The principals behind creating the requirements for Board Certification are to ensure that Certificants meet NCBTMB’s goal of elevating the profession by recognizing and encouraging excellence in schools, continuing education, therapist competency and high standards. Certification is an advanced credential; as such, the following describes NCBTMB’s rationale for creation of each requirement.
Graduation from an NCBTMB Assigned School – NCBTMB reviews all of its schools to ensure they are operating legally within their state. Additionally, curriculum, instructor qualifications, license to operate, programmatic information and all other information that ensures the program meets NCBTMB requirements are reviewed to guarantee candidates who graduate from these programs have received a complete and proper massage therapy education prior to applying for Board Certification.
Passing Score on the Board Certification Exam – The exam is a comprehensive tool that tests advanced knowledge in areas of assessment, applied science, massage modalities, professional communication, professionalism and ethics, and laws and business practices. Scenarios that could occur in a clinical practice are presented to test candidates’ critical thinking skills. The exam is based on advanced knowledge, so candidates who pass the exam would be able to work at the highest levels within the profession, such as with other health care professionals in a health care facility.
Pass a Criminal Background Check – NCBTMB’s Board Certification is the highest voluntary credential in the massage therapy profession. To ensure Board Certificants are held to the highest standards, NCBTMB performs a criminal background check on its certificants during the initial application process and with each renewal. NCBTMB does not deny certification due to minor, non-violent offenses.
Verification of Current Massage Therapy State License (If Applicable) – State licensure is the minimal requirement to practice legally in most states. All Board Certificants must already meet entry-level requirements and have begun practicing prior to becoming Board Certified if their state requires licensure. Note that a handful of states currently do not license massage therapy statewide.
Agree to Uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics – NCBTMB expects its certificants to uphold its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics at all times.
The Standards of Practice describe the professionalism, legal and ethical behavior, confidentiality, business practices, roles and boundaries, and prevention of sexual misconduct and inappropriate touch a Board Certified massage therapist must demonstrate while working with the public.
The Code of Ethics describes NCBTMB’s expectations of Certificants’ behavior to act in a manner that justifies public trust and confidence, enhances the reputation of the profession, and safeguards the interests of individual clients.