If you have already taken some massage therapy training elsewhere, or if you’re a practicing RMT looking to upgrade your knowledge and skills, you may be eligible for our Advanced Placement option.
Is Advanced Placement for me?
The Advanced Placement option is intended for people who have the same (or higher) level of knowledge and skill as Vicars students at the end of Year One. This is because you’ll be joining an existing class of Vicars students at the beginning of Year Two of the program. We need to make sure that you’re set up for success!
Although everybody’s situation is unique, the Advanced Placement option is best suited for therapists who:
- have at least 1000 hours of initial massage training, are currently practicing, are members of a recognized professional association, or
- have completed a minimum of one year of study in a massage therapy program.
Qualified Advanced Placement students gain direct entry into the second year of the program after successfully challenging our first-year final exams.
Keep reading to learn about the Advanced Placement assessment and application process! (Just a heads up: this process takes longer than the standard application process, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible to secure your spot in class!).
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Step One: Self-Assessment
To help you determine if AP is right for you, the first thing you need to do is download and complete the Advanced Placement Self-Assessment Questionnaire.
This document, along with our course outline, will help you see what is covered in the first year of the Vicars program. Using this tool to assess your own skill level will help you gauge if you should apply for Advanced Placement, or enroll in Year One of the program. Please keep in mind that while we can work with you to refine your skills, we cannot substantially retrain students. So we need to know that your skills are comparable to those of Vicars students who have completed the first year of the program.
The self-assessment asks you to evaluate your own abilities and knowledge in a range of areas, including massage skills, musculoskeletal anatomy, orthopedic assessment, hydrotherapy, and the therapeutic relationship. It will also help you identify any areas you need to review before challenging the exams.
There is no charge for doing the self-assessment, or for meeting with the Registrar’s office to discuss this important decision.
Step Two: Prior Learning Assessment and Challenge Exams
After you’ve completed the self-assessment process, if you feel confident that Advanced Placement is the right choice for you then the next step is to request a formal prior learning assessment (PLA). Here’s what that process looks like:
- We’ll ask you to apply online at this link, and to submit your completed self-assessment questionnaire and transcripts from your previous massage training.
- Once we receive your completed application and supporting documents, Vicars staff will review your submission to determine your eligibility. There is a fee of $500 for this prior learning assessment.
Successful candidates will be granted an entrance interview and be invited to schedule a time to challenge our first-year exams. These exams are all taken on campus. We will provide a book list and a wide selection of curriculum material to help you prepare. There is a fee of $300 to write the exams.
Anatomy & Physiology Exemption
Vicars students complete the Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) component online over the course of the two-year program. Students are tested on this material independently of their other coursework. If you have successfully completed an advanced A&P class as part of your previous education, you may be able to challenge the Vicars A&P exam and be exempt from completing the coursework.
To apply for an Anatomy & Physiology exemption, you need to:
- Submit your documents.
Please provide proof of previous training by submitting transcripts and any other requested documents.
- Ask for an assessment.
Once we receive your completed application and supporting documents, Vicars staff will review your submission to determine your eligibility. There is a fee of $75 for the A&P prior learning assessment.
- Challenge the exam.
Successful candidates will be invited to schedule a time to challenge our Anatomy & Physiology exam. This exam is taken on campus and there is a fee of $75 to write the exam.