What is the purpose of Continuing Education?

Today in the United States relative to the massage and bodywork profession, a 500 hour (or more) core curriculum of entry level education is delivered to teach basic anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathologies of the body’s systems. It also incorporates entry-level bodywork, stress management, business, ethics and other types of modalities to gain students’ interests about the holistic realm. Upon demonstrated mastery of this information, along with hands on skills, an entry level massage therapist is judged to be competent to safely administer one to one hour and a half of full body massage.

This is simply the beginning of a therapist’s professional journey, a journey that must include some component of continued learning in both the educational and clinical (hands on) realms. In other words, an entry-level practitioner must do more to learn, retain and operationalize the necessary skills to maintain continued growth, awareness and professional competency, in addition to remaining vital and competitive within the profession.

Continuing education is one of the generally accepted methods which professionals and regulatory agencies use to ensure a therapist refines and builds on entry-level skills. It also is a means by which the larger health care and consumer communities can be assured that therapists maintain psychological, educational and professional high intentions in areas of ethical and operational excellence.

The purpose of continuing education is, more specifically, to:

  • detour the development of bad habits
  • acquire knowledge of more advanced modalities
  • learn effective new techniques
  • increase Practitioners’ awareness of other holistic modalities
  • continue to increase basic, intermediate and advanced skills
  • develop successful business/marketing methods and tools
  • refine massage therapists’/bodyworkers’ ethical behavior and standards of practice with clientele
  • discourage burnout due to repetitive bodywork
  • increase massage therapists’/ bodyworkers’ knowledge of medical and holistic practices, psychology, science and massage therapy
  • assist therapists, through additional knowledge and strengthened techniques, in remaining competitive within the marketplace

Continuing education is a vital part of certification programs designed to credential professionals across the United States—and Board Certification is no different. Over a decade ago, NCBTMB established its Approved Provider (AP) program to serve as a key component of its massage therapy and bodywork credential. The principal intent of the AP program was to ensure that certificant’s had access to reliable, credible, high-quality continuing education throughout their careers. By obtaining continuing education (CE), a practitioner demonstrates a personal and public commitment to enhance continued competence in the massage and/or bodywork profession, which is why it continues to play such a critical role in NCBTMB’s certification program.

NCBTMB recognizes its obligation to continue serving the profession by encouraging the personal and professional development of practitioners across the country. As the massage and bodywork professions mature, continuing education must also evolve. With this in mind, NCBTMB has reassessed the national AP/CE program and the evolutionary role it must play as massage continues to advance.

NCBTMB recognizes the critical need to ensure relevant and credible continuing education. The profession must define, differentiate and identify the educational level of the wide variety of modalities and subjects that practitioners study. Mature, advanced massage therapists desire access to accomplished instructors teaching appropriately advanced material. Conversely, recent graduates may need basic classes to refine newly acquired skills.

As an Approved Provider, our organization agrees to:

  • Provide accurate information to the NCBTMB in all transactions to the best of our knowledge.
  • Assure that course credits are awarded only to certificants who successfully complete the course according to the published requirements.
  • Conduct the operations and programs in an ethical manner that respects the rights and worth of the clients we serve.
  • Use and display the provider statement and logo according to the NCBTMB requirements.
  • Furnish requested information, work cooperatively with the NCBTMB and pay fees in a timely manner.
  • Accept that the NCBTMB audits courses for purposes of compliance with the criteria.
  • After due review and comment period, abide by any revisions of the criteria or inform the NCBTMB of any intention to withdraw providership.
  • Maintain compliance with the NCBTMB’s Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and policies and procedures.
  • Adhere to the NCBTMB criteria/standards or relinquish the NCBTMB approval status after due process.
  • Report to the NCBTMB within thirty (30) days any major organizational or program change that impacts the operation of the administrative unit on which provider approval is based.