Representatives from the health and wellness fraternity had the opportunity to share their views on the Draft Standard for Professional Massage Therapists, when the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) hosted a National Awareness Seminar today at the Warrens Office Complex.

BNSI representative, Lynn Sealy, explained that the half-day seminar, held in conjunction with the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI), would serve as a means to encourage feedback from industry stakeholders, who would be the ones to implement the draft code of practice into their work.

"Professional massage therapists operate to their own industry standards… [but] we want to try to harmonise what is going on. We want to ensure that the standard of services being offered are…all operating to a high standard of care and offering a high level of service to their clients," she observed.??

Ms. Sealy revealed that the need for a standard was brought to the attention of the BNSI in 2009, when the BCSI and the Barbados Association of Massage Therapists expressed concern about non-practitioners offering?? services that were labeled as, but were actually not, massage therapy.

"There are some services that are being advertised as massage services that really are not…We are trying to weed out any confusion so that professional massage therapists are not finding themselves in uncomfortable situations when they try to do their job," she said.

This issue of therapist/client conduct and other topics of relevance are included in the document, which also addresses: handling of records and confidentiality; addressing client injury and related insurance issues; professional conduct for massage professionals; sanitation, hygiene & safety and appropriate dress; business practices and training; and misconduct and complaints.

The Draft Standard for Professional Massage Therapists was formulated by a national committee, which featured representatives from relevant agencies including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism, TVET Council, Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and the Barbados Association of Professional Massage Therapists (BAPMT).

The document may be found online at http://www.bnsi.bb/ and is currently available for public comment.


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