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News

AMT virtual conference weekend 23 and 24 October 2021

We are chuffed to announce that registrations are open for our pre-conference interactive workshop on October 23, and the AMT virtual conference, which kicks off at 10am ADST on Sunday 24 October

You can browse the conference program here.

Please visit the conference section of this website for more information, including the details of the pre-conference workshop.

August 25 video update from AMT

Please watch our latest video update, where we answer some of the common questions we receive from AMT members. You can download the update here.

Video time stamps
1.36 Update from Head Office, working from home in greater Sydney for 2 months now.
2.43 Questions that AMT staff can’t answer!
5.38 Using the AMT member portal
6.05 Update on AMT biosecurity committee
11.06 Tips on navigating AMT’s PD system
15.28 Treating “deteriorating clients” during a lockdown if public health orders allow it
24.05 Booster vaccinations
26.26 Vaccination status and accessing massage therapy
28.50 Mandatory vaccination in high-risk settings like massage therapy
30.36 Masking requirements
34.07 Returning to practice after an outbreak
40.00 Insurance implications in relation to (lack of) infectious diseases cover. Is it possible to only treat vaccinated clients? (Please refer to the Human Rights Commission website
45.13 Future of the massage therapy industry. Can we effectively mitigate against COVID variants like Delta?
50.48 Legal implications of refusing clients who are not fully vaccinated
51.25 Rapid antigen testing
54.28 Disclaimers for treating unvaccinated clients
56.40 Innovations in COVID testing
58.20 Optimistic closing remarks

ARHG is offering EOFY discount on their online training module

ARHG is offering an end-of-financial year discount of 20% on their online training modules to remedial massage providers who register for the course before 1 July 21, using the discount code EOFY2021.

The ARHG online course has been designed to give providers the information they need about private health insurance.

For $28, you will:

You can also claim PD hours for completing the training.

The course is delivered through ARHG's online training platform, QualiPHI. For more information and to register, please go here.

AMT calls on the Federal Government to fund air-gapped, fit-for-purpose quarantine

AMT is joining the growing chorus of organisations calling on the Federal Government to fund purpose-built, air-gapped quarantine facilities to address the significant impacts of ongoing COVID-19 hotel quarantine leaks.

The call for purpose-built quarantine comes as AMT's Victorian members find themselves reliving the trauma of extended lockdowns which saw many massage therapy businesses pushed to the brink.

Melbourne massage therapist, Liz Sharkey, says that many in Victoria are suffering from severe pandemic fatigue and are still carrying scars from the 2020 lockdowns.

"Last year, there was an element of ‘ignorance is bliss’. We didn’t really know what we were in for or how long the lockdown would last. This time around it’s different," said Ms Sharkey. "We’ve done everything we have been asked to do and still restrictions are coming back. People are angry and confused. They want someone to blame.

"My business is only just starting to get back on track to where it was pre-Covid. Jobkeeper saved me last year. With no prospect of financial support now, I am not sure my business will survive. I just don’t know if I have the heart to go through it again," Ms Sharkey said.

In March 2020, many massage therapists across Australia voluntarily closed their practices ahead of the national lockdown, recognising the risk of becoming vectors for transmission of COVID due to the close contact nature of the work.

"Our members take their responsibilities as healthcare practitioners extremely seriously," AMT's CEO, Rebecca Barnett said. "Not only did they voluntarily act to close down ahead of government lockdowns during the first wave of COVID but, with guidance from AMT, they have continued to be months ahead of the public health advice, adopting both droplet and airborne precautions in their clinics since reopening in June last year. They are using every possible strategy available to mitigate risks and protect their clients, including scheduling ventilation breaks between appointments, installing HEPA filters and monitoring CO2 levels to ensure there is adequate air exchange," said Ms Barnett.

"As an association that represents massage therapists, we recognise that it is a little bizarre to be weighing in on the issue of Australian quarantine arrangements but massage therapy is a close contact health intervention so practitioners are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of snap lockdowns and COVID outbreaks that continue to occur as a result of hotel quarantine leaks," Ms Barnett said. "Without the safety net of JobKeeper, we are deeply concerned about the welfare of our members and the capacity to endure ongoing disruptions."

AMT Chairperson Subhadra Gerard is disappointed that the recent Federal Budget did not extend to funding purpose-built quarantine.

"This global pandemic is going to be a long-haul thing. There is no way our quarantine hotels will safely cope with the inevitable spike in case numbers from the thousands of stranded Australians returning here from COVID hotspots," Mr Gerard said

"Australian massage therapists are doing their part to manage COVID-19 risks in the context of their clinical environments, with best-practice risk assessment protocols applicable over a range of clinical settings. Wouldn’t it be great to see the Commonwealth government use a similar approach to provide us with best practice, purpose-built, air-gapped quarantine facilities," Mr Gerard said.

You can read AMT's full media release here.

Victorian Circuit Breaker lockdown

In line with lockdown restrictions commencing at midnight 27 May in Victoria, AMT is advising members to close their clinics for 7 days.

AMT is acutely aware of the psychological and financial ramifications of ongoing circuit breaker lockdowns, especially on our Victorian members. We encourage you to reach out if you require assistance.

Video update - COVID-19 vaccination FAQs

It has been a while since Scott and Beck have provided one of their video updates. In this new session, they explore some of the questions that have been coming into AMT Head Office regarding COVID-19 vaccination. You can download the update here.

Video time stamps
1.52 - Is it safe to massage vaccinated clients?
6.00 - Overview of an interesting study on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation 14.08 - How do I manage clients who attend for treatment within 48-72 hours of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?
17.30 - What if the clinic where I work has a misinformed vaccination policy? 21.16 - Can I refuse to treat clients based on their vaccination status?
20.45 - Is vaccination compulsory for massage therapists? What if I am feeling hesitant about getting vaccinated?

You can also download AMT's generic COVID-19 vaccination policy here.

Update regarding HCF claiming

HCF has advised AMT that the ongoing issues with their database have now been resolved. All of the updates that AMT has submitted over the past 6 months have now been uploaded in their system.

HCF further advised us that there may be gaps in registration for some providers due to the period of time it has taken them to load the files, and the complexity and variety of start dates. They have undertaken to close any gaps as they receive claims and enquiries from their claims teams.

If you have any HCF clients who have been waiting to submit claims, please advise them to resubmit any outstanding invoices to HCF.

2021 AMT Annual General Meeting

AMT members are warmly invited to attend AMT's Annual General Meeting and Workshop, to be held online on Sunday May 2, commencing 10.30am AEST.

At the conclusion of the AGM, we will be hosting a virtual interactive workshop, presented by international presenters Larry Koliha and Bethany Ward on "Better Breathing Through Bodywork: Working with the Breath, Diaphragms & Ribs".

For more information please download the registration flyer.

Members can choose to attend either the AGM or the workshop, or both. Attendance at the AGM is free but you will need to register. If you are attending both the meeting and the workshop, you will need to register separately for each event.

To register for the meeting, please go here. Register for the workshop here.

Video update 22 March 2021

It has been many months since the team from AMT Head Office have provided a video update to members. In this update we discuss the COVID-19 vaccination rollout and when massage therapists are likely to be eligible; QR code check in requirements nationally; the AMT annual conference during COVID times; AMT's mentoring scheme (applications are closing soon); ongoing HCF claiming issues; and what we are finding in our audits of members professional development.

Time stamps
1:27 vaccination rollout and where massage therapists fit
8:25 working COVID safely during the vaccination rollout, need for ongoing non-pharmaceutical measures such as screening
10:24 QR code check in requirements nationally
14:25 AMT face-to-face conference in October - will it go ahead?
18:10 Risk assessment for those just returning to work
20:44 Update on applications for the AMT mentoring scheme - applications are still open for a short time!
26:15 Ongoing issues with HCF claiming
28:52 Update on professional development audits in AMT's new scheme

AMT has released a COVID-19 vaccination fact sheet

With the COVID-19 vaccination program now under way in Australia, we hope that the AMT COVID-19 vaccination fact sheet will provide some useful background information for AMT members.

Although it is not within the scope of practice for massage therapists to provide advice or opinions to their clients regarding vaccination, we anticipate that many therapists may well be having to navigate some complex, challenging and tricky conversations in their clinics regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The AMT vaccination fact sheet could be a useful resource to give to clients who are engaging you in these conversations.

The fact sheet contains plain English information about the types of vaccines being rolled out in Australia; efficacy and safety; the vaccination rollout timetable; and implications for massage therapists.

Suggested professional development activities

Need some professional development inspiration? We've got a swag of new suggestions for 2021, along with some old favs. You can download our suggested PD calendar here.

If you've seen an upcoming conference, lecture or Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) that you′re interested in doing, why not let us know via email and we can add it to our suggested events calendar.

2021 NSW Workers' Compensation Fees Order

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has released its 2021 fees order.

The maximum fees for Massage Therapists are as follows:

  • Item RMA001 Consultation and Treatment (60 minutes duration) $85.70
  • Item RMA002 Consultation and Treatment (45 minutes duration) $64.20
  • Item RMA003 Consultation and Treatment (30 minutes duration) $43.00
  • Item WCO005 Fees for providing copies of clinical notes and records a flat fee of $60.00 applies if providing electronically. The maximum fee for providing hard copies is $38.00 (for 33 pages or less) and an additional $1.40 per page if more than 33 pages. This fee includes postage and handling.

You can download more information here.

National training package review consultation is open until December 24

The national competency standards for massage therapy are currently under review, as part of a 5-year cycle.

Consultation is now open on new draft units for the Certificate IV in Massage Therapy and the Diploma of Remedial Massage. This is a once-every-5-year opportunity to review our qualifications to keep them relevant and up to date. In the context of the lessons from COVID, this round seems even more significant than previous reviews.

AMT warmly encourages industry stakeholders to get involved in the review process by providing feedback via the SkillsIQ consultation process.

There is also an industry survey regarding the content for the proposed Advanced Diploma of Remedial Massage.

AMT has prepared a statement that summarises our key positions in relation to the training package review. We hope that it will help you to navigate and understand some of the major changes in the draft units of competence. You can download AMT's statement here.

The consultation period closes on 24 December at 5pm.

Medibank Private and AHM changes to billing standards

Medibank Private and AHM have announced that, from 1 April 2021, will no longer accept invoices/receipts that have any part which is handwritten. They will only accept electronic invoices/receipts from that date.

If invoices/receipts are already issued electronically, either through email or print, you will need to ensure that they contain the minimum requirements outlined in the Medibank Private and AHM Ancillary Billing Standards.

If invoices/receipts are not issued electronically or printed, Medibank has allowed providers until 1 April 2021 to adjust their invoicing/receipting procedures.

If providers do not comply with this notice by 1 April 2021, their status as a recognised provider of Medibank and AHM may be reviewed and they may be suspended or cancelled.

Please note that all other health funds have confirmed they will still accept partially handwritten receipts that meet the requirements as outlined in the AMT Code of Practice here.

AMT virtual conference 25 October 2020

We're excited to announce that registrations are open for our inaugural virtual conference, which kicks off at 10am ADST on Sunday 25 October

You can browse the conference program here and register online here.

And stay tuned for further announcements soon about our pre-conference webinar with a special guest international presenter on Saturday October 24.

Video update 4 September

September and October is a busy time of year for insurance renewals. With that in mind, Scott opens this video update by walking members through how to upload an insurance Certificate of Currency to the AMT database. If you're already a pro at uploading stuff to your member portal, then fast forward straight to 2 mins 30 where you'll have the pleasure of getting to know AMT's wonderful Chairperson, Michelle McKerron a little better. Enjoy!

Video update 14 August

We are pleased to provide you with the latest video update from AMT. You can watch it here.

Video update 26 June

In this video update, we give our top 5 tips for new (and old!) members of AMT and Scott Lloyd-Owen interviews Katie Snell about AMT's mentoring scheme. Watch it here.

AMT treatment setting risk snapshots

AMT’s Biosecurity Planning Committee is pleased to launch its latest tranche of work. You can download our Treatment setting risk snapshots here.

Transferring your membership to AMT

Are you interested in transferring to AMT from another association? Watch Scott and Belinda from AMT Head Office talk you through the process and explain what documentation you will need when you apply in this video.

National COVID-19 safe workplace principles

As more massage therapy practices gear up for a June 1 reopening, we thought it was a good time to remind all AMT members of the National COVID-19 safe workplace principles. All therapists have a right to a safe working environment. You can view the National COVID-19 safe workplace principles here.

Video update 21 May

Check out AMT’s latest video update here.

COVID-19 self risk assessment tool released

AMT’s Biosecurity Planning Committee has released the "Return to practice self-assessment tool". You can download it here.

Video update 8 May

With the National Cabinet announcing a 3-stage plan for reopening certain services and facilities today, AMT talks through the implications of this for the massage therapy industry. We also discuss AMT’s current workforce survey and the progress of the biosecurity committee on creating a return-to-work roadmap. You can check out our 8 May video update here.

AMT establishes a Biosecurity Planning Committee in response to COVID19

State and Territory jurisdictions have moved to lift restrictions on the practice of remedial massage, leaving massage therapists around the country with the complex task of navigating how to recommence hands-on practice during COVID19 without clear industry practice guidelines in place.

The Association of Massage Therapists has established a Biosecurity Planning Committee to create a return-to-practice plan for massage therapists. Two of the key functions of the Committee are to develop infection control procedures that minimise the risk of transmission of COVID19 in the massage therapy context, and to develop procedures and policies that minimise the risks of harm to vulnerable communities arising from asymptomatic transmission of the virus.

AMT CEO Rebecca Barnett said "We advised members to shut down their practices on March 16, prior to the Government closures that took effect on March 25. Australia has been an international success story and we are delighted that the measures adopted by the National Cabinet have seen new COVID19 infections drop into single digits across the country. However, the concerns that motivated AMT's March 16 advice are still present, including the potential for pre and asymptomatic transmission of COVID19 to vulnerable communities in the massage therapy clinical environment."

"Massage therapists cannot socially or spatially distance in the course of a treatment so the industry has to account for some unique challenges in relation to COVID19. We are probably closest to the dental profession in terms of proximity to patients. While allied health overall has made very rapid transitions to telehealth and other strategies that encompass social distancing requirements, massage therapists have had to navigate the cognitive dissonance of being told it is lawful to practice during social distancing whilst being the closest sustained physical contact health intervention there is," said Ms Barnett.

Liz Sharkey provides compliance training and ongoing professional education for massage therapists through her company, Massage Training Australia. She says that massage therapists are crying out for appropriate industry-specific guidance on how to return to practice.

"I have been inundated with requests from massage therapists around Australia, asking for copies of the COVID19 guidelines that I have been compiling based on my own research. Therapists have been informed by their professional associations that it is now legal to operate but there is massive frustration and anger at the lack of guidance provided about how to do this safely during a pandemic. I have received hundreds of inquiries. Therapists want to feel confident that they have done everything in their power to mitigate the risks that COVID19 poses before they reopen their doors but they don't have industry-specific tools or a roadmap to navigate the myriad uncertainties and unknowns," Ms Sharkey said.

"I don't think the government has a comprehensive understanding of the various clinical contexts in which massage therapists operate. Many of the therapists who are contacting me are confused about how the lifting of restrictions applies to their specific circumstance – whether home-based practices are OK, whether in-home mobile visits are allowable, whether they have the right qualification to practice or even what kind of massage is OK. The public orders do not make this at all clear. It's a bit of a mess," Ms Sharkey added.

AMT's Biosecurity Planning Committee commences work on a return-to-practice roadmap this week. AMT continues to advise members to delay returning to practice until sentinel testing has determined the extent of undetected community infection and the biosecurity plan is finalised.

The terms of reference for the AMT Biosecurity Committee are available for download here.

AMT timeline of COVID19 events

The last 2 months have been a maelstrom. We have compiled a timeline of events to capture AMT's response to the COVID19 crisis in a single snapshot. Most of the entries in the timeline link to external news sources and AMT communications.

Why not also check out all our COVID19 campaign resources here.

Video update 22 April

AMT has been working hard to keep members informed with a series of video updates. You can check out our 22 April update here.

Video update 17 April

AMT continues to keep members informed with a series of video updates. You can check out our 17 April update here.

AMT urges members to shut down in response to COVID19

AMT has urged its 3000 practising members to shut down to help stem the spread of COVID19. Read more in our media release.

AMT stimulus for self-employed health practitioners campaign

AMT is calling on the Federal Government to extend stimulus measures to help self-employed health practitioners manage their response to COVID19. Read more in our media release.

2020 AMT Annual Conference

We are excited to announce that registrations are officially open for AMT's 31st Annual Conference and Annual Conference on Tour!

We reckon this is our most stellar line-up of presenters in the 31 years we've been doing this so you'd be crazy not to think about attending.

Canadian presenter, Robert Libbey, is back by popular demand and touring his conference workshop around Australia.

You can browse the conference section of the website for more details here and download the full brochure here.

You can register online here or complete the fillable registration form and return it to AMT Head Office via email.

Registration is completely flexible so you can choose to attend any single day, two days or the whole three-day bonanza.

Can't make it to Sydney for the conference? Then check out the details of our AMT Conference on Tour.

Register online for Robert Libbey in Perth, October 31 and November 1

Register online for Robert Libbey in Adelaide, November 7 and 8

Register online for Robert Libbey in Melbourne, November 14 and 15

2020 AMT Annual General Meeting

AMT members are warmly invited to attend AMT's Annual General Meeting and Members′ Day Workshop, to be held in Brisbane on Sunday March 29 2019.

At the conclusion of the AGM, we will be hosting a members′ morning tea and then a practical workshop, Chicken Soup for the Shoulder, presented by Subhadra Gerard.

For more information please download the registration flyer. To register online, visit the online registration page.

2020 NSW Workers' Compensation Fees Order

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has released its 2020 fees order.

The maximum fees for Massage Therapists are as follows:

  • Item RMA001 Consultation and Treatment (60 minutes duration) $85.70
  • Item RMA002 Consultation and Treatment (45 minutes duration) $64.20
  • Item RMA003 Consultation and Treatment (30 minutes duration) $43.00
  • Item WCO005 Fees for providing copies of clinical notes and records a flat fee of $60.00 applies if providing electronically. The maximum fee for providing hard copies is $38.00 (for 33 pages or less) and an additional $1.40 per page if more than 33 pages. This fee includes postage and handling.

You can download more information here.

Training Package news

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) charged with reviewing our nationally recognised qualifications and developing an advanced diploma qualification under the Health Training Package has been confirmed.

SkillsIQ was responsible for overseeing the process of establishing the committee. They received 47 expressions of interest from industry people interested in serving on the TAC. The Complementary Health Industry Reference Committee then cast votes to determine representation on the TAC.

The following 10 people were selected:

Industry practitioner representatives

Lisa Fiddes
Leah Dwyer
Aran Bright
Sarah Fogarty
Lisa le Maitre
Peter Dent

RTO representatives

Traci Oliveri (TAFE)
Maggie Sands (private RTO)

Association representatives

Shaun Brewster (Australian Natural Therapists Association)
Rebecca Barnett (Association of Massage Therapists)

AMT extends warm congratulations to the TAC representatives and wishes them fortitude/wings/the occasional stiff drink for the massive task ahead.

Don't forget to support their work by engaging during the consultation rounds! There will be ample opportunity to contribute and have your say.

Technical Advisory Committee nominations open

As a result of the Complementary Health Industry Forecast submitted earlier this year, the Department of Education has committed funding to review our current Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications, and to develop a new health training package qualification at Advanced Diploma level.

Nominations are now open for the Massage Therapy Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The objectives of the Massage Therapy TAC will be to contribute to the update and development of the following qualifications within the HLT Health Training Package, ensuring that appropriate content relating to Massage Therapy is included:

  • Update HLT42015 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy
  • Update HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage
  • Develop a new Advanced Diploma.

The TAC will be required to provide input and guidance on required updates to Units of Competency. It is preferred that applicants can demonstrate direct experience in job roles in the massage sector.

Expressions of interest are open until 5pm AEST on Friday 13 September 2019:

Massage Therapy TAC nomination.

You can download the 2019 Complementary Health Industry Forecast here.

Suggested CEUs

Need some professional development inspiration? We've got some brand new suggestions for the second half of 2019, along with some old favs. You can download our suggested CEUs here.

If you've seen an upcoming conference, lecture or Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) that you′re interested in doing, send us the details via info@amt.org.au and we will confirm whether it is eligible for CEUs.

National Strategic Plan for Pain Management

AMT has today written to the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, and COAG Health Ministers to outline the role that massage therapists can play in supporting the goals of the National Strategic Plan for Pain Management.

Download a copy of our letter to the Ministers here.

2019 AMT Annual General Meeting

AMT members are warmly invited to attend AMT's Annual General Meeting and Members′ Day Workshop, to be held in Melbourne on Sunday May 5 2019.

We're delighted to be hosting Lisa Fiddes and Colin Rossie as presenters of this year's AGM workshop, "Beyond Supine and Prone".

For more information please download the registration flyer. To register online, visit the AGM registration page.

2019 NSW Workers′ Compensation Fees Order

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has released its 2019 fees order.

The maximum fees for Massage Therapists are as follows:

  • Item RMA001 Consultation and Treatment (60 minutes duration) $83.80
  • Item RMA002 Consultation and Treatment (45 minutes duration) $62.80
  • Item RMA003 Consultation and Treatment (30 minutes duration) $42.00
  • Item WCO005 Fees for providing copies of clinical notes and records a flat fee of $60.00 applies if providing electronically. The maximum fee for providing hard copies is $38.00 (for 33 pages or less) and an additional $1.40 per page if more than 33 pages. This fee includes postage and handling.

Suggested CEUs

Need some professional development inspiration? We′ve got some brand new suggestions for 2019, along with some old favs. You can download our suggested CEUs here.

If you′ve seen an upcoming conference, lecture or Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) that you′re interested in doing, send us the details via info@amt.org.au and we will confirm whether it is eligible for CEUs.

Remedial Massage and myotherapy still eligible for rebates

It′s business as usual folks. Remedial Massage and Myotherapy will remain eligible for health fund rebates after April 1.

The rumour mill has been working overtime on social media regarding the impending April 1 deadline for the removal of rebates for some natural therapies.

AMT is aware that BUPA sent letters notifying of the rebate changes impacting other natural therapies last week, which seems to have contributed to the confusion and fuelled the rumour mill.

Please reread our blog post from November 2017 where we originally announced that remedial massage and myotherapy would not be affected by the government review of natural therapies.

AMT is transitioning to online membership renewals in 2019!

Starting 1 February 2019, AMT is transitioning to online membership renewals.

Not only is this more environmentally and financially efficient, it means your membership certificate and status letter are easier to access on the members portal.

Read all about the change on our online renewals fact sheet here.

AMT launches pilot mentoring program

Applications are now open for AMT′s pilot mentoring program! For more information, please visit the mentoring page here. To apply, please go here.

2017 AMT Annual Report published

The 2017 AMT Annual Report is now available for download. You′ll find it here..

Robert Libbey Australian workshop tour

We are happy to announce that Canadian Massage Therapist and respected presenter, Robert Libbey, will be presenting a series of workshops around Australia in October 2018.

Robert will kick off his Australian tour on the Gold Coast before presenting at the AMT annual conference in Sydney from the 12th - 14th of October. He is then heading over to Perth for two days before finishing in Canberra at the end of the month. For more details about Robert, Ligamentous Articular Strain Technique (LAST) and to register, please download the registration flyer.

Registrations are open for the 2018 AMT Conference

We′re very excited to announce that registrations are officially open for the 29th AMT Annual Conference!

Please browse the conference section of the website for more information and full programme details.

You can register online here.

Haven't obtained a police check yet

Great news for those of you who haven't obtained a police check yet ...

AMT has partnered with National Crime Check to offer you discounted rates on your check - only $41 till July 1. We′ve also created a dedicated online portal to simplify the whole application process. You will find it here: amt.nationalcrimecheck.com.au

There's only five weeks to go till we hit our deadline so please get this done soon.

Once you have your check you can upload it directly to the AMT database via your membership portal. Let Olly the AMT Office dog show you how it′s done.

Don′t know how to go about obtaining a police check?

The deadline to provide a National Police Check to AMT is fast approaching on 1 July 2018. Are you unsure about how to go about getting a police check done?

There is a range of ways to apply. You can apply via the police department in your state (this will involve an in-person visit to a police station) or you can use an accredited online supplier and complete the whole process from the comfort of your own home. Please read page 3 of our police check FAQS for guidance on how to obtain a check. It includes direct links to a number of accredited online providers. The online application takes around ten minutes if you have the required ID handy.

Once you have your check you can upload it directly to the AMT database via your membership portal. Let Olly the AMT Office dog show you how it′s done.

2018 AMT Annual General Meeting

AMT members are warmly invited to attend AMT's Annual General Meeting and Members′ Day Workshop, to be held in Adelaide on Saturday May 12.

We're delighted to be hosting Subhadra Gerard as the presenter of this year's AGM workshop. Subhadra will present ‘Easing the neck using a blend of myofascial and mobilisation techniques′. This workshop will be an opportunity to learn a number of advanced myofascial techniques (both direct and indirect), and to look at familiar techniques and explore different approaches.

For more information please please download the registration flyer. To register online, visit the AGM registration page.

Looking for CEU ideas?

Are you planning your 2018 professional development? Need some inspiration or suggestions? Have a look at AMT′s suggested CEUs and see if something takes your fancy.

If you′ve seen an upcoming conference, lecture or Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) that you′re interested in doing, send us the details via info@amt.org.au and we will confirm whether it is eligible for CEUs.

2018 NSW Workers′ Compensation Fees Order

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has released its 2018 fees order.

The maximum fees for Massage Therapists are as follows:

  • Item RMA001 Consultation and Treatment (60 minutes duration) $82.10
  • Item RMA002 Consultation and Treatment (45 minutes duration) $61.50
  • Item RMA003 Consultation and Treatment (30 minutes duration) $41.00
  • Item WCO005 Fees for providing copies of clinical notes and records $38.00 (for 33 pages or less) and an additional $1.40 per page if more then 33 pages. If the clinical records are provided electronically, a flat fee of $38.00 applies

State Insurance Regulatory Authority Allied Health Recovery Request (plain text PDF) and survey

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is continuing to work on ways to improve your experience when managing clients from the CTP personal injury scheme and the workers compensation system in NSW.

SIRA is pleased to inform you of the release of a plain text PDF Allied health recovery request (AHRR). This plain text version aligns with the recently released Word version.

You can download the plain txt PDF AHRR here.

SIRA is also seeking feedback from practitioners who use the AHRR via their Allied health practitioner survey. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes and will be open till 8 December 2017. It also provides you with an opportunity to include feedback on what information you would like to receive from SIRA and the best way for SIRA to provide this information to you.

You can use this link to access the survey.

2017 AMT Annual General Meeting and workshop announced!

We′re pleased to announce that AMT′s Annual General Meeting will take place at 5pm on May 6 in Perth. We will also be hosting two one-day workshops around the AGM - Jenny Richardson will present her well-received workshop from last year′s AMT conference,"Tricky Tarsals". Colin Rossie will then present "Working the nerves of the lower limb".

All AMT members are warmly invited to attend. The AGM and networking event are free. For more information on the workshops and to register. Please note that we need you to RSVP if you are attending the AGM only.

We really look forward to catching up with lots of WA peeps in May!

Statement regarding "AAMT certification"

On May 28, the Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT) announced its intention to establish a scheme it refers to as ‘AAMT Certification′.

It is difficult to ascertain from the information that AAMT has made publicly available how the proposed certification scheme would operate. However, AMT is deeply concerned by the claims that AAMT has made to support the establishment of the scheme and sceptical about the motherhood statements relating to its intended impact and effect.

On its website, AAMT has stated that:

Most other Massage associations do not have the staff, skills or resources to undertake this program. By taking a leadership role AAMT can help all associations achieve the goal of consistent quality assurance.

AMT has not vetted or approved this certification scheme. We strongly object to the misleading assertion that this work has been conceived and undertaken on our behalf.

AAMT also states:

AAMT has approached a number of key stakeholders to recognise and adopt the Certification scheme.

To date, AAMT has not consulted with AMT on any aspect of the scheme. AMT first became aware of the proposal on May 28.

In its description, AAMT uses a range of terms to describe its concept of certification, including best practice, quality assurance, accreditation, trademarked specialties, trademarked titles of practice, accredited specialist and qualifications. The details provided are unclear and confusing. It is impossible to determine whether these terms are being used interchangeably. However, AMT is deeply troubled by the possibility that this proposal is an attempt by AAMT to control qualifications and training that has been developed in the public interest through the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Although it is not clear from the information that AAMT has made available, it would seem that AAMT is proposing to trademark 15 professional "accredited" modalities or "titles of practice" under the scheme, including ‘Remedial Massage Therapist′. Other proposed titles include "Chinese Therapist" and "Thai Therapist". We assume the latter titles refer to skills sets and are not racial designations. However, the proposed terminology is insupportable for self-evident reasons.

Manifestly, it will not be possible to trademark terms such as Remedial Massage Therapist, which are in common general usage. AMT will monitor any attempts to do so regardless.

AAMT has stated that certification will:

  • assist other Massage and Myotherapy Associations with resources to achieve a higher standard of quality assurance for their members, despite limited resources
  • create a nationally-recognised high quality assurance program that all associations, Therapists and consumers can understand and access
  • facilitate greater levels of collaboration on industry-wide issues
  • create a universal and independent standard for the sector.

The massage therapy sector already has a ‘universal and independent′ certification standard that all associations, therapists and consumers can understand and access. It is called the Australian Qualifications Framework and includes the suite of qualifications that have been developed as part of our shared national competency standards. These qualifications are issued in a transparent regulatory system. Competency standards are developed and reviewed communally by industry stakeholders within a third-party governance framework that has inbuilt mechanisms to address conflicts of interest.

AAMT states that:

Certification capitalises on the new improved training requirements of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and new legislation introduced by the Federal Government during 2015, which regulates qualifications in Australia.

and:

Around 85 per cent of AAMT members already have the qualifications and quality assurance to become Accredited specialists. Therapists from all Associations will be able to apply and complete the process of Accreditation.

AMT will stringently oppose any certification scheme that involves needless duplication of standards articulated through the Australian Qualifications Framework. Further, AMT will oppose any scheme that creates extra costs for therapists through pointless duplication of existing qualification and governance structures.

AMT will also oppose any attempt to take ownership of intellectual property associated with qualifications established within the Australian Qualifications Framework.

AMT would also oppose any certification scheme that unfairly benefits or gives undue legitimacy to providers of privately owned qualifications and training.

AAMT states:

Certification in itself does not require you to change what you are doing. If you are not Accredited you will not be able to use the recognised Titles of Practice that are Trademarked under the scheme.

AAMT has not specified costs in connection with "accreditation".

AMT will not support a system that requires therapists to recertify (for want of a better term) their nationally recognised qualifications in remedial massage, myotherapy, soft tissue therapy, TCM massage therapy and shiatsu therapy. Therapists should not be forced to "accredit" just to avoid being pursued for trademark infringement.

At this stage, it is unclear how certification would impact therapists who are currently being grandfathered.

The certification scheme does not appear to encompass therapists who hold Certificate IV qualifications. It is unclear what the ramifications of this might be for massage therapists who hold qualifications at this level.

AMT is actively monitoring AAMT′s proposal. We will keep you informed of any developments. Please be reassured that AMT will seek to disrupt and dismantle any scheme that operates to the detriment and disadvantage of our members and the sector at large.

Interested in transferring to AMT? Join now and you won′t need to renew for 15 months.

AMT is currently offering a special deal to therapists transferring from another association. Transfer to AMT now and we will give you an extra three months on your first year of membership with us. This means that if you join in June 2016 you won′t need to renew until September 2017.

This fact sheet provides an overview of how easy it is to transfer your membership to AMT and lists the documentation we require.

We will need to determine the currency of your provider status with the private health funds before we can process a transfer. If you have current provider status we can carry that across to our health fund lists. We would be happy to give you specific advice on where you stand.

Please call our Head Office on 02 9211 2441 so we can assess whether you are eligible to transfer your membership to AMT.

Health Minister, Sussan Ley, launches a Government survey regarding private health insurance.

With the exodus from private health insurance proceeding apace, the Government is currently consulting with Australians to determine how it can make private health cover more attractive. As part of the public consultation, Health Minister, Sussan Ley, has just launched a Government survey regarding private health insurance.

One of the questions in the survey concerns what should be included within ancillary cover packages. Respondents are asked to rate the importance of inclusions such as massage/natural therapies.

Please participate in the survey and let the Government know that you place high value on massage therapy.

The survey takes around 5 minutes to complete. You’ll find it here.

National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers introduced in Queensland

The Queensland Government has recently enacted the National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers (Queensland). The Code was introduced on 1 October 2015 and applies to all healthcare workers in Queensland, including massage therapists.

The Queensland Code provides a benchmark against which the Health Ombudsman can make decisions about issues with the healthcare provided by unregistered practitioners. It sets minimum standards of conduct for healthcare workers and is substantially based on the NSW Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners, which has been in force in NSW since 2008.

Queensland members can download a copy of the Code here.

One of the requirements of the Code is that therapists must display a copy in their clinic. You can download a poster version here.

If you practise in Queensland, you need to review the Code thoroughly to ensure that you are meeting your statutory obligations as a healthcare worker. If you need any assistance or advice, please don′t hesitate to contact AMT Head Office.

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week

September 7-13 is National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW). To celebrate, AMT shares its tips for how to choose a good massage therapist. You can download AMT′s 2015 NMTAW media release here.

Stay tuned for further resources to be circulated via social media as NMTAW unfolds.

NSW WorkCover lifts moratorium

WorkCover NSW has announced that it is lifting its moratorium on remedial massage therapy providers on 1 January 2016. From that date, remedial massage therapists will not have to be WorkCover approved to provide services within the NSW Workers′ Compensation system.

Here is the official notification from WorkCover NSW:

"WorkCover NSW is undertaking a review of the Allied Health Practitioner Management Framework. The objective of the review is to align with system objectives resulting from the 2012 legislative reforms of an increased focus on recovery at work; to improve consistency across the various allied health provider groups; and reduce red tape.

WorkCover advises an outcome of this review is the decision to no longer require Remedial Massage Therapists to be approved by WorkCover to deliver services in the NSW Workers′ Compensation system.

This change will take effect from 1 January 2016. The current moratorium on approval of Remedial Massage Therapists will remain in place until this date."

AMT will keep you informed of further developments.

AMT position statement - orphanage volunteering

AMT has released a position statement on orphanage volunteering for massage therapists.

While AMT recognises and acknowledges that sometimes institutions are the only choice for vulnerable children, we do not support, endorse or promote orphanage tourism. AMT's position on this is consistent with major international child welfare agencies, charities and advocacy groups.

Please take the time to read the full position statement.

AMT calls for regulatory reform in light of David Wang rape conviction

Read AMT′s media release here.

AMT in print in the IJTMB

A workforce survey that AMT undertook in 2010 is featured in the current edition of the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

The research article, titled "Practice and research in Australian massage therapy: a national workforce survey", appears in the June 2015 issue of the open access journal. Sincere thanks to the 301 AMT members who took part in the survey back in 2010. You've helped to provide a platform for the current study with the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), which has now moved into its second phase (the patient arm). We′re looking forward to sharing the results of that study with you soon.

You can download the full IJTMB article here.

AMT fears public safety implications if the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy is axed

Read AMT's Media Release here.

AMT warns of dire consequences if the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy is axed

AMT has rolled out a regional media campaign featuring AMT members, with the aim of raising awareness of our "Save the Rebate" petition. Read the Media Release here.

Health Minister downplays rebate axing as consumers dump dud insurance

Less than three weeks before the Federal Government was expected to make changes to the government funding for natural therapies, Health Minister Sussan Ley revealed she would take into account "broader considerations".

Last week, The Australian reported that Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley downplayed the prospect of the rebate being removed from policies that cover natural therapies.

Ms Ley was reported as saying: "Taxpayers receive the private health rebate based on their entire policy, so it's not as simple as turning off the tap for one type of treatment as Labor was trying to make out."

"It's important to remember Labor launched this broader review of natural therapies as part of their multi-billion-dollar raid on private health insurance rebates in government - it was never about health outcomes for patients.

"We therefore need to make sure Labor's plan to cut funding for people using natural therapies doesn't end up having a negative impact for all consumers instead."1

This revelation coincides with Private Healthcare Australia data which shows 1,576,409 policies had been dumped and 985,281 downgraded in three years.2

It is in the best interest of private health insurers to maintain cover for natural therapies. There is high consumer demand for natural therapies cover, especially in younger populations of policy holders.

And it is in the best interest of the Federal Government to continue to support consumer choice in private health insurance, particularly after it approved a premiums rise of 6.2 per cent on average effective from April 1 - for the second consecutive year.

The AMT "Save the Rebate" petition is putting heat on the Federal Government - the petition has had an overwhelming response from the community, and many private health care consumers have commented that they will most likely dump their private health insurance if the Government removes the rebate.

We want to show the Federal Government that health outcomes for Australians will be adversely affected if the rebate for natural therapies is axed.

Help us spread the fire. Have your voice heard. Let the Federal Government know how much massage therapy means to your healthcare. Please continue to share this petition.

You'll find the petition here.

Footnotes:

1) http://m.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/health/sussan-ley-holds-fire-on-rebates-for-useless-natural-therapies/story-fn59nokw-1227259055905
2) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/members-ready-to-dump-private-health-insurance/story-e6frg8zx-1227268577486

Health Minister's Office remains tight-lipped on NHMRC findings

Six weeks ago, AMT wrote to the Health Minister's office requesting information about the Department's timetable for review of the National Health and Medical Research Council's findings on the evidence for natural therapies, including massage therapy. Last Friday, we finally received a response from the Health Minister's Office (You can read the full letter below).

Basically, we were told:

"The Government is currently considering the findings of the report of the review and will announce its decision in due course"

The government's original April 1 deadline for rolling out policy changes is now only a month away. AMT remains deeply concerned about the potential impact on privately insured Australians and the therapists providing massage services. We are extremely disappointed by the lack of concrete information the Department of Health has provided in its response.

This comes off the back of the health minister's approval of an average 6.18 per cent price hike for private health insurance premiums. According to reports from the ABC, Ms Ley's advice to consumers of private health insurance is to shop around in order to get the best deal. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-27/private-health-insurance-premiums-to-increase-from-april/6269364)

Given the impending premium hike, we think consumers deserve to know what services they will be able to claim under their ancillary cover. We have again written to the Minister's office, pointing out the far-reaching consequences of the Government's decision and, again, requesting more concrete information about the Department's timetable for reviewing and acting on the NHMRC's findings.

We are grateful for your support of AMT's petition and ask you to continue to spread the word. You can find the AMT petition here.

Letter from the Health Minister's Office

Thank you for your correspondence of 15 January 2015 to the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport. the Hon Sussan Ley, MP, Minster for Health and Minister for Sport. The minister has asked me to reply on her behalf.

The previous Government tasked the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley AO, with undertaking a review of certain natural therapies to determine whether or not these therapies should continue to attract the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance. This review commenced on 1 July 2012.

The Office of the National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) has assisted the Department with the review in the assessment of submissions and also by supervising the evidence reviews of the in-scope natural therapies.

The evidence reviews have been undertaken by independent and external expert organisations. Evidence in the submission and evidence reviews has also been assessed in the context of the NHMRC's Additional Levels of Evidence and Grades for Recommendations for Developers of Guidelines.

The Government is currently considering the findings of the report of the review and will announce its decision in due course.

I trust the above information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely, Shane Porter
Assistant Secretary
Private Health Insurance Branch

AMT Consumer Campaign to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy

AMT continues to gather supporters for its petition, which calls on the Federal Health Minister to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy. The petition has already garnered over 4000 signatures.

As part of the campaign, AMT is reaching out to consumers of massage therapy, encouraging them to sign the petition and contact their local member and the health minister to explain how massage fits into their healthcare plan and what conditions they use massage to treat.

AMT has released a Client Communique to help you enlist your clients in the campaign ro retain the rebate. The communique includes a brief overview of the current state of play and provides clear instructions on how clients can support the campaign. You can download the client communique here and distribute it electronically (via email) or print out copies to give to your clients. The PDF hyoerlinks directly to AMT's petition so enlisting the support of your clients is only one click away!

The AMT petition is hosted by Change.org and can be accessed here.

AMT media release - AMT launches petition to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy

AMT is calling on the Federal Health Minister and Department of Health to retain the private health insurance rebate for massage therapy.

AMT has launched an online petition in response to concerns that a recent draft review of natural therapies by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) may prompt the Australian Government to remove health insurance rebates from ancillary policies that cover massage therapy.

You can download the media release here.

As part of its campaign, AMT is also reaching out to massage therapy clients, encouraging them to sign the petition and contact their local member and the health minister to explain how massage fits into their healthcare plan and what conditions they use massage to treat. You can download AMT's Client Communique here.

The AMT petition is hosted by Change.org and can be accessed here.

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week 2014 - Connecting with your Community

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week is just around the corner! We've had some great regional media coverage ahead of NMTAW. Check out the article in the Blue Mountains Gazette on page 23 here

What are you doing to mark NMTAW 2014?

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week - September 8 - 15

AMT is excited to announce that our National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW) information kit is now online!

As you may already be aware, NMTAW (which runs from Sep 8-15) is a part of AMT's consumer outreach marketing and promotions program. During this week, members are encouraged to share the benefits of massage with their community. This year's theme is 'Connecting with your Community'.

The 2014 NMTAW kit includes ideas for marketing your business during NMTAW, consumer educational materials you can download and print out to distribute during NMTAW, a press kit to assist you to promote your NMTAW events, links to onsite massage forms and guidelines and more.

2013 AMT annual report

The 2013 AMT annual report is now available for download. We know you're as excited about this as we are! You'll find the annual report here.

We've moved!

AMT has moved to new office suites in Ultimo. Please take note of our new contact details:

Suite 3.02, 22-36 Mountain Street
Ultimo NSW 2007

PO Box 826
Broadway NSW 2007

Phone: 02 9211 2441
Fax: 02 9211 2281

Why not check us and our 'hood out on streetview here.

Research round-up

Why not check out AMT's new monthly Research Round-up? The Research Round-Up is essentially a summary of open access massage therapy research released over the preceding month, including hyperlinks to the full free text articles available online. You can download the inaugural edition here.

AMT Board Communique released

The AMT Board met on November 17 at AMT Head Office in Newtown. This communique outlines the issues that were discussed at this meeting and decisions taken, as well as other points of interest.