Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Exam Components

The registration examination for entry-level practice has four components: two written exams, an online course and exam, and a performance-based assessment.

Entry-level practice requirements for RMTs in BC are outlined in two documents:

Written exams

There are two written exams:

  • Clinical Science. 125 multiple choice questions. 2 hours and 30 minutes. This exam assesses candidates’ ability to draw from foundational health sciences to support clinical reasoning in massage therapy practice. A working knowledge of massage therapy theory, assessment techniques, presenting conditions, approaches to treatment and treatment planning, and more is assessed in this exam.
  • Knowledge and Theory of Sciences. 170 multiple choice questions. 3 hours and 15 minutes. This exam focuses on foundational health sciences. A strong foundation in health and sciences, and an ability to apply principles of the physical, biological, social and behavioural sciences to practice, are assessed in this exam.

Candidates are advised to review both the PCs-PIs and GFK for an overview of knowledge requirements for successful completion of the written exams. The two written exams are held on the same day. See Exam Dates & Locations.

Computer answer sheets are used in each examination.

Online course and exam: Law, Ethics and Professionalism

Examination candidates are enrolled in CMTBC’s online course: Law, Ethics and Professionalism. CMTBC developed the course to ensure that candidates from all streams of entry – graduates of recognized education programs in BC, foreign-educated and others applying through the prior learning assessment process, and RMTs from other regulated provinces in Canada – have a shared knowledge base of jurisprudence, ethical decision-making, communications, and professionalism reflecting the requirements for clinical practice in BC.

Law, Ethics and Professionalism consists of 10 modules. At the end of each module, candidates must successfully pass a quiz on the contents of that module to progress to the next one. All material required to succeed is provided within each module. Candidates are encouraged to take their time with the material, follow the links, use the interactive learning tools, and reflect on their practice.

On completion of all 10 modules, candidates are eligible to complete the online exam in a proctored environment at a scheduled date and time. Details will be provided to each candidate by email prior to the exam.

Performance-based assessment

The performance-based assessment (PBA) provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their readiness for practice through completion of competencies outlined in the Inter-Jurisdictional Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators for Massage Therapists at Entry-to-Practice (PDF).

Candidates will receive an email with information about the PBA, including safety protocols and a link to a video that provides details about the PBA.

Description of PBA

The PBA is held in clinic rooms with one observing examiner and one standardized patient-examiner, both of whom are RMTs.

Candidates are required to demonstrate palpation, muscle testing, interview skills, assessment techniques appropriate to the presenting condition, massage treatment, home care including hydrotherapy, stretch and strengthening recommendations, and suggestions for modifications to activities of daily living.

The examiners observe and experience how the candidate’s treatment relates to the presenting condition, in addition to draping and support during the treatment. Limb handling and treatment modifications for the patient’s ability are assessed. Candidates are also assessed on communications, professionalism, integration of academic knowledge into practical competencies, and their skill at building a therapeutic relationship.

The performance-based assessment takes place in two different clinic rooms. Candidates have 5 minutes preparation time prior to beginning each of three parts, described below.

Part 1: Muscles and structures. 25 minutes duration.

Before entering Room 1

The candidate receives written instructions outside the exam room – several minutes are provided to review the information.


Inside the exam room, the candidate has 15 minutes to palpate the origin, course, and insertion of four muscles listed on the instruction sheet, and to demonstrate all actions of each muscle followed by a complete muscle test for each muscle.

Muscles are palpated and muscle-tested on the standardized patient-examiner. Muscle actions are demonstrated by the candidate on their own body.

The candidate has 5 minutes to record the results of each muscle test on a chart provided; charting is graded throughout the PBA.

The candidate has 5 minutes to identify or palpate on the standardized patient-examiner four other anatomical structures listed on the instruction sheet.

Prior to leaving the room, the candidate gives the chart and instruction sheet to the examiners in Room 1. An examiner guides the candidate to a chair outside the next room.

Part 2: Interview and assessment (case scenario). 25 minutes duration.

Note that Parts 2 and 3 occur in Room 2.

Before entering Room 2

The candidate receives written instructions outside exam Room 2. The candidate also receives:

  • patient history form partially filled in by the patient,
  • interview chart, to record findings,
  • assessment chart, and
  • treatment plan.

The assigned condition is indicated in the patient’s history form.

Five minutes are provided to review this information prior to entering Room 2.

Interview and assessment

The candidate has a total of 15 minutes to interview the standardized patient-examiner (7.5 minutes) and to perform two assessments (7.5 minutes). The candidate interviews the standardized patient-examiner. Based on information gathered in the interview, the candidate selects two physical assessment tests or techniques they consider most appropriate.

After assessments, the candidate charts their findings. Candidates may make quick chart entries while conducting the interview and while performing assessments, but may not extend the time dedicated to the interview (7.5 minutes) and the assessments (7.5 minutes). Complete chart entries are made in the additional time provided for charting. Instructions are provided.

Part 3: Treatment and home care. 55 minutes duration.

Before starting Part 3

The candidate receives written instructions for Part 3. Five minutes preparation are provided prior to starting Part 3. The candidate charts a treatment plan based on their interview and assessment findings, and the candidate’s knowledge of the patient’s condition.


The candidate provides massage therapy to the standardized patient-examiner. The 30-minute treatment must be effective, safe, and delivered ethically, and the treatment must be appropriate for the condition indicated.

After treatment, candidates complete treatment notes on a chart provided to them.

Home Care

Ten minutes are available for the candidate to instruct the patient on hydrotherapy, therapeutic exercise (stretching and strengthening), and recommendations for modification to activities of daily living.

Candidates complete all chart entries in the remaining time available, and hand all paperwork to the examiners prior to leaving the room. An examiner directs the candidate to the reception area.

Copyright © 2021 College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Thentia.