We are about to devote many hours and quite a bit of money to earn a piece of paper that some other Alberta massage schools don’t even want. And we couldn’t be more delighted!
MH Vicars School has been chosen as a pilot school by the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation! You read that right: at long last, massage schools in Canada will be able to earn accreditation from a national body. And they’ve chosen MH Vicars School to help launch that process.
We have invited a group of CMTCA assessors to use our campuses to test their assessment process. It’s the latest step towards a full, nationwide accreditation system.
What is accreditation?
To put it very simply, accreditation will mean that a school can prove that it:
- Meets the curriculum standards of the regulated provinces
- Awards diplomas only to massage therapists who have proven themselves skilled, knowledgeable, and effective
- Delivers what it promises: qualified instructors; relevant content; and a culture of continuous improvement
These are the same high standards that we have set for ourselves every day.
Why do we care so much about CMTCA accreditation?
Maybe we just like being ahead of the crowd! After all, we were the first private school in Alberta to upgrade our curriculum to meet the national standard (which is required of schools in BC and other regulated provinces, but still voluntary in Alberta). We also were the first massage school to be named to the MTAA’s Approved Program List.
Accreditation is an essential step for government regulation of the industry, which we still don’t have in Alberta. I have been pushing for Canada-wide accreditation of massage schools since I started MH Vicars School in 2001. Accreditation of massage therapy schools means that students will get the best education, and clients will get the best treatments.
So why wouldn’t everyone want this?
Politics. And profits. With regulation, some MTs would have to get more education, and many schools would have to get better– a lot better, in many cases. And upgrading a school is expensive and time-consuming. We spend hundreds of hours each year refining our curriculum to make sure that it covers the latest massage and education research. Many schools don’t bother. They won’t upgrade their programs until they are forced to by regulation, or by an educated public.
We are pursuing accreditation because it is the right thing to do. It will be benefit our alumni, who are already in demand by employers and clients. Once they are able to say that they have graduated from an accredited school, it will only be further proof that they are worth every penny!
It will also benefit the public. Clients should be able to count on competent, effective therapy. Being able to choose therapists from accredited schools will make it easier for them to find the best therapists (our therapists, obviously!).
Accreditation is the future for massage therapy in Alberta, and we are thrilled to be a part of this process with the CMTCA.