National Beta Test Scheduled for April 2, 2010

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois (September 8, 2009) – The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) announced today that the official steering group and task force have set the timeline for the Advanced Certification Exam for the massage and bodywork profession.
 
NCBTMB’s National Certification Exams have long represented the highest standard of excellence in the field, and with its Advanced Certification Examination, the organization plans to take the profession to the next level. National certification will continue to serve as the industry’s foundation, with the new credential building upon its educational, experiential and ethical requirements.
 
Many industry leaders believe that an advanced credential is critical if the profession is to gain greater acceptance in the healthcare community and the consumer marketplace.
 
Massage educator and author Whitney Lowe explained, “Healthcare practitioners, massage therapy clients and third party payers all recognize the value of massage in addressing numerous health conditions. As a result, a credential to designate massage professionals qualified to deliver quality care to populations in need is desperately needed. NCBTMB’s Advanced Certification program is ideally positioned to offer this much-needed credential at a crucial time in our profession.”

The development of the exam is being overseen and directed by a steering group comprised of test development specialists, psychometricians and NCBTMB representatives.
 
A task force of more than 20 professionals will serve as the core body of industry experts, with subgroups dedicated to specific exam development activities such as item writing, item review and standard setting. Members were selected based on expertise and with the intent of creating a diverse group of representatives, with practitioners of different modalities, regions of the country, ethnicities, genders and cultures. 
 
One of the task force’s first assignments is to conduct a Job Task Analysis (JTA) by reaching out to the profession and asking them to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities that define an “advanced practitioner.” The JTA survey will be performed in November and the results will be used to establish the content areas and percentages for the Advanced Certification Exam.
 
“Although NCBTMB is the organization developing the Advanced Certification Exam,” explained Chief Executive Officer Paul Lindamood, “we are seeking input from the entire profession to ensure that this credential truly represents the highest level of achievement in our field. It’s why the JTA is so critical. Advanced Certification will drive not only the future of our profession, but also the future of all those who strive to advance themselves by achieving it.”
 
“The new credential will give accomplished massage therapists a way to communicate their advanced skills to the general public and allied health communities,” said Lisa Santoro, massage educator at Cortiva Institute-Boston. “For me, I’ve trained for many years to work with cancer survivors. Advanced Certification would assist me in marketing myself as someone with advanced training, someone who is a long-time ‘seasoned’ massage therapist.”
 
The Advanced Certification beta exam will go live April 2, 2010. NCBTMB will then analyze the responses of test participants and make determinations about the questions that will appear on the final exam, which is slated for delivery before June.
 
“The advanced credential will benefit all those touched by the massage profession,” said Chair Neal Delaporta. “It will enable consumers to select practitioners for their advanced knowledge and skills; employers to identify accomplished career professionals; educators to develop long-term relationships with practitioners devoted to life-long learning; the profession to gain greater acceptance in the healthcare community; and massage therapists to distinguish themselves within the field.”
 
In the coming weeks, an area of the NCBTMB website – www.ncbtmb.org  – will be devoted exclusively to Advanced Certification and allow visitors to track the progress of the exam development process. For additional information, contact NCBTMB Director of Exam Development Elizabeth Langston, CAE, at 630-652-0482 or elangston@ncbtmb.org.
 
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 33 states plus the District of Columbia. There are currently more than 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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