An Update on Vicars School CMTCA Accreditation

Preliminary Accreditation Granted Seal of the CMTCA

Note: This post was published in 2022. For more information about CMTCA Accreditation and what it will mean for your massage career, check out this post from summer 2023 or this page on our website!

Accreditation Site Visits Scheduled for July 2022

Vicars School is one step closer to our goal of earning full accreditation from the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation.

Vicars was granted preliminary accreditation status for both its Calgary and Edmonton massage therapy programs last year. The next phase of the process is preparing for special site visits at both our Edmonton and Calgary campuses. They’re scheduled for this July, and we can’t wait!

What is CMTCA accreditation?

The Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation (CMTCA) is an independent agency that evaluates massage programs across the country to determine whether they meet rigorous curriculum and delivery standards.

The CMTCA evaluation rates a school’s performance in seven important categories: curriculum content; faculty and learning; student support; leadership and administration; human resources; resources and infrastructure; and quality improvement.

Why does CMTCA accreditation matter?

Program accreditation through the CMTCA is a way for massage therapy programs to demonstrate that they meet Canada’s national program standards.

Accreditation is important because the national standards are important. Especially in a province like Alberta, where those standards aren’t mandatory. In Alberta (and many other provinces), massage therapy isn’t regulated by the government, and so there’s no official universal education standard.

That’s what makes independent approval processes like CMTCA accreditation and the MTAA school approval program list so important.

Without these independent third-party approval processes, people who want to become massage therapists would have no way of knowing whether the school they choose will prepare them for a modern massage therapy career.

At Vicars, we believe that massage therapy students deserve to know what kind of education they’re signing up for, and that clients deserve to know that their RMT has the knowledge and skills to give them a safe and effective treatment.

“At the end of the day, this is really about our students,” says the school’s founder, Maryhelen Vicars. “Everything that we do is about making sure that we’re providing the best possible massage education and preparing our students to be successful RMTs. The accreditation process is just a chance to have an independent organization recognize the work that we’re already doing.

“If the CMTCA didn’t exist, our school’s goals wouldn’t change,” explains Maryhelen. “We would still teach according to the national standard, and we would still work just as hard to give our students a top-notch experience.”

What’s the difference between preliminary accreditation and full accreditation?

“We’re extremely proud to have earned preliminary accreditation status, but we know that’s only the beginning,” says Maryhelen. “The next step is successful site visits.”

Both preliminary and full CMTCA accreditation status are based on the same curriculum, delivery, and organizational standards. The difference is in how the program is evaluated.

To earn preliminary accreditation, we submitted a comprehensive application with a detailed breakdown of our entire program along with written evidence of how we meet the criteria in each category. That was then independently reviewed by three trained CMTCA surveyors.

This summer, a different set of surveyors will visit each of our campuses to learn about the program in person. They’ll talk to students, staff, and faculty, and inspect our facilities and materials up-close.

“The evaluation will be very rigorous, so we’re doing everything we can to prepare,” says Maryhelen. “I’m confident in the quality of our program, and I hope that the surveyors agree!”

Robin Collum
Author: Robin Collum