The North Carolina Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy has issued changes to the continuing education (CE) rules for North Carolina-licensed massage therapists.
There is no change to the number of CE hours that must be earned; licensees must still complete 24 hours of CE during each 2-year license renewal period. The expiration date of your license is listed on your certificate of licensure. As before, although your license will expire on December 31 of a given year, you must send your renewal application to the Board office by November 1 of that same given year.
However, changes have been made to other aspects of the CE rules. We have been informed that the Board recently sent an email to licensees stating that the changes to continuing education will not begin until August 1, 2017 for those licensees whose licenses expire December 31, 2019 and have to renew their license by November 1, 2019. The changes to continuing education will NOT affect licensees whose licenses expire December 31, 2016, December 31, 2017 or December 31, 2018.
The changes are:
- NCCAOM-approved courses are no longer acceptable as CE courses.
- CE courses which can be taken at a "post secondary institution of higher learning" now include pathology, psychology, pharmacology, and massage and bodywork. "Post secondary institution of higher learning" means "a degree granting institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education."
- Up to 8 hours of courses in business management are now allowed (increased from 3 hours previously).
- As before, all CE must be obtained from an "approved provider." However, under the new rules, "approved provider" no longer means an NCBTMB-approved provider. "Approved provider" now means a provider that "has been approved by any entity with which the Board has reached a contractual agreement for the approval of continuing education providers and courses." The Board's recent email to licensees stated that "[t]he Board is currently developing guidelines for a contractual agreement to approve continuing education providers and courses. The Federation of State Massage Boards (FSMTB) and the National Certification Board in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCB) have agreed to work on a joint effort to provide approval and oversight for continuing education and they are currently working on the details of that effort. The Board is waiting to review the final product developed by the FSMTB/NCB collaboration before developing guidelines for a contractual agreement to approve continuing education providers and courses."
Click here to read the new CE rules.
Additionally, last July we sent an email to our North Carolina members alerting them to a proposal by the Board to initiate state licensing of massage therapy establishments. We are pleased to report that that proposal was not approved by the North Carolina Rules Review Commission. There is no proposal for state licensing of massage establishments currently under consideration in North Carolina.