WA State Continuing Education Laws + Proposals for lmt's
For your convenience, I have provided and will keep updated the information provided straight from the WA State Board of Massage regarding continuing education requirements in the form of easy-to-read Q&A. This will include current laws as well as upcoming changes in italics.
The following Q&A is summed up from WAC 246-830-475. Words in italics are the rules in progress/changes:
How many hours are required for massage therapy continuing education in WA State?
24 hours every 2 years. You can begin to accumulate them upon your first renewal.
What types of continuing education classes/hours are required?
- Currently a total of 8 hours must be 'direct supervised massage'.
*Soon this will be specifically labeledas 'directly supervisedinvolving the participation of the direct application of massage therapy'.
- A minimum of 4 hours must be professional ethics, communication, professional roles & boundaries or WA State massage laws & regulations.
- A maximum of 2 out of the 4 hours may be met by attending a Washington State Board of Massage meeting in person.
- *Maintain certification in American Heart Association CPR or equivalent or equivalent. A maximum of four hours is allowed per reporting period. I will find out what would be considered 'equivalent', as there are many First Aid/CPR instruction courses, in-person and online.
Of remaining CE hours, what is accepted?
Other acceptable forms of Continuing Education "reasonably related to massage therapy knowledge, skills and business practices":
- Documented attendance at a local, state, national or international continuing education program or conference.
- First Aid certification or emergency-related courses
- Self-study through the use of multimedia devices or the study of books, research materials, or other publications. (please see link below for details.)
- Teaching a course for the first time. A maximum of eight hours is allowed per reporting period.
- Business and Management courses. A maximum of eight hours is allowed per reporting period.
- Distance Learning. See link below for details. A maximum of eight hours is allowed per reporting period.
- Active service on boards or participation in professional or government organizations specifically related to the practice of massage. A maximum of eight (currently 12) hours is allowed per reporting period.
What are acceptable forms of documented proof for CE's?
*This is now being required and has been specified in the new set of rules in progress:
- A letter from the CE instructor or certification of completion/attendance that includes: Participant's name, course title & description, date(s) of attendance, number of hours, specifying in-person, distance learning, homestudy, multimedia, etc., name of Instructor or Institute/Organization, Instructor/Program contact information, Signature of Instructor or sponsor.
- Does not apply to multimedia courses.
What if I move and work out of state, but wish to keep my WA State massage license active? You must still maintain the CE requirements required by the state.
What are the state requirements for one to teach massage continuing education? The state of Washington requires at least three years professional experience in the subject being taught in order to provide instruction.
On a side note, does a massage CE instructor/program have to be NCBTMB-certified?
No. Being NCBTMB-certified can boost the instructor's/program's recognition but it is not required. It is still good to check the credentials, experience requirements and experience of the instructor/program prior to registering for a CE course to guarantee legitimacy.