PA Licensing and Massage Therapy Information

Continuing Education Requirements at Your Fingertips!
(Includes PA State Board of Massage Therapy, NCBTMB, AMTA, ABMP, & IMA)

Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy
www.dos.state.pa.us/massagetherapy
RA-MASSAGETHERAPY@PA.GOV

717.783.7155

Pennsylvania requires massage therapists to complete 24 CEs every 2 years for license renewal, of which 4 CEs must be in Ethics and 2 CEs in Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting. Massage therapists must also be certified in CPR, which should be current in the renewal period, and counts for 0 CEs.

Pennsylvania requires 16 hands on (live) CE classes to fulfill licensure requirements – 8 CE hours may be taken online or by mail. A class taken online or through the mail is not considered a hands-on class. Any class taken in a classroom, spa, clinic, home, etc. by an approved CE provider is considered a (live) hands-on class even if it is just theory or lecture and there is no actual “hands-on” practice.

Classes taken between February 1, 2015, and January 31, 2017, count for the 2017 licensing period.

**CEs cannot be older than 2 years old by the year that they are due and cannot “roll over” if you took extra. There is no way to submit proof of your CEs to the Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy—they will be randomly auditing therapists to make sure CE requirements are being met.

APPROVED PROVIDERS FOR CHILD ABUSE/RECOGNITION MANDATORY REPORTING CE

PENNSYLVANIA STATE BOARD OF MASSAGE THERAPY

Continuing Education
Frequently Asked Questions
February 25, 2016

The Massage Therapy Law establishes the requirement that licensees complete 24 hours of massage therapy continuing education before the license can be renewed. The continuing education must be completed in accordance with sections 20.32 and 20.33 of the board regulations.

FAQ

  1. If this is the first time I am renewing my license, do I need to complete 24 hours of continuing education?

YES. There is currently NO WAIVER of continuing education hours for the first renewal cycle.

  1. Will continuing education courses that focus on practices/ modalities that are excluded from requiring licensure under section 13 of the Massage Therapy Law1 be accepted for the 2017 renewal cycle?

YES. These courses will still be accepted for the upcoming 2017 renewal cycle.

  1. Will the Board Continue to approve continuing education courses in practices/modalities that are excluded from licensure under section 13 of the Massage Therapy Law?

No. The Board will no longer be approving these courses to be used toward the 24 required hours to renew one’s massage therapy license.

  1. Can I still take classes in practices/modalities that are excluded from licensure under section 13 of the Massage Therapy Law?

These courses will NOT count towards the 24 continuing education hours that are required to renew your massage therapy license in 2019 or thereafter.

1 1 Section 13. Other professions.

* * * * *

(4) The practice by an individual while performing reflexology.

(5) The practice of an individual who uses touch, words and directed movement to deepen awareness of existing patterns of movement in the body and to suggest new possibilities of movement, while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics.

(6) The practice of an individual who uses touch to affect the energy systems, acupoints, Qi meridians or channels of energy of the human body while engaged within the scope of practice of a profession with established standards and ethics. Such practices include acupressure, Asian bodywork therapy, polarity therapy bodywork, quigon, reiki, shiatsu and tui na.

  1. How many hours of continuing education are required in order to renew the biennial renewal?

24 hours of continuing education in the field of massage therapy in the 2 year period immediately preceding the application for license renewal ( February 1 of the odd year through January 31 of the next odd year). The 24 hours must include a minimum of 4 hours in professional ethics and a minimum of 16 hours earned through contact hours. All massage therapy licenses expire January 31 of every odd year.

The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), in conjunction with the Department of Human Services (DHS), is providing notice to all health-related licensees and funeral directors that are considered “mandatory reporters” under section 6311 of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) (23 P.S. § 6311), as amended, that EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2015, all persons applying for renewal of a license shall be required to complete 2 hours of Board-approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of renewal. Please review the Board website for further information on approved CE providers. Child Abuse Continuing Education Providers Information can be found here.

Once you have completed a course, the approved provider will electronically submit your name, date of attendance, etc., to the Board. All child abuse courses must be taken through one of the approved providers.

  1. When do I need to take the Child Abuse continuing education?

The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), in conjunction with the Department of Human Services (DHS), is providing notice to all health-related licensees and funeral directors that are considered “mandatory reporters” under section 6311 of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) (23 P.S. § 6311), as amended, that EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2015, all persons applying for issuance of an initial license shall be required to complete 3 hours of DHS-approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of licensure. Please review the Board website for further information on approved CE providers. Child Abuse Continuing Education Providers Information can be found here. Once you have completed a course, the approved provider will electronically submit your name, date of attendance, etc., to the Board. The child abuse courses must be taken by one of the approved providers.

  1. Can I earn CE for my CPR certification?

CPR certification is not counted towards fulfillment of the required credits

NCBTMB

For Board Certification renewal, the NCBTMB requires massage therapists to complete 24 CEs every 2 years. Of the 24 CE hours, 3 CE hours must be in Research, and 3 CE hours in Ethics. Only 4 CE hours can be in Self-Care.

AMTA

The AMTA requires massage therapy continuing education at the Professional Level of membership. The current requirement, beginning with the first full year of membership, is 48 CEs every 4 years.

ABMP

ABMP Certified Level:

  • The certified member level requires massage therapists to complete 16 CEs every 2 years.
  • ABMP Professional Level:
  • Currently, there are no CEs required to renew membership at this level.
  • ABMP Practitioner Level:
  • Currently, there are no CEs required to renew membership at this level.
IMA

To maintain IMA membership, 16 CEs are required every 4 years for Practicing Memberships, and 16 CEs are required every 2 years for Therapist Memberships. The 16 CEs must be earned through IMA approved vendors.

MORE ABOUT PA CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS ….

*HOLD ONTO YOUR CE CERTIFICATES FOR 3 YEARS – YOU MAY BE AUDITED*

Pennsylvania State Board of Massage Therapy
P.O. Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Phone – (717) 783-7155
Fax – (717) 787-7769

PA STATE BOARD OF MASSAGE THERAPY

§ 20.32. Continuing education hours, maintenance of  certificates of completion.

(a)  Licensees shall complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education in the field of massage therapy as set forth in section 4(6) of the act (63 P. S. §  627.4(6)) and §  20.33 (related to continuing education content and providers) in the 2–year period immediately preceding the application for license renewal. To be creditable, continuing education must meet the requirements for Board approval set forth in this section and § 20.33.

(b)  Licensees shall complete a minimum of 4 hours of continuing education in professional ethics in each biennial renewal period.

(c)  A minimum of 16 hours of continuing education shall be earned through contact hours.

(d)  Courses for the renewal of the licensee’s CPR certification shall be earned through contact hours and may not be used to meet the biennial continuing education requirement.

(e)  Licensees shall retain the certificates of completion from continuing education courses for a minimum of 5 years.

(f)  A licensee who is unable to complete the required continuing education shall request a waiver or extension from the Board at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the license. The request must include details about the licensee’s illness, emergency or hardship, including documentation such as a letter from the licensee’s physician or a copy of the licensee’s military orders. The Board will respond in writing either granting or denying a request for waiver or extension.

(g)  Licensees may be audited to ensure their compliance with the continuing education requirements.

Cross References

This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  20.31 (relating to expiration, renewal and reactivation of license).

§ 20.33. Continuing education content and providers.

(a)  Continuing education must be designed to advance the licensee’s professional knowledge and skills related to the practice of massage therapy as defined in section 2 of the act (63 P. S. §  627.2).

(b)  The following continuing education providers are approved to offer creditable continuing education provided they comply with subsections (a), (c) and (d):

(1)  Schools of massage therapy in this Commonwealth operating under section 5(a)(3) of the act (63 P. S. §  627.5(a)(3)).

(2)  Schools of massage therapy approved by the Board or accredited by a National accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

(3)  The American Massage Therapy Association and its state chapters.

(4)  NCBTMB-approved providers.

(5)  Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals.

(c)  Continuing education providers shall provide certificates of completion to massage therapists that include the name of the massage therapist, name of the course provider, title of the course, date of the course, and number of hours.

(d)  Continuing education providers shall retain documentation of the participants in their continuing education programs for at least 5 years.

(e)  Providers of continuing education who are not listed in subsection (b) may apply to the Board for approval of a continuing education course by submitting an application and paying the application fee under §  20.3 (relating to fees). The Board will approve only courses that are designed to advance the knowledge and skills of licensees relative to massage therapy as defined in section 2 of the act and that are taught by approved faculty. Approved faculty include massage therapists licensed in the state in which they practice if licensure is required in that state, physical therapists, physicians, professional nurses and chiropractors. Other instructors with demonstrated expertise may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Course approval is valid for 2 years from the date the course is first given for credit provided the faculty and learning objectives are unchanged.

(f)  An L.M.T. may submit a course offered by a continuing education provider not listed in subsection (b) by filing an application with the Board for approval of a continuing education course and paying the application fee set forth in § 20.3. The Board will approve only courses that are designed to advance the knowledge and skills of licensees relative to massage therapy as defined in section 2 of the act and that are taught by approved faculty, as set forth in subsection (e).

(g)  The Board reserves the right to reject a continuing education course submitted by a massage therapist who is audited for compliance if the course is outside the scope of practice of massage therapy as defined in the act. A licensee will be notified of the rejection of a course and will be provided the opportunity to apply additional courses the licensee has taken or to take additional courses to meet the continuing education requirement.

24 hours of continuing education in the field of massage therapy in the 2 year period immediately preceding the application for license renewal. The 24 hours must include a minimum of 4 hours in professional ethics and a minimum of 16 hours earned through contact hours. All massage therapy licenses expire January 31 of every odd year.

Cross References

This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  20.32 (relating to continuing  education hours, maintenance of certificates of completion).

§ 20.34. Penalty for failure to complete continuing education.

Applicants for license renewal shall provide, on forms provided by the Board, a signed statement verifying whether continuing education requirements have been met. Failure to complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education in a biennial period may subject a licensee to discipline under section 9(a)(7) of the act (63 P. S. §  627.9(a)(7)) in accordance with the schedule of civil penalties at §  43b.23 (relating to schedule of civil penalties—massage therapists).