Making the decision to become a Registered Massage Therapist means deciding to become part of a profession that is strongly committed to providing the highest possible quality of care to the community. This also means that we are a profession deeply rooted in ongoing professional development and continued learning.
Your learning does not stop once you have passed your initial registration exams with our regulatory body, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO). In many ways your learning has really just begun. We enter the profession by meeting the entry to practice requirements. It is then, through continued learning, whether that be self-study, attending courses or conferring with peers, that we increase our confidence, our knowledge base and our skills.
Our College promotes continued learning and high standards of practice for Registered Massage Therapists through the Quality Assurance Program. “As mandated by government legislation, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario runs a Quality Assurance (QA) program to promote continuing competence and the highest possible professional practice standards among Registered Massage Therapists. Elements of the QA program include self-assessment, continuing education units (CEUs), and peer assessment.” Registrants of the College are required to participate in continued learning and professional development throughout their career. Ongoing professional development ensures both registrants and the College are working towards providing the best possible care for the public.
The continuing education portion of the Quality Assurance Program consists of two components, (1) a continuing education unit (CEU) portion and (2) a mandatory reading component.
Registrants are required to obtain a minimum of 30 CEUs every three years. 1 CEU is equal to 2 hours of learning, therefore 30 CEUs is equivalent to 60 hours of continued learning. Registrants must document their CEU activity within their professional portfolio and report their CEUs to the College at the end of each 3 year cycle.
Continuing education units are broken into two categories. Category A activities are directly related to the scope of practice, as defined by the Massage Therapy Act:
“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 tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function, or relieve pain.”
Category B activities are considered to be complementary to Massage Therapy. Registrants are required to obtain a minimum of 20 category A CEUs, the rest may be from category A or B.
The mandatory reading component requires registrants to read pre-selected articles contained within the College newsletter TouchPoint, and respond to the corresponding questions. TouchPoint is published twice a year in the spring and fall. There are 9 CEU articles published during each CEU cycle. Answers to these questions should be retained within the registrant’s professional portfolio and made available to your peer assessor.
[For more information about the Quality Assurance Program and specific CEU requirements/guidelines for registrants please visit the College website www.cmto.com]
Chris O’ Connor has written an excellent article entitled Beyond the CEU, published in Massage Therapy Canada. Within his article Chris asks questions that many Therapists ask themselves. How do you stand out? How do you add value to your practice? What is real value? What should you look for in a CEU program? His article discusses some answers to these questions and provides some excellent tips on how to set yourself up for success and to make the most of your continued learning.
“Start with a small change like waking up an hour earlier every morning to study: make a gratitude list, read about success and plan your own success. A little discipline will go a long way toward creating the life and practice you always wanted but never knew you could have.” ~ Chris O’Conner
Please visit the following link for Chris O’Connor’s entire article, Beyond the CEU