Tennessee Massage Therapy CE Requirements
Tennessee Massage Board
0870-01-.12 CONTINUING EDUCATION. (1) All massage therapist licensees must complete twenty four (24) hours of continuing education every two (2) calendar years, as a prerequisite to licensure renewal. The first two year cycle for continuing education ran from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2004 and shall continue on two year cycles thereafter.
(a) Continuing education credit shall only be awarded for those courses which are approved by the Board pursuant to paragraph (5) of this Rule. The Board approves courses for only the number of hours contained in the course. The approved hours of any individual course will not be counted more than once toward the twenty-four (24) hour requirement of any two-year cycle, regardless of the number of times the course is attended or completed by any licensee.
(b) Two (2) of the twenty-four (24) hours requirement shall pertain to Tennessee statutes and rules concerning massage therapists and establishments. The two (2) hour courses must be approved by the Board.
(c) Two (2) of the twenty-four (24) hours requirement shall pertain to the management of practicing massage therapy, professional ethics or substance abuse.
(d) A maximum of eight (8) of the twenty-four (24) hours requirement may be completed in any of the following multi-media formats:
- The internet;
- Closed circuit television;
- Satellite broadcasts;
- Correspondence courses;
- Videoconferencing; or
- Distance Learning.
(e) The maximum of eight (8) hours earned in multi-media formats per continuing education cycle shall apply regardless of whether the hours are earned to comply with the current cycle, as makeup hours for a prior cycle, or for any other reason.
(f) A licensee whose massage therapist license was retired for a portion of the two-year cycle is required to obtain a total of one (1) hour of continuing education for each month the license was active, except that the licensee must obtain at least four (4) hours: two (2) hours pertaining to Tennessee statutes and rules as specified in 0870- 01-.12(1)(b) and two (2) hours pertaining to management of practicing massage therapy, professional ethics or substance abuse as specified in 0870-01-.12(1)(c). (2) Initial massage therapist licensees shall have their required continuing education hours pro-rated over the remaining months of the two (2) year cycle in which they become licensed according to the following chart. First Year of the Cycle Second Year of the Cycle Month Licensed Hours Required Month Licensed Hours Required January 24 January 13 February 24 February 12 March 23 March 11 April 22 April 10 May 21 May 9 June 20 June 8 July 19 July 7 August 18 August 6 September 17 September 5 October 16 October 4 November 15 November 4 December 14 December 4 GENERAL RULES GOVERNING LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS CHAPTER 0870-01 AND ESTABLISHMENTS (Rule 0870-01-.12, continued) August, 2017 (Revised) 19
(3) Massage establishment owners and responsible persons who are not licensed massage therapists must complete an approved two (2) hour continuing education course pertaining to Tennessee statutes and rules concerning massage therapists and establishments every two year cycle. (4) Continuing Education – Proof of Compliance (a) Each massage therapist must, on the biennial licensure renewal form, attest to timely attendance and completion of the required continuing education hours during the preceding cycle. (b) Each Massage therapist must retain independent documentation of attendance and completion of all continuing education courses. This documentation must be retained for a period of four (4) years from the end of the cycle in which the continuing education was acquired. This documentation must be produced for inspection and verification, if requested in writing by the Board during its verification process. Acceptable documentation verifying the licensee’s completion of the continuing education program(s) may consist of either a certificate or an original letter on official stationery from the program’s sponsor, indicating the program title, date and length in hours, along with the licensee’s name and license number.
(5) Continuing Education – Course Approval (a) Providers of courses to be offered for credit toward the required continuing education hours must, unless otherwise provided, receive approval from the Board. Approval once granted, regardless of whether approval is pursuant to subparagraph (b) or (c) of this paragraph, is effective only during the continuing education cycle (as identified in paragraph (2)) during which approval was granted. Grant of approval of any course prior to January 31, 2012 will expire December 31, 2012. After that all courses/hours provided for credit toward meeting the requirements of this rule must be approved either pursuant to part (b)1. or subparagraph (c) of this paragraph in every continuing education cycle they are offered. (b) The following sponsors or courses need not receive prior approval and shall constitute Board approved continuing education courses: 1. Associations, corporations, or organizations authorized as a provider by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). Provided however, any provider approved by any organization identified in this part who intends to include in their course the hours necessary to meet the requirements of subparagraph 0870-01-.12(1)(b) of this rule must nevertheless comply with all of the following before those hours can be presented: (i) The provider must submit the course materials for those hours for review and approval pursuant to subparagraph (5)(c) of this rule; and (ii) The course may be presented in a live lecture format or a multi-media format with successful completion of a post-examination; and (iii) The provider must submit documentation sufficient to show that the information to be disseminated in those hours is accurate and current. 2. American Heart Association course in CPR
. American Massage Therapy Association. 4. American Red Cross courses in HIV, CPR, or Standard First Aid. 5. Massage continuing education courses offered by colleges, universities, or massage schools approved by the United States Department of Education, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission or the Tennessee Board of Regents. 6. Formal educational courses relating directly to the theory or clinical application of massage therapy sponsored by an accredited college/university or institution approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Board of Regents or its equivalent in another state(s). If such course is taken for or assigned quarter or semester credit hours, each semester hour or equivalent quarter hour shall be equivalent to five (5) continuing education hours. No credits will be counted for courses not passed. 7. Tennessee Massage Therapy Association. 8. FSMTB (c) If a sponsor is unable to obtain or chooses not to obtain approval pursuant to subparagraph (5)(b) of this rule, the sponsor may request Board approval by submitting the following information to the Board Administrative Office at least forty five (45) days prior to the proposed or scheduled date of the course: 1. Copies of any and all materials to be utilized in the course. Sponsors may submit the ISBN number and title of materials with ISBN numbers in lieu of sending the actual materials. 2. Resume or Vita for all instructors that details their experience or training in the subject matter they will teach. Instructors must be licensed massage therapists or demonstrate experience and training that qualifies them to provide continuing education. 3. Written learning objectives as well as a detailed outline of the course. 4. A copy of any student course evaluations, class roster forms, check in sheets and certificates of completion that will be provided at the course. 5. Number of hours of educational credit requested. An hour equals fifty (50) clock minutes of instruction. 6. A prospective approximate start date on which the sponsor intends to begin offering the course. 7. The Board may deny a request to sponsor continuing education if it is determined the sponsor will utilize copyrighted materials without appropriate permission. 8. The Board reserves the right to request additional information if the information provided by the sponsor is deemed inadequate or incomplete.
- The Board may deny a request to sponsor continuing education if any of the above information is not provided.
(d) Upon prior approval by the Board, individual licensees may receive continuing education credit for courses attended out of state. Prior approval is not necessary for courses already approved pursuant to .12(b) or .12(c). To obtain approval, the individual should submit the following to the Board Administrative Office: 1. The written learning objectives of the course. 2. A course description or outline. 3. Names of all lecturers. 4. Number of hours of educational credit requested. 5. Date of course. 6. Copies of materials to be utilized in the course, upon a Board request. 7. The course provider’s contact information. 8. The course provider’s pre-printed brochure, agenda or other materials which describe and/or advertise the course. (e) Continuing Education courses may be presented in any of the following formats: 1. Lecture. 2. Multi-media courses – with successful completion of a written post experience examination to evaluate material retention. 3. Correspondence – with successful completion of a written post experience examination to evaluate material retention. 4. Any combination of the above. (f) The sponsor of each continuing education program shall keep detailed records of the materials required in subparagraph (c) of this rule and a copy of the attendance record for not less than four (4) years from the date the course was approved. (g) Approval of any continuing education program may be withdrawn or denied by the Board if the sponsor of such program fails to comply with the provisions of this rule. (6) Waiver of Continuing Education (a) The Board may grant a waiver of the need to attend and complete the required hours of continuing education where illness, disability or other undue hardship beyond the control of the licensee prevents a licensee from complying. (b) Waivers will be considered only on an individual basis and may be requested by submitting the following items to the Board Administrative Office prior to the end of the licensure cycle in which the continuing education is due: 1. A written request for a waiver which specifies what requirement is sought to be waived and the reasons for the request.
Any documentation which supports the reason for the waiver requested or which is subsequently requested by the Board. (c) A waiver approved by the Board is effective for only the renewal period for which the waiver is sought unless otherwise specified in writing by the Board. (d) The Board Consultant and the designee are authorized to grant or deny requests for waivers subject to subsequent Board ratification. (7) Continuing Education for Reactivation or Reinstatement of Retired, Expired, or Revoked License. (a) Any massage therapist who applies for reactivation or reinstatement of a license which has been retired or has expired for over two (2) years, or any individual who applies for a new license after his or her prior license was revoked for failure to complete continuing education requirements, must submit along with the reactivation, reinstatement request, or new license application, proof which indicates the attendance and completion of twenty (20) hours of Board approved massage therapy related continuing education. The continuing education must have been earned in the twelve (12) months preceding application for reactivation or reinstatement. Eight (8) hours of the twenty (20) hour continuing education requirement for reinstatement may be completed in a multi-media format. (b) A licensee who applies for reactivation or reinstatement will also be required to submit evidence of having completed the continuing education required pursuant to rule 0870- 01-.12 during the most recent cycle in which the applicant’s license was active. (c) The continuing education hours required by the provisions of subparagraph (7)(a) of this rule may not be counted toward the continuing education hours required to be obtained before the end of the renewal period of reactivation or reinstatement. (d) The Board may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirements set out in subparagraph (7)(a) of this rule, as provided in paragraph (6) of this rule. (8) Violations (a) Any massage therapist, massage establishment owner, or massage establishment responsible person who fails to obtain the required continuing education hours or who falsely attests to attendance and/or completion of the required hours of continuing education may be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to T.C.A. § 63-18-108. (b) Education hours obtained as a result of compliance with the terms of any disciplinary action shall not be counted toward the continuing education hours required to be obtained in any renewal period. Authority: T.C.A. §§ 63-18-111. Administrative History: Original rule filed November 13, 1996;
Texas Massage Therapy CE Requirements
Texas Board of Massage: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/mas/masboard.htm
License Renewal Requirements
Massage therapists must complete at least 12 hours of TDLR-approved or recognized continuing education to renew a license.
Massage instructors must hold a current massage therapist license and meet the 12-hour requirement for that license in order to renew an instructor’s license. There are no specific continuing education requirements for massage instructors.
Approved Continuing Education Providers
Search for a TDLR-approved continuing education provider
All licensed massage therapy schools are also approved to provide continuing education, and may issue either continuing education certificates, or transcripts showing advanced course work (as described in the rules, §117.60. Massage School Advanced Course Work). Search for a licensed massage school
The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, (NCBTMB) is a recognized continuing education provider. Providers and courses which have been approved by the NCBTMB will be accepted for continuing education, but courses must be directly related to the acceptable course curriculum.
Acceptable Course Curriculum
Acceptable continuing education includes attendance and completion of courses that are directly related to the theory or clinical application of theory pertaining to the following:
• Practice of massage therapy
• The manipulation of soft tissue
• Massage therapy laws and rules
• Business practices
• Professional ethics
• Health and hygiene
Courses must be designed to increase and enhance professional knowledge, skills or competence and be provided by a TDLR-approved provider or one of these recognized continuing education providers:
• State or National conferences
• Advanced Course work
• College and university academic courses
Most massage and bodywork modalities are acceptable, provided the sponsor is acceptable. Unacceptable modalities would include activities which are not part of providing a massage (e.g. ear candling) or that require another license (e.g. chiropractic adjustments).
Energy Work Classes
Most energy work classes are acceptable, provided the sponsor is acceptable. They must be designed to enhance the provision of massage, and they may not involve any false or misleading health claims (e.g. claiming to cure or treat diseases).
Exercise or Movement Classes
Yoga, martial arts, and exercise classes are not acceptable unless they are specifically designed as self-care for massage therapists.
First Aid or CPR
Courses in first aid and/or CPR will be accepted if the course is taught or presented by a certified First Aid Instructor or certified CPR instructor who was certified by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or National Safety Council. Courses cannot exceed six hours total each renewal period.
Online or Correspondence Courses
Continuing education that otherwise meets the standards, but is offered or presented online or by correspondence is acceptable only if the subject matter is not massage therapy techniques or manipulation of soft tissue.
Unacceptable Course Curriculum
The department shall not give continuing education credit for the following:
• Education incidental to the regular professional activities of a massage therapist, such as learning occurring from experience or research
• Professional organizational activity, such as serving on committees or councils or as an officer in a professional organization
• College academic courses which are audited or not taken for credit
• Independent study, except online or correspondence courses in accordance with the acceptable continuing education requirements of this subchapter
• Any experience which does not comply with the approved continuing education in §117.31 of the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules.
Pre-Approval of Coursework
The department does not pre-approve CE programs. Please consult the Acceptable Course Curriculum section of this page (above) and the Massage Therapy Administrative Rules to determine whether or not the program is acceptable. If the sponsor, content, and certificate are acceptable, then you may use that program as continuing education for the purpose of license renewal.
All licensed massage therapy schools are also approved to provide continuing education, and may issue either continuing education certificates, or transcripts showing advanced course work (as described in the rules, §117.60. Massage School Advanced Course Work). Search for a licensed massage school.
Course Instructor Qualifications
Continuing education courses must be developed and presented by qualified persons. Please see the Continuing Education Provider Licensing page for details on requirements that instructors must meet for course curriculum to be deemed acceptable.
Reporting Completed Courses
TDLR uses an audit system for continuing education reporting. Each licensed massage therapist is responsible for maintaining a record of his or her continuing education experiences. The certificates, diplomas, or other documentation verifying continuing education hours should not be forwarded to TDLR at the time of renewal unless the licensee has been selected for audit.
TDLR will select for audit a random sample of licensed massage therapists for each renewal month. If selected for an audit, then you will be notified at the time of your renewal. You will be required to submit copies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation to verify attendance, participation and completion of continuing education requirements. If selected for audit, all documentation must be provided at the time of renewal before the license will be renewed.
The licensee is responsible for maintaining a record of continuing education experiences or certificates. If you are selected for audit, then you will be notified and records will be required to be submitted to TDLR.
SUBCHAPTER D. CONTINUING EDUCATION
117.30. Massage Therapist Continuing Education–Hours.
(New Section adopted effective November 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4991; amended effective April 1, 2021, 46 TexReg 2003)
• (a) Massage therapists must successfully complete at least twelve hours of approved continuing education per license term.
• (b) One hour of credit will be awarded for each clock hour of attendance at acceptable continuing education activities, except as follows:
• (1) one semester hour of academic credit will constitute fifteen clock hours of continuing education;
• (2) one quarter hour of academic credit will constitute ten clock hours of continuing education; and
• (3) 0.1 continuing education unit will constitute one clock hour of continuing education.
• (c) A clock hour is equal to 50 minutes.
117.31. Massage Therapist — Approved Continuing Education Courses and Providers.
(New Section adopted effective November 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4991; amended effective February 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 543; amended effective April 1, 2021, 46 TexReg 2003)
• (a) Acceptable continuing education includes attendance at and completion of department-approved or -recognized institutes, seminars, workshops, state or national conferences, associations, courses provided by an approved massage therapy school, or college and university academic courses. These programs must be designed to increase and enhance professional knowledge, skills, or competence in the practice of massage therapy. The subject matter must be:
• (1) directly related to the theory or clinical application of theory pertaining to the practice of massage therapy and the manipulation of soft tissue, massage therapy laws and rules, business practices, professional ethics, anatomy, physiology, hydrotherapy, kinesiology, pathology, or health and hygiene;
• (2) first aid and/or CPR, not to exceed six hours total each renewal period; or
• (3) advanced massage therapy or bodywork techniques acceptable to the department.
• (b) Continuing education approved or recognized by the department must be developed and presented by qualified persons.
• (1) Massage therapy techniques and courses involving the manipulation of soft tissue must be taught or presented by a licensed massage therapy instructor. Advanced massage therapy or bodywork techniques must be taught or presented by persons with licensure, registration, or education in the technique being presented.
• (2) Courses, other than techniques, may be taught or presented by persons with licensure, registration, education or practical experience in the subject being presented. Instructors teaching CPR or First Aid must be certified as CPR instructors or First Aid instructors by:
• (A) the American Heart Association;
• (B) the American Red Cross;
• (C) the National Safety Council; or
• (D) another provider with curriculum that is in compliance with nationally accepted guidelines established by the above referenced organizations.
• (3) Out-of-state instructors or presenters offering continuing education in Texas on massage therapy techniques or involving the manipulation of soft tissue must:
• (A) be in compliance with any licensure, registration or certification requirements for massage therapists and massage therapy instructors in the instructor or presenter’s home state;
• (B) be licensed to practice medicine, occupational therapy, chiropractic, athletic training, physical therapy, or nursing; or
• (C) provide documentation of education or practical experience specific to the continuing education being offered if the instructor or presenter’s home state does not have licensure, registration or certification requirements for massage therapists and massage therapy instructors.
• (c) Continuing education which otherwise meets the standards of this section but is offered or presented online or by correspondence is acceptable only if the subject matter is not massage therapy techniques or manipulation of soft tissue.
• (d) The department may approve out-of-state continuing education providers and programs. Continuing education completed out-of-state may be accepted by the department if it is approved by a national board such as the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
• (e) Additional information regarding the continuing education may be required for departmental review.
117.32. Massage Therapist Continuing Education–Unacceptable Activities.
(New Section adopted effective November 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4991)
The department shall not give continuing education credit for:
• (1) education incidental to the regular professional activities of a massage therapist, such as learning occurring from experience or research;
• (2) professional organizational activity, such as serving on committees or councils or as an officer in a professional organization;
• (3) college academic courses which are audited or not taken for credit;
• (4) independent study, except online or correspondence courses in accordance with the acceptable continuing education requirements of this subchapter; or
• (5) any experience which does not comply with the approved continuing education in §117.31.
117.33. Massage Therapist Continuing Education–Records and Audits.
(New Section adopted effective November 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4991)
• (a) The department will monitor a licensee’s compliance with continuing education requirements by the use of a random audit system. Supporting documentation of participation in continuing education activities need not be submitted unless an audit notice is received informing the licensee that he or she has been selected for a document audit.
• (b) Continuing education supporting documentation includes:
• (1) certificates of attendance or completion;
• (2) transcripts of academic work or approved course work; or
• (3) any other documentation acceptable to the department.
• (c) The audit process shall be as follows:
• (1) The department shall select for audit a random sample of license holders for each renewal month. License holders will be notified of the continuing education audit when they receive their renewal documentation.
• (2) If selected for an audit, the licensee shall submit copies of certificates, transcripts or other documentation satisfactory to the department, verifying the licensee’s attendance, participation and completion of the continuing education. All documentation must be provided at the time of renewal.
• (3) Failure to timely furnish this information or providing false information during the audit process or the renewal process are grounds for disciplinary action against the license holder.
• (4) A licensee who is selected for continuing education audit may apply for renewal through the online renewal process. However, the license will not be considered renewed until required continuing education documents are approved by the department.
• (5) Licenses will not be renewed until continuing education requirements have been met.
• (d) Licensees are responsible for maintaining continuing education records for a period of five (5) years.
117.34. Approved Continuing Education Providers–Requirements and Application.
(New Section adopted effective November 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 4991)
• (a) Continuing education providers may apply for provider approval on department-approved forms and pay the required fee prescribed under §117.100. Approved applications are effective for two years from the date of approval.
• (b) Approved providers of continuing education must comply with all education requirements set out in this subchapter.
• (c) Approved providers of continuing education must maintain attendance records of all continuing education activities for a period of five (5) years.
• (d) Approved providers shall issue a certificate of attendance to each participant in a program. The certificate of attendance shall contain:
• (1) the name of the approved provider and approval number;
• (2) the name of the participant;
• (3) the title of the program;
• (4) the number of credit hours given;
• (5) the subject(s) included in the program;
• (6) the date and place of the program; and
• (7) the signature of the approved provider.
• (e) Continuing education providers must renew the approval before the expiration date by submitting a department-approved application and paying the required fee prescribed under §117.100. Renewed approvals will be issued for a two-year period as determined by the department.
• (f) The department may audit approved providers for compliance with this section.
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