Frequently asked questions

My school has multiple sites, how much will preliminary accreditation cost?

The fee for preliminary accreditation is $3500.00, each additional site or massage therapy education program will cost an additional $1500.00.

How long can I prepare for Preliminary Accreditation? Or how long will it take to prepare for Preliminary Accreditation?

As soon as the application is submitted, CMTCA asks for a timeline of between 3 months -18 months. It is up to the education program to estimate when they will be ready to submit preliminary accreditation documents for review and assessment. You can, however, do many things to prepare for preliminary accreditation prior to submitting an application.

Whats the difference between preliminary accreditation and full accreditation?

Preliminary accreditation is a document review that takes place prior to the in-person site visit. A program or site must be "Granted" preliminary accreditation prior to booking the site visit.

Preliminary accreditation is the first step and the entry point into the accreditation process. Preliminary accreditation takes place the first time schools or programs apply to become accredited by CMTCA. Once a program has been accredited they do not go through preliminary accreditation again.

Education programs may not advertise that they have been granted preliminary accreditation or full accreditation prior to receiving explicit consent from CMTCA.

How long will Accreditation last? When will we need another site visit after receiving accreditation?

Accreditation decisions are granted for either 1 year, 3 years or 5 years. The duration of the accreditation decision is not posted on the CMTCA website or on the certificate received from CMTCA. The amount of time before the next visit is dependent on compliance with the standards.

What happens if we do not agree with the final accreditation decision following a site visit?

If you do not agree with the final accreditation decision made following a site visit by CMTCA you may appeal the decision.

Does it cost anything to appeal a decision?

Yes, there is a fee to appeal an accreditation decision made by CMTCA.

Why is my annual fee $44.00 per student?

Provincial regulators or associations contribute fees to CMTCA on behalf of their members. The fees contributed by members of the massage therapy profession is considered when calculating annual fees. Annual fees reflect contributions by provincial members of the massage therapy profession to accreditation.

What is a surveyor?

A surveyor is a trained evaluator of the massage therapy education programs. They assess an education program against the CMTCA standards.

Surveyors come from a variety of backgrounds and are selected by CMTCA based on experience and understanding of Massage therapy post secondary education, the interjurisdictional practice competencies and performance indicators for massage therapists at entry to practice and accreditation.

Interested in becoming a surveyor? Contact us info@cmtca.ca

What happens if we are not “granted” preliminary accreditation?

If your education program is not granted preliminary accreditation you should review the ratings, comments and suggestions in the Preliminary Accreditation report and consider what you need to do to receive a “granted” decision. You may re-apply for accreditation no earlier than 3 months following the Preliminary Accreditation decision when you will need to re-submit all evidence for review by CMTCA.

What are the differences between met, partially met, and unmet?

Met: The requirement is fully in place and has been operational for at least six months, as a way to monitor that the practice is effective and embedded into practice.

Partially met: The requirement is in place but has not been operational for at least six months. Or, if it has been operational for at least six months, while it meets the intent of the criterion with regard to safety and ethics, there are other aspects of the practice or its implementation that are inconsistent, incomplete, or unclear. The specific issues are outlined in the surveyor’s recommendations. Any practice that poses a safety or ethical risk to staff, students, or patients is never rated as partially met.

Unmet: The requirement is not in place. If plans have been developed, the education program has not moved beyond the planning stage.

Does partially met also mean partially unmet?

Not in terms of time, safety, or ethics. Those aspects are in place. However, other aspects of the requirement are inconsistent, incomplete, or unclear, signaling that there is room for improvement. Nothing substantive or that would pose a risk is missing when a criterion is rated partially met. It generally means that while there are no safety or ethical concerns, what is in place is too new for there to be sufficient evidence to evaluate its effectiveness or the practice needs to be clarified or spread more widely.

What do education programs have to do when they rate a criterion as partially met?

When an education program completes its self-assessment for Preliminary Accreditation, it may rate some criteria as partially met. For example, for criterion 1.1, if the curriculum has been updated or developed to fully meet the PCs/PIs but has not yet been taught to completion, the program would rate that criterion as partially met. Programs need to provide an explanation and a timeline or plan for when they expect to be able to demonstrate that partially met criteria will be met. During the site visit, surveyors follow up on these criteria to determine whether the timelines and plans have been adhered to.

What is the difference between one-, three-, and five-year accreditation decisions?

CMTCA’s system of leveled accreditation decisions ensures that education programs receive the support and guidance they need to achieve the quality improvement results intended by the accreditation process.

Points are assigned for each rating (met, partially met, unmet) and a decision is calculated according to the total points plus the program’s achievement in standard 1, which focuses on curriculum.

  • To achieve three-year or five-year accreditation, all criteria in standard 1 must be rated as met. This means none can be rated as partially met or unmet.
  • One-year accreditation may be awarded if there are partially met ratings in standard 1, depending on the total points.
  • Even one unmet criteria in standard 1 means a program will not be accredited.


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