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Wanted: experienced internationally trained Massage Therapists

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Ontario is taking the lead in recognizing foreign credentials in Canada by offering to recognize international qualifications for experienced Massage Therapy Professionals.

The new International Massage Therapy Bridging Program is offered at Ontario ‘s Centennial College and prepares recently landed immigrants to take the registration exams and continue to practice their profession safely in Canada ‘s largest multi-cultural province.

The nine-month program provides internationally trained students with an assessment of their current proficiency level, and gives them industry-specific English language training as well as all the supplementary education required to meet Ontario ‘s rigorous professional standards. In addition, students will receive instruction on Ontario ‘s Health-care standards, legislation and professional ethics.

The program provides practical instruction and supervised clinical placements. “The single largest barrier to internationally trained therapists working here is the socio-cultural aspect of the work,” says Trish Dryden, Centennial’s program coordinator. “The notion of ‘client-centered care’ is very different in various parts of the world.”


Prior to this pilot project, internationally educated massage therapists were referred to a Canadian training program, which takes up to three years to complete. The International Massage Therapy Bridging Pogram is a partnership between Centennial College and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO). The initiative is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and the Ontario government. The program is tuition-free, however students are required to pay for textbooks and lab fees.