The rules involving California’s voluntary certification of massage professionals and the regulations of the business throughout the state are changing due to California’s AB 1147, which is not predicted to be vetoed and therefore should become law on October 15, 2014 and effective on January 1, 2015. I’ve included a link to the entire bill here for those of you interested in the details, but let me summarize it in simple text:
- 500 hours of formal training at an accredited school and the successful passing of a test will be required to become a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT). Currently, no test is required.
- The former 250-hour Certified Massage Practitioner (CMP) is being phased out.
- Cities will be stripped of much of their power to enforce special regulations and will be limited to enforcing zoning, business licensing and health and safety concerns. In other words, cities such as Whittier will no longer be permitted to require massage professionals working in their city to register as adult entertainers.
- The current Board of Directors will be disbanded and replaced with 13 new individuals (only two of which will be massage professionals) by September 15, 2015
- The rules for determining school accreditation will be much more specific and strict.
What the bill does not clarify is when the new tests will be required, or whether certification will remain voluntary. Many people are unaware that we massage professionals are not currently required to be certified. The bill also fails to mention anything about creating a licensing board to enable the future status of Licensed Massage Therapist. While I see people with LMT listed on their business cards all the time, there is currently no such thing as a Licensed Massage Therapist in California (maybe they are referring to their drivers’ license?)
Personally, I like the direction California is going because it legitimizes the business of massage therapy. What do you think of AB 1147?