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New Practice Environment Standard of Practice and updated Code of Ethics go into effect January 15, 2021

The new CMTBC Practice Environment Standard of Practice and the College’s updated Code of Ethics will both go into effect January 15, 2021.

Practice Environment Standard of Practice

At its August 28, 2020 meeting, CMTBC’s Board approved the new Practice Environment Standard of Practice. The Practice Environment Standard defines minimum requirements for maintaining the physical environment where RMTs deliver treatment and provide care to patients, and for maintaining the objects and equipment within that environment. It includes:

  • A definition of practice environment;
  • Thirteen minimum requirements for RMTs to follow in maintaining their practice environment;
  • An appendix with definitions of terms used in the Practice Environment Standard;
  • An “Application to Practice” section that provides links to resources that RMTs should review.

The Practice Environment Standard of Practice goes into effect January 15, 2021. Read the Practice Environment Standard of Practice.

CMTBC has also posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Practice Environment Standard. The FAQs will be updated in response to registrants’ questions about implementation of the standard in their clinical practice.

CMTBC began development of the Practice Environment Standard of Practice in mid-2019, as part of an initiative to modernize and update CMTBC’s standards of practice, which began in 2016. RMTs and public representatives on the Patient Relations Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee, assisted by staff, contributed to development of the standard.

At its May 1, 2020 meeting, CMTBC’s Board approved the release of a proposed Practice Environment Standard of Practice for an eight-week notice period, from June 3 to July 28, 2020. Feedback was invited and received. The College thanks RMTs and members of the public for providing feedback, which helped CMTBC clarify and improve the proposed Standard.

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 Practice Environment Standard is CMTBC’s third stand-alone Standard of Practice. The stand-alone Standards of Practice complement CMTBC’s Code of Ethics and will ultimately replace Schedule “D” of the CMTBC Bylaws.

COVID-19 and the Practice Environment

RMTs returned to practice in May 2020, in the context of BC’s Restart Plan under enhanced protocols set out in CMTBC’s Interim Guidelines for Return to Practice (COVID-19). The Interim Guidelines are incorporated in the new Practice Environment standard, with compliance with the Interim Guidelines being mandated as part of the requirements of the Practice Environment standard. The Interim Guidelines and/or Practice Environment standard will be revised as appropriate in future.

RMTs are advised to carefully study the new standard, which includes elements that are not part of the Interim Guidelines. The focus of the Interim Guidelines is infection control; the new standard has a broader scope.

Code of Ethics

CMTBC’s Code of Ethics outlines the expectations for ethical massage therapy practice. At its August 5, 2020 meeting, the CMTBC Board approved a revised and updated Code of Ethics. The updated Code of Ethics has been clarified and simplified. Elements of the former Code of Ethics that related to professional boundaries now appear in the Boundaries Standard of Practice. Elements of the former Code that relate to consent are now found in the Consent Standard of Practice.

The updated Code of Ethics goes into effect January 15, 2021. Read the updated Code of Ethics.

Online course on Practice Environment Standard and Code of Ethics

CMTBC is developing a new online course on the Practice Environment Standard and updated Code of Ethics. The course will be available for RMTs in March 2021.

Strategic Plan

Development of the Practice Environment Standard and updated Code of Ethics reflects a key strategic priority in CMTBC’s 2020-2022 Strategic Plan, which states that CMTBC will “continue to develop clear, consistent standards of practice and professional ethics for massage therapists.”

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