Assigned Schools FAQs

Assigned Schools FAQs

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.

An Assigned School Code is a six-digit reference number assigned to a school by NCBTMB. To obtain an assigned school code, the primary contact person for the school must:

  • Create account with NCBTMB at www.ncbtmb.org
  • Once logged in, click “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete and submit the “Assigned School Initial Application” form

Please be aware that there are two separate forms—one for Accredited schools and a second for Non-Accredited schools.

A student or school’s use of this code enables efficient processing of student applications by NCBTMB. A code that has been assigned to a school indicates that the school’s program meets NCBTMB’s requirements, and consequently, that its graduate’s meet NCBTMB’s eligibility requirements relating to educational background.

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. All 500 hours of core curriculum must be live, in class with an instructor present. NCBTMB no longer accepts online learning in core curriculum.

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 AS application must meet NCB’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.

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.

Students graduating from a school without an NCBTMB Assigned School Code will not be able to attain the Board Certification credential—however, if you find yourself in this situation, give us a call: 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.

Unacceptable core curriculum content includes but is not limited to:

  • 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

NCBTMB has 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 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. All 500 hours of core curriculum must be live, in class with an instructor present. NCBTMB no longer accepts online learning in core curriculum.

There is no cost to become an NCBTMB Assigned School. It’s FREE!

Along with meeting our minimum 500-hour curriculum requirements, Accredited schools must also submit the following materials:

  • Completed contact information,
  • Copy of your accreditation approval with expiration date,
  • Copy of a signed, sample transcript for all massage therapy programs your school offers, and
  • A breakdown of the curriculum hours.

Once the above materials are received, your Assigned School application will be complete. NCBTMB will notify you with your Assigned School Code upon review.

Please update information with NCBTMB at all times. This is not only to protect students who attend your school, but also to protect the school from people who may try to falsify your documents.

Along with meeting our minimum 500-hour curriculum requirements, Non-Accredited schools must also submit the following materials:

  • Completed contact information and the 20 questions requested in the application,
  • Proof of required business license,
  • Proof of business ownership,
  • List of instructors and their resumes and qualifications,
  • Licenses and credentials of massage therapists (within states that require licensure),
  • Your school’s attendance policy,
  • Your school’s program descriptions with course catalog,
  • Syllabi outlines for each course,
  • Cope of a signed, sample transcript for all massage therapy programs your school offers, and
  • Breakdown of curriculum hours.

Once the above materials are received, your Assigned School application will be complete. NCBTMB will notify you with your Assigned School Code upon review.

Please update information with NCBTMB at all times. This is not only to protect students who attend your school, but also to protect the school from people who may try to falsify your documents.

NCBTMB reserves the right to deny or revoke a school from a voluntary Assigned School Code if the school misrepresents its students, education, or any documentation submitted to NCBTMB.

To put it simply, we created the NCBTMB Assigned School program to better protect legitimate massage therapy programs, students, educators, and practitioners nationwide. Too often in the past, there were instances of falsification, illegitimacy, and illegal activity associated with massage therapy. We’re changing that. Most importantly, we require a valid NCBTMB Assigned School Code from any student or licensed practitioner who sits for the Board Certification exam.

If you have additional questions, please email schooloutreach@ncbtmb.org.

NCBTMB does not accredit schools—there are several accreditation agencies that are responsible for the accreditation of schools. An NCBTMB Assigned School Code means that the school has passed NCBTMB’s review process and that students graduating from the school will be eligible to sit for NCBTMB’s Board Certification exam.

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

 

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.

Students graduating from a school without a NCBTMB Assigned School Code must go through the Portfolio Review process to become eligible to sit for the Board Certification Exam.

If you wish to apply to become a NCBTMB Assigned School, register on the NCBTMB website. Then, login and and submit the “Assigned School Code Request Form.”

Transcripts may be emailed to transcripts@ncbtmb.org.

NCBTMB has developed several print-outs and flyers you may find useful to display in your classroom, hang on classroom bulletin boards, or hand out to students. All of these downloads are FREE, and can be found in our Forms/Tools/Logos section here: https://shop.ncbtmb.org/formstools/ 

Acceptable core curriculum content includes:

  • 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

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. All 500 hours of core curriculum must be live, in class with an instructor present. NCBTMB no longer accepts online learning in core curriculum.

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.

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.

  • If you currently have an account with NCBTMB, login to your account at www.ncbtmb.org
  • If you do not have an account, click “Register” at the top of the page on www.ncbtmb.org
  • Once logged in, click “Initial Applications” from the Quick Links menu
  • Complete the Assigned School Initial Application
  • Click Submit

There is no fee to become an Assigned School. Be sure you meet all required Assigned School curriculum and qualifications.

  • 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

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.

For more information, call us at 1-800-296-0664 and select the option to speak with a School Specialist. You may also email us directly at schooloutreach@ncbtmb.org.

Load More