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MTAA Membership Eligibility Requirements

RELEASE DATE:  May 29, 2014

Throughout March 2014, representatives from the MTAA traveled across Alberta in an attempt to provide the profession with clear, accurate and positive information about regulation of Massage Therapy. As a result of this initiative, a very unique opportunity arose to consult with the profession at large with respect to concerns surrounding eligibility for registration with a future Massage Therapy regulatory College in Alberta. One theme that frequently came forward during these sessions was concern of acceptance for the completion of an Entry to Practice Examination without well-defined guidelines from the yet to be drafted registration requirements of the future regulatory body.

On May 24, 2014 the MTAA Board of Directors met to review the feedback from the presentations as well as review all current and ongoing projects at the MTAA. The review was necessary in order to identify strengths and areas of improvement throughout the entire organization. The Board looked at each program with an objective, forensic mindset.

As a professional association representing Massage Therapists for over 61 years, the MTAA is very literally at a cross roads of directional decision making. The opinion that the MTAA continue to represent a niche portion of the profession while advocating and developing the rest of the general profession is not realistic, nor healthy for the MTAA’s reputation. As part of the deliberation, MTAA Board of Directors carefully considered the questions and concerns identified during discussions with the profession and objectively reflected on the internal philosophies that have been the building blocks of our organization.

To this end, the MTAA Board of Directors has approved the following changes to Active membership eligibility requirements effective June 1, 2014:

To become an Active Member of the MTAA, a practitioner will:

  • Have completed, at minimum, a 2-year/2,200 hour Massage Therapy program and be able to supply evidence of the credential obtained OR complete the MTAA Substantial Equivalency Process;
  • Have current Standard First Aid and Level C (or higher) CPR certificates;
  • Provide a current Criminal Records Check, which includes a search of the vulnerable persons sector, for the jurisdictions in which they have resided for the past five (5) years;
  • Have submitted the Active Membership application along with the above noted required documentation and payment to the MTAA Office.

What this ultimately means is that instead of requiring successful completion of an Entry to Practice Examination in order to be eligible for membership, the MTAA will be integrating the principles of the examination process into the Professional Development program as a valuable assessment tool for members. We believe that facilitated learning opportunities will assist MTAA members - and the entire profession - in enhancing their professional skills in relation to the Inter-jurisdictional Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators for Massage Therapists at Entry to Practice as well as the MTAA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. 

In our unique and diverse Alberta environment, this change allows for the inclusivity of the entire profession and means that MTAA membership is accessible broadly. In making this change, the MTAA hopes to bridge the split that has formed within the profession and encourage all Massage Therapists to speak with a unified voice.