Professionals should not go up against their regulator alone

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (“CMTO”) is the regulator for massage therapists in Ontario.  They:

  • decide who has a certificate to practice as a massage therapist
  • handle complaints against massage therapists

But your College does not work for you.  In fact, the College can:

  • deny applicant’s applications for a certificate to practice or
  • suspend, revoke or place terms, conditions, or limitations on massage therapists of Ontario’s certificate to practice.

If you plan to apply to the College or have received notice of complaint it is important that you have representation to protect your interests and defend your rights.  

Our team of experienced lawyers can assist massage therapists with matters including:

  • Advising massage therapists on compliance with relevant legislation and standards
  • Responding to complaints and investigations at the College of Massage Therapists
  • Representing massage therapists at the Fitness to Practise Committee
  • Defending massage therapists in hearings before the College of Massage Therapists’ Discipline Committee
  • Advocating for massage therapists to resolve matters through the College’s complaint resolution process
  • Representing massage therapists in appeals before the Divisional Court of Ontario
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario Appeals Fitness to Practise Committee Discipline Committee Complaints Process Registration


Applying for a license or in the College’s language a “Certificate of Registration” for either supervised or autonomous practice is a complex process.  

To become a registered massage therapist in Ontario, you must:

  • Successfully complete a recognized Massage Therapy education program
  • Complete CMTO’s Certification Examinations
  • Submit proof of current certification in CPR and First Aid

Applications are first sent to the Office of Registrar for review which may result in:

  • Approval of the application, and the applicant is registered
  • The application is not accepted and is referred to the Registration Committee for further review

If referred to the Registration Committee, they will review the application and make one of the following decisions:

  • Register the applicant
  • Register the applicant with terms, conditions, or limitations
  • Register the applicant upon completion of additional exams
  • Register the applicant upon completion of additional training
  • Refuse to register the applicant

Our office can help you prepare this information and offer legal advice on concerns you may have.  If you are planning to apply for a certificate from the CMTO, contact us today.

Complaints Process

The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (“CMTO”) receives complaints from:

  • members of the public
  • clients of massage therapists
  • employers of massage therapists
  • other massage therapists

Members of the College are required to file a complaint of another member of the same or difference College, if during their practice they have obtained reasonable grounds to suspect sexual abuse, child abuse or neglect, elder abuse, or a privacy breach has occurred. 

The first step of the complaint process is at the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee, often referred to as the “ICRC”.

The ICRC is a written process – the complainant, the College and the member exchange a series of documents:

  1. A complaint against a member is made
  2. The College provides the member with an official acknowledgement of the complaint
  3. The member has an opportunity to file a written response to the complaint
  4. The ICRC will issue a decision

The potential outcomes of a decision include:

  • A decision to take no further action
  • Issue advice or caution a member
  • Require a member to attend a continuing education or remediation program
  • Refer a matter to the Discipline or Fitness to Practise Committee

These outcomes can have very serious financial and personal impacts on members.  If you have received a complaint from the CMTO, please contact us today.

Discipline Committee

If the ICRC considers a complaint to be “high risk” it can be referred to the Discipline Committee.

Before a matter progresses to a hearing at the Discipline Committee a pre-hearing may occur.  A pre-hearing is an opportunity for the College and the member to present their case in an informal manner.  

In our experience a pre-hearing at a college can be used to:

  • Reduce the allegations against a member
  • Reduce the penalty being sought by a member
  • Raise important legal issues before trial

At the Discipline Committee a trial may take place where witnesses are called, and evidence is heard.

Outcomes at the Discipline Committee can include:

  • Revocation of the member’s certificate
  • Suspension of the member’s certificate
  • Terms, conditions, and limitations on the member’s certificate
  • Orders for the member to pay some or all of the costs of a trial

These are extremely serious public outcomes.  If your matter has or could be referred to the Discipline Committee, please contact us today.

Fitness to Practise Committee

The Fitness to Practise Committee is a specialized Committee dealing with cases where a member’s conduct was impacted by an ongoing physical or mental medical condition.  

In our experience, a referral to the Fitness to Practise Committee can offer a number of benefits to members, because:

  • Complaints are generally resolved in a more private manner
  • The goal of the process is ensuring the health of the member

However, it is unusual for members to be referred to Fitness to Practise Committees without legal representation.  It takes experienced and detailed representation to present the evidence screening Committees, like the ICRC, want to see to consider a referral to Fitness to Practise.  If there is a complaint against you, please contact us today.


Decisions of the:

  • ICRC, and
  • Registration Committee

can be appealed to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (“HPARB”).

Decisions of the:

  • Discipline Committee, and
  • Fitness to Practise Committee,

can be appealed to the Ontario Divisional Court. 

Unfortunately, self-represented individuals are very rarely successful in appeals.  We have unique expertise in appeals from regulatory colleges.  If you are considering an appeal, please contact us today.