North Dakota Bills Would Reduce CE Hours and Allow Background Checks

Two bills have recently been introduced in North Dakota that could impact licensed massage therapists in the state. North Dakota SB 2085 proposes to reduce the number of continuing education hours required for massage therapists in North Dakota from 32 to 24, every two years. However, the bill would also reduce the number of CE hours that can be earned remotely from 12 to nine, and would require that four of the 24 CE hours be in ethics. No CE would be required during a licensee's initial two-year licensing period.

The bill also would give the Board authority to grant a licensee's request for a waiver from the CE requirement based on health issues or other reasons that the North Dakota Board of Massage "deems sufficient." Additionally, the bill provides that the Board may require any applicant or licensee to submit to a statewide and nationwide criminal history record check. The Board thus would have discretion to impose background checks on particular applicants or licensees.

North Dakota SB 2294 includes similar proposals, and would also require that the Board must periodically inspect, or cause to inspect, every massage establishment in the state.  As a result, every massage establishment in North Dakota would undergo a required periodic state inspection.  The bill does not define what is meant by "periodic." Under the current law, massage establishment inspections are authorized, but not required, by the state.

We will keep you updated on any important developments on these bills.