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Acceptable CE Course Guidelines

Acceptable course content includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applications of massage and bodywork therapy for specific needs, conditions, or client populations
  • Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology
  • Research literacy
  • Client assessment protocols, skills for client record keeping, strategies for interfacing with other health care providers
  • Use of external agents such as water, heat, cold, or topicals
  • Body-centered or somatic psychology, psychophysiology, interpersonal skills – which may include communication skills, boundary functions, phenomena of transference, counter-transference and projection
  • Standards of practice, professional ethics or state laws
  • Strategies for the marketing of massage and bodywork therapy practices
  • Theory or practice of ergonomic science as applied to therapist or client
  • Hygiene, methods of infectious disease control, organization and management of the treatment environment
  • The use of massage therapy tools and their specific needs (tools may not be sold during class time and the instructor must be able to supply students with the tools during class)
  • Working with the muscles within the oral cavity for specific treatments, i.e. working on the masseter muscle in conjunction with TMJ Disorder
  • Self-care courses concentrating on nutrition and/or diet only, but only as it enhances the learner’s knowledge about the practice of massage therapy
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)*
  • Active strengthening/physical training  (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)
  • Advanced science courses that contain content which goes beyond the massage therapist’s scope of practice (as defined by state and/or local legislation), and that is instructive in understanding different systems of the body or human behavior more in depth. Click here for more information
  • Energy work that includes “’professional therapeutic hands-on applications.”

*NCBTMB only accepts 4 CEs per renewal period in Self-Care. Self-Care is NOT a requirement.

Unacceptable Course Content includes:

  • Core curriculum content including basic anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and Swedish massage applications
  • Diagnoses (allopathic-based) of clinical conditions
  • Implementation of allopathic medical/surgical procedures
  • Physically invasive modalities, e.g., ear candles, intra-anal, intra-vaginal modalities, etc.
  • Incorporation of chiropractic/osteopathic, e.g., ballistic, thrust oriented or other services and procedures which require additional licensure or certification, i.e., Yoga or Pilates Instructor Certification, Physical Therapy, Personal Training, Weight Training
  • Prescription of herbs, nutritional supplements, and /or pharmaceuticals
  • Performing hypnosis
  • Performing an aesthetician facial or exfoliation of cells from the body
  • Performing electrical stimulation, using electrical devices on clients or ultrasound of any kind
  • Psychological counseling
  • Psychic, clairvoyance, telepathic, astrology, religious practices
  • Dry needling and acupuncture
  • Breaking or removing tissue from the body
  • CBD Products*
  • Energy work that does not not include “professional therapeutic hands-on applications”
  • Aura techniques
  • Crystal healing
  • Qi Gong or Tai Chi
  • Fire cupping or any procedure that works with fire
  • Breast massage as part of anything other than medical procedures or prescribed by a physician (NCBTMB does accept breast massage when learning about oncology; specifically, breast cancer procedures)
  • Moxibustion
  • Tongue Reading
  • Erroneous, misleading titles of modalities; a description of the course must be added to the title if the modality cannot be easily deciphered by the title
  • Human Trafficking (click here for official statement)

Exceptions: Courses that will be allowed only when the course is designed/outlined and titled as strictly for the therapist’s personal self-care and not to be taught to others or performed on clients, such as:

  • Performing active strengthening/physical training to others (acceptable for the therapist’s self-care only).
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only).

Please Note: Basic/fundamental course content represented in the initial massage therapist training, does not qualify for CEs as it is not continued education. Continued education must be of an advanced nature, with more specific approaches.

*How CBD products are derived may mean some products are controlled substances under federal law. There is also scarce research on the efficacy, dosing and contraindications for the consumer or a provider using CBD products.

Additionally, NCBTMB reserves the right to reject any course content that does not adhere to federal laws and regulation, risks participant or instructor safety, and/or is not sufficiently backed up by research.

Home study courses are defined as a course that is taken by a participant without direct communication with the instructor. These courses are distributed via website, email or U.S. Mail by the Approved Provider to the participant. Once the participant completes the material, a test must be taken and submitted back to the provider to be graded before the participant may receive a certificate. The Approved Provider must have the grading scale documented to inform participants of the grade that must be earned to pass the course.

CEs given to each participant must match the length of time it takes the average person to complete the course. NCBTMB has created minimal criteria that each home study course must pass before the course can be accepted:

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced than the core curriculum guidelines
  • The course content must enhance a massage therapist’s level of knowledge
  • The course outline must fully describe the course layout
  • The number of CEs must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the amount of CE hours each course is worth
  • 12,000 words read equals 1 CE
  • One hour of video or audio equals 1 CE
    • Providers may give additional CEs for course work completed but the course work must be previously listed
    • Unsupervised practical assignments do not count towards CEs. Only assignments required to be turned in, which can be verified can earn CEs
  • According to several studies, the average reader reads approximately 200 words per minute.
    • Some participants may read faster or slower than the average, but home study courses may not be diluted to overstate the amount of CEs allowed for a home study course completion.
  • Approved Providers that teach courses via email or website must have contact information accessible to a participant in case technical issues arise.
  • Please indicate in the Course Outline section of the application how the course will be offered. (Ex. Content/materials are mailed, content materials are emailed, course is available online.)
  • If the content is available electronically, please upload the content with the “add content” link within the application.
    • If the course is available online, supply the website address, user name and password.
    • If the course is only available via hard-copy, mail contents to the NCBTMB address – Attention Approved Provider Dept. – New Course.
    • Materials submitted to NCBTMB will not be returned.
  • An exam must be completed by each participant with a passing score of 70 percent or higher.
    • Each exam must contain a minimum of 5 multiple-choice, questions, (containing 4 possible choices), per hour of class.
  • Certificates of Achievement are given to participants who complete a home study course

Other Key Requirements:

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s stated acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced that core curriculum guidelines
  • Learning objectives must be fully described and available to the participant
  • The number of CE hours must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the number of CE hours each course is worth
  • Homework does not count for CEs, and must be submitted separately as a home study course

If a Provider is using material created by other sources, he/she must follow these guidelines:

  • When creating a home study course, NCBTMB will accept no more than 30% of the material from a cited source (this includes videos)
  • Providers may use more than 30% as reference material, but the additional material may not be counted in the word count or video time
  • If a provider is using a text book, each participant must be provided a text book by the Approved Provider
  • Providers must properly cite all material that is taken from another source

Testing criteria for home study courses:

  • All home study courses must include a written exam, participants must pass, with a grade of 70% or higher, prior to receiving their certificate of achievement
  • Exams must include 5 multiple choice questions for each hour of the home study
  • 2 minutes per exam question will be accepted within the CE hours allotted for the course
  • Exam questions must be fact based to assess the participants retention of material in the home study course

Approved Providers may also work with an instructional designer to determine CE hours. Instructional designer must provide documentation of assignment of CE hours. Contact NCBTMB staff for additional information at ce@ncbtmb.org or call 1-800-296-0664.

Each state is separate and has the privilege to set its own parameters for the continuing education of their licensed professionals. Most states accept NCBTMB approved continuing education courses; however, some have created their own guidelines or limits for content they are willing to accept, along with content they require to be completed. Some have placed limits on the type (ex. home study, webinar, live) of course hours which can be accepted, and, additionally, some states have their own programs entirely.

It is for this reason NCBTMB suggests you present your courses to prospective students as NCBTMB Approved. It is best you recommend each Massage Therapist to check directly with their state to ensure the NCBTMB approved course they wish to take with you will be accepted. NCBTMB also advises that when planning to teach a course in a particular state, you check with that state directly to see if it will accept your NCBTMB approved continuing education. This way, you can offer accurate, up-to-date details to your participants, and feel confident about where you are planning classes. NCBTMB offers additional information for the continuing education requirements for each state here.

While all APs are welcome to create and/or offer First Aid and CPR courses, NCBTMB will not accept them for continuing education.

Account & Program Updates

As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

The previous owner must contact NCBTMB’s School Outreach department at schooloutreach@ncbtmb.org to inform us that the school has been sold. NCBTMB will close the current school code. The new owner must submit a new Assigned School Code Request Form. School Codes are non-transferable between owners.

If the school contact name changes, please notify the NCBTMB School Outreach Department by submitting the change of information in writing. To do so:

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the School Name Change Form
    • Submit legal documentation showing the school’s name change.
  • Click Submit

 

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links
  • Complete the School Address Change Form
    • Submit legal documentation showing the school’s change of address.
  • Click Submit

Approved Providers

Acceptable course content includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applications of massage and bodywork therapy for specific needs, conditions, or client populations
  • Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology
  • Research literacy
  • Client assessment protocols, skills for client record keeping, strategies for interfacing with other health care providers
  • Use of external agents such as water, heat, cold, or topicals
  • Body-centered or somatic psychology, psychophysiology, interpersonal skills – which may include communication skills, boundary functions, phenomena of transference, counter-transference and projection
  • Standards of practice, professional ethics or state laws
  • Strategies for the marketing of massage and bodywork therapy practices
  • Theory or practice of ergonomic science as applied to therapist or client
  • Hygiene, methods of infectious disease control, organization and management of the treatment environment
  • The use of massage therapy tools and their specific needs (tools may not be sold during class time and the instructor must be able to supply students with the tools during class)
  • Working with the muscles within the oral cavity for specific treatments, i.e. working on the masseter muscle in conjunction with TMJ Disorder
  • Self-care courses concentrating on nutrition and/or diet only, but only as it enhances the learner’s knowledge about the practice of massage therapy
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)*
  • Active strengthening/physical training  (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)
  • Advanced science courses that contain content which goes beyond the massage therapist’s scope of practice (as defined by state and/or local legislation), and that is instructive in understanding different systems of the body or human behavior more in depth. Click here for more information
  • Energy work that includes “’professional therapeutic hands-on applications.”

*NCBTMB only accepts 4 CEs per renewal period in Self-Care. Self-Care is NOT a requirement.

Once you master a particular modality or subject, the next progressive step is to become a NCBTMB Approved CE Provider. You must have full knowledge of the course you wish to teach, as well as the necessary documentation created before teaching the course, including:

  • Proof of meeting the NCBTMB AP Instructor Qualifications
  • Course title and number of CEs (your title must be clear)
  • Course description
  • Learning objectives & outcomes
  • Course outline

Before submitting an application to NCBTMB for approval, you must have taught the course at least one time within the last year to a group of five or more participants. You must provide the participants with an evaluation requesting feedback on the course, instruction, and material. You may retrieve an evaluation form here.

Once the AP and course have been approved, Certificate of Achievement (home study courses or courses which require a passing score on an exam upon completion) or a Certificate of Completion (live courses which simply require full participation) may be retroactively given to participants who have completed the course in the past year (365 days) from the date of approval.

Course Description: Your course description should offer an idea of what subject matter is being shared, and how that information is presented while describing a little idea about the environment.  For instance, it should indicate what percentage of the class is lecture based, and what percentage is practice with hands-on.  This should provide an image of what will be taught, the purpose for this course, the projected benefits for learning this subject matter, and how you intend to teach this course.

Sample Course Outline:

Day 1 – Shoulder Girdle Work = 8 Hours

8:00 – 8:20 Meet and greet, introduction to course and what to expect, students receive class materials
8:20 – 10:00 One-on-one bodywork: Rotator Cuff Muscles, Rhomboids, Trapezius, Levator Scapula, Erector Spinae Group
10:00 – 10:20 Break
10:20 – 12:00 Students switch table time and Group 2 and repeat the techniques taught before break
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break
1:00 – 2:40 One-on-bodywork: Latissimus Dorsi, Pectorals, Biceps, Deltoid, Triceps, SCM, Splenius Capitis, Suboccipitals
2:40 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:40 Students switch table time and Group 2 practices the techniques taught before break.
4:40 – 5:00 Verbal review of course content, question & answer session.

Day 2 – Pelvic Girdle Work =8 Hours

8:00 – 8:20 Meet and greet, introduction to course and what to expect, students receive class materials
8:20 – 10:00 One-on-one bodywork: Iliopsoas, Quadriceps, Iliotibial Tract, Gluteals, Piriformis
10:00 – 10:20 Break
10:20 – 12:00 Students switch table time and repeat the techniques taught before break
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break
1:00 – 2:40 One-on-bodywork: Hamstrings, Quadratus Lumborum, Adductors, Erector Spinae Group
2:40 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:40 Students switch table time and repeat the techniques taught before break
4:40 – 4:50 Final review, question & answer session.
4:50 – 5:00 Students fill out evaluation forms

Learning Objectives and Outcomes:  One (1) Objective should be achieved per one (1) hour of course with one (1) to a few Outcomes for the course.

Learning Objectives should be specific, measurable, and achievable take-a-ways or proofs of learning that each participant will be able to expect to gain.  These are not items participants will learn about, but rather things they can do as a result of having learned something new.  Think in terms of action related demonstrations of knowledge.

Basically, each learning objective just needs to be something each participant can; list, explain, describe, state, perform, compare, name, define, recognize, identify, choose, implement, assess, evaluate, or demonstrate within the subject matter of the class.  Most times, an hour of discussion or practice could lead to several pieces of information being absorbed, however, we just need one.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes Example:  If the first hour of class included discussion about what Lymphatic Shiatsu for Degenerative Disease is, how it is performed, and how it may help benefit people with those conditions, then:

It would make sense that each person could:

  • Name a few degenerative diseases which could benefit from Lymphatic Shiatsu
  • List structures of the lymphatic system
  • Explain how Shiatsu applications or pressure is applied
  • Name a few conditions which are contra-indicated for Lymphatic Shiatsu
  • Explain how this application benefits people with degenerative diseases

This would yield 5 learning objectives.

Learning Outcomes should be a broader more general accomplishment or take-a-way each participant can do as a result of mastering each of the smaller, more specific learned tasks.  This would look like the following.

Each participant will be able to;

  • Demonstrate how to position a person for a lymphatic shiatsu massage
  • Perform a lymphatic shiatsu massage

Please Note: As an Approved CE Provider, each course must be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to offering NCBTMB continuing education hours.

Click here for a full breakdown of NCBTMB’s AP Program Structure and Rules.

Unacceptable Course Content includes:

  • Core curriculum content including basic anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and Swedish massage applications
  • Diagnoses (allopathic-based) of clinical conditions
  • Implementation of allopathic medical/surgical procedures
  • Physically invasive modalities, e.g., ear candles, intra-anal, intra-vaginal modalities, etc.
  • Incorporation of chiropractic/osteopathic, e.g., ballistic, thrust oriented or other services and procedures which require additional licensure or certification, i.e., Yoga or Pilates Instructor Certification, Physical Therapy, Personal Training, Weight Training
  • Prescription of herbs, nutritional supplements, and /or pharmaceuticals
  • Performing hypnosis
  • Performing an aesthetician facial or exfoliation of cells from the body
  • Performing electrical stimulation, using electrical devices on clients or ultrasound of any kind
  • Psychological counseling
  • Psychic, clairvoyance, telepathic, astrology, religious practices
  • Dry needling and acupuncture
  • Breaking or removing tissue from the body
  • CBD Products*
  • Energy work that does not not include “professional therapeutic hands-on applications”
  • Aura techniques
  • Crystal healing
  • Qi Gong or Tai Chi
  • Fire cupping or any procedure that works with fire
  • Breast massage as part of anything other than medical procedures or prescribed by a physician (NCBTMB does accept breast massage when learning about oncology; specifically, breast cancer procedures)
  • Moxibustion
  • Tongue Reading
  • Erroneous, misleading titles of modalities; a description of the course must be added to the title if the modality cannot be easily deciphered by the title
  • Human Trafficking (click here for official statement)

Exceptions: Courses that will be allowed only when the course is designed/outlined and titled as strictly for the therapist’s personal self-care and not to be taught to others or performed on clients, such as:

  • Performing active strengthening/physical training to others (acceptable for the therapist’s self-care only).
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only).

Please Note: Basic/fundamental course content represented in the initial massage therapist training, does not qualify for CEs as it is not continued education. Continued education must be of an advanced nature, with more specific approaches.

*How CBD products are derived may mean some products are controlled substances under federal law. There is also scarce research on the efficacy, dosing and contraindications for the consumer or a provider using CBD products.

Additionally, NCBTMB reserves the right to reject any course content that does not adhere to federal laws and regulation, risks participant or instructor safety, and/or is not sufficiently backed up by research.

A NCBTMB Board Approved Continuing Education Provider, commonly referred to simply as an Approved Provider, is a continuing education instructor who has exhibited quality instruction of the highest standards throughout the massage therapy and bodywork profession.

Board Certificants must recertify every two years, and are required to earn 24 credits from an NCBTMB Approved Provider within that two-year period—meaning the highest quality massage therapists and bodyworkers will be seeking out your classes to further improve their knowledge and skills.

Home study courses are defined as a course that is taken by a participant without direct communication with the instructor. These courses are distributed via website, email or U.S. Mail by the Approved Provider to the participant. Once the participant completes the material, a test must be taken and submitted back to the provider to be graded before the participant may receive a certificate. The Approved Provider must have the grading scale documented to inform participants of the grade that must be earned to pass the course.

CEs given to each participant must match the length of time it takes the average person to complete the course. NCBTMB has created minimal criteria that each home study course must pass before the course can be accepted:

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced than the core curriculum guidelines
  • The course content must enhance a massage therapist’s level of knowledge
  • The course outline must fully describe the course layout
  • The number of CEs must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the amount of CE hours each course is worth
  • 12,000 words read equals 1 CE
  • One hour of video or audio equals 1 CE
    • Providers may give additional CEs for course work completed but the course work must be previously listed
    • Unsupervised practical assignments do not count towards CEs. Only assignments required to be turned in, which can be verified can earn CEs
  • According to several studies, the average reader reads approximately 200 words per minute.
    • Some participants may read faster or slower than the average, but home study courses may not be diluted to overstate the amount of CEs allowed for a home study course completion.
  • Approved Providers that teach courses via email or website must have contact information accessible to a participant in case technical issues arise.
  • Please indicate in the Course Outline section of the application how the course will be offered. (Ex. Content/materials are mailed, content materials are emailed, course is available online.)
  • If the content is available electronically, please upload the content with the “add content” link within the application.
    • If the course is available online, supply the website address, user name and password.
    • If the course is only available via hard-copy, mail contents to the NCBTMB address – Attention Approved Provider Dept. – New Course.
    • Materials submitted to NCBTMB will not be returned.
  • An exam must be completed by each participant with a passing score of 70 percent or higher.
    • Each exam must contain a minimum of 5 multiple-choice, questions, (containing 4 possible choices), per hour of class.
  • Certificates of Achievement are given to participants who complete a home study course

Other Key Requirements:

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s stated acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced that core curriculum guidelines
  • Learning objectives must be fully described and available to the participant
  • The number of CE hours must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the number of CE hours each course is worth
  • Homework does not count for CEs, and must be submitted separately as a home study course

If a Provider is using material created by other sources, he/she must follow these guidelines:

  • When creating a home study course, NCBTMB will accept no more than 30% of the material from a cited source (this includes videos)
  • Providers may use more than 30% as reference material, but the additional material may not be counted in the word count or video time
  • If a provider is using a text book, each participant must be provided a text book by the Approved Provider
  • Providers must properly cite all material that is taken from another source

Testing criteria for home study courses:

  • All home study courses must include a written exam, participants must pass, with a grade of 70% or higher, prior to receiving their certificate of achievement
  • Exams must include 5 multiple choice questions for each hour of the home study
  • 2 minutes per exam question will be accepted within the CE hours allotted for the course
  • Exam questions must be fact based to assess the participants retention of material in the home study course

Approved Providers may also work with an instructional designer to determine CE hours. Instructional designer must provide documentation of assignment of CE hours. Contact NCBTMB staff for additional information at ce@ncbtmb.org or call 1-800-296-0664.

Assigned Schools

All Assigned Schools who meet NCBTMB’s requirements are awarded a six-digit reference number, otherwise known as an Assigned School Code. You will need your Assigned School Code in order to register and sit for the Board Certification exam.

A NCBTMB Assigned School is an institution researched and approved by NCBTMB, proving the school is legitimate, operating legally and meets our minimum curriculum requirements of 500 hours of education.

NCBTMB Assigned Schools are awarded an Assigned School Code once programs are approved. This code is required for graduates of a school’s massage therapy program(s) to sit for the Board Certification Examination.

To complete applications with NCBTMB, you must first login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org by clicking “Login” at the top of the page.

If you do not have a NCBTMB account, click “Register” at the top left of the page, fill out all required information, and Submit. You can then login to your NCBTMB account.

To access applications once logged in, click on “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links portion of your dashboard.

The NCBTMB Directory is a free, personalized listing aimed to help promote your practice, organization, and/or school. As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

Students graduating from NCBTMB Assigned School Codes have access to a streamlined application process for Board Certification as the school is previously reviewed.

Students graduating from a school without an NCBTMB Assigned School Code may be able to complete the NCBTMB Portfolio Review Process. To find out if you or your students may be eligible, call us at 1-800-296-0664 or email us at info@ncbtmb.org. We’ll help you figure out if there is an alternative route to Board Certification for you.

Board Certification

Licensure is a mandatory, entry level credential required by most states. If you are licensed, it does not necessarily mean you are certified.

Board Certification is the highest voluntary credential in the profession today. Achieving Board Certification shows a higher level of commitment to the profession by meeting greater educational and work experience requirements.

To become Board Certified, you must meet or exceed the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a NCBTMB Assigned School*
  • Passing score on the Board Certification Exam
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Verification of current massage therapy state license
  • Agree to uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

The cost to apply for Board Certification is $250, plus a $25 background check fee (performed by NCBTMB).

*If you did not graduate from a NCBTMB Assigned School, your school is now closed, or you completed international training, you may instead apply for Board Certification via Portfolio Review.

**If submitting a transcript with transfer credits, submit transcripts from the original school you’ve attended.

The Board Certification exam contains 140 questions and you will have 140 minutes to complete the exam. Content found on this exam embraces application of technique and is assessment based—simulating real-life scenarios you will more than likely encounter as a certified massage therapist.

The Board Certification Exam is built around the below main categories:

  • Assessment (25%)
  • Applied Science, including Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, Pathology/Injury, and Pharmacology (25%)
  • Massage Modalities, Techniques, and Manual Forces (20%)
  • Professional Communication (15%)
  • Professionalism and Ethics (10%)
  • Laws and Business Practices (5%)

To download the full BCETMB breakdown, click here.

Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) represents the highest attainable credential within the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Board Certification is an advanced credential separate from entry-level massage therapy state licensure.

As Board Certification is voluntary, its achievement represents the highest level of commitment to clients and to the advancement of the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Board Certificants must meet higher standards of education, possess a higher level of critical thinking skills, and pass a rigorous exam. The exam requires candidates to apply assessment skills, orthopedic knowledge, applied science skills (such as pathology, pharmacology, and more), and more to real-life scenarios in an effort to develop treatment plans that achieve positive results.

In addition, all Board Certificants must undergo a routine criminal background check upon initial application and renewal (every two years) as a means of ensuring employers and the public that they are working with a trusted and reputable professional.

Once you become Board Certified, you will be required to renew your Board Certification every two-years.

To renew your Board Certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 24 CEs from NCBTMB Approved Providers within a two-year period, including:
    • 3 hours in Ethics
    • Note: No more than 4 hours will be accepted in Self-Care (Self-Care is not a requirement)
    • NCBTMB approved scientific, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and business courses are also acceptable (read more)
  • Pass a criminal background check (performed by NCBTMB)
  • Agree to uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

All 24 CEs must be completed within your two-year renewal period; you may NOT carry over or apply past CEs to meet this requirement. 

Please Note: NCBTMB Approved Provider courses submitted for Board Renewal must be pre-approved. To check the approval status of an AP course for Board Renewal purposes, utilize the “Find An Approved CE Provider” app. If a course is approved, it will be listed within the app under the appropriate AP number/name. If the course is not listed, please contact us at info@ncbtmb.org or check with the AP for clarification prior to submitting the course for Board Renewal.

The cost to renew your Board Certification is $85 every two years, plus a $25 background check fee (performed by NCBTMB).

Course, Instructor & Account Updates

To add new classes to your current Approved Provider account, it’s relatively simple.

Check out these helpful steps for adding your new class:

  • Login to your Approved Provider account at ncbtmb.org.
  • Click “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links Menu
  • Scroll down to the Approved Provider Forms and click on Approved Provider New Course(s) Form.
  • Complete the form, as required.
  • Once your form is complete, click Submit Form.

NCBTMB makes every effort to review your course additions as soon as possible. We typically process all requests within four weeks from the date of submission. You can view the status of all your applications by logging into your account and clicking on “Applications History” from the Quick Links menu.

Please note that, upon approval, you can retroactively grant CE’s for any course that you taught during the approval process.

As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

To edit or create segments for your current approved course, you must: 

  • Login to your Approved Provider account at ncbtmb.org.
  • Click “Additional Forms” from the Quick Links menu
  • Scroll down to the Approved Provider applications and click the “Existing Course Update”
  • Complete the form, as required
  • Once your form is complete, click “Submit Form”
  • There is no charge to make changes to an existing course

Please Note: Please be sure to only issue certificates for your NCBTMB approved courses that match, exactly, to the course title and number of hours we have on file. NCBTMB will not accept CE certificates that differ in course title and number of hours from your NCBTMB approved courses. Such CE certificates may also have the potential to be rejected by a state regulatory board.

NCBTMB makes every effort to review your requests as soon as possible. We typically process all requests within four weeks from the date of submission. You can view the status of all your applications by logging into your account and clicking on “Applications History” from the Dashboard.

No. The previous owner must contact NCBTMB’s Approved Provider department at ce@ncbtmb.org or by calling 1-800-296-0664 to inform us that the Approved Provider organization has been sold. NCBTMB will close the current Approved Provider. The new owner must submit a new Initial Approved Provider Code Request Form. Approved Provider Codes are non-transferable between owners.

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the Instructor Resume/CV Form
  • Click Submit

There is no fees to add additional instructors to your AP Organization account.

Criminal Conviction Policy

Revised February 2015

Massage therapists are placed in a position of trust with patients.  These therapists have unsupervised physical contact with their patients.  A violation of this trust is in direct opposition to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of NCBTMB.

Below is a three-tiered review system for NCBTMB certification applicants with a conviction, plea of guilty, nolo contendere or no contest to any misdemeanors and felonies.

1.      Unreviewable Denial of Certification

Convictions of certain crimes present an unreasonable risk to patients.  Therefore, any NCBTMB applicants with a history of any felony or misdemeanor crime set forth below shall be denied certification in all cases.

  1. Crimes involving prostitution, sexual or physical abuse, and sexual misconduct.
  2. Serious crimes of violence against persons, including but not limited to, murder, attempted murder, manslaughter (not including involuntary manslaughter) kidnapping, arson, rape, and assault and/or battery with a dangerous weapon.
  3. Applicants currently on work release or on parole.
  4. Felonies in which applicants are currently on probation
  5. Felonies involving illegal drugs and/or controlled substances, including unlawful possession or distribution or intent to distribute unlawfully, all substances set forth in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, as amended.
  6. Felonies involving serious crimes against property, such as grand larceny, robbery, burglary, embezzlement or fraud.

2.      Reviewable Denial of Certification

Any applicant who has a history which falls into the following categories may be denied certification except for circumstances where the applicant can show by clear and convincing evidence that their certification will not endanger public safety.

  1. Misdemeanors involving illegal drugs and/or controlled substances, including all substances set forth in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, as amended.
  2. Crimes involving (but not limited to) driving while under the influence or ability impaired after a 3rd conviction.
  3. Misdemeanor crimes against property, such as larceny, burglary, robbery, embezzlement or fraud.
  4. Misdemeanors involving assault and/or battery (without a dangerous weapon)

       3.      Possible Denial of Certification

Applicants with convictions that do not include any of the conditions set forth above may be denied certification after careful consideration of the following factors:

  1. The seriousness of the crime;
  2. Whether the crime was violent in nature;
  3. Whether the applicant has multiple convictions;
  4. Whether the crime involved a minor, the elderly or a person of diminished capacity;
  5. How much time has elapsed since the crime was committed;
  6. Whether the crime relates to patient care;
  7. Whether the applicant was truthful and not misleading in explaining the terms and circumstances of their felony conviction.

General Information

All Assigned Schools who meet NCBTMB’s requirements are awarded a six-digit reference number, otherwise known as an Assigned School Code. You will need your Assigned School Code in order to register and sit for the Board Certification exam.

A NCBTMB Assigned School is an institution researched and approved by NCBTMB, proving the school is legitimate, operating legally and meets our minimum curriculum requirements of 500 hours of education.

NCBTMB Assigned Schools are awarded an Assigned School Code once programs are approved. This code is required for graduates of a school’s massage therapy program(s) to sit for the Board Certification Examination.

Students graduating from NCBTMB Assigned School Codes have access to a streamlined application process for Board Certification as the school is previously reviewed.

Students graduating from a school without an NCBTMB Assigned School Code may be able to complete the NCBTMB Portfolio Review Process. To find out if you or your students may be eligible, call us at 1-800-296-0664 or email us at info@ncbtmb.org. We’ll help you figure out if there is an alternative route to Board Certification for you.

All applications will expire within 30 days if left Pending. Incomplete applications (not yet submitted) expire within 30 days.

You will have the option to “Save & Continue Later” on most NCBTMB Forms. This function allows you to email yourself with a link to continue your application. You must be logged in to your NCBTMB account when accessing this link in the future.

Once an application has expired, applicants will have to complete a new application and add all required documentation to the new application. Expired applications are non-refundable.

To become an NCBTMB Assigned School and receive an Assigned School Code, you must meet our minimum 500-hour curriculum requirements in Western based massage therapy education.

Non-Accredited Schools: All 500 hours of core curriculum must be live, in class with an instructor present. NCBTMB no longer accepts online learning in core curriculum for Non-Accredited programs.

Accredited Schools: NCBTMB will accept a portion of classes via Learning Management System (LMS). Click here for more information.

Our 500-hour curriculum requirements:

  • 125 hours of instruction in the body’s systems and anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology
  • 200 hours of in-class, supervised hands-on instruction in massage and bodywork assessment, theory and application instruction
  • 40 hours of pathology
  • 10 hours of business and ethics instruction (a minimum of 6 hours in ethics)
  • 125 hours of instruction in an area or related field that theoretically completes your massage program of study

In recognition of the lengthy accreditation process undertaken by Accredited schools, Accredited and Non-Accredited schools are asked to submit different materials.

Please Note: All education submitted on the Assigned School Application must meet NCBTMB’s acceptable course content guidelines. In addition, all course content and curriculum must be acceptable within the state the school is located. Applications will be rejected if they list information that NCBTMB does not accept no matter the length of the program.

How to apply for the MTAC

REFUND POLICY

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam or Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification (MTAC) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for MTAC and Board Certification have ninety (90) days from the time they are deemed eligible to take the exam to schedule and sit for their examination. Candidates who do not take the exam during this time period will forfeit their exam fee in full. Candidates will also have to reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to again be considered eligible to take the exam.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee. For full breakdown of fees and policies, review the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates for MTAC — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

The cost of the MTAC is $135, which includes the assessment and a background check (performed by NCBTMB). The background check is valid for two years, should you pursue Board Certification within that timeframe.

The MTAC is composed of 120 multiple-choice questions and is graded in raw score format. The tool assesses various areas reflective of both the Board Certification Exam and core curriculum, including: Massage Modalities, Techniques and Manual Forces, Applied Science (Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, Pathology/Injury, and Pharmacology), Professional Communication, Professionalism and Ethics, Laws and Business Practices, Self Care, and Assessment.

For a full breakdown of the MTAC, click here.

Eligibility requirements for the MTAC are as follows:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Proof of current enrollment or graduation from an NCBTMB Assigned School
  • Pass a criminal background check (performed by NCBTMB)

The he MTAC is available to eligible candidates at all Prometric nationwide testing centers. Detailed information will be provided upon review and approval of your MTAC application.

The MTAC is only available in English.

How to become an Approved Provider

Acceptable course content includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applications of massage and bodywork therapy for specific needs, conditions, or client populations
  • Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology
  • Research literacy
  • Client assessment protocols, skills for client record keeping, strategies for interfacing with other health care providers
  • Use of external agents such as water, heat, cold, or topicals
  • Body-centered or somatic psychology, psychophysiology, interpersonal skills – which may include communication skills, boundary functions, phenomena of transference, counter-transference and projection
  • Standards of practice, professional ethics or state laws
  • Strategies for the marketing of massage and bodywork therapy practices
  • Theory or practice of ergonomic science as applied to therapist or client
  • Hygiene, methods of infectious disease control, organization and management of the treatment environment
  • The use of massage therapy tools and their specific needs (tools may not be sold during class time and the instructor must be able to supply students with the tools during class)
  • Working with the muscles within the oral cavity for specific treatments, i.e. working on the masseter muscle in conjunction with TMJ Disorder
  • Self-care courses concentrating on nutrition and/or diet only, but only as it enhances the learner’s knowledge about the practice of massage therapy
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)*
  • Active strengthening/physical training  (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)
  • Advanced science courses that contain content which goes beyond the massage therapist’s scope of practice (as defined by state and/or local legislation), and that is instructive in understanding different systems of the body or human behavior more in depth. Click here for more information
  • Energy work that includes “’professional therapeutic hands-on applications.”

*NCBTMB only accepts 4 CEs per renewal period in Self-Care. Self-Care is NOT a requirement.

Once you master a particular modality or subject, the next progressive step is to become a NCBTMB Approved CE Provider. You must have full knowledge of the course you wish to teach, as well as the necessary documentation created before teaching the course, including:

  • Proof of meeting the NCBTMB AP Instructor Qualifications
  • Course title and number of CEs (your title must be clear)
  • Course description
  • Learning objectives & outcomes
  • Course outline

Before submitting an application to NCBTMB for approval, you must have taught the course at least one time within the last year to a group of five or more participants. You must provide the participants with an evaluation requesting feedback on the course, instruction, and material. You may retrieve an evaluation form here.

Once the AP and course have been approved, Certificate of Achievement (home study courses or courses which require a passing score on an exam upon completion) or a Certificate of Completion (live courses which simply require full participation) may be retroactively given to participants who have completed the course in the past year (365 days) from the date of approval.

Course Description: Your course description should offer an idea of what subject matter is being shared, and how that information is presented while describing a little idea about the environment.  For instance, it should indicate what percentage of the class is lecture based, and what percentage is practice with hands-on.  This should provide an image of what will be taught, the purpose for this course, the projected benefits for learning this subject matter, and how you intend to teach this course.

Sample Course Outline:

Day 1 – Shoulder Girdle Work = 8 Hours

8:00 – 8:20 Meet and greet, introduction to course and what to expect, students receive class materials
8:20 – 10:00 One-on-one bodywork: Rotator Cuff Muscles, Rhomboids, Trapezius, Levator Scapula, Erector Spinae Group
10:00 – 10:20 Break
10:20 – 12:00 Students switch table time and Group 2 and repeat the techniques taught before break
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break
1:00 – 2:40 One-on-bodywork: Latissimus Dorsi, Pectorals, Biceps, Deltoid, Triceps, SCM, Splenius Capitis, Suboccipitals
2:40 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:40 Students switch table time and Group 2 practices the techniques taught before break.
4:40 – 5:00 Verbal review of course content, question & answer session.

Day 2 – Pelvic Girdle Work =8 Hours

8:00 – 8:20 Meet and greet, introduction to course and what to expect, students receive class materials
8:20 – 10:00 One-on-one bodywork: Iliopsoas, Quadriceps, Iliotibial Tract, Gluteals, Piriformis
10:00 – 10:20 Break
10:20 – 12:00 Students switch table time and repeat the techniques taught before break
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break
1:00 – 2:40 One-on-bodywork: Hamstrings, Quadratus Lumborum, Adductors, Erector Spinae Group
2:40 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:40 Students switch table time and repeat the techniques taught before break
4:40 – 4:50 Final review, question & answer session.
4:50 – 5:00 Students fill out evaluation forms

Learning Objectives and Outcomes:  One (1) Objective should be achieved per one (1) hour of course with one (1) to a few Outcomes for the course.

Learning Objectives should be specific, measurable, and achievable take-a-ways or proofs of learning that each participant will be able to expect to gain.  These are not items participants will learn about, but rather things they can do as a result of having learned something new.  Think in terms of action related demonstrations of knowledge.

Basically, each learning objective just needs to be something each participant can; list, explain, describe, state, perform, compare, name, define, recognize, identify, choose, implement, assess, evaluate, or demonstrate within the subject matter of the class.  Most times, an hour of discussion or practice could lead to several pieces of information being absorbed, however, we just need one.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes Example:  If the first hour of class included discussion about what Lymphatic Shiatsu for Degenerative Disease is, how it is performed, and how it may help benefit people with those conditions, then:

It would make sense that each person could:

  • Name a few degenerative diseases which could benefit from Lymphatic Shiatsu
  • List structures of the lymphatic system
  • Explain how Shiatsu applications or pressure is applied
  • Name a few conditions which are contra-indicated for Lymphatic Shiatsu
  • Explain how this application benefits people with degenerative diseases

This would yield 5 learning objectives.

Learning Outcomes should be a broader more general accomplishment or take-a-way each participant can do as a result of mastering each of the smaller, more specific learned tasks.  This would look like the following.

Each participant will be able to;

  • Demonstrate how to position a person for a lymphatic shiatsu massage
  • Perform a lymphatic shiatsu massage

Please Note: As an Approved CE Provider, each course must be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to offering NCBTMB continuing education hours.

Click here for a full breakdown of NCBTMB’s AP Program Structure and Rules.

Unacceptable Course Content includes:

  • Core curriculum content including basic anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and Swedish massage applications
  • Diagnoses (allopathic-based) of clinical conditions
  • Implementation of allopathic medical/surgical procedures
  • Physically invasive modalities, e.g., ear candles, intra-anal, intra-vaginal modalities, etc.
  • Incorporation of chiropractic/osteopathic, e.g., ballistic, thrust oriented or other services and procedures which require additional licensure or certification, i.e., Yoga or Pilates Instructor Certification, Physical Therapy, Personal Training, Weight Training
  • Prescription of herbs, nutritional supplements, and /or pharmaceuticals
  • Performing hypnosis
  • Performing an aesthetician facial or exfoliation of cells from the body
  • Performing electrical stimulation, using electrical devices on clients or ultrasound of any kind
  • Psychological counseling
  • Psychic, clairvoyance, telepathic, astrology, religious practices
  • Dry needling and acupuncture
  • Breaking or removing tissue from the body
  • CBD Products*
  • Energy work that does not not include “professional therapeutic hands-on applications”
  • Aura techniques
  • Crystal healing
  • Qi Gong or Tai Chi
  • Fire cupping or any procedure that works with fire
  • Breast massage as part of anything other than medical procedures or prescribed by a physician (NCBTMB does accept breast massage when learning about oncology; specifically, breast cancer procedures)
  • Moxibustion
  • Tongue Reading
  • Erroneous, misleading titles of modalities; a description of the course must be added to the title if the modality cannot be easily deciphered by the title
  • Human Trafficking (click here for official statement)

Exceptions: Courses that will be allowed only when the course is designed/outlined and titled as strictly for the therapist’s personal self-care and not to be taught to others or performed on clients, such as:

  • Performing active strengthening/physical training to others (acceptable for the therapist’s self-care only).
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only).

Please Note: Basic/fundamental course content represented in the initial massage therapist training, does not qualify for CEs as it is not continued education. Continued education must be of an advanced nature, with more specific approaches.

*How CBD products are derived may mean some products are controlled substances under federal law. There is also scarce research on the efficacy, dosing and contraindications for the consumer or a provider using CBD products.

Additionally, NCBTMB reserves the right to reject any course content that does not adhere to federal laws and regulation, risks participant or instructor safety, and/or is not sufficiently backed up by research.

To complete applications with NCBTMB, you must first login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org by clicking “Login” at the top of the page.

If you do not have a NCBTMB account, click “Register” at the top left of the page, fill out all required information, and Submit. You can then login to your NCBTMB account.

To access applications once logged in, click on “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links portion of your dashboard.

Important information for first-time applicants:

  • The Approved Provider Application fee to both apply and renew is $225 (Individuals) and $450 (Organizations and Conference/Tradeshow Providers) for a three-year period.
  • Each separate course submission for an Individual or Organization Approved Provider is $25.
    • Multiple courses that contain information about the same modality and level of understanding, working with different areas of the body are considered the same course.
    • Courses that are taught for different amounts of CEs due to teaching for different venues are considered one course.
    • Tip: Submit the longest version of a class that will be broken into segments to avoid being charged for different courses.
  • The application is equipped to list a primary course and the different courses that may be segmented out of the primary course.
  • Organizations that hold a conference or tradeshow with four or more instructors must submit $100 for the review of the conference or tradeshow.
  • All organizations that only hold conferences or tradeshows will submit $100 for the review of the instructors and courses being taught for the conference/tradeshow.
  • Instructors teaching under Organization status accounts must first be submitted to and approved by NCBTMB prior to teaching and issuing CEs.

Important information regarding new course submissions:

  • Each separate course submission for an Individual or Organization AP is $25.
    • Each course must be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to offering NCBTMB continuing education hours.
  • There will be an additional $50 per three-year renewal charge associated with Approved Providers that want to be sponsored by NCBTMB to teach New York LMTs.
    • NY will only accept CEs from a CE Provider that NY approves or that is sponsored by an entity that has been approved by the NY Board. NCBTMB is a New York approved Sponsor and will pass this sponsorship to its Approved Providers.

Questions? Contact us at ce@ncbtmb.org or call 1-800-296-0664.

How to become an Assigned School

All Assigned Schools who meet NCBTMB’s requirements are awarded a six-digit reference number, otherwise known as an Assigned School Code. You will need your Assigned School Code in order to register and sit for the Board Certification exam.

A NCBTMB Assigned School is an institution researched and approved by NCBTMB, proving the school is legitimate, operating legally and meets our minimum curriculum requirements of 500 hours of education.

NCBTMB Assigned Schools are awarded an Assigned School Code once programs are approved. This code is required for graduates of a school’s massage therapy program(s) to sit for the Board Certification Examination.

To complete applications with NCBTMB, you must first login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org by clicking “Login” at the top of the page.

If you do not have a NCBTMB account, click “Register” at the top left of the page, fill out all required information, and Submit. You can then login to your NCBTMB account.

To access applications once logged in, click on “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links portion of your dashboard.

Students graduating from NCBTMB Assigned School Codes have access to a streamlined application process for Board Certification as the school is previously reviewed.

Students graduating from a school without an NCBTMB Assigned School Code may be able to complete the NCBTMB Portfolio Review Process. To find out if you or your students may be eligible, call us at 1-800-296-0664 or email us at info@ncbtmb.org. We’ll help you figure out if there is an alternative route to Board Certification for you.

All applications will expire within 30 days if left Pending. Incomplete applications (not yet submitted) expire within 30 days.

You will have the option to “Save & Continue Later” on most NCBTMB Forms. This function allows you to email yourself with a link to continue your application. You must be logged in to your NCBTMB account when accessing this link in the future.

Once an application has expired, applicants will have to complete a new application and add all required documentation to the new application. Expired applications are non-refundable.

How to become Board Certified

Licensure is a mandatory, entry level credential required by most states. If you are licensed, it does not necessarily mean you are certified.

Board Certification is the highest voluntary credential in the profession today. Achieving Board Certification shows a higher level of commitment to the profession by meeting greater educational and work experience requirements.

To become Board Certified, you must meet or exceed the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a NCBTMB Assigned School*
  • Passing score on the Board Certification Exam
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Verification of current massage therapy state license
  • Agree to uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

The cost to apply for Board Certification is $250, plus a $25 background check fee (performed by NCBTMB).

*If you did not graduate from a NCBTMB Assigned School, your school is now closed, or you completed international training, you may instead apply for Board Certification via Portfolio Review.

**If submitting a transcript with transfer credits, submit transcripts from the original school you’ve attended.

The Board Certification exam contains 140 questions and you will have 140 minutes to complete the exam. Content found on this exam embraces application of technique and is assessment based—simulating real-life scenarios you will more than likely encounter as a certified massage therapist.

The Board Certification Exam is built around the below main categories:

  • Assessment (25%)
  • Applied Science, including Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, Pathology/Injury, and Pharmacology (25%)
  • Massage Modalities, Techniques, and Manual Forces (20%)
  • Professional Communication (15%)
  • Professionalism and Ethics (10%)
  • Laws and Business Practices (5%)

To download the full BCETMB breakdown, click here.

Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) represents the highest attainable credential within the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Board Certification is an advanced credential separate from entry-level massage therapy state licensure.

As Board Certification is voluntary, its achievement represents the highest level of commitment to clients and to the advancement of the massage therapy and bodywork profession. Board Certificants must meet higher standards of education, possess a higher level of critical thinking skills, and pass a rigorous exam. The exam requires candidates to apply assessment skills, orthopedic knowledge, applied science skills (such as pathology, pharmacology, and more), and more to real-life scenarios in an effort to develop treatment plans that achieve positive results.

In addition, all Board Certificants must undergo a routine criminal background check upon initial application and renewal (every two years) as a means of ensuring employers and the public that they are working with a trusted and reputable professional.

The cost to become Board Certified is $250. An additional $25 will be required to process your criminal background check (performed by NCBTMB).

How to renew my APCE Provider status

All applications will expire within 30 days if left Pending. Incomplete applications (not yet submitted) expire within 30 days.

You will have the option to “Save & Continue Later” on most NCBTMB Forms. This function allows you to email yourself with a link to continue your application. You must be logged in to your NCBTMB account when accessing this link in the future.

Once an application has expired, applicants will have to complete a new application and add all required documentation to the new application. Expired applications are non-refundable.

REFUND POLICY

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam or Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification (MTAC) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for MTAC and Board Certification have ninety (90) days from the time they are deemed eligible to take the exam to schedule and sit for their examination. Candidates who do not take the exam during this time period will forfeit their exam fee in full. Candidates will also have to reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to again be considered eligible to take the exam.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee. For full breakdown of fees and policies, review the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates for MTAC — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

All Approved Providers are valid for a three-year period. Once your three-year period is up, you will need to complete the Approved Provider Renewal Application.

As a reminder, follow the steps listed below to reapply to become an Approved Provider:

  • Login to the NCBTMB website using your username and password at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Once logged in, click “Renewal”
  • Click the “Approved Provider Renewal Provider Application.”
  • Complete the application and “Submit.”

You may follow your application progress from the Application History section of your account. Please keep in mind that all applications are processed in the order in which they are received. This process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

 

NCBTMB reviews all approved CE provider courses. This helps to ensure that the CE courses MTs take will be within NCBTMB’s acceptable content.  Additionally, CE providers must supply their educational and practical background as well as their teaching experience.  It is also necessary for each instructor to hold a practice pilot course for at least 5 individuals, or had prior formal teaching experience.  These processes will also help to procure a highly qualified educator and overall better educational experience.

A large percentage of states have NCBTMB written in their CE rules for renewal of licenses.  Massage Therapists like to move around between states, and each state has different educational hourly requirements. So, the NCBTMB approved CE courses may also be applied towards those hourly requirements, if your foundation education needs to be bolstered to obtain licensure in another state.

Since many states do require the CE courses to be NCBTMB approved, many MTs rely on the NCBTMB website course listings to find their Approved CE Provider courses.  Also, Board Certificants must take courses approved by NCBTMB for certification renewal.

Lastly, all NCBTMB Approved CE Providers agree to uphold the NCBTMB Approved CE Provider Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  When spending your time, money, and energy to invest in your professional development, it is wise to make that investment with someone who is also committed to go through, and maintain the processes which establish their credibility as a professional educator.

How to renew my Assigned School status

All applications will expire within 30 days if left Pending. Incomplete applications (not yet submitted) expire within 30 days.

You will have the option to “Save & Continue Later” on most NCBTMB Forms. This function allows you to email yourself with a link to continue your application. You must be logged in to your NCBTMB account when accessing this link in the future.

Once an application has expired, applicants will have to complete a new application and add all required documentation to the new application. Expired applications are non-refundable.

Once awarded an Assigned School Code, the renewal requirements differ based on if your institution is Accredited or Non-Accredited:

  • Accredited schools must renew their Assigned School status every five years. There is no cost to renew.
  • Non-Accredited schools must renew their Assigned School status every two years. There is no cost to renew.

For more information on how to renew your Assigned School status, please email schooloutreach@ncbtmb.org.

If the school contact name changes, please notify the NCBTMB School Outreach Department by submitting the change of information in writing. To do so:

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the School Name Change Form
    • Submit legal documentation showing the school’s name change.
  • Click Submit

 

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links
  • Complete the School Address Change Form
    • Submit legal documentation showing the school’s change of address.
  • Click Submit

How to renew my Board Certification

Once you become Board Certified, you will be required to renew your Board Certification every two-years.

To renew your Board Certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 24 CEs from NCBTMB Approved Providers within a two-year period, including:
    • 3 hours in Ethics
    • Note: No more than 4 hours will be accepted in Self-Care (Self-Care is not a requirement)
    • NCBTMB approved scientific, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and business courses are also acceptable (read more)
  • Pass a criminal background check (performed by NCBTMB)
  • Agree to uphold NCBTMB’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

All 24 CEs must be completed within your two-year renewal period; you may NOT carry over or apply past CEs to meet this requirement. 

Please Note: NCBTMB Approved Provider courses submitted for Board Renewal must be pre-approved. To check the approval status of an AP course for Board Renewal purposes, utilize the “Find An Approved CE Provider” app. If a course is approved, it will be listed within the app under the appropriate AP number/name. If the course is not listed, please contact us at info@ncbtmb.org or check with the AP for clarification prior to submitting the course for Board Renewal.

The cost to renew your Board Certification is $85 every two years, plus a $25 background check fee (performed by NCBTMB).

Board Certificants are required to earn 24 CEs from NCBTMB Approved Providers every two years to maintain their Board Certification credential, including:

  • 3 CEs in Ethics
  • Note: No more than 4 CEs will be accepted in Self-Care (Self-Care is not a requirement).
  • NCBTMB approved scientific, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and business courses are also acceptable (read more)

All 24 CEs must be completed within your two-year renewal period; you may NOT carry over or apply past CEs to meet this requirement.

Please Note: NCBTMB Approved Provider courses submitted for Board Renewal must be pre-approved. To check the approval status of an AP course for Board Renewal purposes, utilize the Directory. If a course is approved, it will be listed within the app under the appropriate AP number/name. If the course is not listed, please contact us at info@ncbtmb.org or check with the AP for clarification prior to submitting the course for Board Renewal.

All applications will expire within 30 days if left Pending. Incomplete applications (not yet submitted) expire within 30 days.

You will have the option to “Save & Continue Later” on most NCBTMB Forms. This function allows you to email yourself with a link to continue your application. You must be logged in to your NCBTMB account when accessing this link in the future.

Once an application has expired, applicants will have to complete a new application and add all required documentation to the new application. Expired applications are non-refundable.

You can renew your Board Certification entirely online with these simple steps:

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click “Renewal” from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the Board Certification Renewal Form.
  • Make Payment
  • Click Submit

Fees:

  • Renewal Application Fee: $85/2 years
  • Background Check Fee: $25

NOTE: Your email address registered to your NCBTMB Account is your username. Click “Forgot Password?” if you cannot recall your login information.

It costs $85 to renew your Board Certification every two years. There is an additional $25 background check fee (performed by NCBTMB).

MTAC

REFUND POLICY

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam or Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification (MTAC) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for MTAC and Board Certification have ninety (90) days from the time they are deemed eligible to take the exam to schedule and sit for their examination. Candidates who do not take the exam during this time period will forfeit their exam fee in full. Candidates will also have to reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to again be considered eligible to take the exam.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee. For full breakdown of fees and policies, review the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates for MTAC — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

The cost of the MTAC is $135, which includes the assessment and a background check (performed by NCBTMB). The background check is valid for two years, should you pursue Board Certification within that timeframe.

“MTAC” stands for Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification.

The purpose of the MTAC is to provide a personalized assessment of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in preparation for the Board Certification Exam.

Upon completion of the MTAC, an individual is provided with a total percentage score, as well as a percentage score per category. Such a personalized breakdown empowers the individual to determine which areas to improve upon prior to attempting the Board Certification Exam. The assessment also reflects how well the individual has digested and maintained key information learned in core curriculum.

The MTAC is composed of 120 multiple-choice questions and is graded in raw score format. The tool assesses various areas reflective of both the Board Certification Exam and core curriculum, including: Massage Modalities, Techniques and Manual Forces, Applied Science (Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, Pathology/Injury, and Pharmacology), Professional Communication, Professionalism and Ethics, Laws and Business Practices, Self Care, and Assessment.

For a full breakdown of the MTAC, click here.

Eligibility requirements for the MTAC are as follows:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Proof of current enrollment or graduation from an NCBTMB Assigned School
  • Pass a criminal background check (performed by NCBTMB)

My Account

To complete applications with NCBTMB, you must first login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org by clicking “Login” at the top of the page.

If you do not have a NCBTMB account, click “Register” at the top left of the page, fill out all required information, and Submit. You can then login to your NCBTMB account.

To access applications once logged in, click on “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links portion of your dashboard.

The NCBTMB Directory is a free, personalized listing aimed to help promote your practice, organization, and/or school. As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

All applications will expire within 30 days if left Pending. Incomplete applications (not yet submitted) expire within 30 days.

You will have the option to “Save & Continue Later” on most NCBTMB Forms. This function allows you to email yourself with a link to continue your application. You must be logged in to your NCBTMB account when accessing this link in the future.

Once an application has expired, applicants will have to complete a new application and add all required documentation to the new application. Expired applications are non-refundable.

NCBTMB must send all official Score Reports to state boards; you cannot send a Score Report on your own behalf.

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click on “Score Report Request” from the Quick Links menu
  • Fill out all required information
  • Make Payment
  • Click Submit

The fee per Score Report is $25.

As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

NCBTMB Policies

REFUND POLICY

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam or Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification (MTAC) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for MTAC and Board Certification have ninety (90) days from the time they are deemed eligible to take the exam to schedule and sit for their examination. Candidates who do not take the exam during this time period will forfeit their exam fee in full. Candidates will also have to reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to again be considered eligible to take the exam.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee. For full breakdown of fees and policies, review the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates for MTAC — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

Refund Policy

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

Confidentiality Policy

A candidate’s performance on the Board Certification examination shall remain confidential unless otherwise stipulated by the examinee. Score transfers to state licensing boards, regulatory commissions, etc. must be made in writing by the candidate and submitted directly to NCBTMB through the Score Report Request form that is located within candidates’ profile. Scores will be sent directly to the state licensing/credentialing board in the form of either a sealed transcript or an encoded electronic file.

Criminal Conviction Policy

Please click here to view the current NCBTMB Criminal Conviction policy.

Records Retention

All applications for certification, and their supporting documentation, will be maintained by NCBTMB for a period of eight years (four certification cycles). These documents shall remain confidential and destroyed after the eight-year cycle is complete.

NCBTMB will maintain electronic records of all applicants and certificants, subject to the retention policy. Test scores (passing and failing) are maintained indefinitely for all candidates in a secure electronic format.

All applicants for recertification, and their supporting documentation, are maintained by NCBTMB for a period of four years (two recertification cycles). Inactive records (i.e. certificants whose certification period has expired) that remain idle for a period of 90 days shall be purged from NCBTMB’s archive of records.

NCBTMB 1333 Burr Ridge Parkway Suite 200 Burr Ridge, IL 60527

Revised February 2015

Massage therapists are placed in a position of trust with patients.  These therapists have unsupervised physical contact with their patients.  A violation of this trust is in direct opposition to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of NCBTMB.

Below is a three-tiered review system for NCBTMB certification applicants with a conviction, plea of guilty, nolo contendere or no contest to any misdemeanors and felonies.

1.      Unreviewable Denial of Certification

Convictions of certain crimes present an unreasonable risk to patients.  Therefore, any NCBTMB applicants with a history of any felony or misdemeanor crime set forth below shall be denied certification in all cases.

  1. Crimes involving prostitution, sexual or physical abuse, and sexual misconduct.
  2. Serious crimes of violence against persons, including but not limited to, murder, attempted murder, manslaughter (not including involuntary manslaughter) kidnapping, arson, rape, and assault and/or battery with a dangerous weapon.
  3. Applicants currently on work release or on parole.
  4. Felonies in which applicants are currently on probation
  5. Felonies involving illegal drugs and/or controlled substances, including unlawful possession or distribution or intent to distribute unlawfully, all substances set forth in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, as amended.
  6. Felonies involving serious crimes against property, such as grand larceny, robbery, burglary, embezzlement or fraud.

2.      Reviewable Denial of Certification

Any applicant who has a history which falls into the following categories may be denied certification except for circumstances where the applicant can show by clear and convincing evidence that their certification will not endanger public safety.

  1. Misdemeanors involving illegal drugs and/or controlled substances, including all substances set forth in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, as amended.
  2. Crimes involving (but not limited to) driving while under the influence or ability impaired after a 3rd conviction.
  3. Misdemeanor crimes against property, such as larceny, burglary, robbery, embezzlement or fraud.
  4. Misdemeanors involving assault and/or battery (without a dangerous weapon)

       3.      Possible Denial of Certification

Applicants with convictions that do not include any of the conditions set forth above may be denied certification after careful consideration of the following factors:

  1. The seriousness of the crime;
  2. Whether the crime was violent in nature;
  3. Whether the applicant has multiple convictions;
  4. Whether the crime involved a minor, the elderly or a person of diminished capacity;
  5. How much time has elapsed since the crime was committed;
  6. Whether the crime relates to patient care;
  7. Whether the applicant was truthful and not misleading in explaining the terms and circumstances of their felony conviction.

Privacy Policy

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) website and via email or other forms of communication.

Information We Collect, Why We Collect It, and How We Use It

“Personal Information” is information that, either alone or in combination with other information collected, identifies an individual. When we combine other information (i.e., information that does not, on its own, identify an individual) with Personal Information, we treat the combined information as Personal Information.  Personal Information includes your name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, employer, and job function.  Personal Information also includes information we may collect on your views and preferences as they relate to NCBTMB services.

Contact and Mailing Information

When you apply for membership, sign up for free services, or purchase our products and services, we request contact and mailing information including your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number.  We use this information to process your order and provide you with the services or products you request.  This information is necessary for us to provide you with the following:

  • Newsletters, publications, and registration for our mailing lists;
  • Products;
  • Event registration;
  • Account registration on our website;
  • Updated information about our industry, profession, or NCBTMB;
  • Other services we may offer from time to time

This information is also necessary for us to communicate with you about your membership, account, or transactions with us, giving you important information about your products or services, sending you notices about material changes to this Privacy Statement, and, consistent with applicable laws, sending you offers and promotions for our products, services, and events.

In some cases, such as profile pages, user forums, and interactive Site features, any Personal Information you provide may become publicly available to other members and the general public and is not considered confidential. When you voluntarily disclose such Personal Information, that information may be collected and used by others, resulting in unsolicited messages from others.

Payment Information

When you apply for membership, membership renewal, or ask to purchase a product, service, or event registration, we request certain payment information necessary for us to fulfill your order.  This information may include your billing address, payment card information, and other bank information.

NCBTMB does not view or store the payment card information you provide to us on our website. A third party, Stripe, processes customer payment card information when our customers use a payment card to make a purchase on our website. We recommend you carefully review Stripe’s Privacy Policy.

If you send us payment by mail, email, or telephone, we will collect Personal Information from you including, your name, mailing address, telephone number, and your payment information in order to process your payments for the products and services you request.

Communicating with Us

When you interact with us by email, telephone or in person, we may collect Personal Information, such as your name, mailing address, phone number, email address and contact preferences; and information about your membership and the products you own and services you receive. We keep a record of your correspondence or comments, including Personal Information, in a file specific to you. We may use this information to help us provide you with better service in the event that you contact us again.

Browsing, Searching, and Website Activity

We collect certain Personal Information when you visit our website or click on the various links for products and services. We collect this information to help run our website more efficiently, to gather broad demographic information, to monitor the level of activity on the Site, and possibly to evaluate the effectiveness of any of our advertising.

Once you register and sign in using an account on our website, you are not anonymous to us. The personally identifiable data we collect when you visit the website may include the Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”) of the website that you came from before visiting our website, which pages you visit on our website, which URL you next go to, which browser you used to come to our website, your platform, your user name, your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, and any search terms entered on our website. We use industry-accepted standards and technology (including ‘cookies’) to collect this data and also take reasonable and up-to-date measures to maintain the security and integrity of collected data.

Certification Applications, Exams, and Reporting

We collect Personal Information from you when you submit an application for certification.  This personal information is necessary for us to evaluate you as an applicant and provide you with certification, if you qualify.  In addition, we collect Personal Information about you through a background check that is necessary for our certification process.  The Personal Information we request as part of the application process may include:

  • Contact Information
  • Employment History
  • Education History
  • Training History
  • Professional Accreditation
  • S. Criminal History
  • Social Security Number

We also collect Personal Information from you as part of exam testing process.  This information is necessary for us and our exam processors to administer the exams for the relevant training and other certifications.  Exam-related Personal Information we collect may include:

  • Contact Information
  • Test scores

While examinee’s test scores are treated as confidential, examinees may request for the test scores to be sent to state licensing boards, regulatory commissions, or other bodies or organizations.  If an examinee requests a Score Report, then we will transfer the test scores in the form of a sealed transcript or an encoded electronic file.

Sharing Your Personal Information

We may share your Personal Information with business partners and other third parties to deliver content, materials, and services available on or through the Site and to provide you with products or services that may be of interest to you. When we do so, we may share, rent, or sell your name and/or mailing address and/or email address.

We may occasionally send you offers on behalf of third parties or promote such offers on our Site. If you do accept a third party offer or request additional information, the third party may collect other personal information directly from you. Once a third party has your personal information, it is governed by the third party’s privacy policy. We also may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any Personal Information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above.

NCBTMB also may provide Personal Information to third parties if NCBTMB reasonably believes that release of information is necessary to: 1) comply with legal requirements or legal process; 2) protect or defend the rights or property of NCBTMB; or 3) protect other users of the Site or the public.

The following categories of recipients may receive a copy of your Personal Information as is necessary for us to provide services, pursue our legitimate interests, or subject to your consent:

  • Background check service providers for applicants
  • Website hosting service providers
  • Email hosting service providers
  • Payment processors
  • Exam administrators and service providers
  • State and other regulatory boards, if requested by examinees
  • Third party vendors that offer certification-related continuing education, products, and other services

Members

Members may have been assigned or have created a user name and password to be used for accessing portions of the Site. We maintain that information to allow you to access the Site and to maintain our relationship with you as a member or provide specific services to you.

NCBTMB expressly reserves the right to contact any member or other user regarding account status, renewals, or other matters relevant to subscription or service.

How We Protect Your Information

NCBTMB uses measures designed to protect against the loss, misuse, unauthorized access, or alteration of information provided over the Site.  However, we cannot guarantee the absolute safety of your information.  If you become aware of any breach of Site security or this Privacy Policy, please notify us immediately.

How You Can Review, Correct, Update, and Delete Your Personal Information

We take reasonable steps to help ensure that the Personal Information we collect from you is accurate, complete and current.  You have the right to access, delete, or update the Personal Information you submit through our Site, or to make any inquiries about the processing of such information. If you wish to do so, please contact us as described below.

If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive communications from us, please follow the unsubscribe instructions provided in any of the communications or contact us at the information described below.

GDPR Disclosure for EU Users

If you are in the European Union (“EU”), you may: request access to your Personal Information; request that erroneous or inaccurate Personal Information be corrected; request that your Personal Information and NCBTMB website account be deleted; request a copy of your Personal Information in our files; object to the processing of your data; and, if you provided consent to allow us to process your data, you can withdraw your consent.  You may also contact your supervisory authority to lodge a complaint regarding if you have any issues with how we are processing your data.  We will respond promptly to your requests in accordance with applicable law.

Retention of Personal Information

Keeping records of certification is a fundamental service provided by certifying bodies, such as NCBTMB.

All applications for certification, and their supporting documentation, will be maintained by NCBTMB for a period of eight years (four certification cycles). These documents shall remain confidential and destroyed after the eight-year cycle is complete.

NCBTMB will maintain electronic records of all applicants and certificants, subject to the retention policy. Test scores (passing and failing) are maintained indefinitely for all candidates in a secure electronic format.

All applicants for recertification, and their supporting documentation, are maintained by NCBTMB for a period of four years (two recertification cycles). Inactive records (i.e. certificants whose certification period has expired) that remain idle for a period of 90 days shall be purged from NCBTMB’s archive of records.

Acknowledgement Transfer of Personal Data

Our Site is hosted on web servers in the United States.  In addition, our offices and data processors are also located in the United States.  This means any Personal Information sent to us will be received at locations in the United States, a jurisdiction that may not provide an equivalent level of data protection to the laws in your home country.

Links to Third Party Websites

The privacy practices described in this Privacy Policy are for our Site only. We are not responsible for, and this Privacy Policy does not apply to, the privacy practices of any other website(s) that you may link to through the Site.  We encourage you to seek out and read the privacy policy of each website that you visit.

Changes to this Policy

NCBTMB reserves the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page. Please frequently check the Privacy Policy and particularly before you submit additional Personal Information via the Site. If we make any changes to the Privacy Policy regarding how we process, collect, or share Personal Information, then we will notify you of those changes.

All other revisions to this Privacy Policy will be posted on the Site via link from the homepage.

If you have questions, contact:

NCBTMB
1333 Burr Ridge Parkway, Suite 200
Burr Ridge, IL  60527
1-800-296-0664
info@ncbtmb.org

This Privacy Policy was last updated on July 19, 2018.

Online Practice Exam

REFUND POLICY

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam or Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification (MTAC) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for MTAC and Board Certification have ninety (90) days from the time they are deemed eligible to take the exam to schedule and sit for their examination. Candidates who do not take the exam during this time period will forfeit their exam fee in full. Candidates will also have to reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to again be considered eligible to take the exam.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee. For full breakdown of fees and policies, review the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates for MTAC — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

Several affordable pricing options are available:

  • $29.97 for one-month subscription
  • $49.97 for three-month subscription
  • $79.97 for six-month subscription

To purchase the Online Practice Exam, click here.

Please note: The OPE is a voluntary tool. Using this tool does not guarantee a passing exam score.

Custom designed by massage therapy educators to provide students, teachers and administrators an innovative one-stop exam prep resource, the Online Practice Exam is a voluntary study tool created by NCBTMB.

Better yet, the Online Practice Exam contains Level 1 questions that will help you to prepare for any entry-level licensing examination. Level 2 questions will best prepare you for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam.

Click here to purchase the Online Practice Exam.

Please note: Use of this tool does not guarantee a passing exam score.

Yes. Please visit https://testrun.com/NCBTMB and click “Register.” Follow the appropriate instructions to purchase your desired subscription.

Please note: The OPE is a voluntary tool. Using this tool does not guarantee a passing exam score.

The Online Practice Exam is a voluntary study tool to help you prepare for your both entry-level state licensure exam, as well as the Board Certification exam.

The Online Practice Exam was designed with students, teachers, and current practitioners in mind. Depending on your use of the Online Practice Exam, you may experience various benefits.

A few benefits of NCBTMB’s Online Practice Exam:

  • Over 2,600 practice exam questions custom designed by expert leaders throughout the massage and bodywork profession.
  • Realistic exam questions from each of the relevant exam categories.
  • Detailed, personalized reports to help you analyze your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Peace of mind and a feeling of preparedness when sitting for a licensure or NCBTMB’s Board Certification exam.

Student Benefits:

  • Gain affordable access to thousands of entry-level questions that will prepare you for any entry-level licensure examination, as well as the BCETMB.
  • Save on costs with discounted rates when your school purchases subscriptions in bulk.
  • Practice with questions that are similar to those on the actual examinations.
  • Compare scores of your last three practice exams to see how you have improved.

Instructor Benefits:

  • Get customizable testing and automated scoring.
  • Receive valuable real-time assessments of student performance.
  • See improvement on overall student performance.
  • Deep discounted savings when your school purchases subscriptions in bulk.

Click here to purchase the Online Practice Exam.

Please note: Use of this tool does not guarantee a passing exam score.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) website and via email or other forms of communication.

Information We Collect, Why We Collect It, and How We Use It

“Personal Information” is information that, either alone or in combination with other information collected, identifies an individual. When we combine other information (i.e., information that does not, on its own, identify an individual) with Personal Information, we treat the combined information as Personal Information.  Personal Information includes your name, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, employer, and job function.  Personal Information also includes information we may collect on your views and preferences as they relate to NCBTMB services.

Contact and Mailing Information

When you apply for membership, sign up for free services, or purchase our products and services, we request contact and mailing information including your name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number.  We use this information to process your order and provide you with the services or products you request.  This information is necessary for us to provide you with the following:

  • Newsletters, publications, and registration for our mailing lists;
  • Products;
  • Event registration;
  • Account registration on our website;
  • Updated information about our industry, profession, or NCBTMB;
  • Other services we may offer from time to time

This information is also necessary for us to communicate with you about your membership, account, or transactions with us, giving you important information about your products or services, sending you notices about material changes to this Privacy Statement, and, consistent with applicable laws, sending you offers and promotions for our products, services, and events.

In some cases, such as profile pages, user forums, and interactive Site features, any Personal Information you provide may become publicly available to other members and the general public and is not considered confidential. When you voluntarily disclose such Personal Information, that information may be collected and used by others, resulting in unsolicited messages from others.

Payment Information

When you apply for membership, membership renewal, or ask to purchase a product, service, or event registration, we request certain payment information necessary for us to fulfill your order.  This information may include your billing address, payment card information, and other bank information.

NCBTMB does not view or store the payment card information you provide to us on our website. A third party, Stripe, processes customer payment card information when our customers use a payment card to make a purchase on our website. We recommend you carefully review Stripe’s Privacy Policy.

If you send us payment by mail, email, or telephone, we will collect Personal Information from you including, your name, mailing address, telephone number, and your payment information in order to process your payments for the products and services you request.

Communicating with Us

When you interact with us by email, telephone or in person, we may collect Personal Information, such as your name, mailing address, phone number, email address and contact preferences; and information about your membership and the products you own and services you receive. We keep a record of your correspondence or comments, including Personal Information, in a file specific to you. We may use this information to help us provide you with better service in the event that you contact us again.

Browsing, Searching, and Website Activity

We collect certain Personal Information when you visit our website or click on the various links for products and services. We collect this information to help run our website more efficiently, to gather broad demographic information, to monitor the level of activity on the Site, and possibly to evaluate the effectiveness of any of our advertising.

Once you register and sign in using an account on our website, you are not anonymous to us. The personally identifiable data we collect when you visit the website may include the Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”) of the website that you came from before visiting our website, which pages you visit on our website, which URL you next go to, which browser you used to come to our website, your platform, your user name, your Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, and any search terms entered on our website. We use industry-accepted standards and technology (including ‘cookies’) to collect this data and also take reasonable and up-to-date measures to maintain the security and integrity of collected data.

Certification Applications, Exams, and Reporting

We collect Personal Information from you when you submit an application for certification.  This personal information is necessary for us to evaluate you as an applicant and provide you with certification, if you qualify.  In addition, we collect Personal Information about you through a background check that is necessary for our certification process.  The Personal Information we request as part of the application process may include:

  • Contact Information
  • Employment History
  • Education History
  • Training History
  • Professional Accreditation
  • S. Criminal History
  • Social Security Number

We also collect Personal Information from you as part of exam testing process.  This information is necessary for us and our exam processors to administer the exams for the relevant training and other certifications.  Exam-related Personal Information we collect may include:

  • Contact Information
  • Test scores

While examinee’s test scores are treated as confidential, examinees may request for the test scores to be sent to state licensing boards, regulatory commissions, or other bodies or organizations.  If an examinee requests a Score Report, then we will transfer the test scores in the form of a sealed transcript or an encoded electronic file.

Sharing Your Personal Information

We may share your Personal Information with business partners and other third parties to deliver content, materials, and services available on or through the Site and to provide you with products or services that may be of interest to you. When we do so, we may share, rent, or sell your name and/or mailing address and/or email address.

We may occasionally send you offers on behalf of third parties or promote such offers on our Site. If you do accept a third party offer or request additional information, the third party may collect other personal information directly from you. Once a third party has your personal information, it is governed by the third party’s privacy policy. We also may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any Personal Information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above.

NCBTMB also may provide Personal Information to third parties if NCBTMB reasonably believes that release of information is necessary to: 1) comply with legal requirements or legal process; 2) protect or defend the rights or property of NCBTMB; or 3) protect other users of the Site or the public.

The following categories of recipients may receive a copy of your Personal Information as is necessary for us to provide services, pursue our legitimate interests, or subject to your consent:

  • Background check service providers for applicants
  • Website hosting service providers
  • Email hosting service providers
  • Payment processors
  • Exam administrators and service providers
  • State and other regulatory boards, if requested by examinees
  • Third party vendors that offer certification-related continuing education, products, and other services

Members

Members may have been assigned or have created a user name and password to be used for accessing portions of the Site. We maintain that information to allow you to access the Site and to maintain our relationship with you as a member or provide specific services to you.

NCBTMB expressly reserves the right to contact any member or other user regarding account status, renewals, or other matters relevant to subscription or service.

How We Protect Your Information

NCBTMB uses measures designed to protect against the loss, misuse, unauthorized access, or alteration of information provided over the Site.  However, we cannot guarantee the absolute safety of your information.  If you become aware of any breach of Site security or this Privacy Policy, please notify us immediately.

How You Can Review, Correct, Update, and Delete Your Personal Information

We take reasonable steps to help ensure that the Personal Information we collect from you is accurate, complete and current.  You have the right to access, delete, or update the Personal Information you submit through our Site, or to make any inquiries about the processing of such information. If you wish to do so, please contact us as described below.

If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive communications from us, please follow the unsubscribe instructions provided in any of the communications or contact us at the information described below.

GDPR Disclosure for EU Users

If you are in the European Union (“EU”), you may: request access to your Personal Information; request that erroneous or inaccurate Personal Information be corrected; request that your Personal Information and NCBTMB website account be deleted; request a copy of your Personal Information in our files; object to the processing of your data; and, if you provided consent to allow us to process your data, you can withdraw your consent.  You may also contact your supervisory authority to lodge a complaint regarding if you have any issues with how we are processing your data.  We will respond promptly to your requests in accordance with applicable law.

Retention of Personal Information

Keeping records of certification is a fundamental service provided by certifying bodies, such as NCBTMB.

All applications for certification, and their supporting documentation, will be maintained by NCBTMB for a period of eight years (four certification cycles). These documents shall remain confidential and destroyed after the eight-year cycle is complete.

NCBTMB will maintain electronic records of all applicants and certificants, subject to the retention policy. Test scores (passing and failing) are maintained indefinitely for all candidates in a secure electronic format.

All applicants for recertification, and their supporting documentation, are maintained by NCBTMB for a period of four years (two recertification cycles). Inactive records (i.e. certificants whose certification period has expired) that remain idle for a period of 90 days shall be purged from NCBTMB’s archive of records.

Acknowledgement Transfer of Personal Data

Our Site is hosted on web servers in the United States.  In addition, our offices and data processors are also located in the United States.  This means any Personal Information sent to us will be received at locations in the United States, a jurisdiction that may not provide an equivalent level of data protection to the laws in your home country.

Links to Third Party Websites

The privacy practices described in this Privacy Policy are for our Site only. We are not responsible for, and this Privacy Policy does not apply to, the privacy practices of any other website(s) that you may link to through the Site.  We encourage you to seek out and read the privacy policy of each website that you visit.

Changes to this Policy

NCBTMB reserves the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page. Please frequently check the Privacy Policy and particularly before you submit additional Personal Information via the Site. If we make any changes to the Privacy Policy regarding how we process, collect, or share Personal Information, then we will notify you of those changes.

All other revisions to this Privacy Policy will be posted on the Site via link from the homepage.

If you have questions, contact:

NCBTMB
1333 Burr Ridge Parkway, Suite 200
Burr Ridge, IL  60527
1-800-296-0664
info@ncbtmb.org

This Privacy Policy was last updated on July 19, 2018.

Resource Center

The NCBTMB Resource Center is the first available platform to save NCBTMB Members up to 20% on products and services you use every day. Plus, find thousands of customized offerings, such as business cards, posters, t-shirts, and more.

The Resource Center is available 24/7, 365 at shop.ncbtmb.org

To receive access to all available Resource Center discounts and specials, you must request a Membership Account with NCBTMB. To do this, simply:

  • Go to shop.ncbtmb.org
  • Click “Register” from the homepage (top left)
  • Include all personal information
  • Include your NCBTMB Certificant ID, AP ID, or Assigned School Number
  • Submit

We love to hear from our members! Send us your ideas at info@ncbtmb.org.

Specialty Certificates

A Specialty Certificate symbolizes advanced education and training in a particular modality or when working with a specific population—requirements both massage therapy leaders and healthcare organizations agree are necessary to:

  1. Further elevate the standards of massage therapy
  2. Further massage therapy’s role in integrative healthcare
  3. Provide therapists access to high-quality, advanced programs for specific modalities and populations
  4. Ensure patients receive the best possible care

The creation of NCBTMB’s Specialty Certificate Program furthers its mission of defining and advancing standards by creating yet another career pathway for massage therapists. By partnering with major healthcare organizations and academic programs across the country, Specialty Certificates empower current and future massage therapists with the top-notch education and experience necessary to succeed in various environments or when working with specific populations. NCBTMB’s Specialty Certificate Program provides the credentials to prove such training, as well as continues to tier the profession—an evolution NCBTMB is proud to be a part of with Board Certification, and now with Specialty Certificates.

Click here to learn more about the available NCBTMB Specialty Certificates.

REFUND POLICY

To receive a refund for the Board Certification (BCETMB) exam or Massage Therapy Assessment for Certification (MTAC) exam, you must cancel your application no later than 48 hours prior to the date of your scheduled exam.

Refunds must be requested within 90 days from the date of payment. Processing, background checks and portfolio review fees will be deducted from the refund total.

On the exam application, candidates are required to attest that they are eligible to receive an NCBTMB credential and are not disqualified under our Felony Policy and Criminal Conviction Policy. Not disclosing disqualifying events on your application for the exam will result in no refund being given.

If, for any reason, any part of your application is denied, refunds will not be issued.

Candidates for MTAC and Board Certification have ninety (90) days from the time they are deemed eligible to take the exam to schedule and sit for their examination. Candidates who do not take the exam during this time period will forfeit their exam fee in full. Candidates will also have to reapply and pay the full exam fee in order to again be considered eligible to take the exam.

Candidates for Board Certification — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee. For full breakdown of fees and policies, review the Candidate Handbook.

Candidates for MTAC — Fees are refundable less a $75 processing fee and a $25 background check fee.

Portfolio Review for Certification — Fees are non-refundable.

Approved Providers — Fees are non-refundable.

Online Practice Exam — Fees are non-refundable after the program has been activated.

Specialty Certificate Exams — If you have not yet received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are refundable less a $25 processing fee. If you have received access to a Specialty Exam at the time of your request, fees are non-refundable. Refunds must be requested within 30 days from the date NCBTMB receives your application on exam.ncbtmb.org.

To register for a NCBTMB Specialty Certificate Exam, you must:

  • Create an account on exam.ncbtmb.org
    • Click “Register” from the homepage (top left)
    • Fill out required personal information
    • Click Submit
  • Click “Apply”
  • Select the program of interest
  • Complete the application in its entirety
  • Submit payment & application
  • Take your exam online within 30 days of approval

You have 30 days from the date of approval to complete your Specialty Certificate Exam online.

Yes, an outline for the Reflexology Specialty Certificate Exam outline is available here.

Tips/Tools for APCE's

Acceptable course content includes, but is not limited to:

  • Applications of massage and bodywork therapy for specific needs, conditions, or client populations
  • Anatomy, physiology and kinesiology
  • Research literacy
  • Client assessment protocols, skills for client record keeping, strategies for interfacing with other health care providers
  • Use of external agents such as water, heat, cold, or topicals
  • Body-centered or somatic psychology, psychophysiology, interpersonal skills – which may include communication skills, boundary functions, phenomena of transference, counter-transference and projection
  • Standards of practice, professional ethics or state laws
  • Strategies for the marketing of massage and bodywork therapy practices
  • Theory or practice of ergonomic science as applied to therapist or client
  • Hygiene, methods of infectious disease control, organization and management of the treatment environment
  • The use of massage therapy tools and their specific needs (tools may not be sold during class time and the instructor must be able to supply students with the tools during class)
  • Working with the muscles within the oral cavity for specific treatments, i.e. working on the masseter muscle in conjunction with TMJ Disorder
  • Self-care courses concentrating on nutrition and/or diet only, but only as it enhances the learner’s knowledge about the practice of massage therapy
  • Perform yoga/yoga teacher training programs (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)*
  • Active strengthening/physical training  (acceptable for therapist’s self-care only)
  • Advanced science courses that contain content which goes beyond the massage therapist’s scope of practice (as defined by state and/or local legislation), and that is instructive in understanding different systems of the body or human behavior more in depth. Click here for more information
  • Energy work that includes “’professional therapeutic hands-on applications.”

*NCBTMB only accepts 4 CEs per renewal period in Self-Care. Self-Care is NOT a requirement.

Home study courses are defined as a course that is taken by a participant without direct communication with the instructor. These courses are distributed via website, email or U.S. Mail by the Approved Provider to the participant. Once the participant completes the material, a test must be taken and submitted back to the provider to be graded before the participant may receive a certificate. The Approved Provider must have the grading scale documented to inform participants of the grade that must be earned to pass the course.

CEs given to each participant must match the length of time it takes the average person to complete the course. NCBTMB has created minimal criteria that each home study course must pass before the course can be accepted:

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced than the core curriculum guidelines
  • The course content must enhance a massage therapist’s level of knowledge
  • The course outline must fully describe the course layout
  • The number of CEs must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the amount of CE hours each course is worth
  • 12,000 words read equals 1 CE
  • One hour of video or audio equals 1 CE
    • Providers may give additional CEs for course work completed but the course work must be previously listed
    • Unsupervised practical assignments do not count towards CEs. Only assignments required to be turned in, which can be verified can earn CEs
  • According to several studies, the average reader reads approximately 200 words per minute.
    • Some participants may read faster or slower than the average, but home study courses may not be diluted to overstate the amount of CEs allowed for a home study course completion.
  • Approved Providers that teach courses via email or website must have contact information accessible to a participant in case technical issues arise.
  • Please indicate in the Course Outline section of the application how the course will be offered. (Ex. Content/materials are mailed, content materials are emailed, course is available online.)
  • If the content is available electronically, please upload the content with the “add content” link within the application.
    • If the course is available online, supply the website address, user name and password.
    • If the course is only available via hard-copy, mail contents to the NCBTMB address – Attention Approved Provider Dept. – New Course.
    • Materials submitted to NCBTMB will not be returned.
  • An exam must be completed by each participant with a passing score of 70 percent or higher.
    • Each exam must contain a minimum of 5 multiple-choice, questions, (containing 4 possible choices), per hour of class.
  • Certificates of Achievement are given to participants who complete a home study course

Other Key Requirements:

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s stated acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced that core curriculum guidelines
  • Learning objectives must be fully described and available to the participant
  • The number of CE hours must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the number of CE hours each course is worth
  • Homework does not count for CEs, and must be submitted separately as a home study course

If a Provider is using material created by other sources, he/she must follow these guidelines:

  • When creating a home study course, NCBTMB will accept no more than 30% of the material from a cited source (this includes videos)
  • Providers may use more than 30% as reference material, but the additional material may not be counted in the word count or video time
  • If a provider is using a text book, each participant must be provided a text book by the Approved Provider
  • Providers must properly cite all material that is taken from another source

Testing criteria for home study courses:

  • All home study courses must include a written exam, participants must pass, with a grade of 70% or higher, prior to receiving their certificate of achievement
  • Exams must include 5 multiple choice questions for each hour of the home study
  • 2 minutes per exam question will be accepted within the CE hours allotted for the course
  • Exam questions must be fact based to assess the participants retention of material in the home study course

Approved Providers may also work with an instructional designer to determine CE hours. Instructional designer must provide documentation of assignment of CE hours. Contact NCBTMB staff for additional information at ce@ncbtmb.org or call 1-800-296-0664.

Each state is separate and has the privilege to set its own parameters for the continuing education of their licensed professionals. Most states accept NCBTMB approved continuing education courses; however, some have created their own guidelines or limits for content they are willing to accept, along with content they require to be completed. Some have placed limits on the type (ex. home study, webinar, live) of course hours which can be accepted, and, additionally, some states have their own programs entirely.

It is for this reason NCBTMB suggests you present your courses to prospective students as NCBTMB Approved. It is best you recommend each Massage Therapist to check directly with their state to ensure the NCBTMB approved course they wish to take with you will be accepted. NCBTMB also advises that when planning to teach a course in a particular state, you check with that state directly to see if it will accept your NCBTMB approved continuing education. This way, you can offer accurate, up-to-date details to your participants, and feel confident about where you are planning classes. NCBTMB offers additional information for the continuing education requirements for each state here.

The NCBTMB Directory is a free, personalized listing aimed to help promote your practice, organization, and/or school. As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

Live courses are defined as courses that are taken by participants in the presence of an instructor. The instructor distributes the information to participants via lecture, video and discussions. Participants must attend 100% of the course to receive a Certificate of Completion. The instructor may wish to test students using a written exam or practical. If a test is given to participants the provider should distribute Certificates of Achievement. If the participants must sit in class for 100% of the time but no test is given, the provider should distribute Certificates of Completion.

  • The course content must be within NCBTMB’s stated acceptable content
  • The course content must be more advanced that core curriculum guidelines.
  • Learning objectives must be fully described and available to the participant.
  • The number of CE hours must be clearly defined and each course may not over or understate the number of CE hours each course is worth.

Distant Learning is defined as courses that are held in a distant location but there is direct communication during the course between the instructor and participants. Communication between the instructor and participants may be by phone, interactive webinar or website. All of the criteria for live courses is replicated in webinars.

If a webinar is recorded and offered as a home study a test must be created to and adherence to home study criteria must be followed.

Tools for Board Certification

The NCBTMB Directory is a free, personalized listing aimed to help promote your practice, organization, and/or school. As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

NCBTMB must send all official Score Reports to state boards; you cannot send a Score Report on your own behalf.

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click on “Score Report Request” from the Quick Links menu
  • Fill out all required information
  • Make Payment
  • Click Submit

The fee per Score Report is $25.

As all Directory Listings are 100% customizable, you have complete control of what information is displayed on the NCBTMB Directory for public use.

To access/edit your Directory Listing:

  • Login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Choose the NCBTMB account you wish to edit (displayed as large blue tiles on your Dashboard):
    • Click on “Board Certified Therapist” to view/edit Board Certified Listing(s)
    • Click on “Approved CE Providers” to view/edit Approved Provider Listing(s)
    • Click on “Courses” to view/edit your AP Course Listing(s)
    • Click on “Assigned Schools” to view/edit your Assigned School Listing
  • Click “Edit My Free Directory Listing”
  • A new window will appear showcasing all available fields/information
  • Edit your Directory Listing as you see fit
  • When done, click “Review My Listing” to preview how your listing will look (including your updates)
  • When ready, click “Publish” to make your updates live

You can access/update your Directory listing 24/7, 365. All you need to do is login to your NCBTMB account on www.ncbtmb.org and follow the same process.

The Directory replaces our previous “Find A…” apps.

NCBTMB is proud to partner with two esteemed universities to award college credits with proof of current Board Certification—Siena Heights University and HACC. Both of these educational institutions have assessed the Board Certification credential and agreed to award 30 or more college credits towards the respective degrees offered at their premier institutions.

EARN YOUR BACHELOR OF APPLIED SCIENCE DEGREE IN MASSAGE THERAPY

Exclusively for Board Certificants, Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI awards 30+ college credits toward the 120 total credits required to achieve this degree. Courses available on campus and online. BAS Degree candidates ordinarily have 60 credits before beginning with Siena Heights.

Learn more about this degree program.

EARN YOUR ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN HEALTH SCIENCE

Exclusively designed for actively credentialed or licensed health care professionals currently working in their fields, HACC in Harrisburg, PA awards current Board Certificants 30 college credits toward the total 61 credits required to achieve this degree. Courses available on campus or online.

Learn more about this degree program.

To request a Duplicate Certificate, you must first login to your NCBTMB account at www.ncbtmb.org.

Once logged in:

  • Click Additional Forms (from “Quick Links” menu on left)
  • Complete the Duplicate Certificate Request Form
  • Fill out the appropriate information
  • Click Submit

There is a $15 fee per Duplicate Certificate requested.

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Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!