Strategic Plan

CMTO 2016-2018 Strategic Plan

Regulating health professionals in today’s healthcare environment requires regulatory Colleges to be adaptable, accountable and transparent. To continue responding to the needs of the public in an effective way, the Council of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO) developed a three-year Strategic Plan (2016-2018) to ensure that the public interest remains the focal point of all of the College’s initiatives.

Council’s new vision for CMTO is that the College will be at the forefront of evolving professional regulation – inspiring trust and confidence in the members of the public, Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs), and the Massage Therapy profession in the province of Ontario.

Three interrelated, long-term goals are critical to achieving this vision: transparency, quality and regulatory modernization. To view CMTO’s Strategic Plan Chart, please click here.

It is anticipated that full realization of the Strategic Plan would take place over a six- to eight-year period.


As part of the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, CMTO’s transparency goal is ‘well-informed stakeholders’, including Massage Therapy clients and RMTs. To achieve this important goal the following strategies have been adopted:

  • Enhanced access to public information. Between 2015 and 2016, CMTO expanded its public register to ensure enhanced transparency to the members of the public. To learn more about Phase One and Two of CMTO’s Transparency Action Plan, please click here.
  • Public engagement. CMTO develops a public engagement plan, posts public input and evaluates feedback to measure whether or not the public is receiving the information that it needs to make informed decisions.
  • Improved reporting. CMTO continuously enhances its reporting mechanisms to better support the culture of transparency.
  • Strategy Implementation. CMTO works with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) and 25 other health regulatory Colleges to develop and maintain consistent terminology and information resources across Ontario’s health professions, as well as implement MOHLTC’s Transparency and Openness Strategy.


As one of its three strategic goals, CMTO aims to improve quality of treatment in Massage Therapy by delivering and ensuring RMT clients receive safe, effective and ‘evidence-informed’ Massage Therapy. The strategies outlined below will help facilitate this goal:

  • Effective and open engagement and communications. CMTO will establish and communicate our position on the current strategy of evidence-informed Massage Therapy provision to inform and engage stakeholders.
  • Program redevelopment. CMTO will review and revise its policies, standards, competencies, programs, resources and processes to ensure that they are based on the best available evidence and provide effective support to facilitate provisions of evidence-informed Massage Therapy care to clients.
  • Enhanced research. CMTO will develop and implement a directed multi-year research program that will, to the extent possible, provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of CMTO strategies to advance evidence-informed Massage Therapy practice and their impact on improved quality of care provision.
  • Accessible evaluation. The evidence that CMTO collects and generates, and its evaluation of that evidence, will be readily available and accessible to the public, RMT clients, RMTs, Massage Therapy programs, and other regulated health professions. CMTO will also proactively engage with stakeholders regarding the implications of this evidence and its evaluation.

Regulatory Modernization  

The key goal of the regulatory modernization theme is the public and RMT clients are protected through ‘balanced and proportionate risk-and outcomes-based regulation.’ A list of strategies outlined below will assist with achieving this crucial goal:

  • Proactive research. CMTO will research and gain a strong understanding of evidence-informed practices in risk-and outcome-based regulation. Further, the College will proactively and transparently consult with stakeholders on the approaches for applying these findings to Massage Therapy regulation.
  • Conducting risk assessment. CMTO will undertake a risk assessment that identifies the range of health outcomes and professional risks to clients and the public interest to inform CMTO’s programs and services. CMTO will engage with RMT clients, Massage Therapy educational programs, the RMT community, other regulated health professions and the Government of Ontario.
  • Analyzing data. CMTO will collect, analyze and use regulatory data and information to inform risk-and outcome-based decision-making. The College will make this data and analysis available.
  • Policy framework. CMTO will apply principles that reflect proportionate, risk-and outcome-based regulation to its ongoing review of regulatory policies, programs and services.

Seven Key Principles to Guide Regulatory Modernization

  1. Identify the problem before the solution.
Draw on sources of regulatory intelligence, data and information, as well as relevant current information about RMT practice.
  1. Quantify and qualify the risks.
Gauge the likelihood and impact of harm occurring and its severity and understand how and why the harm occurs.
  1. Develop and implement solutions that are as close to the problem as possible.
Understand the context in which the problem arises and the different regulatory and non-regulatory tools that may be available; and then develop and implement, in partnership with other stakeholders (where appropriate) the most effective solutions. Stay focused on the desired outcomes, rather than processes and/or related activities, and measuring and being accountable for those outcomes.
  1. Use regulation only when necessary.
Continually evaluate whether a regulatory intervention is the best and most effective response, and in particular, where non-regulatory measures in partnership with other stakeholders may be more appropriate and effective.
  1. Be transparent and accountable.
Proactively, transparently, and in simple terms explain what the purpose of a regulatory intervention is, why it is expected to work, and how it will be measured.
  1. Monitor for unintended consequences.
Proactively monitor regulatory measures and evolving Massage Therapy practice to ensure that they are achieving the desired outcome and have not resulted in unintended consequences for the public, Massage Therapy clients and/or RMTs.
  1. Review and respond to change.
Systematically and transparently review and evaluate regulatory measures to ensure that these measures remain effective and relevant.

Next Steps

Going forward, CMTO will continue the important work outlined in the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan and develop ways of measuring the outcomes that have been achieved.

The first steps will involve consultation around risk-and outcome-based regulation with other regulators across the province with the aim to share knowledge and learn from experiences of others. Under the guidance of Council, CMTO is charting an exciting new course for the Massage Therapy profession.