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Complaint Process

Submitting a complaint about an RMT

Anyone with a concern about the conduct or competence of an RMT may submit a complaint to CMTBC.

Complaints about an RMT may be submitted online using the secure Complaint Form or by sending a letter, email, or fax to:

Director, Inquiry and Discipline
College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia
#304 – 1212 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V1
Canada

Email: kate.parisotto@cmtbc.ca
Fax: 604.736.6500

You must provide your full name when submitting a complaint. The College cannot accept anonymous complaints or complaints made by phone.

What kinds of complaints will be accepted

CMTBC will only investigate complaints that fall within its statutory mandate. The College’s primary purpose is to protect the public from harm. In order for a complaint to be accepted for investigation, it must relate to some type of unprofessional conduct or incompetent practice by an RMT. Such conduct can include sexual misconduct or unethical conduct.

CMTBC cannot address claims for financial compensation or business disputes between registrants.

Complaint investigation process

The CMTBC Inquiry Committee investigates complaints that have not been resolved by the Registrar. The Inquiry Committee is created under the Health Professions Act (HPA) and is made up of RMTs and public representatives.

The nature of the Inquiry Committee’s investigation will depend on the complaint. Generally, an investigator will interview the registered massage therapist, the complainant, and any relevant witnesses. The investigator may also ask for additional information or documents from the complainant. Typically, the investigator will obtain patient records from the RMT.

Your communications with the College

A copy of your complaint will be provided to the RMT. Information that you provide to the College in connection with your complaint, including correspondence and documents, and notes made by College staff about telephone calls that you make to the College, may be disclosed to the RMT. Information provided by you may also be disclosed to other witnesses, where this is considered necessary for the investigation of your complaint.

Extraordinary action to protect the public

During an investigation of a complaint, or pending a discipline hearing, the Inquiry Committee may take “extraordinary action” under section 35 of the HPA and:

  • Impose limits or conditions on the practice of massage therapy by the RMT, or
  • Suspend the RMT.

Generally, this occurs only where there are serious allegations and the action is considered necessary to protect the public before the matter can be fully investigated and resolved.

When the Inquiry Committee takes extraordinary action, it does not resolve the complaint. The investigation continues with the limits, conditions, or suspension in place.

Options for resolving your complaint

The Inquiry Committee has four options for disposing of (resolving) complaints:

  1. The Inquiry Committee may take no further action if the RMT’s conduct or competence was satisfactory, or if the information provided does not make a reasonable case for further action by the College.
  2. The Inquiry Committee may act informally to resolve the matter between you and the RMT, by taking any action the Inquiry Committee considers appropriate.
  3. The Inquiry Committee may reach a voluntary formal undertaking and consent agreement with the RMT. Measures that may be required under a formal undertaking and consent agreement include reprimands, specified educational courses, limits/conditions on practice, or suspensions.
  4. The Inquiry Committee may direct a discipline hearing before the College’s Discipline Committee. A discipline hearing is a public process in which witnesses give testimony and evidence is submitted. Outcomes from a discipline hearing can range from a dismissal of the allegations to suspension or cancellation of registration.

If the Inquiry Committee disposes of your complaint but does not direct a discipline hearing, it will provide you with notice of its decision and a written explanation. A complainant may then apply to the Health Professions Review Board for a review of a complaint outcome (if a discipline hearing is directed, you will also be notified, but may not apply for a review).

Discipline hearings

Citations for discipline hearings are typically issued for serious matters in which efforts by CMTBC to obtain a consensual resolution have not succeeded.

Discipline hearings are formal adjudicative processes before Discipline Committee panels, which consist of RMTs and public representatives.

Visitors may attend discipline hearings. Read the Discipline Hearing Visitor Guidelines (PDF).

For more information

See the chart that shows how CMTBC resolves complaints (PDF).

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