Updated: Jan 21, 2020
Occupational-training offered in the Province of Nova Scotia is subject to the Private Career Colleges Act. For years, reflexology and other short, workshop-format courses were overlooked by the Act, but now the province has decided to enforce the Act for small courses (including Reiki, Indian Head Massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, etc), in the same way that brick-and mortar colleges are regulated (like massage therapy schools or business schools). This means that every reflexology instructor from any school or organization must now register with the province of Nova Scotia, and all reflexology training has stopped in the province until registration occurs, or until an exemption is made for reflexology.
It's important to note that provincial registration of post-secondary education is put in place for the protection of the students, as a type of "insurance" for them, so that if a school closes its doors before graduation occurs, students can recuperate their tuition from the province. In principle, the Private Career Colleges Act is of value to students who can rest assured their institution is not a fly-by-night operation. The problem is not with the registration per se, but with the prohibitive cost to instructors/schools, that is not adjusted to account for the ‘small business’ nature of most reflexology training...a cost that would not be easily met by most holistic healthcare trainers, and that would ultimately have to be passed on to students.
These factors affect public accessibility to training in the holistic health field in general. Holistic health courses - part of Canada's growing Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) sector - are generally taught in small workshop-format modules followed by home study/practicum, and these new enforcements under the Act could lead to costly increases in tuition, or lack of training altogether for those who teach but cannot justify the disproportionate expense of provincial registration, and must stop delivery of their courses.
Other provinces have registration requirements under their own Post-Secondary Education Acts, but are more accessible with less associated costs, or have more proportionate costs to the actual size of the training school (as reflected in the monetary value of the bond to be held by the school).
Also worthy of note for interested students, reflexology training and certification received in any other province is still valid to practice professionally in Nova Scotia, so, regardless of the province's exemption decision, accessibility to training will always be available to Nova Scotians willing to travel within a few hours of home, in neighbouring provinces. Once certified in foundation reflexology, Nova Scotia reflexologists can access additional advanced training in their home province. At the moment, reflexology associations and trainers are working towards, and hoping for, exemption status for reflexology training in Nova Scotia. We’ll keep you posted, but until a resolution occurs, reflexology training in Nova Scotia is limited to 'advanced' training offered to existing reflexologists, or 'foundation' training offered only to certain existing health professionals - such as massage therapists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists - according to the Private Career Colleges Act.
Foundation reflexology training for the general public is therefore not currently available from any school or trainer in Nova Scotia. (May, 2019-?)
As we await the outcome, the Atlantic School of Reflexology will determine how to proceed, and will be returning to Nova Scotia with our full course curriculum in the future, whether by exemption (with our reflexology-trainer colleagues), or by registering with the province according to the Act. In the meantime, we welcome Nova Scotia students with open arms, to join us in our New Brunswick classrooms.
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