Proposed Changes to Licensing

On June 22 the Department of Health posted a Public Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The Department of Health is proposing amendments to the Rules and Regulations For Licensing Massage Therapists [R23-20.8-MA] in part due to the change in 2012 to Rhode Island General Laws 23-20.8 entitled Licensing of Massage Therapists ( ).

Proposed changes:
1. Under “Approved Schools” The DOH proposes to remove Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and replace it with an agency recognized by the Department of Education.
Rational: The standards set by the Department of Education are set by the guide line of the United States Department of Education, these are of the highest standard. The Commission on Massage Therapy is a private agency, choosing to use a private agency could show preferential biases.

2. “The practice of massage” has been changed to reflect the current definition of massage used in the General Laws 23-20.8 entitled Licensing of Massage Therapists.

3. The “Federation of State Massage Boards and Body Works Licensing Examinations (FSMBT) and “Massage and Bodywork Examination” (MBLEx) replace “National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work or the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork”. The replacements are the current exams used for licensing massage therapists.

4. The DOH has removed the itemization of subject hours for the 500 hours required for a massage therapy education.

5. Removal of language regarding “Physical Fitness Facility”

6. Continuing education has been added and defined to 6 hours of continuing education per year.
Rational: In 2012 the change to General Laws 23-20.8 entitled Licensing of Massage Therapists added 12 hours of continuing education over a two year period. For logistical purposes it was broken down to 6 hours per year. Starting next year you should see a check box on your license renewal that asks you if you have completed your 6 hour of continuing education.

7. Licensed practitioners shall maintain and be governed by acceptable sanitary, safe and scientific standards of practice under R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 23-20.8. This change simplifies and removes a lot of unnecessary language.

The American Massage Therapy Association Rhode Island Chapter with the help of American Massage Therapy Association national Government Relations staff have reviewed and agree with the proposed changes. If you have question we have provided you with a forum to address If you wish to make comments on the proposed changes you may do so directly to the Department of Health by going to documents/archives/regdocs/holding/DOH/

Comments need to be submitted by July 23rd.