Practicing Prior to Registration

Under Massage Therapy Act, 2005, the therapy provided by massage therapists during client treatment is in the public domain. Only members of the College of Massage Therapists of Newfoundland and Labrador (the College) are permitted to use the title registered massage therapist, massage therapist, certified massage therapist, etc.

The public has a right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the right to information, and the right to redress. Clients receiving services from unregulated individuals may not realize that the services will not be covered by their insurance plan or that the provider has no professional liability insurance. Unregulated individuals are not required to adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, and the College has no jurisdiction over the individual if the client is not satisfied with the conduct or actions of the person and wishes to file a complaint.

Position

Massage therapy students or graduates who have not yet taken, or have failed the certification examinations are not yet members of the College. The College believes that it is not in the public’s interest for students or unregistered graduates to practice massage therapy before they are registered with the College. The College recommends that all offers of employment should be conditional to registration with the College, and employment should only begin after a therapist is successfully registered with the College.

The College advises massage therapists that they cannot supervise the work of an unregulated individual and bill that service as massage therapy and should not allow unregistered students/graduates to work as massage therapists in their practice.

If the College receives a complaint about the practice of a massage therapy student or graduate who is, or has been, practicing before being registered, the information will be investigated to determine if the student has contravened the title provisions of the Massage Therapy Act, 2005. When the student or graduate files an application for registration the complaint will be reviewed by the Registrar to determine if the application should be referred to the Registration Committee for a decision to refuse to register the applicant or to impose terms, conditions, or limitations on the certificate.

The Registration Committee will consider the individual’s decision to practice massage therapy while unregistered, and may determine that the individual has not adhered to the four Principles of the Code of Ethics and does not meet the registration requirement to demonstrate that he/she has the required judgment to practice safely and ethically.