners doing massage. These organizations may have different qualifying criteria, standards, and expectations of their members (e.g. allow students and/or other unqualified people to work as full members, some do not check criminal records, some have no system to monitor continuing competency or CPR training, etc.).

RHPA Status Update for the Massage Therapy Profession in Manitoba
The Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM) is preparing our members to transition to governance under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA). The RHPA came into effect in 2014, and deals with getting each regulated health profession into the Act in stages. It will eventually bring all regulated health professions under one umbrella act.
Is Massage Therapy now regulated under the RHPA?

No. The profession will transition to the RHPA at a later date. That date has not yet been determined.

How are Massage Therapists regulated currently?

The massage therapy profession differs from all the other healthcare professions currently transitioning into the RHPA, as we do not have a pre-existing regulation.

It is the only healthcare profession which has no legal Act to protect the public and hold massage therapists accountable to a consistent standard. Instead, each membership-based association in this province follows their own standards. The Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba has always followed the highest level of standards in accordance with the professional regulations set by Regulated provinces across Canada and supports our members to meet the levels of care and education that the RHPA sets out.

What are the steps to having Regulation and making the transition to the RHPA?

MTAM’s application for self-regulation of the profession was granted by the Minister for Health, Seniors and Active Living in 2015.

Since then we have worked in cooperation with the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) as directed by the Minister for Health, Seniors and Active Living, to address the Health Minister’s questions by collaborating on topics that we already agreed upon and came to consensus on any key differences.

In 2019, we began work on a draft workbook as assigned by the Minister’s office. The Regulation Workbook is used as a guideline for creating a General Regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act. All healthcare professions transitioning into the RHPA complete the same workbook. The intent of the completed workbook is to assist the Minister’s office in its of drafting the policy for the future Massage Therapy Act.

The Minister’s office will consider the workbook along with input it receives from other stakeholders (e.g., employers, educators, members of the public, and organizations that regulate or represent massage therapy and other healthcare professions), and will ultimately determine what form massage therapy regulation will take under the RHPA.

This Regulation Workbook draft was completed in consultation with the NHPC and submitted to then Minister Cameron Friesen on January 14, 2020. It is a rough draft, and there are many conversations to be had with all stakeholders.

The Minister’s office has reviewed the workbook and reached out to MTAM for clarification on a number of points. MTAM promptly responded and is awaiting instructions on the next steps.

Next steps

In terms of next steps, the Government will move forward with the self-regulation of massage therapy under the RHPA, after the work has been completed to transition to the RHPA the professions of paramedicine, psychology, registered psychiatric nursing, licensed practical nursing, physiotherapy and medical laboratory technologists.  There has been no timeline given.

What now?

As MTAM awaits the next steps as described, we continue to advocate to be moved ahead of the other professions in line before us. The longer the Government waits, the longer the public is put at risk.

MTAM will continue to prepare our members for working in a regulated healthcare profession. Education sessions in the areas of professional boundaries, charting and draping best practices, business best practices, and recordings of past regulation updates are already available to members.

New regulation updates and related education sessions to help our members understand the RHPA are being planned. MTAM members will receive emails announcing these events as they are scheduled. Regulation updates and education courses will be made available in Winnipeg as well as taken to our regional centres (Dauphin, Morden/Winkler, Brandon, Steinbach and Selkirk). Webinars will also be held to make the information available to any member who is unable to attend a live event.

As MTAM works diligently toward regulation and preparing our members, we ask the members of the public and members of other allied healthcare professions to help us move more quickly toward massage therapy regulation becoming a reality.

How can you help us have industry-wide regulation faster?

Dozens of times a year, MTAM receives calls from the public and other healthcare providers related to concerns and stories of individuals claiming to be an RMT who are not, students of massage therapy practicing before they have graduated, and massage therapists practicing outside of their scope or beyond their abilities. The majority of the time these calls relate to individuals who are not a member of MTAM, and we do not have the authority to investigate those concerns/complaints.

If you have experienced a situation like this or you would like to see sooner rather than later, massage therapy regulation with a dedicated College of Massage Therapy that:

  • sets and maintains standards for eligibility to enter the massage therapy profession in Manitoba
  • sets and maintains standards for the practice of massage therapy in Manitoba
  • sets and maintains standards for who may use the Registered Massage Therapist title and other similar titles that will be specified under the Act
  • provides the public with a higher level of protection
  • provides the public with a means to confirm whether or not an RMT is eligible to practice in Manitoba
  • provides the public with a means to register a concern or complaint regarding treatment they’ve received from an RMT in Manitoba
  • provides other healthcare providers with reassurance to be able to make more appropriate referrals to qualified RMTs

please send your concerns to the office of the Minister for Health and Seniors Care.
Share your experiences. 
Share your concerns. 
Help make a difference.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact MTAM Executive Director by email or by phone at 204-927-7977 or 1-866-605-1433 toll free.

What provinces are regulated?

Regulated Provinces: Colleges


To learn more about the history of our quest for the regulation of the massage therapy profession in Manitoba click on the links below.

Road to Regulation Updates from 2015-19

Road to Regulation: Historic Timeline

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