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Read Our March 2020 Newsletter!

News from CMTCA March 2020 - Nouvelles de CMTCA mars 2020

Photo credit: Alla Hetman on Unsplash

Congratulations to the programs who achieved Accreditation and Preliminary Accreditation in January and February this year. An article about challenging accreditation criteria that we hope will be helpful to the education programs working on putting together  evidence and supporting information for Preliminary Accreditation. An update on our Board of Directors nominations process.

Welcome to our March 2020 issue!

CMTCA has already been very busy in 2020 completing five preliminary accreditation reviews for both public and private education programs. This is great news and we’re excited to work with each of these dedicated massage therapy education programs.Keep reading for more information including:

Congrats to ...

The CMTCA board and staff extend sincere congratulations to the following programs that were granted Preliminary Accreditation in January and February:

  • First College– Massage Therapy Program (British Columbia), January 2020

  • Sir Sandford Fleming College – Massage Therapy Program (Ontario), February 2020

  • Lambton College – Massage Therapy Program (Ontario), February 2020Ontario

  • College of Health and Technology: Full Time Massage Therapy, Accelerated Massage Therapy, and Advanced Standing Massage Therapy programs (Ontario), February 2020

  • South Edmonton School of Massage Therapy– Massage Therapy Program (Alberta), February 2020

We salute your hard work and your commitment to continuous quality improvement. We know this achievement will help you provide the best learning environment for your students and contribute to their becoming competent, safe and effective massage therapists.

Board Membership

We would like to sincerely thank all nominees for their interest in becoming members of the CMTCA Board of Directors. CMTCA is honoured by your willingness to offer your considerable skills and experience to our accreditation program.The Board is currently reviewing the qualifications and experience of each of the nominees and will be making recommendations for election or appointment at our April Annual General Meeting. We look forward to introducing our new Board Directors in our next newsletter.



CMTCA is very happy to welcome Carlos Herrera back to work with the team. Carlos is an instructional designer who brings his expertise to developing online and in-person education modules for surveyors and education programs to CMTCA. Our online learning resources help our surveyors improve their report writing and assessment skills. CMTCA's learning resources also provide practical information to education programs about how to best prepare for accreditation.


Q&A: How do we meet these difficult accreditation criteria?

Below you will find tips and information about how to address a few criteria from the CMTCA accreditation standards that generate many questions (and more than a few Partially Met and Unmet ratings).

We hope this information is helpful to programs preparing to submit their documentation for an accreditation (or preliminary accreditation) review.


Question 1:

Criterion 5.5: What does it mean to have an appeals process for performance evaluations?

Criterion 5.5 asks education programs to provide evidence that :

"Policies and procedures are in place and followed for faculty and staff to appeal the results of evaluations of their performance, including timelines to submit the appeal and for the education program to respond."

CMTCA will look for evidence that staff and faculty are able to appeal the results of a Performance Evaluation. What does this mean? In general, this means that an education program has policies and procedures in place which outline the areas that a faculty or staff member can appeal if they are unsatisfied with their Performance Evaluation results, and how to proceed with that appeal. When surveyors visit the education program, they will:

  • Review the policy, and any procedures or forms related to appealing a performance evaluation.Interview staff and faculty to determine if they are aware of the policy, and whether they feel comfortable applying the policy if needed.Request descriptions of recent appeals (within 12 months of the review) that show that the policy and/or process was followed to resolution, and documented.

  • Often, programs submit their collective agreements between their labour union and educational institution to demonstrate that an appeals process is in place. Generally, the appeals process embedded in these collective agreements is only applicable to breaches of the agreement (this would include cases with allegations or evidence of harassment, discrimination, bullying, coercion, etc.).

  • Regularly scheduled performance evaluations with constructive feedback should not have any of these breaches in the collective agreement. Therefore, submission of collective agreements as evidence of an appeals process regarding faculty performance evaluations is generally not satisfactory to meet this criterion. A program-specific appeals process for faculty and staff performance evaluations is strongly recommended.


Question 2:

Criterion 4.11 and 4.12: What is the purpose and scope of the Program Advisory Committee?

Criterion 4.11 asks education programs to provide evidence that :

"An advisory body (...) has a documented mandate and terms of reference and meets according to an established schedule and meeting minutes are documented. Based on the needs of the program and the expertise of its members, the advisory body provides advice and input on the education program’s role, operations, curriculum, in-house clinic/outreach placements, quality improvement initiatives, technology, public relations, or other matters agreed upon by its member"

Criterion 4.12 asks education programs to provide evidence that :

"Advisory body membership includes, to the extent possible, education program faculty and/or staff, external massage therapy professionals, program graduates, and community representatives including business or industry leaders and prospective employers."

The Program Advisory Committee (PAC) has several important purposes:

  1. Provide accountability to ensure the program is meeting the need of their students, graduates, and community.

  2. Guide the education program to reflect on whether each aspect of their education program is appropriate, relevant, and reflects a commitment to excellence.

  3. Increase the program’s awareness of trends in the field of massage therapy to ensure student success in clinical placements and future employment. This could include increased understanding of hiring practices, awareness of the skills employers require, and identifying gaps in learning.

  4. Inform the ongoing evaluation and development of the program’s strategic plan.

A PAC that has diverse representation will adequately serve these purposes. The PAC should therefore include faculty, students, graduates, external massage therapy professionals, industry leaders, and prospective employers.


Your turn. What’s new with you?

Is your preparation for accreditation going swimmingly well? Did you get bogged down on certain criteria? Did you receive the support you needed from CMTCA when you contacted them?

Send us your comments or questions and we will (with your permission) share your ideas and our answers in future issues. Or follow us and share your thoughts on Twitter.

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