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News Release - Manitoba

November 24, 2015

Province Announces Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba Taking Next Steps Toward Self-regulation

The province has released the Health Professions Advisory Council’s report on the application made by the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba for self-regulation under the Regulated Health Professionals Act (RHPA), Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“The Regulated Health Professions Act supports quality patient care by enabling the consistent regulation of all health professions in the province,” said Minister Blady.  “The Health Professions Advisory Council has recommended the profession of massage therapy be granted self-regulation under the act and I have accepted the council’s recommendations.”

The minister has asked the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba to work with the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC), which includes a number of Manitoba-based massage therapists as members, to address core key issues to support self-regulation.

Areas for discussion include:

  • developing an educational standard for applicants and members,
  • determining if a single standard of education should be implemented for the profession or whether there should be different levels of competency,
  • determining credentials and prior learning assessments that may be needed for membership,
  • considering the development of a bridging program for applicants whose knowledge and skills are assessed as not equivalent to Manitoba educational standards, and
  • conducting a review of the anticipated costs and expenses and determining a fee structure.

“We are delighted with the work of the NHPC and the minister’s decision to accept their recommendation,” said Sheila Molloy, executive director, Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (MTAM).  “This milestone recognizes the importance of massage therapy as a health-care profession in this province.” 

The Health Professions Advisory Council was established in 2011.  Its mandate is to provide an independent, impartial forum for a group of persons representing a health profession to apply to become a professional regulatory college under the Regulated Health Professions Act.  Minister Blady noted the council will continue as the independent body to determine whether self-regulation is in the public interest.

“We join in celebration with our colleagues at the MTAM,” said Kelly Sloan, executive director, Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC).  “The NHPC board and staff are pleased to continue working with the MTAM board and staff for the benefit of the public and therapists across the province.”

The Regulated Health Professions Act replaces 21 statutes dealing with the regulation of 22 different health professions, bringing all regulated health professions under one piece of legislation.  The legislation requires all regulatory bodies to establish standards of practice, codes of ethics and continuing competency requirements as regulations under the act.

The act supports patient safety by creating consistent and fair complaint and disciplinary processes across all professional colleges, increasing public representation on the boards of self-governing professions and providing improved accountability between the regulatory bodies and government.

 The MTAM and NHPC together represent 1325 massage therapists in Manitoba and have already begun working collaboratively as the profession proceeds to regulation under the Regulated Health Professions Act through the development of the College of Massage Therapy of Manitoba.

The report can be viewed online at

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of the government of Manitoba and the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba.