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Notices to the Profession

Use of Titles and Designations by RMTs

Introduction

CMTBC is aware that some registrants are using titles or designations in a manner that violates Part F.1 of the Bylaws (Advertising and Other Marketing Activities).

This Notice to the Profession is being issued to help registrants understand how some uses of certain titles and designations, as well as descriptions of educational credentials, breach Part F.1 of the Bylaws.

This Notice is intended to assist registrants in understanding and applying Part F.1 of the Bylaws, but it is not exhaustive. Registrants are responsible for exercising their professional judgment in applying the rules about advertising and other marketing activities. 

Use of Titles and Designations

RMTs may not use, in their advertising or marketing activities, occupational titles that are not set out in the Massage Therapists Regulation (the “Regulation”). Section 78.7 of the Bylaws states:

Use of titles in advertising

78.7 (1) In a marketing activity or advertisement to promote her massage therapy practice, a Registrant may use only those occupational titles that have been reserved to Registrants under the Act or otherwise have been approved by the Board.

          …

The Board has not approved any occupational titles under section 78.7 of the Bylaws; therefore, RMTs may use only the titles reserved under the Regulation, or abbreviations of those titles, when describing their massage therapy practices. The reserved titles are

  • registered massage therapist,
  • massage therapist,
  • registered massage practitioner, and
  • massage practitioner.

The common abbreviations of these titles are RMT, MT, RMP and MP.

Use of these reserved titles (or abbreviations of them) ensures that professional designations for massage therapy are conveyed to the public clearly and consistently.

Although registrants may wish to communicate their membership in a professional association, the use of designations such as “SMT (cc)” or “MLDT” is prohibited by section 78.7 of the Bylaws as the use of these abbreviations may be subject to misinterpretation to the public. Additionally, using these designations (e.g. Joe Smith, RMT, SMT (cc)) wrongly equates membership in an association with registration as a health care professional regulated by a statutory professional regulatory body.

As permitted by section 78.9 of CMTBC’s Bylaws, RMTs may identify preferred areas of practice, such as sports massage or manual lymphatic drainage. However, RMTs may not claim that they “specialize” in, or they are “advanced” in, particular modalities or treatment of defined population groups, as set out in the Notice to Profession entitled Claiming to “Specialize” or Provide “Advanced” Services is a Breach of the Bylaws.

RMTs may indicate their membership in an association by stating the full name of the association (without the use of abbreviations) and indicating their role in relationship to it:

e.g. Joe Smith,
        RMT Member of the BC Chapter, Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association

As in the example above, membership in an association must be written on the line below the RMT’s title.

If an RMT is dual-registered (registered with another health professional regulatory college in BC), the RMT may use the other profession’s occupational title in advertising and marketing activities, but in doing so must clearly distinguish between the services that the RMT provides as a member of the other college so that the public is not confused (section 78.92 of the Bylaws). A dual-registered RMT may be entitled to use the title “doctor” or an abbreviation of the title (Dr) preceding his or her name when practising the other health profession; however, RMTs must not use the title “doctor” or the abbreviation (Dr) preceding their names when providing massage therapy services as an RMT.

Use of Degrees, Diplomas and Other Educational Credentials

RMTs may wish to list their massage therapy diplomas, other diplomas or degrees, and any additional training or continuing education. However, in order for such information to be helpful rather than misleading to patients, the information must be complete.

When describing a massage therapy education program, an RMT must ensure that the description is not reasonably capable of misleading the public. As an example, an RMT must not state that he or she attended a “mastery level” education program when that educational program teaches the same curriculum as any other educational program recognized in CMTBC’s Bylaws.

RMTs may have completed other degrees or diplomas before or after their massage therapy education. These credentials can be used by registrants following their name as long as this additional information is not misleading regarding the services that are being provided:

e.g. Joe Smith, RMT, BSc

If the degree is unrelated to massage therapy practice, the RMT should consider including that information in a biography, instead of following the RMT’s name.

RMTs who hold a doctoral degree must not use the title “doctor” or an abbreviation of the title (Dr) preceding their names when providing massage therapy services as an RMT.

Communication of additional training or continuing education must be written in a clear and complete manner so as to be understood by the public, without the use of abbreviations, and must be written on the line below the RMT’s title.

Correction of Advertising and Marketing Activities and Effective Date

CMTBC advises registrants to amend their advertising materials and marketing activities immediately if they contravene Part F.1 of the Bylaws.

CMTBC acknowledges that it is not possible to correct all advertising and marketing activities instantaneously. For this reason, this Notice to the Profession will be enforced from January 15, 2019 onward. Any registrants found to be contravening Part F.1 of the Bylaws in a manner described in this Notice after January 15, 2019 will be forwarded to the Inquiry Committee, which may initiate an investigation into a registrant’s contravention of the Bylaws, under subsection 33(4)(a) of the Health Professions Act.

Please note that if you are a registrant and you have a concern about another registrant’s advertising and marketing activities, you may submit a formal complaint to CMTBC; however, CMTBC encourages you to first consider discussing your concerns with the registrant involved, which may resolve the matter without engaging the formal complaint process set out in the Health Professions Act.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Parisotto, Director of Inquiry and Discipline, at 604.736.3404 (ext. 106) or at Kate.Parisotto@cmtbc.ca.

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