NCBTMB Announces Board Certification Credential

A Slate of New Programs Aimed at Elevating the Profession - Set to Roll Out Over the Next 12 Months

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois (March 14, 2012) – The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) announced today a 12-month plan 
that will improve the quality and usefulness of all of its products and communications including a new certification credential, new technology, and improved tools and support. The nonprofit organization is completely revamping all areas of operation to ensure that the support is in place to elevate standards for the profession.
“Every point where NCB and the profession intersect will be significantly upgraded—from improved credentials and school outreach to improved review of instructors and technology,” said Mike Williams, NCBTMB CEO.  “All of these changes are designed to enhance the ability of therapists interested in excelling in their profession to reach their potential.”  
The massage industry is at an interesting crossroads. There are therapists practicing under stringent standards similar to other health care providers, and then there is illegal and fraudulent activity undermining all of our efforts. Williams believes the best way to establish greater credibility for therapists is by raising standards. Over the course of the next 12 months, NCBTMB will launch the following:
  • Board Certification Credential
  • Online Career Management System
  • Continuing Education program
  • Online Education Resource
Beginning with the first quarter of 2013, NCBTMB will introduce a Board Certification credential, phasing out the current National Certification credential. The new credential—by including additional education, hands-on experience and a background check— will ensure that therapists achieving this credential will have the proper foundation to better serve their clients. Additional qualifications for this credential will be determined based on feedback from the profession. {See separate attachment for the full program description.}
NCBTMB will no longer pursue the development of the National Credential for Advanced Practitioners. After extensive feedback from the profession, and a further look at the difficulty in testing the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities for such a level of practice, the exam was deemed inappropriate for the current needs of the profession. Rather, it was discovered that higher standards for certification were desired, and the new Board Certification credential, soon followed by the development of specialty exams, will provide a pathway for career success. 
To ensure NCBTMB’s infrastructure can support these new programs, the organization will be replacing its current technology with an online career management system to automate the certification process, provide a secure self-service portal and enhance communications. This system will significantly reduce processing time, producing nearly instant results. Implementation begins this spring, and the public rollout will be mid-summer.
An important aspect of the massage profession is quality continuing education to help therapists keep their skills sharp and learn new techniques to further develop their careers. NCBTMB began the work of refining its Approved Provider program with feedback learned from the Massage Approved Provider Panel (MAPP). The program—to be launched this summer—will ensure the highest quality of continuing education and will allow instructors of distinction the opportunity to differentiate themselves.
NCBTMB is discontinuing offering the current online practice exam effective immediately. It will be replaced with an online education resource in June. The new online educational resource will offer a data bank of thousands of questions to help applicants test their knowledge of many specific areas of practice and be customizable to allow applicants and schools to focus their experience on areas of particular interest to them. 
 “All of the programmatic and operational enhancements that NCBTMB is making have full support of the Board of Directors,” said Alexa Zaledonis, NCBTMB Board Chair. “This is exactly what the massage profession needs to elevate practitioners to a higher level in order to earn the respect and trust of the health care community.”
Finally, the NCBTMB website is getting a total redesign which will be unveiled this summer. The new site will be user friendly, and include a career section, enhanced online store, new application process and be a hub for current massage related information.
“We are committed to creating a career path for massage therapists by delivering the highest quality programs possible,” said Williams. “It is going to be great.” 
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