NCBTMB Revamping Approved Provider Program

Alexa Zaledonis, the new Chair of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, is starting off her term with a bang. In a joint statement issued today with Paul Lindamood, Executive Director, Zaledonis states that the NCBTMB is about to undertake a major initiative to improve the CE Approved Provider program. The statement acknowledges that this evolution is necessitated by the fact that there are now over 1700 providers, and that what worked in the beginning is not necessarily going to serve the purpose in the future. The folks at the NCBTMB are aware that times are changing, and it’s time for a Spring cleaning.

The statement says in part:

We also anticipate a move toward comprehensive course-by-course review and auditing of all AP offerings. NCBTMB has reviewed the processes in place, as well as the needs of the profession, and the conclusions suggest:

  • a review of course content against a more robust set of criteria for every class is    imminent
  • the requirement for a specific set of teaching qualifications is compelling
  • a stratified system of course designations is fast approaching to differentiate entry-level and advanced CE

In the old paradigm, once an instructor was approved as a provider, additional classes could be added to the list of offerings without the individual class being vetted for content. Unfortunately, some people have taken advantage of that to bend the rules.

According to the Approved Provider Reference Guide, appropriate continuing education is meant to go beyond what is expected of an entry-level therapist who has 500 hours of education.

Inappropriate content includes, but is not limited to, classes that are about diagnosing clinical conditions, implementing allopathic medical or surgical procedures, physically invasive procedures such as ear candling or colonics, techniques that incorporate osteopathic/chiropractic procedures such as ballistic thrusting and joint manipulations, procedures that require additional licensure or certification such as physical therapy, Pilates instructor training, personal training, etc.; any class that is about how to prescribe herbs, nutritional supplements, and/or pharmaceuticals; any class about how to perform hypnosis, aesthetic facials, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or acupuncture, and any class that is about psychological counseling, or psychic, clairvoyance, telepathic, astrology, religious or spiritual practices. There is also a prohibition of any class that is based on a product that the student is expected to buy, which some providers have also ignored.

The NCBTMB has sent out letters inviting participation on a Massage Approved Provider Panel to the leadership of the professional membership organizations, regulatory boards, providers, certificants, and leaders of the profession. I think this is a great initiative, and since it’s meant to improve the CE/AP program that serves almost every state, I certainly hope that politics are put aside here for the greater good of the profession. It’s the right thing to do.

3 comments for “NCBTMB Revamping Approved Provider Program

  1. October 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    You are so right Cherie. I have over 100 hours in a simple 4 hour continuing education course. People think it is easy but when you count up the actual hours in the field and teaching hours and hundreds of hours of research. It quickly adds up. I am not into the politics in the field of massage and I cannot understand how a room of over 100 hundred massage therapists learn anything.The bottom line is to teach for the purpose of massage therapists making more money. That is my philosophy at Massage online Professor. Manual mainstream skills is the name of the game that pays the bills not having as many letters after your name because it doesn’t pay in the massage field. Might as well go to formal school and not be frustrated.Good luck!

  2. January 25, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    I personally would welcome a ‘spring cleaning’ of providers.  I once took a 1 day (6 hours at $199) class on “Migraines”….which had nothing to do with treating migraines..I still, to this day, have no idea what the connection was. The cost was unbelievable for the time commitment and the content had little or nothing to do with migraines.  Clean them out please and thank you.

  3. January 21, 2011 at 12:33 AM

    Wow! And here I’ve been commending the NCBTMB for finally streamlining their renewal application to what it was like many. many years ago. While I do believe there needs to be better monitoring of providers, having to vet every single permutation of a class seems excessive. There are some CE providers that have a handful of workshops (some of those being 50+ hours). Then there are CE providers like myself who tend to speak at a lot of conferences and sometimes facilitate workshops that cover the same objectives, but have a different titles (to fit in with the conference theme ) and possibly presented in a different manner.What makes more sense is to have an avenue to submit complaints. I just went to the NCBTMB site and could not find anything that states how to file a complaint against a CE provider. Yes, it will cost NCBTMB to filter through the complaints to make sure they are legitimate (usually just not liking a class isn’t enough), but that would be more meaningful than making CE providers fill out excessive paperwork. I’ve filled out enough of those forms to know that sometimes it takes hours just to write up 1 course (which might only be 1 hour long and might only be presented once).

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