If this section does not answer all of your questions, we invite you to contact the MTAS office.
1. What is the minimum education required in order to challenge the Member Qualifying Examination?
A minimum 2,200 hour massage therapy diploma from a recognized school.
2. What information do I need to provide in order to write the Examination?
Clean criminal record check (incl. vulnerable sector search); copy of your current CPR level C and Standard First Aid certificate; copy of your massage school transcript; completed exam application form and payment.
3. When are the Examinations held, and where?
The dates for 2017 are:
January 28th and 29th, 2017 - Saskatoon. Application form here. Registration is now closed for the January exam.
June 17th & 18th, 2017 - Saskatoon. Application form coming in spring 217. (Note that for 2018, the June exam will be held in Regina.) We are now holding only one early summer exam each year, in alternate locations.
August 26th & 27th, 2017 - Saskatoon. Application form coming in 2017.
- The specific examination schedule for each sitting will be finalized once all applications have been received.
- The written exam may be on the Saturday or Sunday and will be advised in writing, along with confirmation of the specific time allotted to each candidate's oral/practical exam.
Please ensure you read all of the application instructions, included on each form.
- CPR/SFA certificate and criminal record check MUST accompany your application.
- School transcript may follow later, but results will not be released until all documentation is on file.
4. What is the cost to write the Examination?
$395.00 including tax.
5. What is the structure of the Examination? What will I be tested on?
The written exam is 200 multiple choice questions - time allowed 3 hours. Includes anatomy, pathology and physiology, nutrition, kinesiology, massage techniques, ethics.
The oral-practical exam is 90 minutes long and includes a case study, anatomy and land marking and orthopaedic testing.
For a sample of the written exam questions, complete with answers, click here.
To see the same sample questions, without answers, click here.
Written Examination Outline
Oral/Practical Exam Outline
Candidates will be evaluated in one station, by two examiners. There is no coaching or leading by the examiners and THE CANDIDATE IS ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR TIME MANAGEMENT. There is a clock in each exam station. The lead examiner will be directing and recording the exam. The body examiner will also be recording at the end of the exam. You should expect that the examiners will be writing throughout your examination.
During the examination you will also be marked on presentation and professional demeanour. This examination is a process to determine your eligibility to join the profession of massage therapy. Along with assessing your practical skills as a practitioner, the examiners will expect you to display competence, courtesy and professionalism.
You will be undergoing an independent evaluation from the examiner and body examiner. Both examiners are registered massage therapists with MTAS with at least three years of clinical experience and who are trained to provide impartial and fair evaluations. Examiners assess each candidate according to a pre-determined checklist of criteria based on the National Competency Profile, the MTAS Standards of Practice and other approved clinical references.
Please follow the instructions carefully – you are entirely responsible for the time management of your examination and will be questioned only minimally by the examiners. Examiners will not stop candidates who have gone off course or who are doing something other than what is instructed, except to ask that you refer back to your printed instructions.
You are advised not to ask the examiners how you have done, and they are required not to comment on your performance. The examiners do not know where you took your training, the marks you received at school or in your written examination. They will not know the results of your success or failure and are instructed not to divulge any information or details to candidates.
The body examiner is there to represent a client. He/she will be marking your palpation, case history, interview skills, assessment and treatment. You are requested to treat them as you would a client - with respect and care. The body examiner will report if a candidate displays injurious behaviour or treatment. This will be deemed risk of harm and will be reported to the Chief Examiner.
You will be examined on the following in the 90 minutes allotted time:
Section One: case study/ therapeutic treatment (55 minutes total).
Includes case history, interview, assessments, 30 MINUTE MANDATORY HANDS-ON TREATMENT, wrap up and home care. The candidate will be asked to perform a treatment from beginning to end as one would perform in the clinic environment.
When the time for your examination has arrived, you will be escorted by the Chief Examiner into the preparation area, where you will be given the “Instructions to Candidates”. This includes a case history on which you will be examined. You will have 15 minutes in which to prepare – paper is provided for you to make any notes you feel are relevant. You may refer to these notes at any time during the examination. The notes will not be marked.
After the preparation time, the CEX escorts the candidates to the exam stations, where they will read aloud the “Instructions to Candidates” and are expected to do a proper interview and assessment with the body examiner. At the end of this time the candidate is to state which case study they are treating and to get informed consent. 17 minutes total is allotted for this portion of the examination.
The candidate will then give a 30 minute mandatory hands-on massage treatment. Massage will be given as if the body examiner is in late sub-acute/chronic stages. During this hands-on massage the candidate is to explain, in all stages, the causes, signs and symptoms, hydrotherapy, treatment including techniques, muscles and structures, contraindications, remedial exercises and home care, treatment frequency and possible outcomes of the case study.
To end this section there is 8 minutes in which to wrap up the treatment. The candidate will be expected to give appropriate home care, one stretching exercise (if applicable), one strengthening exercise (if applicable) and one hydrotherapy application.
Section Two: anatomy and land marking, and orthopaedic testing (35 minutes total).
Candidates will be marked on knowledge of and competency in practical skills; client/therapist communication; professionalism (mannerisms, attire, grooming) and draping/client positioning.
Be clear and concise when answering questions and remember that THE CANDIDATE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TIME MANAGEMENT.
Marking Procedures and Results
6. What happens if I do not pass all or part of the Examination?
Candidates are allowed to rewrite the portion of the exam they did not master. You need only pay for the portion that you did not pass.
7. Is there a recommended resource list to which I can refer before the Examination?
Yes, it is included in the Member Qualifying Examination Handbook - download this document here.
You may also contact the MTAS office at any time to request that a copy be mailed to you.
8. Why do you have a Member Qualifying Examination?
We qualify our members to provide assurance to the public that a Registered Massage Therapist is capable of practicing competently, safely and in accordance with our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. MTAS is registered in Saskatchewan under the Non-Profit Corporations Act and therefore must develop and maintain bylaws, policies and procedures and a complaints and discipline process to effectively govern the organization and define the profession of massage therapy. Massage therapy is a powerful component of health care with inherent risks and benefits, and must be applied by skilled and knowledgeable clinicians.
We qualify our members as part of our agreement with the Workers' Compensation Board and Saskatchewan Government Insurance, which is that the massage therapy they pay for is administered by MTAS members only.
We qualify our members because we believe in validating the process of massage therapy education by applying rigorous evaluative standards. We believe in the professionalization of massage therapists and the intrinsic worth of the therapy when applied by demonstrably skilled and knowledgeable practitioners.
We qualify our members because we must as part of our membership requirements with the CMTA (Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance). This is a voluntary national organization composed of provincial and territorial professional associations with a membership of over 3500 therapists. A fundamental criterion for membership in the Alliance is a minimum 2,200 hour educational curriculum. The CMTA recognizes the need to work towards national standards that are based in occupational competencies rather than hours of training, but no such national standards agreement is in place at this time.