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FAQs: Impact of COVID-19 on regulatory requirements

Standard First Aid and CPR-C (SFA/CPR-C) – extensions for recertification

RMTs whose SFA/CPR-C certification expires before the end of May 2020 are asked to send an email to [email protected] with the subject line, “SFA/CPR-C expiring, unable to recertify/COVID-19” and your full name. CMTBC will retain your email on file. SFA/CPR-C training must be completed hands-on, not online or via webinar. If such training is unavailable to you at this time, CMTBC expects you to recertify once training is again available, and to update your registrant profile accordingly.

“Telehealth” and online options

Can RMTs provide telehealth services (over online/webinar platforms) to their patients and bill for those services as an RMT? The short answer to both questions is “no”.

RMTs’ scope of practice is defined by BC’s Ministry of Health in the Massage Therapists Regulation, from which this is excerpted:

(a) assessment of soft tissue and joints of the body, and

(b) treatment and prevention of physical dysfunction, injury, pain and disorders of soft tissue and joints of the body by manipulation, mobilization and other manual methods.

The words “manual methods” define the profession.

CMTBC recognizes the role of assessment, clinical history, therapeutic exercise, and treatment plans as adjunctive and necessary supports of therapeutic interventions using hands-on, “manual methods”.

Stand-alone services via Skype/Facetime/telehealth/other do not constitute massage therapy as defined in the Regulation, and cannot be offered or billed as massage therapy.

Quality Assurance (QA) and continuing education credits

The current QA reporting Cycle 12 ends October 31, 2020. All RMTs are required to complete the online course on the two new practice standards, on boundaries and consent. Course completion results in 10 CECs. RMTs who require additional CECs and have not yet completed them have two options: to wait and see if practical education courses that are being cancelled/postponed will be rescheduled when it is safe to do so, or complete their CECs via online course offerings. CMTBC’s approved activities list includes many online course offerings; select “professional development” in the search engine bar (default is set to “All”).

Will extensions be provided to the quality assurance reporting cycle, which ends October 31, 2020?

At this time, CMTBC does not anticipate providing a general extension. Many RMTs have already completed their CEC requirements, some are mid-way through completion, and others have yet to begin. Reminder: RMTs who completed CMTBC’s QA survey, administered in the winter of 2018-2019, obtained 7 CECs for doing so, and all RMTs are required to complete CMTBC’s online course on the Boundaries and Consent practice standards, which provides 10 CECs. Please visit the Registrant Portal to confirm how many CECs you need to complete for Cycle 12. This information is provided on the registrant dashboard.

How many CECs do you need?

Your personal Registrant Dashboard in the portal provides this information. You can also read details about the calculation of required CECs on the Continuing Education Credits page.

New RMTs who first registered on or after November 1, 2019 are not required to obtain CECs in Cycle 12.

Registration Examination updates

If you are a student at a recognized massage therapy education program in BC and wonder about timing of the next registration examinations, please refer to the Exam Dates & Locations webpage.

Stay in contact with your education program during the period of isolation and closures. Please know that CMTBC does not regulate education programs; we regulate the profession of RMTs. CMTBC does not instruct the education programs on closures, timing, or other operations.

Financial Relief for RMTs

Some RMTs have asked whether CMTBC will be providing general financial relief to RMTs in the form of fee waivers or reductions, either for registration fees or online course fees. While we understand that this is a time of financial hardship for RMTs, CMTBC is not in a position to do this. CMTBC budgets and plans on an annual basis, and sets registration fees at the level required to cover the cost of operations. Aside from the examination and entry-to-practice process, which is paid for by exam and application fees, CMTBC’s only source of funding is registrant fees. The cost of the online Boundaries and Consent course covers the licence fee per user that CMTBC is required to pay, as well as the cost of preparing and hosting the course.

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