Several changes to Rhode Island's massage therapy licensing rules became effective on August 5, 2018. You can read the new rules here. The changes include a new requirement that all licensed massage therapists must now complete six hours of continuing education (CE) every year in order to renew their license. This new rule brings Rhode Island in line with most other states, which generally require CE for license renewal. The new rule states as follows:
10.8 Continuing Education
A. On application for renewal of license, massage therapists must show proof of participation in six (6) hours (annually) in scope of practice specific offerings that may include, but not limited to: formal presentations, conferences, coursework from a regionally accredited college/university and/or self-study course, such as online courses (awarded one education hour for each hour completed) and ethics.
B. It is the sole responsibility of the massage therapists to obtain documentation (e.g. course descriptions, proof of attendance) from the sponsoring organization, agency, or institution of his/her participation in a continuing education program and/or activity. These documents shall be retained by each licensee for no less than four (4) years and are subject to random audit by the Department. C. A licensee who fails to complete the continuing education requirements described may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 23- 20.8-6.
D. A license may be denied to any applicant who fails to provide satisfactory evidence of completion of continuing education relevant to massage therapy as required in this Part.
E. The board may waive the requirement for these educational requirements if the board is satisfied that the applicant has suffered hardship, which may have prevented meeting the educational requirements.
All licenses have to be renewed by June 30 each year.
Additionally, the rules no longer exempt from licensure the "practice of massage by any person in a physical fitness facility operated by a corporation or association organized exclusively for the moral or mental improvement of men, women, or children," i.e., therapists who work in an organization such as the YMCA or YWCA.
Also, the previous detailed sanitation rules have been deleted, and replaced with the following rules:
- Licensed practitioners shall maintain and be governed by acceptable sanitary, safety and scientific standards of practice in accordance with National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) Standards of Practice.
- Licensed practitioners shall conduct their professional activities in accordance with the NCBTMB Code of Ethics.
There are other changes to the rules as well. To read the new rules in their entirety, please click here.