OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois (October 8, 2010) – The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) announced today that development of the National Certification for Advanced Practice (NCAP) exam continues to progress. The credential will be the first to enable accomplished practitioners to differentiate themselves in the massage marketplace. It will also make it possible for employers and members of the conventional and integrative health-care arenas to hire practitioners based on a certified, advanced level of experience and expertise.

Completely voluntary, NCAP will build upon the educational, experiential and ethical requirements of NCBTMB’s current National Certification.* Those who earn the advanced credential will be nationally recognized for possessing the critical thinking skills necessary to function in complex situations. In addition, they will be relied upon for their ability to work in a team environment utilizing treatment plans based on research-informed outcomes.

“NCAP practitioners will offer the advanced capabilities increasingly sought out by discerning clients, employers and healthcare providers,” said NCBTMB Chair Neal Delaporta. “The credential will open up new opportunities for therapists in conventional, integrative and clinical health-care settings. It has the potential to take the entire profession to a new level within the medical community.”

The benefits of the advanced credential will extend to educators as well. Schools and approved providers can profit from increased enrollment, with new opportunities for expanding programs and offering advanced level courses as more practitioners seek additional education and continuing education.

“Advanced Certification will help transform the profession,” said Paul Lindamood, NCBTMB CEO. “The credential provides the foundation for the first career pathway, one that will allow massage therapists to function as an integral part of modern health-care teams. It’s all about increasing opportunities for massage therapists who want to distinguish themselves from entry-level practitioners.”

Chair-Elect Alexa Zaledonis added, “For practitioners with the NCAP credential, it means a potential for increased marketability and heightened earning power. It will help connect advanced therapists of all modalities to rewarding positions with high-level employers.”

The next milestone in the exam development process is the Job Task Analysis (JTA), a profession-wide survey that will ask practitioners to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities that an “advanced practitioner” must possess, as well as the level of importance that should be placed on each. The survey will be distributed to the profession later this month–via e-mail, NCBTMB’s website, massage publications and professional organizations.

To learn more about NCAP, visit the Advanced Certification section of NCBTMB’s website at www.ncbtmb.org or contact NCBTMB Director of Exam Development Elizabeth Langston, CAE, at (630) 652-0482 or elangston@ncbtmb.org.

*Eligibility requirements apply to sit for the NCAP exam. Initial applicants wishing to test must be NCB certified or provide proof of having passed a psychometrically valid exam for entry-level licensure; document professional massage/bodywork experience and/or education; complete continuing education requirements; and be free from sanction or permanent revocation from NCBTMB or any local, state or federal regulatory body.

About NCBTMB

The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) was established in 1992 as an independent, private, nonprofit organization fostering the highest standards of ethical and professional practice in the delivery of therapeutic massage and bodywork through a recognized credentialing program. NCBTMB examinations are currently accepted or recognized in statute or rule by 39 states plus the District of Columbia. There are nearly 90,000 professionals with NCBTMB certification. NCBTMB’s certification programs have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

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