At its meeting on February 15, 2012, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) voted to eliminate the National Exam for State Licensing (NESL), offered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) from the list of approved exams for the Portable G pathway to CAMTC certification. Applicants will only be able to apply for CAMTC certification by becoming certified by NCBTMB if applying by Portal G. There are still several other application pathways to CAMTC certification at either the CMP or CMT levels.
The reason for the change was based on the concern that “even the slightest potential of certifying a non-massage therapist was too great for the CAMTC to take”. The majority of the CAMTC board members voted to remove the NESL and MBLEx from the list of approved exams because the application process to sit for either of these exams does not include a minimum education component or verification of education an applicant represents having received on the exam application form. The decision made by the CAMTC board is no reflection on the actual quality of either exam or the security of the testing environment. Both exams are given by the professional testing company Pearson Vue, the leading provider of secure computer-based testing.
The CAMTC board members are well intentioned, however, both ABMP representatives on the CAMTC board (Bob Benson and Jean Robinson) voted against the motion to eliminate the NESL and the MBLEx based on the fact that there has been no evidence, documented or anecdotal, that allowing these exams has compromised the CAMTC certification process. In fact, only a small number of applicants have used the exam only option to actually apply for CAMTC certification.
To be as fair as possible to applicants already having initiated plans to gain CAMTC certification via the “exam-only” route, CAMTC will phase out the NESL and MBLEx “exam only” pathway to certification:
1. Applicants must apply and qualify through the “exam-only” route by May 15, 2012. This means you must have applied for CAMTC certification AND passed the exam by this date.
2. Anyone who was specifically told by CAMTC’s Professional Standards Division that if they pass an exam they will be deemed qualified for certification, will get certified when they present a passing score.
Applicants for CAMTC certification whose schools have closed and therefore cannot provide CAMTC with original transcript documentation, will now have to apply for CAMTC certification using the “compelling evidence” protocol.