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Posted by: Charlotte Marshall, 6 Feb 2013 3:27PM
Please do not use the forums to advertise courses.


Can someone please explain to me the benefits / differences of being a member and/or insured with CMA and CThA? I am a qualified massage therapist from NZ who a bit confused about which is the right body to become a member of. Is one more esteemed than the other, does one offer a better insurance scheme, should I be registered with both? Which is the preferred body for employers / clients? I am open minded and have looked at both websites and made contact with their administrative departments also for more information regarding my qualifications (NMT) and how they relate and the feedback is very positive for both. I would really appreciate any advice you can offer to help me make the right decision. Thanks! Charlotte


Charlotte Marshall
6 Feb 2013 3:40PM

Oh dear now I have found more governing bodies BCMA, BRCP... how do you decide? Help!
Sue Hannaford
6 Feb 2013 3:48PM

Hi Charlotte Slightly confused - is your question whether you need to join any other body in addition to CThA, as you already seem to be a member?
Charlotte Marshall
6 Feb 2013 4:02PM

Yes obviously. Just asking for a comparison to help me to decide which bodies I should join, I believe u r allowed to belong to many, which ones and what are the benefits, how do you choosechoose. If u have any helpful info or opinions on the questions I've listed in the above posts, that would be great thanks.
Sue Hannaford
6 Feb 2013 4:19PM

Okay! As we have no statutory regulation for massage in the UK, all membership is voluntary. As a member of the CThA you can show that you are abiding by a code of conduct and have appropriate insurance. Benefits of joining other organisations - hmmm guess the members of those would know more than I do. There are many membership organisations that have been created by either private companies or groups of individuals but to my knowledge there are none that can claim to speak for/act on behalf of all massage therapists, for example. Indeed the CThA has more massage therapist members than some of the other organisations you have mentioned. A relatively new kid on the block is the CNHC (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council) which is a voluntary regulatory body for a number of therapies including massage. Who actively recognises this in giving out work is an interesting question, as even osteopaths, who are regulated by statute, rarely get NHS funded work, let alone referrals from GPs. When referrals happen the client/patient is usually self-funding. It seems it really is up to the individual GP and local PCT funding. You might consider joining the CNHC (I have done so recently for a number of reasons). I am in the process of checking whether the private health companies that cover some massage treatments in some of their plans will cover my qualifications, so that I can then let my clients know. If you decide CNHC membership might be useful, you are already a member of an organisation that can authorise your application (you do it through the CThA!). Good luck! Let us know how you get on with your deliberations. Anyone else got any comments?
Sue Hannaford
6 Feb 2013 4:23PM

PS In my experience private clients have no interest in who I am registered with and none of those you mention are governing bodies, just membership organisations.
CNHC does have the credibility of being the voluntary regulator funded by the government for the regulation of complementary therapies, and a number of insurance bodies are now signed up to pay for treatments provided by registered therapists. The important point to note is that CMA / CTHA etc are all professional bodies, NOT regulators. CNHC is the main regulator, and although you do not need to be registered with them (regulation is voluntary), it does provide an additional level of credibility to be professionally registered, AND regulated. Regulation for health, social and CAM will all soon come under the PSA professional standards authority, and this will effectively create a "family tree" with CNHC, HPC and other regulators all answerable to the PSA. Being part of this "tree" will in time hopefully indicate professionalism and equality of standards with other professions. In my experience, clients are extremely interested in the increased level of verification provided by CNHC registration, however this only happens if you tell them about it and perhaps send them the regulatory leaflets provided by the regulator explaining all of this. Cheers Stuart
Charlotte Marshall
22 Feb 2013 2:30PM

Thank you all for your thorough replies. Really helpful. Great forum! All the best, Charlotte
Angelica de Castro
2 Dec 2015 3:19PM

I guess I am in the same dilema, which are the best and more recognised therapist bodies and beneficial.
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