This week, CMTBC’s total number of current registrants reached 5,000. CMTBC is now BC’s fifth largest health regulatory college, after the colleges that regulate physicians and surgeons; nurses; dentists, dental therapists, and certified dental assistants; and pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
In 1981, there were approximately 125 RMTs in BC. In 1996, two years after the provincial government established the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia as a regulatory body operating under the Health Professions Act (HPA), there were just over 1,000 BC RMTs. By 2009, there were approximately 2,335 RMTs in the province. A decade later, the number has more than doubled, and reached 5,000 on September 27, 2019.
Reaching 5,000 registrants is an occasion to reflect on CMTBC’s evolution and development, and provides the opportunity to look forward and think about new ways in which the College can enhance RMTs’ professionalism and promote the public interest.
In 2012, CMTBC’s Board completed its transition to serving as a policy and governance body by transferring responsibility for all day-to-day operations of the College to a team of professional staff. In 2017, the College went live with new registrant and applicant portals and a revamped website to significantly improve the user-friendliness of CMTBC’s online sites. In 2018, CMTBC’s Board approved updated boundaries and consent standards of practice, following the approval of a modernized Code of Ethics in 2016.
In 2019, BC’s Ministry of Health released a report authored by Harry Cayton that made recommendations about how the HPA could be improved to better promote and enhance patient safety. Many of Mr. Cayton’s recommendations – such as providing the greatest public transparency about discipline outcomes that the current legislation allows – have been CMTBC’s practice for a number of years. CMTBC continues to actively examine ways to incorporate additional recommendations from Mr. Cayton into the College’s practices. Those recommendations are already influencing governance of the College and guiding the development of CMTBC’s next strategic plan.
One major initiative for the College is developing the new Quality Assurance program that will follow the final two-year credit reporting Cycle 12 that runs until October 31, 2020. At the national level, CMTBC is working with other massage therapy regulators to develop greater consistency of regulatory process in the provinces that have instituted statutory regulation of massage therapy. A recent key development for CMTBC is the creation and recruitment for a new staff position focused on providing guidance and advice to RMTs on their professional obligations.
“As we look back at the growth of the College and move forward with these important initiatives, CMTBC will continue to dedicate itself to safeguarding and promoting the public interest in safe, effective, and ethical healthcare for British Columbians,” says Eric Wredenhagen, CMTBC Registrar and CEO.