Continuing Education & Approved Provider Program Webinar Recap

November 22, 2013

Our November 21st webinar with Board Chair, Dr. Leena Guptha, CEO, Steve Kirin and VP of Education Support, Donna Sarvello included a full hour dedicated to discussing important details and insights regarding Continuing Education and the Approved Provider Program. Thank you to those of you who submitted questions and tuned in to hear the answers. We encourage you to join us for future webinars and continue asking the questions that matter to you.

Yesterday’s webinar covered a wide range of material. For your convenience, we’ve posted below the questions and answers discussed in this informative webinar.

Watch the full webinar below:

Questions and Answers:

Annie: My organization is an NCBTMB approved provider for a skin cancer awareness class. Who on your board or staff is qualified to approve the content of my curriculum? Who at NCBTMB can confidently say that our material is safe, accurate and correct?

Donna: The employees that work with schools and Approved Providers have all either worked as instructors or owned a massage therapy school. The Approved Provider volunteers have all taken numerous courses and worked in this profession for several years. Through the review process, we review instructor qualifications and course information. We currently do not “vet” course content but we do now look at the course descriptions, learning outcomes and outlines to ensure quality. If course content looks like it may be outside the massage therapy scope of practice, the information is sent to the AP Committee. The Committee researches the information and also makes a determination of whether or not the course or provider will be approved. We are currently putting together a Think Tank to look more closely at our AP/CE program and to make recommendations that will help add value to the program.

Barbara: I am required to renew my License and Provider's license ahead of my expiration date of September 2015. Where can I find this information and when?

Dr. Leena: I believe you are referring to your Board Certification and CE Provider approval. You can wait until your expiration date to renew both your certification and your Approved Provider status. When we changed our AP program in 2013, we asked that all providers renew early so we could update all of the information about courses and instructors under organizations. We received constructive feedback from our Approved Providers, and through that feedback, restructured our new program. During the restructuring period, people that were due to renew submitted a one year application. Because of this one year application, all except for a handful of Approved Providers will renew by the end of 2015.

Dianne: I am interested in knowing how to become a provider myself, but also want to know if there is an approval process for schools?

Donna: To become an Approved Provider, first become experienced in the modality that you want to teach. Take additional courses and learn everything about the subject. Next, teach the course as you would if you were already approved. You must have at least 5 participants present when you teach. At the end of the course, give your participants an evaluation form to evaluate your teaching, course material and allow them to give you feedback about the course. Finally, if needed, make corrections to your course. Register at the top of the page and complete the Approved Provider Initial Application.

Kathleen: I qualified to teach a continuing ed. program (self-care) several months ago. I'm uncertain how to get started! I'm not clear on exactly how to issue the credits participants earn. Please help!

Dr. Leena: You would need to first market your course and teach it. Once you complete a course, keep the student information, a copy of their certificates and dates of the course. Maintain these records on file for at least 5 years. I would keep it longer because there are several cases that students need their records even after 5 years.

Michelle: What do you look for in a provider? What are the main requirements in the approval process? Besides being NCTMB Board Certified and current on required licenses, are there any other certifications that are needed?

Donna: This really depends on what you teach. It's very difficult to have minimal requirements when the courses that are acceptable can be so different. If you are teaching a modality that has different levels, you should have taken and become experienced in the level above the course that you are teaching. If you are teaching a science, you should have a diploma or degree, diploma or something showing that you know the material – or at least be able to show that you have taught the information in the past.

Margherita: What is the best way to determine what to charge for a bodywork class? Is there a formula based on credit hour?

Dr. Leena: This is best determined by doing some research in your area. I would stay in the realm of what others are providing. If you charge too much, you may not get any participants.

Margo: I am currently involved in large expenditures for filming and am deeply concerned about the sudden changes that were offered up some time ago.

Dr. Leena: NCBTMB completed a restructuring of its programs in 2012 and 2013. This was due to feedback from the profession about time delays, paperwork and raising the standards. As we move into 2014, we will continue to listen to the profession as a whole, communicate and tidy up or processes. We currently have the foundation of our programs, but will continue to make improvements to these foundations. Because change is the only constant in life, I cannot say that nothing with change, but this is the foundation of the AP program. I hope that we have addressed some of your concern here.

Gerald: As a provider, is there a fee for each program or is the provider fee one-covers-all? Is it good for 1 year, 2 years or 5 years?

Donna: The provider fee is good for 3 years. When you submit a course that different or more advanced than the courses you currently teach, there is a $25 fee for the course submission. Submitting new instructor qualifications to show that you have the qualifications to teach the course is free.

Suzanne: I'm confused about licensure in the Kentucky area. Some say ‘must license’ and others say it is not necessary. I don't mind paying taxes, but I don't like the hard to reach process with the city and state. How do I?

Dr. Leena: Kentucky is a licensure state. In licensed state, if you are caught practicing without a license you can get a pretty hefty fine. I'd suggest that you complete your state's licensure paperwork and submit it. You can find the application on the Kentucky massage therapy board website.

Elizabeth: I need some clarification on what is expected for the 3 hours of research for our recertification.

Dr. Leena: The research component refers to research literacy. We don't want you to reach an article and submit a thesis, but rather take a 3 hour course about the importance of research, how to decipher between legitimate and illegitimate research and how to understand the findings. We have incorporated this into recertification because, as massage therapy grows, we are finding that some of our previous information was not completely true and accurate. As we grow as a profession, we are basing more of our information on facts and science. To do this, we must understand the process of researching information. You can find excellent research courses on the Massage Therapy Foundations website.

Karen: What is all entailed in the CE approval process to recertify as a massage therapist, not a provider?

Donna: To transition from National Certification into Board Certification, we will accept any courses that were previously approved, as well as courses taken from an NCBTMB Approved Provider or an accredited college or university.

Sarajo: After paying $25 dollars for a new class and receiving approval, can you offer it again within the year without paying another $25?

Donna: Once you submit a course and it is approved, you can teach it as many times as you like. There are no additional fees.

Tracy: Since I am due to renew in December/January, I would like to know what the new procedure is for renewing as an organization with several teachers?

Donna: First, email and request a user name and password. Once you receive your user name and password, login at the top of the NCB home page. Verify your personal information and make corrections as needed. Click Complete a Form on the left hand side of the page, complete and submit the Approved Provider Renewal application.

Bill: Are NCBTMB Approved Providers for Continuing Education going to be required to renew every year? Will there be a 2 year option? Why were ethics classes dropped as part of the
re-certification requirement when these issues affect the profession so much?

Dr. Leena: Approved Providers will be required to renew every three years. The one year renewal was implemented only for 2013 while we reconstructed our current Approved Provider program. Ethics has been implemented into the recertification requirements.

Bert: I am collaborating with a DC creating a CE course we will teach together. Would that affect how we should submit that course for approval when it is ready? How would we do that?

Donna: If you are both teaching the course, you would fall under the organization status. You will both submit your qualifications to teach. The primary person that will be managing the organization is charged with tracking all student, course and administrative information. Then to become an Approved Provider, teach the course as you would if you were already approved. You must have at least 5 participants present when you teach. At the end of the course, give your participants an evaluation form to evaluate both of you as instructors, course material and allow participants to give you feedback about the course. Finally, if needed make corrections to your course before you submit the information. Register at the top of the page and complete the Approved Provider Initial Application.

Vivian: I'm still trying to find out what you’re going to do with the organizations? That's my main concern and I wasn't able to stay on the last webinar, so I’m not sure if it was answered.

Dr. Leena: NCBTMB is keeping the organization status. When you renew, please have all of your instructors submit their qualifications to teach on the instructor qualifications form that can be found under your organization's profile – “Complete a Form.”


Thank you to all who joined us for this important webinar. To be notified of future webinars, please register your email address at

As a reminder, if you are interested in being part of the NCBTMB APCE Think Tank or part of the volunteer force following the guidelines and recommendations from the Think Tank? Send an email to and put CE THINK TANK in the subject line.

We hope to see you at our next webinar!


Paula Ramos's picture
Submitted by Paula Ramos (not verified) on Fri, 10/31/2014 - 16:32

Hi my names is Paula Ramos. I need to take a certification in Massage therapy. I am Physical Education Teacher and Massage therapy, but my tittles are from Argentina. I need the certification in Massage therapy for to work in USA.
Do you have this certification?

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