Approved Provider FAQs

Approved Provider FAQs

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.

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.

All Approved Providers are valid for three years from the date NCBTMB approves your application. Costs for first-time applicants, as well as renewal applicants, are the same:

  • $225 for individuals for a three-year period
  • $450 for organizations or conference/tradeshow providers for a three-year period
  • $25 per new class submitted* (one-time fee)
  • $100 for conference or tradeshow submissions (up to the first 50 classes)
    • $50 per each additional 1-50 courses
  • Additional $50 per renewal charge associated with Approved Providers that want to be sponsored by NCBTMB to teach New York LMTs**

*Please note that each course must be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to offering NCBTMB continuing education hours. Additionally, instructors teaching under Organization status accounts must first be submitted to and approved by NCBTMB prior to teaching and issuing CEs.

** 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.

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.

To apply to become an NCBTMB Approved Provider, it is first important to understand if you will be applying as an individual, organization, or as part of a tradeshow/conference.

When ready, follow the steps listed below to apply:

  • Visit www.ncbtmb.org and click “Register”
  • Submit the required information and click “Submit”
  • Login to your new account and click “Initial Applications” from the Dashboard
  • Click on “Approved Provider Initial Application”
  • Complete all of the information and click “Submit”

For any additional questions on becoming an NCBTMB Approved Provider, or on the application process, please call 1-800-296-0664 (option 7) or email ce@ncbtmb.org.

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

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

As in all aspects within the health and wellness continuum, nothing stays constant. What worked for massage therapy over a decade ago when the national CE program was emerging will no longer serve the profession today as we continue to advance into the future. More than ever, members of the public and healthcare professionals alike seek options – new ideas and answers to the age-old question of how to better improve quality of life. For our profession to play a part, it must step up to the plate and evolve as well.

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

The primary objectives of the Approved Provider Program are to:

  • Fulfill the roles, requirements and needs of Board Certification pursuant to its mission and purpose,
  • Be a model that state boards, peer organizations, continuing education providers, certificants, schools, can acknowledge, support and when applicable, emulate,
  • Utilize the knowledge of our educational leaders throughout the profession in concert to reflect the needs of the industry at large, and
  • Further the knowledge of our massage therapists throughout the country.

This program will continue to evolve with the profession. Within the Holistic realm, there are many different modalities accepted for CE that are within the massage therapist’s scope of practice. NCBTMB does accept a wide variety of categories and will work with professionals, other peer organizations and state boards to ensure that we are meeting the needs of the profession.

Continuous upgrades of this program will be implemented as needed in the future. NCBTMB will be considering new processes that will help therapists and the profession grow.

The NCBTMB Approved Provider Code of Conduct is as follows:

As an applicant for approval, I/our organization agree(s) to:

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

Today in the United States relative to the massage and bodywork profession, a 500-hour (or more) core curriculum of entry level education is delivered to teach basic anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathologies of the body’s systems. It also incorporates entry-level bodywork, stress management, business, ethics and other types of modalities to gain students’ interests about the holistic realm. Upon demonstrated mastery of this information, along with hands on skills, an entry level massage therapist is judged to be competent to safely administer 30–90 minutes of massage.

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

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

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

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

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.

 

For any additional questions on renewing your NCBTMB Approved Provider status, or on the renewal application process, please call 1-800-296-0664 or email ce@ncbtmb.org.

Registration, Cancellation, and Refund Policies: All Approved Providers are required to have written policies regarding the registration, cancellation, and refund of your courses. The explanation should be easily accessible and include:

  • How participants are registered
  • Deadlines for registration
  • Payment and fee information
  • Cancellation policy
  • Refund policy

Instructor Evaluations: Evaluation forms should be given to each student/participant at the end of each course to complete and submit to the instructor. This will enable the instructor to use this feedback to strengthen weaknesses improving the quality of teaching and the course. Student evaluation forms are available on the NCBTMB Resource Center here: https://shop.ncbtmb.org/formstools/ 

Certificates and Transcripts: At the end of each separate course, a Certificate must be given to a student/participant who has completed the course. APs are welcome to utilize the certificate templates found on the NCBTMB Resource Center here: https://shop.ncbtmb.org/formstools/.

Additionally,  if you charge an extra fee for a CE certificate, this must be communicated, and agreed to, by each participant upon registration of the course.

It is important to understand the different between certificates:

  • Certificate of Completion: A Certificate of Completion is given to a participant who has attended 100 % of a live course.
  • Certificate of Achievement: A Certificate of Achievement is given to a participant who has passed some type of written or practical exam; passing a quiz is required for home study courses to ensure the participant has completed the courses work. Therefore, all home study courses instructors must complete Certificates of Achievement.
    • Exception: If a test is mandatory for a live course and a participant has been excused from taking the test, the instructor has the right to offer a Certificate of Completion

Each Certificate (Achievement and/or Completion) must contain the following information:

  • Participant’s name
  • Course title
  • Course type (live, home study, webinar; if a course has both a live portion and home study, each must be spelled out)
  • Course completion date
  • Number of CE hours granted (CEUs are not CE hours; certificates are incorrect if hours are counted as CEUs)
  • Each CE equals one (1) hour of class (50-minutes of classroom activities and a 10-minute break)
    • 10-minute breaks may not be saved and added to meal breaks or added to the end of class for early dismissal
  • The Approved Provider’s Name as submitted on the application
  • The Provider’s contact information: mailing address, email, phone number
  • The NCBTMB Approved Provider number
  • Signature of the Approved Provider
    • Organizations should have the signature line of the administrator of the organization and also the instructor who taught the course

Continuing Education Transcripts: Approved Providers may use the transcripts located on the NCBTMB Resource Center here https://shop.ncbtmb.org/formstools/. These may be altered to fit your needs.

  • Participant transcripts must be made available for all participants upon request.
  • Transcripts are a cumulative record of all courses taken by a specific participant. Administration and maintenance of continuing education participant transcripts and other education records are stored separately from the transcripts/educational records of core curriculum students.
  • All participant records are confidential and can only be reproduced by written permission of the participant.
  • All transcript or record requests by participants must be handled in a timely manner.
  • Sign-in sheets do not satisfy the requirements for a participant’s transcripts or record.

Course Hour Ranges: Several Approved Providers teach full courses in a certain modality or subject matter, and then shorten these courses to meet the needs of a conference or school. In these situations, NCBTMB asks that you submit the name of the course and number of CEs the course will be taught. NCBTMB will then enter this course to your profile information.

If your full course, in a specific modality, is segregated into different areas of the body, and taught as different areas of the body as stand-alone courses, please submit these courses under the full version of the course. If the main course is already added to the website, please submit an “Existing Course Change/Update” Form (accessible within your NCBTMB account). List the segregated courses as secondary courses of the main course.

Schools Offering Continuing Education: Schools that offer a core curriculum exceeding 500-hours and covers material such as Shiatsu, Reflexology, etc., may opt to offer these courses as continuing education. To do so, the school must be registered as a CE provider with NCBTMB and have this class listed as one of its CE courses.

Home Study/Kinesthetic/Distance Learning Testing: When a participant is issued a certificate of achievement for a home study/kinesthetic or distance learning course, an evaluation of the student’s knowledge is required. The evaluation may be practical or written, at the discretion of the Approved Provider.

  • Written Evaluation/Test: The instructor must create a test, testing the student’s retention of the material. The student will then submit the completed test to receive a Certificate of Achievement. The grading scale must be posted so students know, in advance, the score they must achieve.
  • Practical Evaluation/Test: An Approved Provider may train proctors in different areas of the country to test students. Each proctor must follow the Approved Providers directions and have outlined the information the Approved Provider would like to test. Proctors and locations must be listed on the Approved Provider’s website or promotional material in advance. Once the student passes the practical evaluation, the Approved Provider may distribute a Certificate of Achievement. The grading scale must be posted so students know, in advance, the score they must achieve.

Course Material for all Courses: When additional course material is required to teach a course in the form of handouts or books that are written by other authors, the material must be sited and books must be purchased for each student attending the course. Copy written material will not be tolerated. Each participant must have their own material. Making copies of books infringes on copyright laws.

Facility Courses are Held: Facilities where courses are held must be clean, have access to bathrooms, and be large enough to house the number of attendees comfortably.

Maintaining Records: All certificates and student information must be kept for at least five (5) years. These files may be kept electronically or in a locked file cabinet. The Approved Provider must be able to supply any person who has taken a course with additional certificates or transcripts upon request.

Promotional Policy: All promotional materials must include the following information:

  • Clearly identify which course offering(s) will be accepted by NCBTMB as continuing education
  • Date(s), time(s) and location(s) of course offering(s)
  • Cost of the course offering(s)
  • The number of CE hours for course offering(s)
  • Prerequisites (if applicable)
  • Name of the person teaching the course(s)
    • If the Approved Provider is an organization, the name of the organization and the instructor that will be teaching the course must be listed

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.

NCBTMB will accept continuing education hours from Approved Providers for advanced science courses that contain content which goes beyond the Massage Therapy Scope of Practice but may be conducive to understanding different systems of the body or human behavior more in depth.

Participation and continuing education hours awarded for completion of the above mentioned course are strictly for the advanced development and understanding in interdisciplinary practices. Massage therapists are only allowed to practice within their professional Scope of Practice, and any skills learned in this course are for further development purposes and should not be practiced professionally.

Massage therapists who wish to take these courses may with the understanding that the information was approved by NCBTMB to strengthen the therapist’s knowledge of human science. Massage therapists caught practicing advanced modalities or advising clients in practices that are outside of the massage therapy scope of practice can lose their Board Certification and massage therapy license.

To practice the information learned within advanced science courses, a massage therapist must take additional education and earn a degree in the subject matter.

Approved Providers teaching these courses shall divulge this information to any and all massage therapists taking their courses.

To learn more about NCBTMB and advanced science courses, please click here.

To become an Approved Provider, you must demonstrate that you meet NCBTMB’s AP Instructor Qualifications:

  • Holds a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or a substantially equivalent accrediting body of a foreign sovereign state, with a major in a subject directly related to the content of the program to be offered; OR
  • Has completed at least five years of professional experience in the practice of massage therapy; OR
  • Has a minimum of two years teaching experience; OR
  • Has completed a NCBTMB approved teacher training program in the area of interest; OR
  • Has completed at least 100 hours of non-entry level education in the subject matter to be offered and has a minimum of two years of professional experience in the subject
  • Individual ($225): An individual is defined as one instructor teaching courses. This instructor can have help (assistants) in the classroom and administrative help but is the only person that teaches under the Approved Provider Individual status.
  • Organization ($450): An organization is defined as two or more instructors that work under one entity. An organization must have a primary contact person that oversees the entire Approved Provider Organization, its instructors, courses, certificates, rules and procedures and all other aspects of the organization. Instructors teaching under Organization status accounts must first be submitted to and approved by NCBTMB prior to teaching and issuing CEs.
  • Conference/Tradeshow ($100): An organization holding a conference with four or more instructors may complete the Conference/Tradeshow portion of the Interim Course Submission form, rather than submitting each course for the conference. The provider will submit the marketing information for the course and list which instructors are currently NCBTMB Approved Providers and which are non-NCBTMB Approved Provider. Once this is complete, have each non-Approved Provider submit his/her qualification to teach, along with the courses that each teaches on the Instructor Qualifications form.

Unacceptable Course Content includes:

  • 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
  • Cannabis oil
  • Energy work that does not involve “the application of professional therapeutic touch”
  • 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

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).

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 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.

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

Check out these helpful steps for adding your new class:

  • Login to your Approved Provider account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click “Additional Forms” from the Quick Links menuu
  • Scroll down to the Approved Provider Forms and click “New (Additional) Course Submissions”
  • 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.

Please also note that each course must be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to offering NCBTMB continuing education hours.

To download the Conference Course Submission Form, click here.

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

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.

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

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 the massage therapy scope of practice
  • 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 purchase the text book through either the provider or the publisher
  • 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.

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.

Continuing education hours (CEs): Rationale for the CEs offered for a course must be based on the content presented in the course. Approved providers must provide documentation to support assignment of CE hours when courses are approved. All CEs must be clearly documented for participants prior to purchasing the course.

Face to face course:

  • CEs for face to face education experiences should match the number of hours of instructions based on a 50 minute hour (meal breaks are excluded from instruction time)
  • Break times may not be missed between hours to be added to meal times or at the end of class to allow for early departure from class

Home study courses:

  • Below are suggested minimal criteria that may be used for assigning CEs to home study courses:
  • 12,000 words read equals 1 CE
  • One hour of video or audio equals 1 CE
  • Providers may document additional CEs for course work beyond the word count (i.e. reflective assignments, additional reading).
  • No additional CEs may be given beyond those approved unless the course is re-submitted for approval

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.

 

Programs specifically designed to promote a product or commodity that must be purchased by the participant for use or resale to the public are not acceptable. If an Approved Provider does have a product or commodity for sale and wishes to share the information with the class it must be done before or after class time and attendance may not be made mandatory, nor may CEs be given for that portion of the day.

If a participant is required to use a specific device during a course, the device must be supplied by the Approved Provider during the duration of the course. Participants may not be required to purchase the device unless the requirement is posted, clearly prior to the course date.

NCBTMB does not endorse any particular products or services and the use of the trademarked NCBTMB logo in such a manner as to imply this is strictly prohibited.

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.

Certificates of Completion: A Certificate of Completion is given when participants attend a live course. Each must be present for 100 % of the class. If a class is two days long, and the participant misses the second day of class, he/she must make up the hours missed at a later date. A Certificate of Completion may not be given for completing ½ of a class.

People may not receive ½ credit for only completing ½ the class unless the Approved Provider has the class listed as so with NCBTMB. An example: If an AP teaches Myofascial: Upper Body (16hrs), Myofascial: Upper Extremities (8hrs), and Myofascial: Torso (8hrs) and both Upper Extremities and Torso are the breakdown of the Upper Body, the participant may receive a Certificate of Completion for the section taken, the day he/she was present.

Certificates of Completion may also be given for people attending and participating in a live webinar if the AP can ensure the participant is present throughout the webinar, through technology or video.

Certificates of Achievement: A Certificate of Achievement is given when participants must pass a test (written or practical) at the end of a course. Home study and distant learning (when an instructor is not present) require a test to ensure participants have completed the course content. Written tests are required to be multiple choice, Essay or practical evaluations. 70% is a minimum passing grade for all types of examinations. Grading procedures and minimal passing grades must be posted prior to testing.

  • Written exams may be multiple choice with 4 answers to choose from. The information must be factual and based on current research and may not be subjective in nature: there must be a correct answer.
  • Essay questions must be developed to test the participant’s retention of knowledge of material. Yes/No/Maybe are not sufficient answers for Essay questions.

Practical evaluations may be given as a testing option. An Approved Provider organization may have instructors located throughout the country that can give practical exams once a course is completed.

  • Participant’s name
  • Course title
  • Course completion date
  • Course type (Live, Home Study or Webinar; if course contains both, you must spell out as such)
    • If a webinar is taken for the second time as a prerecorded course, it is a Home Study
  • The Provider’s address or email address
  • The NCBTMB Approved Provider number
  • Number of Continuing Education hours granted
    • CEUs are not CE hours and certificates are incorrect if hours are counted as CEUs.
    • Each CE equals 1 hour of class (50 minutes of classroom activities and a 10 minute break)
    • NCBTMB understands that a break may not directly follow fifty (50) minutes of instruction, especially during table work; in this case, a break may be dispersed after students have completed each portion of class
    • Meal breaks may notbe counted as CE hours.
    • Ten (10) minute breaks may not be skipped and/or added to the end of a class to allow for early dismissal
  • The Approved Provider’s Name (as submitted on the application)
    • Individual Approved Providers may use their names
    • Organizations may use the organization name
  • Signature of the Approved Provider
    • Organizations should have the signature line of the administrator of the organization and also the instructor who taught the course

Approved Providers may use the transcripts located on the NCBTMB website. These may be changed and altered to fit the Approved Provider’s needs, available at: https://www.ncbtmb.org/formstoolslogos.

Other important notes:

  • Participant transcripts must be made available for all participants upon request. Transcripts are a cumulative record of all courses taken by a specific participant. Administration and maintenance of continuing education participant transcripts and other education records are stored separately from the transcripts/educational records of core curriculum students.
  • All participant records are confidential and can only be reproduced by written permission of the participant. All transcript or record requests by participants must be handled in a timely manner.
  • Sign-in sheets do not satisfy the requirements for a participant’s transcripts or records.

Important information on Course Hour Ranges: Several Approved Providers teach full courses in a certain modality or subject matter and then shorten these courses to meet the needs of conference or school venues. In these situations, NCBTMB asks that you submit the name of the course and number of CEs the course will be taught. NCBTMB will then enter this course to your profile information.

If your full course in a specific modality is segregated into different areas of the body, and taught as different areas of the body as stand-alone courses, please submit these courses under the full version of the course. If the main course is already added to the website, please email ce@ncbtmb.org, give your Approved Provider number, the name of the full course and the names of the segregated courses beneath it, with a brief explanation describing that you would like the specific courses listed as divisions of the main course.

All certificates and student information must be kept for a minimum of five years. It is highly suggested that records are kept electronically for several years past the 5 year mark because people lose things and may need them in the future. These files may be kept electronically or in a file cabinet. The Approved Provider must be able to supply any person who has taken a course with additional certificates or transcripts upon request.

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.

AP tools and the logo are located online: https://www.ncbtmb.org/formstoolslogos.

The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, has instituted requirements for continuing education (CE) and CE instructors. New York will only recognize CE from sponsors or instructors who are sponsored by an approved entity. NCBTMB is pleased to be an approved sponsor for continuing education in New York.

If you wish to be sponsored by NCBTMB and are not a current Approved Continuing Education Provider, please click “Register” at the top of this page to create an account. Complete the “Approved Provider Initial Application” and the “NY Sponsorship Application”.

If you are a current NCBTMB Approved Provider, please login to your account and complete the “NY Sponsorship Application”. If you do not yet have a username and password, please email info@ncbtmb.org.

Please visit Forms/Tools/Logos for a list of current NCBTMB Sponsored Providers.

For any additional questions, please call 1-800-296-0664 or email ce@ncbtmb.org.

Please visit Forms/Tools/Logos to download the New York Sponsorship form.

If you believe an NCBTMB Approved Provider has violated NCBTMB’s Approved Provider Code of Ethics, the Code of Conduct and/or Standards of Practice, which are located  here, please send us a formal letter containing the following information:

  • Your name, address and phone number
  • The name, address and phone number of the NCBTMB Approved Provider
  • A detailed description of the incident in question
  • A description of any steps that have been taken to address the situation in the complaint, and the results of any such steps
  • Your signature

By filing a claim, you consent for NCBTMB to disclose all information in the complaint to the Approved Provider named in the complaint, NCBTMB’s staff and volunteer leadership team, and any other subject matter experts involved in evaluating the complaint

Please see Rules and Procedures for the Approved Provider Program for details of the complaint process.

For a complete list the AP Structure, Roles, and Qualifications, click here.

You can access your NCBTMB account details at any time by logging in to your NCBTMB Account at www.ncbtmb.org

Click “Login” at the top left of the homepage. Your email address on file with NCBTMB is your username.

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.

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org 
  • Click Initial Applications from the Quick Links Menu
  • Complete the Approved Provider Conference Form
  • Fill out the form in its entirety
  • Click Submit

Each new conference with 50 titles or less is $100. Additional titles? See cost breakdown below:

  • Additional 1 – 50 titles is $50
  • Additional 51 – 100 titles is $50
  • Additional 101 – 150 titles is $50
  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links Menu
  • Complete the New York Sponsor Form
  • Click Submit

Questions? Email ce@ncbtmb.org or call 1-800-296-0664 and ask to speak with an AP Specialist.

  • 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.

  • Login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the Approved Provider Organization Name Change Form
    • You will need to submit legal documentation showing the name was changed
  • Click Submit

NOTE: Many states look at NCBTMB’s website to ensure certificates are legitimate. Changing the name of your organization without adding your new name, along with “formally known as…” may cause a licensee’s certificate to be denied. Please ensure clarity of names and past names on all certificates.

Questions? Contact us at ce@ncbtmb.org or call 1-800-296-0664 and ask to speak with an AP Specialist.

To review the Approved Provider Standards of Practice, click here.

To review the Approved Provider Code of Ethics, click here.

To review the Approved Provider Code of Conduct, click here.

All applications will expire within 90 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 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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