New Brunswick

College of Massage Therapists of N.B. exam goes before the courts

Dozens of massage therapy students were in court Tuesday protesting the results of a final exam.

All but one of the students who took the test failed it

Dozens of massage therapy students cheered their lawyer after an injunction was granted to examine colleges fairness in exam admission. (CBC)

Dozens of massage therapy students were in court Tuesday protesting the results of a final exam.

Last November, students wrote a new final exam administered by the recently formed College of Massage Therapists of New Brunswick.

Of the 48 students who took the test, 47 failed it.

Rules by the college require students to pass the final exam in order to legally practise massage therapy in the province.

The court granted an injunction and placed the results of the exam on hold while the matter is before the courts.

"No RMT has ever been expected to face this test," said lawyer Kelly Lamrock representing the students. "And when it's first time out 98 per cent of people fail it, obviously that raised some issues and my clients wanted the court to hear it."

Taking the exam is a new requirement by the college. The November sitting was the first time New Brunswick students wrote the exam.

Under the court ruling, students who failed the exam will be allowed to practise massage therapy until the court declares the dispute between students and college is resolved.

The new college requirements came into place on Dec. 13, 2013. All registered massage therapists practising before that date were grandfathered into the new regulatory system.

The single student who passed the exam would not comment on its content or difficulty under the advisement of Lamrock.

The exam also is used in Newfoundland and according to Lamrock, on two occasions the exam has seen failure rates greater than 90 per cent in that province.

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