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    Continuing Education Requirements for LMTs and RMPs .03


    Biennial Renewal Requirements

    By October of each renewal year, license and registration holders shall satisfactorily complete a minimum of 24 hours within the previous 24 months as follows:

    1.      3 hours in professional ethics or jurisprudence;

    2.      3 hours in communicable disease education this includes AIDS/HIV;

    3.      1 hour in diversity or cultural competency.

    4.      17 hours in massage-related courses as approved by the Board; and

    5.      A current CPR certificate

    Any LMT or RMP with an initial license or registration (first time issuance of a license or registration) issued less than 12 months before a Biennial Renewal is exempt from CEU Requirements BUT must still renew the license or registration issued(COMAR

    Approval of Continuing Education Programs.

    A “Pre-Approved Provider” of massage therapy continuing education courses is no longer required to submit an application for approval to the Board provided their programs cover one or more of a specified list of subjects. (COMAR

    A. The Board shall:

    (1) Base approval of continuing education programs solely on content;

    (2) Ensure that continuing education programs are directed toward improvement, advancement, and extension of professional skill and knowledge related to massage therapy.


    B. A course or program offered by a pre-approved provider is approved without further review and is exempted from the requirements of Regulation .04 this chapter, provided that the course or program pertains to the human anatomy and includes any of the following topics:

    (1) Massage practice modalities, application, scope, and philosophy;

    (2) Contraindications;

    (3) Massage therapy theory, technique, studies, and research;

    (4) Professional ethics, jurisprudence, and risk management;

    (5) Recordkeeping and professional business practices;

    (6) Diversity, communications, and cultural competency; and

    (7) Any other topic determined by the Board to meet the professional and educational requirements of the license and registration holders.


    C. Pre-approved Providers. Unless the requirement of §B of this regulation are not met or accreditation status of the pre-approved provider, including all sub-providers, schools, courses, and programs approved or sanctioned by the pre-approved provider unless otherwise prohibited, is not retained, the following shall be considered pre-approved providers:

    (1) COMTA;

    (2) FSMTB;

    (3) NCCAOM;

    (4) NCBTMB;

    (5) AOBTA;

    (6) AMTA;

    (7) National and State massage therapy organizations accredited by the federal or state government or a Board recognized accreditation society;

    (8) Accredited state schools and U.S. Military Commands; and

    (9) Such other Board-approved providers.


    D. Up to 12 credit hours may be achieved for formal, authorized representation at a national, regional, or local convention or meeting relating to any of the above-cited organizations.


    E. Courses may be completed in live, home study, or online format.



     Individual license and registration holders must maintain their own CEU records.


    At the time of renewal, you may be audited for CEU compliance. Audited individuals will be notified via the online renewal system on the first page of the online renewal application and the CEU page of the application. If audited, you must first complete the online renewal application and then show proof of having completed the CEU requirements. Immediately mail or email directly to the Board copies of completion certificates along with a copy of your CPR card. It is the responsibility of each massage therapist and practitioner to keep accurate records of attendance of approved continuing education programs. Completion certificates must be maintained for at least four years and must be presented to the Board on demand. Any questions regarding CEU compliance should be directed to Christopher Hawkins.

    CE Course Approval Guidelines & Application


    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Continuing Education

    Q. What does the acronyms CE stand mean?
    A. “CE” stands for Continuing Education.

    Q. What are the current regulatory continuing education requirements for licensed massage therapists and registered massage practitioners?
    A. http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/

    Q. Does the Board keep a list of approved continuing education courses and/or programs? How will I know if a CE course/program is accepted by the Board?
    A. No.  The Board does not maintain a list of approved continuing education courses/programs unless a program is submitted to the Board because a course is not on the regulatory pre-approved list of providers. Generally, most licensed massage therapists and registered massage practitioners obtain their continuing education courses from preapproved providers as outlined in the regulations: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/ Also, keep in mind that the course work should be related to massage therapy and the scope of practice for LMTs and RMPs.
    B. Course Sponsors or Providers seeking approval of their program because they are a regulatory pre-approved provider must adhere to Code of MD Regulation (http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/ and complete the Board’s application form with the appropriate fee for each course submission.

    Q. If I completed more than 24 hours of continuing education course work, may I carryover those additional CE hours to the next biennial renewal?
    A. No. To receive credit for a continuing education coursework/program, it must be completed within the time frame of the biennial renewal cycle. However, you may put any overage into the massage therapy category within reason (example: awarded 4 hours of an ethics course may be separated into satisfying the 3 hours of ethics coursework and the extra 1 hour can be added to the massage therapy category).

    Q. How is the biennial window determined?
    A. The best way to determine the biennial window is to (1) look at your license or registration’s expiration date. The biennial window would start the very next day after the expiration date and extends two years up through the next expiration date.

    Q. If I am audited and I have not completed all the CE requirements, may I practice massage therapy pending completion of the courses?
    A. No.  Additionally, by falsely attesting that you have completed the required CEs you have violated the Massage Therapy Act and you are subject to disciplinary actions by the Board.  Your renewed certification/registration will not be issued to you and you may not practice until you come into compliance, show proof of having completed the required CEs and applicable CPR certification and approved by the Board to practice. Once approved, a valid license/registration will be generated and issued to you to conspicuously display to the public.

    Q. Can I renew my license or registration as soon as I complete the 24 hours of continuing education?
    A. No, Renewals are scheduled at specific times biennially. Generally the online renewal process will take place 30 or more days before the expiration of that license or registration as indicated on the license/ registration. A renewal reminder and instructions/procedures letter will be disseminated via email and posted simultaneously on the Board’s website (www.health.maryland.gov/massage) the summer preceding the expiration month of October (even years).

    Q. Is a National Certification (through the NCBTMB or NCCAOM) OR maintaining National Certification required to renew my State of Maryland issued Massage Therapy license or registration?
    A. No, you do not need to maintain a current national certification as a requirement for renewal for your State of Maryland issued Massage Therapy license or registration. NCBTMB, NCCAOM and FSMTB-MBLEx score report(s) are only needed to meet the requirement of passing an exam (licensing or national) pre-approved by the Board in order to apply and make application for a MD License or Registration.

    Q. I am currently active; however I am choosing an inactive status for this biennial cycle. Must I complete the CE requirements?
    A. No.   Any LMT or RMP that selects the inactive status drop down on the renewal application is not required to complete the CE requirements and CPR. However, you shall not practice massage therapy either as a licensed massage therapists or registered massage practitioner.

    Q. I am currently inactive; must I complete the CE requirements to maintain my inactive status?
    A. No.  LMTs and RMPs who were initially inactive the last renewal and wish to remain in an inactive status are not required to complete the CE requirements if the LMT/RMP remains in an inactive status. Just simply choose “inactive” from the drop down list. However, you shall not practice massage therapy either as a licensed massage therapists or registered massage practitioner.

    Q. Because of health/financial hardships I will not be able to complete the required CE courses. Can I ask for an exemption, waiver, or extension?
    A. Yes. A LMT/RMP must petition the Board in writing at least 90 days before the expiration date of their current license/registration. The Board will review the petition and respond in writing. Please note that the Board does not automatically grant a waiver, exemption, or extension without supporting documentation.

    Q. Can an instructor of a professional massage therapy course receive continuing education credit for teaching the massage course?
    A. Yes. The Board determined that up to 25% of the required 24 hours of continuing education may be credited. This is a maximum of 6 hours. The course must meet Board approval guidelines and the instructor may not receive credit for teaching the same course more than once.

    Q. Is the CPR certificate in addition to the 24 hours of required CEs?
    A. Yes, Completion of CPR programs does not count toward the required CE hours. LMTs and RMPs must have a current, valid CPR certification respective to their status at all times during an active status.

    Q. Will the Board accept an on-line renewal of a CPR certificate?
    A. Yes, the Board will accept on-line renewal of a CPR certificate currently However it is suggested to obtain CPR from a provider that provides the book knowledge online and the hands-on in a live setting.

    Q. What will happen if I alter or provide deceptive CE certificates of completion to satisfy the renewal requirement?
    A. The Board will review all pertinent information and open an investigative case.

    Q. Can the Board recommend a continuing education course?
    A. The Board does not recommend any specific provider of continuing education and instead refers licensees and registrants to the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) (http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/ The Board encourages each licensed massage therapist or registered massage practitioner to ask questions before taking any continuing education course to ensure you find the course is that best meets your state requirements as outlined in the COMAR (http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/comarhtml/10/ Key questions that you should consider are:

    • Is the course provider / instructor an approved provider as outlined in the COMAR or Board approved?
    • Will the course meet the Board’s continuing education (CE) requirement?


    Updated 11/2020