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NCBTMB Suspending the Requirements on Instructor/proctor for Home Study and DE Programs

This ought to make a lot of people happy: The NCB is temporarily suspending their policy on requiring an instructor/proctor for home study and distance education programs, due in no small part to the outcry from the profession.

The NCB plans to revisit this issue during their 4th quarter meeting, but for the present time, the rule has been suspended. They will inform the stakeholders as soon as they reach a final decision.

The announcement reads: "The definition and delivery of continuing education (CE) continues to evolve rapidly in this country, and NCBTMB is committed to ensuring that its policies reflect current standards and best practices.

With this objective in mind, NCBTMB's Continuing Education Committee met in 2007 and proposed that distance education (DE) for kinesthetic (hands-on) programs require an instructor to be "present" for the final assessment of acquired skills. This policy was developed with the intent of serving the best interests of Approved Providers, certificants and consumers, and included a 3-year grace period for pre-existing courses and completed CE hours.

Based on input from the profession--as well as enhanced DE delivery methods--NCBTMB's Board of Directors will re-visit this policy during its Q4 Meeting. Until a final decision is reached and communicated to the profession, NCBTMB is suspending it's instructor/proctor requirement for home study and DE programs."

Many of our best and brightest instructors offer home study and distance education, and the decision to require proctors seemed to defeat the purpose of getting education outside the traditional classroom. When learners seek home study or DE, they're usually doing it because time or finances prevent them from attending in person. It was an unpopular decision, to say the least. I imagine teachers saw a lot of their income going down the drain, and it certainly cut down on the opportunities available to therapists.

The key phrase, to me, in this announcement is "Based on input from the profession..." I have been preaching this sermon for quite some time--that we MUST let the NCB know our opinions, and I have been telling the powers that be there that they had better wake up and smell the coffee. I know that many people have felt that their opinions were falling on deaf ears, but I hope that this is evidence that they have finally realized that they have to listen to us. In any case, I think it's progress. Since the final decision has not been made, I urge you to continue to contact them and let them know how you feel about this and any other issues that are weighing on your mind concerning them. As I said, this is a temporary suspension, and if you want it to be permanent, then stand up and say so. Silence is not golden!

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Comment by Pete Whitridge on October 16, 2009 at 6:27am
I guess I should cancel my posse of proctors! ;-> Thanks Laura you are a breath of fresh air. P>
Comment by Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, BCTMB on October 14, 2009 at 9:50am
Thanks for informing us of this change, Laura. I wonder when NCBTMB will notify its members and its providers? Warmly, Ariana
Comment by Ruth Werner on October 14, 2009 at 8:39am
It's great to see this responsiveness in our organizations. I hope the final decision on this issue is made based on the needs of consumers (meaning massage clients) as much as or more than the needs and wants of the providers and their students. Hard to test this! I'm eager to see how it's done.

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