New CE Requirement
The rules governing continuing education (CE) for licensed massage therapists in Michigan have now been issued. This means that you must complete 18 hours of CE during the license renewal following your next (upcoming) renewal. No CE is required for your next renewal.
Michigan massage therapy licenses must be renewed every three years, by October 31. Your license expiration date is printed on your license. You can renew your license up to 90 days before your expiration date. The state will mail you a renewal notice approximately 90 days prior to the expiration date. However, it's your responsibility to renew your license on time even if you don't receive a notification.
The new CE rules apply to license renewals that are filed for the three-year renewal cycle beginning 1 year or more after March 14, 2017 (the effective date of the rules). This means that you will need complete 18 hours of CE over the course of your next three-year licensing period that begins after 2017. Then, you will need to complete 18 hours of CE for each subsequent renewal cycle. Here is the explanation that we received from the state as to how it works:
"The current rules were promulgated on March 14, 2017. The next renewal cycle that would begin one year after this date would be the renewal cycle that starts on 11/01/2018 and runs through 10/31/2021. So the CE requirements would need to be completed during this cycle, and completed before the next cycle starting on 11/01/21. By the same logic, if the licensee's next cycle begins on 11/01/2019 and runs through 10/31/2022, their CEs would need to be completed during this cycle, and completed before the next cycle starting on 11/01/2022, and so on."
CE hours cannot be carried over from one three-year licensing period to the next. The CE has to be earned during the three-year period immediately preceding your renewal date in order for it to count when you renew. You can, of course, take CE whenever you wish, but in order for it to count toward the required 18 hours, it has to be taken in the three-year period immediately preceding your license renewal.
No CE is required for a licensee's initial (first) licensure cycle.
CE Requirements and Limitations
The new rules include the following restrictions for CE:
(1) Not more than 12 hours of continuing education shall be earned during a 24-hour period.
(2) A licensee shall not earn credit for a continuing education program or activity that is identical or substantially identical to a program or activity the licensee has already earned credit for during that renewal period.
(3) A licensee shall not earn continuing education programs or activities that primarily focus on practices excluded from licensure under section 17957 of the code, MCL 333.17957. This means that classes in the following will not count toward your required CE:
"(a) The use of touch, words, or directed movement to deepen awareness of patterns of movement in the body as long as those services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. These practices include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(i) The Feldenkrais method.
(ii) The Trager approach.
(b) The affectation of the human energy system or acupoints or qi meridians of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics and as long as those services are not designated or implied to be massage or massage therapy. These practices include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(i) Polarity or polarity therapy.
(ii) Asian bodywork therapy.
(d) Structural integration."
(4) At least 1 hour of continuing education shall be earned in the area of pain and symptom management. Continuing education hours in pain and symptom management may include, but are not limited to, courses in behavior management, behavior modification, stress management, and clinical applications, as they relate to professional practice.
(5) At least 2 hours of continuing education shall be earned in the area of professional ethics or boundaries.
Your CE hours can be earned in a variety of ways. The new rules set forth detailed information about what qualifies as CE in a chart beginning at the bottom of page 9 of the rules. You can earn hours in live or online classes, or via self-study programs. Courses must be offered by either:
A sponsor approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB);
The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) or a sponsor approved by the FSMTB; or
An educational institution or program that has been accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) or utilizes a COMTA endorsed curriculum for its entire program.
There are many other ways to earn CE hours, as set forth in the chart starting at the bottom of page 9 of the rules.
All ABMP CE webinars are free for ABMP members, and they are all NCBTMB-approved. You can locate ABMP webinars by logging on to www.abmp.com and clicking on ABMP Members/Continuing Education/ABMP Online Learning. Courses listed under the separate "Continuing Education Calendar" heading are not necessarily ABMP-sponsored and may not qualify toward your CE.
Anti-Human Trafficking Course Requirement
The rules state that licensees must complete a course concerning human trafficking. It is our understanding that this is a one-time requirement that does not need to be met until the year 2022. We will let you know about this requirement as we learn more.
Proof of CE
You will not need to submit proof of your CE when you submit your license renewal. The rule states that "submission of an application for renewal shall constitute the applicant's certification of compliance with the requirements of this rule." However, you must retain documentation of your completed CE (i.e., certificates of completion of your CE classes) for at least 4 years after your license renewal application. The state could select you in a random audit, in which case you'd be required to provide proof that you completed the required CE.
Read the CE Rules
Click here to read the CE rules themselves, which begin on page 9 ("Part 4. Continuing Education").
Feel free to contact ABMP at email@example.com with questions you may have. However, some questions can only be answered by the state. Click here for the state board's website, or you can call the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) at 517-373-1820.