Shared funding model
Over the past three and a half years, CMTCA has worked hard to develop a credible accreditation process that would be financially supported by all massage therapy stakeholders, including regulators in regulated provinces, Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (CMTA) member associations, and massage therapy education programs through their accreditation fees. This shared funding model was based on the understanding that the accreditation of massage therapy education benefits the entire profession across the country by ensuring high-quality education programs that yield quality massage therapy graduates.
The model is particularly important in these early years, when sustained funding is needed to develop, launch, and grow the accreditation process. Thanks to our loyal funders, the process was launched successfully and continues to grow. See what CMTCA has accomplished over the past three years by clicking here.
Unfortunately, despite numerous requests and ongoing consultation and dialogue, financial support for the accreditation process has decreased each year since 2016, with funds coming almost exclusively from only a few provincial stakeholders. Before I continue, we want to recognize these stakeholders for making regular annual financial contributions: thank you to the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, the College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick, the College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta. We also sincerely thank the education programs that have chosen to take their accreditation journey with us. Without this continued support, CMTCA could not have come this far.
Suspension of accreditation services pending requisite financial support
Over the latter part of 2018, it became clear that this situation, with the majority of the country benefitting from the financial contributions of a few provinces, could not continue. As a result, the CMTCA Board made the decision to suspend CMTCA accreditation services in provinces where the requisite financial support has not been provided by the regulator (in regulated provinces) and by the associations that represent all massage therapists (in unregulated provinces)
Therefore, as of March 1, 2019, CMTCA will suspend accreditation services in provinces where
the regulator does not sign a multi-year financial agreement and provide the annual requisite portion of its RMT membership fees to support CMTCA accreditation
or the fees that are submitted to CMTCA by a provincial association (or associations) do not reflect the total number of RMTs in the province.
It is our hope that all regulators in particular will recognize the importance of equitable contributions across the country and choose to financially support the accreditation process in 2019, allowing us to manifest the original vision that was established in 2013 in the Plan to Establish a Canadian Accreditation Process for Massage Therapy Education Programs. For those that do, we will resume the provision of accreditation services in their provinces. It is more problematic in unregulated provinces where the rise of multiple associations means that individual CMTA associations may not represent every RMT in their respective province. To contribute an equitable amount to CMTCA, those provinces will need to collaboratively contribute funds that represent the entire profession in their province.
What does this mean?
You may be interested in knowing how this will affect massage therapy education programs that wish to or that have already applied for accreditation.
Education programs accredited by CMTCA in provinces where the regulator has not signed the multi-year financial agreement or whose association(s) have not provided their financial contributions in 2019 will maintain their current accreditation status until their accreditation agreement with CMTCA expires. CMTCA accreditation agreements typically expire at the end of the term of the accreditation award (i.e., 1 year or 3 year terms).
To better manage the suspension of services on March 1, 2019 accreditation applications from massage therapy education programs in provinces where the regulator has not signed the multi-year financial agreement or whose association(s) have not paid the required fees will not be accepted after February 1, 2019.
This decision does not affect access to accreditation for massage therapy education programs in those provinces where the massage therapy regulator chooses to sign the multi-year financial agreement and financially contribute to CMTCA, in Alberta where the association has contributed until June 2019, or in any other unregulated province whose association(s) choose to pay the required fee for 2019. As before, CMTCA will continue to offer Preliminary Accreditation and site visits, and issue accreditation decisions in those provinces.
Keeping in touch
Discussions with the provinces on this matter are ongoing. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to a speedy and positive resolution, so we can all get back to our focus of inspiring excellence in massage therapy education through accreditation.