Approved Provider FAQs

Courses/Conferences

NCBTMB will accept continuing education hours from Approved Providers for advanced science courses if the course consists of  content that goes beyond the Massage Therapy Scope of Practice (as defined by each state/legislation), but aids in understanding  systems of the body or human behavior more in depth. Participation and continuing education hours awarded for completion of the above-mentioned course are intended for the advanced development and understanding in interdisciplinary practices. Massage therapists are always responsible for practicing within their professional Scope of Practice (as defined by each state/legislation),. Approved Providers teaching these courses shall include a statement that all attendees must check their their professional Scope of Practice (as defined by each state/legislation),prior to using information from the course. . To learn more, please click here to download the “Advanced science course forms” from the “Approved Provider Handbook & Tools” section.  

The acceptable and unacceptable course criteria can be found in the Approved Provider Handbook, downloadable in the Approved Provider Handbook & Tools section here.

To add a new conference to your current Approved Provider account:

  • Login to your Approved Provider account
  • Click “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links menu
  • Click “Approved Provider Conferences/Tradeshows”
  • Complete the form and submit

Costs are as follows:

  • 1-50 course titles – $50
  • 51-100 course titles – $100
  • 101-150 course titles – $150

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 edit or create segments for your current approved course:

  • Login to your Approved Provider account at ncbtmb.org.
  • Click “Additional Forms” from the Quick Links menu
  • Click the “Updates to an Existing Course Form”
  • Complete the form as required and submit
  • 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.  First Aid and CPR courses do not represent advanced content and are not accepted for continuing education.

Home study courses are defined as self-paced, self-directed, asynchronous learning experiences.. Courses can be distributed via website learning management system,  email or U.S. Mail by the Approved Provider to the participant. Participant must successfully complete an exam after finishing the course requirements. . 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
  • Approved Providers contact information must be available participants.
  • All content must be available to NCBTMB staff for review. Homework does not count for CEs, and must be submitted separately as a home study course
  • 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
  • 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

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 synchronous learning experiences during which participants are in the presence of an instructor whether in the same or in a remote location.

Distance 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): CEs are calculated  based on the content presented in a course. Approved providers must provide documentation to support assignment of CE hours when courses are submitted for approval. All CEs must be clearly documented for participants prior to purchasing a course. CEs awarded must be in whole or half hour increments only.

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.
  • CEs are not awarded for breaks lasting more than 20 minutes.

Home study courses:

Below are minimal criteria 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 at ce@ncbtmb.org.

Courses designed to only promote a product or commodity that must be purchased by the participant or for resale to the public are not acceptable. If an Approved Provider has a product or commodity for sale, they can share the information with the class before or after class time.  Product promotion time may not be required or calculated as part of CEs for the course.

If participants are required to use a specific device during a course, it must be supplied by the Approved Provider for the duration of the course.

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

To add new classes to your current Approved Provider account:

  1. Login to your Approved Provider account at ncbtmb.org
  2. Click “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links Menu
  3. Select the “Approved Provider New Course(s) Form”
  4. Complete the form as required
  5. Once your form is complete, click submit form.
  6. You can view the status of all your applications by logging into your account and clicking on the “Applications History” from the Quick Links menu

Course review time is 4-6 weeks.

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

General AP Information

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.

Instructors must meet rigorous standards to be NCBTMB Approved Providers. Instructor qualifications and course content are carefully reviewed to ensure the highest quality of education from all Approved Providers. NCBTMB Approved Providers can say they represent the highest quality of continuing instruction in the massage therapy profession.

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
  • $450 for organizations or conference/tradeshow providers
  • $25 per new class submitted* (one-time fee)
  • $50 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.

Over a decade ago, NCBTMB established its Approved Provider (AP) program to serve as a key component of Board Certification. The principal intent of the AP program is to ensure that certificants have access to reliable, credible, high-quality continuing education throughout their careers. By obtaining continuing education (CE), a practitioner demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and excellence

Continuing education is important to ensure that professionals stay current on developments in their field, continue to develop skills and to support lifelong learning and continuous improvement. Most licensed and certified professions require continuing education to maintain credentials.  Continuing education requirements for massage therapists assure the health care and consumer communities that therapists maintain high professional standards and embrace continuous improvement.

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

As a reminder, follow the steps listed below to renew your Approved Provider status:

  • Log in to your account at ncbtmb.org
  • Once logged in, click “Renewal” from the Quick Links menu
  • Click the “Approved Provider Renewal 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.

  • Approved Providers are featured on the NCBMTB website as part of the course directory. Thousands of massage therapists a year consult the directory to find continuing education including Board Certificants, who are required to receive 24 hours of education every 2 years.
  • NCBTMB Approved Provider status is included in the requirements of several states for continuing education for licensees.
  • Individual: An individual is defined as one instructor teaching courses. Instructor can have teaching assistants in the classroom and administrative help. Only the individual named as the Approved Provider may teach the course.
  • Organization: An organization is defined as two or more instructors that work under one entity. An organization must have a primary contact person listed to oversee all aspects of the Approved Provider account. Instructors teaching under organization status accounts must be approved by NCBTMB prior to teaching and issuing CEs.
  • Conference/Tradeshow: An organization holding a conference with four or more instructors must complete the Conference/Tradeshow portion of the Interim Course Submission form to submit their conference for approval.

How to become an Approved Provider

To complete applications with NCBTMB, you must first login to your NCBTMB account on ncbtmb.org here.

If you do not have a NCBTMB account, Register here and fill out all required information, and Submit. You can then login to your NCBTMB account after confirmation the activation email you are sent.

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

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.

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, follow the steps listed below:

  • Login to an existing account or if you do not have an account Register  to create one.
  • Once logged in, click “Initial Applications” from the Dashboard
  • Click on “Approved Provider Initial Application”
  • Complete all of the information and click submit

For a step-by-step instructional guide on how to complete the Approved Provider application, click here.

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

For detailed information on applying to be an Approved Provider, access the AP Handbook in the Approved Provider Handbook & Tools section here.

Instructors

The Approved Provider Instructor Requirements can be found in the Approved Provider Handbook, downloadable in the Approved Provider Handbook & Tools section here.

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

All instructors teaching NCBTMB approved courses for an organization must be submitted.  There are no fees to add additional instructors to your AP Organization account.

New York Sponsorship

To submit a NY Roster, please follow the below steps:

  • Click here to download the New York Class Roster Spreadsheet
  • Login to your account on www.ncbtmb.org
  • Once logged in, click “Additional Forms” from the Quick Links menu (on the left of your dashboard)
  • Click on “NY Sponsor Class Roster Submission Form”
  • Upload the completed spreadsheet and submit your form
  • NCBTMB will prepare and email a CE Certificate to each New York LMT
  • Participants from other states will need to receive a CE certificate directly from you

As the template specifies, please be sure to include ALL of the details on your NY Roster Spreadsheet in order to ensure NCBTMB can issue the CE certificates to those participants.

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.

You can download the New York Agreement and Sponsorship form in the handbook & tools section of this page.

The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, has specific 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. You can submit your application to become a New York sponsored instructor when you become an NCBTMB Approved Provider. You must be a current Approved Provider to become sponsored to teach continuing education for New York licensed massage therapists.  You may submit an application with your Initial Approved Provider application.

  • Login to your account at ncbtmb.org
  • Click Initial Applications from the Quick Links Menu
  • Complete the “NY Sponsorship Application”
  • Click Submit

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

Tips/Tools for APs

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

The email address on file with NCBTMB is your username.

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

Registration, Cancellation, and Refund PoliciesAll Approved Providers are required to have written policies regarding the registration, cancellation, and refund of courses. The policy should  be accessible, easy to understand  and include:

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

Course Material policy: 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 properly cited and books must be purchased for each student attending the course. It is the responsibility of the Approved Provider to follow all copyright laws.

Educational facility policiesFacilities where courses are held must be clean andhave access to bathrooms. In addition, classrooms for each course must have sufficient space for all attendees, class materials (i.e. massage tables) and other equipment.

Maintaining Records:  NCBTMB requires that all certificates, class rosters and student attendance records be kept for six (6) years Records must be kept in a secure environment, whether electronic or paper copy. The Approved Provider must be able to supply any person who has taken a course with additional certificates or transcripts within six (6) years of completing the course.

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

No. Each state can set its own parameters for the continuing education of their licensed professionals. Each Approved Provider must check with state licensing boards to ensure they are in compliance.

Certificates of Completion: A Certificate of Completion is given when participants attend a live course or broadcast of a live course. AP must verify full attendance of all participants prior to issuing certificates.  Certificates may not be given for partial credit.

Certificates of Achievement: A Certificate of Achievement is given for home study and asynchronous distance learning courses for which participants are required to  pass a test (written or practical) at the end of a course.

  • Participant’s name
  • Course title exactly as it appears int he NCBTMB directory*
  • Course completion date
  • Course type (Live, Home Study or Webinar)
    • Recorded webinars are considered home study courses
  • The Provider’s address or email address
  • NCBTMB Approved Provider number
  • Number of Continuing Education hours for which course is approved.  Certificates with hours that differ from those approved will be rejected by NCBTMB and by state boards.*
    • Must be listed as CEs, not CEUs
  • The Approved Provider’s Name as listed on the AP account.
  • Signature of the Approved Provider

*NCBTMB can only accept certificates with course title as approved and corresponding CE hours as approved.  This is a requirement of both NCBTMB’s accreditation with NCCA and our agreements with several state boards to serve as a resource for their audit processes.

  • Participant transcripts must be made available for all participants upon request. Transcripts are a cumulative record of all courses taken by a specific participant. Transcripts should display at lease six (6) years of course information.  For schools, the 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.

If you have questions, email ce@ncbtmb.org

 

NCBTMB requires that all certificates, class rosters and student attendance records be kept for six (6) years Records must be kept in a secure environment, whether electronic or paper copy. The Approved Provider must be able to supply any person who has taken a course with additional certificates or transcripts within six (6) years of completing the course.

No. Approved Providers must contact NCBTMB at ce@ncbtmb.org or by calling 1-800-296-0664 to inform us that the Approved Provider organization has been sold.

 

 

NCBTMB’s AP logo can be found by logging into your account and going to the “Tools” quick link on the left hand side of your profile.

To utilize NCBTMB’s certificate or transcript templates, please contact ce@ncbtmb.org to request the link to download.

Evaluations and other helpful documents can be downloaded on the Requirements and Resources page by clicking here.

 

The Approved Provider Standards of Practice, Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics can be found in the Approved Provider Handbook, downloadable in the Approved Provider Handbook & Tools section here.

  • Login to your account at ncbtmb.org
  • Click Additional Forms from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the “Change in Approved Provider Organization Name or Contact Person” form
    • You will need to submit legal documentation showing the name was changed if changing the name of your organization
  • Click Submit

It is important that all contact details be kept up to date.  States refer to NCBTMB’s website to verify CE information on certificates.  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.

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