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Other Applicants – Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Introduction to Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

If you would like to become an RMT in BC and you are not:

you may be able to apply for CMTBC’s registration examination after completing a prior learning assessment (PLA). The PLA determines if your knowledge, skills, and abilities are substantially equivalent to those of an applicant in one of the two categories listed above.

Prior Learning Assessment video

This video describes CMTBC’s Prior Learning Assessment process. Please watch the video, and carefully follow the steps outlined.

Prior Learning Assessment FAQs

1. Can I review my Online Self-Assessment Tool (OSAT) results?

As soon as your OSAT has been submitted and graded, you can review a version of your completed assessment. It will include your answer selections and the correct answers for those questions you answered incorrectly. This will be available to you for 60 minutes after your OSAT has been submitted. This is the only time that you are able to review your answers. After that, your total score will be visible in CMTBC’s Learning Centre and your record in the Applicant Portal, but not the full OSAT results.

2. How many times can I take the OSAT?

Each PLA Applicant may take the OSAT one time.

3. What does CMTBC do with my OSAT results?

Your OSAT results are for your personal use only. There is no passing grade. The OSAT’s purpose is to assist you when determining if you want to proceed to the next step in the PLA process. CMTBC does not use your OSAT results in determining the outcome of your Clinical Competence Assessment (CCA).

4. What areas/content are tested in the Clinical Competence Assessment?

The CCA has content derived from all areas listed in two documents:

Learn more about these documents on the Recommended Resources & Entry-Level Requirements page.

5. What is the difference between the Clinical Competence Assessment and CMTBC’s registration examination?

Written assessment:

  • The written component of the CCA includes representative content from three exam components of CMTBC’s four-component entry-to-practice examination: Knowledge and Theory of Sciences, Clinical Sciences, and the Law, Ethics & Professionalism item banks.

Practical assessment:

  • The practical assessment of the CCA follows a format similar to the Performance-Based Assessment (PBA), which is the practical component of CMTBC’s four-component entry-to-practice examination.
  • In the practical assessment you will conduct three clinical interviews, perform assessment techniques for two conditions, and provide treatment and home care for one condition. This is different from the PBA, which is described on the Exam Components page.

Written feedback is provided to you on both components of the CCA; this is not the case with CMTBC’s entry-to-practice registration examination. The CCA is an assessment that provides you with information to help you make decisions about your career.

6. Why does the CCA cost $1,600?

The cost of the CCA is based on ensuring the assessment is a full cost-recovery project. CMTBC derives all of its income from registration fees paid by registrants. These fees pay CMTBC’s operational expenses for regulating the profession and fulfilling its statutory mandate. The Prior Learning Assessment process provides information to applicants who do not meet the traditional requirements for access to the registration examination. The costs of this assessment are borne by the applicants to provide information that is unique to them.

The $1,600 cost pays for scheduling, administering and grading both written and practical components of the CCA, for the software licenses that maintain the Applicant Portal and the learning management system that houses the Online Self-Assessment Tool (OSAT), and for subject matter expertise and time taken to provide detailed feedback to applicants regarding their performance.

Unfortunately, many applicants to the PLA are unsuccessful in their goal to become RMTs. For this reason, the PLA is financed solely by fee-for-service to recover the cost of this service.

7. After I’ve completed the Clinical Competence Assessment, when will I get my results?

Applicants receive their results approximately four weeks after completion of the final component of their CCA.

8. What is the passing grade of the written component of the CCA?

The CCA has two components: written and practical. A determination of substantial equivalency is based upon all of the material collected during the CCA process and represents the combined outcome of both components. Although neither a percentage mark nor a pass/fail indication is provided for either of the two components, it is unlikely an applicant will be deemed to be substantially equivalent if they score less than 60% on the written component. To be clear: success at the PLA takes the form of being granted an assessment of substantial equivalency to the knowledge and skills of a graduate of a recognized education program in massage therapy. It is not a “pass” – it is a decision that you have (or have not) met the requirement of substantial equivalency.

Remember: if you receive an assessment of substantially equivalent, you now qualify for application to CMTBC’s registration examination. Your knowledge gaps have been identified by the CCA. It is wise to study both in the identified gap-areas, as well as in the areas where you succeeded.

9. How long is my PLA result valid? Within what time period must I apply for CMTBC’s registration examinations? Can I take a year’s break after I complete PLA before I sign up for CMTBC’s registration examinations?

PLA results do not expire. If you have passed or have satisfactorily completed the required upgrading, it will be up to you to decide when to apply to take the registration examination. 

10. How long are the written and practical components of the CCA?

The written and practical components are each three hours long.

11. If I want to apply for the late summer/fall registration examination, what is the latest date I can complete the CCA?

The final component of your CCA must be completed by mid-June if the registration examination is scheduled for August or September. This ensures there is adequate time for you to receive your results and meet the application deadline for the late summer/fall registration examination.

12. If I want to apply for the spring registration examination what is the latest date I can complete the CCA?

The final component of your CCA must be completed by mid-December. This will ensure there is enough time to receive your results and meet the application deadline for the spring registration examination.

13. Why do I have to complete the CCA so far in advance of the registration examination?

Dates of the registration examination fluctuate, as they are dependent on availability of venues required to administer the examination. The registration examination has a deadline for applications that generally falls six to eight weeks prior to the start of the exam components. Your CCA must be completed at least four weeks in advance of that deadline, to ensure that you receive results from the CCA in time to apply for the registration examination prior to the deadline for applications.

14. How do I register for the Prior Learning Assessment and start the PLA process?

Watch the video above on CMTBC’s PLA process and follow the steps detailed in the video.

For more information

If you have any questions regarding the above, please email applicant@cmtbc.ca or call 604.736.3404 ext. 102 (toll free in North America at 1.877.321.3404 ext. 102).

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