In 2004, the MTAA in cooperation with the Alberta Registered Massage Therapist Society (ARMTS) and Remedial Massage Therapists Association (RMTA) submitted a formal application to Alberta Health and Wellness to begin the process of allowing Massage Therapy to become a self-regulating profession, under the Health Professions Act
In 2008, all Alberta based organizations made a presentation to the Health Professions Advisory Board (HPAB). The presentation was to make a case for the regulation of Massage Therapy in Alberta in addition to promoting a model for regulation for consideration by the Minister of Health and Wellness.
Between 2009 and 2011, the Associations within Alberta struggled to find common ground and consensus with respect to the forward momentum of regulation of the profession and in 2011, discussions came to a halt with the Transitional Steering Committee being disbanded. In June 2013, the then Minister of Health and Wellness indicated the government would be undertaking a survey to understand the wishes of the current Massage Therapy practitioners in Alberta regarding regulation. However, in early 2015, the Associations received communication from the Government that the survey would not be carried out due to financial considerations.
The senior management of the MTAA, RMTA and the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC) began meeting in mid-2014 to discuss and work together on common areas to ensure collaborative and open dialogue with regards to regulation initiatives. As a result of these meetings, the three Associations then chose to undertake the previously mentioned survey, which was completed in the fall of 2015. Results showed that there is support by the profession for regulation and also outlined a number of areas that required additional review and discussion by the Associations.
Since that time, with Board approval, the senior management teams of the MTAA, RMTA and NHPC have been developing details about regulation in Alberta including detailed discussions surrounding the transitioning of current practitioners into a regulatory College in Alberta. Throughout this process, the Alberta Government has been continually updated to ensure that new procedural requirements were being adhered to.
In May 2016, the three Associations announced to their members that they had reached agreement on potential eligibility requirements for transitioning current practitioners into a regulatory College that take into account years of experience and education. In mid-July 2016, an updated formal Application for Regulation was delivered to the Department of Health. The application addressed the government’s template for regulation under the Health Professions Act:
• The type of services provided by massage therapists
• Statistical information about member numbers
• Information about other Colleges
• Standards of competence
• Entry requirements
• Approved education programs
• Continued competency programs
• Public risk
• Other legislation and mobility between provinces
• Similarities to other professions
• Protected titles
• College structure
• Cost benefit analysis
In the Fall of 2016, the three member Associations will be jointly undertaking a consultation process with all their members to ensure everyone has full opportunity to discuss all aspects of regulation, including proposed eligibility requirements to transition into a regulatory College.