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CMTBC Board approves standard of practice on professional boundaries

At its June 14 meeting, the CMTBC Board approved a new standard of practice on professional boundaries. The standard of practice, which clearly defines expectations for RMTs in the area of boundaries, includes:

  • A definition of professional boundaries that are appropriate to the therapeutic relationship;
  • Twenty-four detailed requirements for RMTs to follow in maintaining appropriate boundaries with patients;
  • An appendix with definitions of terms used in the boundaries standard of practice.

The boundaries standard, which empowers RMTs to exercise their professional judgement and discretion when faced with difficult or unclear circumstances in practice, goes into effect July 1, 2018. Read the standard of practice on boundaries.

CMTBC started researching and developing the boundaries standard of practice in 2016. RMTs and public representatives on the Patient Relations Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee, and staff contributed to the process.

At its April 13, 2018 meeting, the CMTBC Board approved the release of a proposed boundaries standard of practice for an eight-week notice period, from April 16 to June 11, 2018. During the notice period, any RMT or member of the public had the opportunity to submit comments about the proposed new standard by email.

“Thank you to RMTs and members of the public for providing feedback,” says CMTBC Registrar and CEO Eric Wredenhagen. “The feedback helped CMTBC clarify and improve the proposed standard of practice. In particular, the definition of ‘close personal relationship’ received a good deal of comment, and thanks to the helpful responses of a number of RMTs, we now have a definition that more accurately captures the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate RMT-patient relationships.”

Under section 19 of the Health Professions Act, the CMTBC Board may establish “standards, limits or conditions” for practice as part of its Bylaws. The boundaries standard is the first of a number of new stand-alone standards of practice that will complement CMTBC’s Code of Ethics and ultimately replace Schedule “D” of the CMTBC Bylaws. (Schedule “D” will not be repealed until all of the new standards of practice are in effect.)

CMTBC is developing a standard of practice on scope of practice, which will be followed by standards of practice on consent and other topics.

“Building out the standards of practice to reflect current best practices in regulation is important work for the College,” says Mr. Wredenhagen. “Developing the standards of practice is part of CMTBC’s core mandate to protect the public.”

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