Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice provide Massage Therapists with clear directions in a comprehensive document from which they can obtain guidance on how well they are expected to perform their various tasks within the Scope of Practice.


Scope of Practice

The practice of Massage Therapy is the assessment of the soft tissue and joints of the body and the treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissue and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain. (Massage Therapy Act, 1991)

What are Standards of Practice?

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario has developed the Standards of Practice for Massage Therapists. Through the development and use of these Standards the College of Massage Therapists continues to display its commitment to the protection of the public, serving its registrants, and promoting the highest possible quality of Massage Therapy practice.

The Standards of Practice are intended to be generic and have been developed to describe the outcomes of the various tasks the therapist is required to perform within the Scope of Practice. The Standards of Practice describe how well a therapist is expected to perform. How to do each task will be determined by the curriculum developed by the educational programs.

The Standards of Practice form a live and dynamic document that will evolve as changes in practice evolve.

Why have Standards of Practice?

The Standards of Practice have been developed as a tool to determine whether a Massage Therapist can do the job at an acceptable level. These Standards will serve as a reference tool for:

  • The Massage Therapists to better understand their job requirements
  • Educators to address as objectives in curriculum design
  • Registration (admission to the College)
  • Complaints Investigation
  • Discipline Hearings
  • Fitness to Practice
  • Quality Assurance
  • Client Relations
  • The public, by providing objective standards by which to assess the quality of treatment

Confidentiality Statement

Massage Therapists are advised that giving information about a client to any person except as required or allowed by law or except to facilitate diagnosis or treatment of a client is considered to be professional misconduct under the Professional Misconduct Regulations.

Accountability for Standards

The Massage Therapist must comply with any requirement as defined in any existing legislation related to the performance of the therapist’s job.

The Massage Therapist is only held accountable to meet a Standard if he/she is the person who has performed the task.

Relevant Legislation

Massage Therapists are accountable to the following pieces of legislation:

Glossary of Terms

A Standard of Practice consists of three inter-related sub-components that describe:

  • Conditions: Conditions describe the situation in which the task must be accomplished, including any resources, tools, materials, etc. that are given/available.
  • Task: A task is a description of what a therapist is expected to accomplish.
  • Standard: A standard is a description of a minimum level of performance one is required to demonstrate in the achievement of a task.

A standard is stated in observable and measurable terms. It must be precise and clear to the Massage Therapist who is held accountable for accomplishing it. It must also be clear to the clients and the public (who assess the therapist’s ability to accomplish a task as measured by the required standard).

Standards include one or more of the following measures:

  • Technical Quality
  • Interpersonal Quality
  • Safety
  • Timeliness