Regulatory Boards

When it comes to the regulation of massage therapy and bodywork, the public’s health and safety are – quite literally – in the hands of our practitioners. That’s why NCBTMB works with state boards and legislators throughout the country to help ensure that residents have access to competent, ethical and professional massage and bodywork services.
Founded in 1992, NCBTMB developed its certification program to establish and uphold a national standard of excellence for the massage and bodywork field. 
Our Levels of Credentials
NCBTMB’s levels of credentials are as follows.
  • National Certification (Available until Dec. 31, 2012)—Upon submitting proof of graduation from a school with an NCBTMB Assigned School Code, passing one of the NCBTMB exams and agreeing to the Code of Conduct and Standards of Practice, a therapist may become Nationally Certified by NCBTMB.  For the past 20 years, National Certification has been the highest credential available in the massage profession and has served as the cornerstone of a successful career.
National Certification Requirements
A Nationally Certified therapist must:
  • Complete a minimum of 500 hours of instruction from a school with an NCBTMB Assigned School Code.
  • Demonstrate mastery of core skills, abilities and knowledge
  • Uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
  • Complete continuing education for recertification
The National Certification may be attained through December 31, 2012.  Effective January 1, 2013, achievement of this credential will be suspended (although can be retained through December 31, 2016, through recertification) and the Board Certification credential will be the highest credential available to the profession.
  • Board Certification—Beginning in 2013, NCB will launch a new credential, Board Certification.   This new credential—by including additional education , hands-on experience and a background check—will ensure that therapists achieving this credential will have the proper foundation to better serve their clients. Achievement of this credential is the highest attainable level in the profession.  The Board Certification will demonstrate a commitment to the highest available credential and to your career.  As in other professions, Board Certification will be an additional differentiator for you as you advance through your career.  NCB will actively seek to publicize this credential and those who attain it.
Board Certification Benefits
The benefits of Board Certified therapists are numerous and include the following.
  • Represents the highest standard in the field
  • Communicates a commitment to safe, ethical practice
  • Provides a competitive edge
  • Gains visibility and credibility
  • Increases employment opportunities within/between states
  • Allows reimbursement by some insurance companies
  • Reassures clients and employers that you are committed to excellence in your professional development and conduct
  • Includes a listing in NCBTMB’s Find a Practitioner resource
  • Establishes practitioners as healthcare providers on par with other professionals requiring certification
Board Certification Requirements
Requirements for this credential were established by practitioners within the field, and developed to uphold a high standard of excellence among practitioners.
To achieve the Board Certification designation, practitioners must:  
  • Complete a minimum of 750 hours of education ( includes the core program and subsequently completed continuing education)
  • Complete 250 hours of professional hands-on experience over no less than six months from graduation
  • Pass a thorough national background check
  • Obtain a current CPR certification
  • Affirm their commitment to the NCBTMB Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
  • Commit to opposing Human Trafficking
To become nationally certified, a practitioner must:
  • Complete a minimum of 500 hours of instruction
  • Demonstrate mastery of core skills, abilities and knowledge        
  • Pass a standardized NCBTMB exam 
  • Uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
The National Certification credential will not be available to new applicants after December 31, 2012 (but may be retained through recertification through December 31, 2016).  Thereafter, National Certification will be replaced by Board Certification.
Today, 38 states – plus the District of Columbia – use or recognize NCBTMB examinations in statutes or rules. You can also find NCBTMB certified practitioners in every state in the union, as well as the West Indies, Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and Canada. 
If you have any questions, please contact
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