MTAA Regulation Committee
May 29, 2020
In early March of this year, the MTAA resigned as a member of the Transitional Council (TC-CMTA). The MTAA has advocated for the regulation of our profession for decades, and we continue to do so. We were the only association in Alberta to fund the national accreditation process to the tune of $75,000, and we are the only association that represents Alberta massage therapists as a member of the Canadian Massage Therapy Alliance.
The Transitional Council released a statement in April that was interpreted by many to mean that the MTAA does not support regulation. This is categorically untrue. The MTAA is very much in support of regulation. What the MTAA does not support is the existing Transitional Council and the direction it is taking towards regulation. We believe that higher standards are needed than those being put forth by the current Transitional Council model.
Currently, the Transitional Council consists of two associations that are not Massage Therapy specific and are not Alberta specific. Health care has always been a provincially governed service. Professional groups that have both national interests and represent non-massage therapy professions have a conflict of interest when pertaining to the regulatory process. The MTAA simply cannot trust these organizations to act in the best interests of our members and our profession. Only Alberta massage therapists and Alberta Massage Therapy focused associations should be allowed to create the process and the standards for “self-regulation”.
We can assure you that we are still very much involved in the regulatory process. Over the past few months, the Regulation Committee has had several meetings with members from the legislative assembly, Alberta Health and other Massage Therapy associations. We have developed a positive and productive relationship with all Alberta focused, Massage Therapy specific associations, as well as other stakeholders. The Regulation Committee and the MTAA Board of Directors look forward to working with other groups who share our goal of establishing high standards and facilitating a smooth transition for our members while achieving self-regulation.
MTAA Regulation Committee
MTAA Regulation Update
March 10, 2020
For the better part of the past two decades, the MTAA has been a driving force for the regulation of Massage Therapy in Alberta. Our association has lobbied the government, stakeholders, national organizations and our provincial partners in an effort to achieve this goal. For the past four years, the MTAA has been a founding member of the Transitional Council for the College of Massage Therapists of Alberta – an organization comprised of three representatives from each of the MTAA, NHPC and CMMOTA (formerly RMTA). The mandate of this organization was to develop and submit an application for the regulation of Massage Therapy and to support the industry while going through the transition period.
I am proud to say that the Transitional Council was able to accomplish the first goal of creating and submitting an application to the government over two years ago. Unfortunately, since that time, the Transitional Council has failed to achieve further significant progress on the regulation front.
After substantial consultation, board meetings and lengthy discussions, the MTAA Board of Directors has unanimously voted to cease our funding and resign our membership from the Transitional Council. This was not a decision that we took lightly.
In order to continue to be a member in good standing with the Transitional Council, it is estimated the MTAA would have to pay membership fees of approximately $18,000 this year. When faced with such a significant cost, your Board of Directors requested detailed information from the Transitional Council specifically related to their strategic plan, vision and annual budget to determine if the benefits of membership would out weight the costs. After being given numerous opportunities to provide a clear vision and a strategic plan on how the Transitional Council was going to break the stalemate and achieve regulation, your MTAA Board of Directors found the information we were provided to be insufficient and we were left unsatisfied. We believe that the current structure of the Transitional Council lacks the authority, strategy and ability to effectively move the regulatory effort forward. We cannot continue to fund organizations that have failed to deliver forward progress for over two years.
Although we are no longer a member of the Transitional Council, the MTAA is firm in its resolve for the need to regulate our profession. Your Board of Directors has established a committee that is tasked with working with the government, industry stakeholders and all other interested parties to support, advocate and achieve regulation of Massage Therapy in Alberta. The ways of the past were not working, and it is time to pivot.
In the past two weeks, we have spoken with numerous members of the provincial government and we have received positive affirmation that regulation of Massage Therapy would be supported by the current Alberta government. Your Board of Directors and the new Regulation Committee will continue to work diligently to achieve this goal in an ethical, financially responsible, and time-efficient way.