Lakeside Alumni Updates
Wisconsin Governor James Doyle Signs Law Requiring Massage Therapists
and Bodyworkers to Become State Licensed
by Betsy Krizenesky, WCMT, AMTA-WI Chapter Government Relations Chair
Under the current law, a person who is not certified as a massage therapist or bodyworker by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing may not designate himself/herself as a massage therapist or bodyworker. The passage of AB 588, now designated as 2009 Wisconsin Act 355, http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/acts/09Act355.pdf will make it mandatory for massage and bodywork therapists to be licensed by the state in order to practice or to use the protected titles. This essentially changes the law from title protection to a mandatory practice act and will go into effect December 1, 2010.
Below are frequently asked questions that will address more common concerns. Future issues of Connecting Hands and the AMTA-WI Chapter website will provide more details as the effective date approaches.
Q. If I already have a Wisconsin State Certification, how does this affect me?
A. You will simply renew your credential by the regular renewal date (February 28, 2011). You will not have to reapply or start over in the application process. You will receive a renewal notice from the state in January 2011. Make sure your address and contact information is correct by checking your profile so that you get this important postcard. (http://online.drl.wi.gov/LicenseLookup/IndividualCredentialSearch.aspx) Also remember that as of 2008 we are required to have current certification in the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) when we renew our state credentials. This very short course is usually bundled with CPR training and is widely available in most communities.
Q. Will I be required to complete continuing education in order to renew on February 28, 2011?
A. No, not for the 2011 renewal.
Q. Will my title change?
A. Yes, you will be a licensed massage therapist or bodywork therapist (LMT or LBT) instead of certified massage therapist or bodyworker (CMT or CBW).
Q. I was Wisconsin State Certified but I allowed my certifcation to lapse. What should I do?
A. There is a 5-year grace period during which you can simply renew your lapsed state credential instead of having to start over in the application process. Check your status soon to avoid going over the 5-year limit, which is strictly adhered to by the state. (http://online.drl.wi.gov/LicenseLookup/IndividualCredentialSearch.aspx)
Q. How do I qualify if I am not Wisconsin State Certified on the effective date, December 1, 2010?
A. The board will determine an application process and there will be a one-year window of time to apply under the grandparenting provisions. We expect applications to be available by the end of 2010 at http://drl.wi.gov/profession.asp?profid=25&locid=0.
A grandparenting provision was adopted in the law to recognize existing practitioners who had not previously become state certified. This grandparenting period will run from December 1, 2010 to December 1, 2011. During this period, satisfying any one of the following requirements to obtain a state license will be acceptable as a substitute for the usual combination of national exam plus educational program:
- The applicant was actively engaged in the practice of massage or bodywork therapy by practicing for an average of 10 hours per week for at least 10 years; OR
- The applicant passed a nationally administered entry-level competency exam; OR
- The person was actively engaged in the practice of massage or bodywork therapy by practicing for an average of 10 hours a week for at least 3 years and successfully completed a 200 hour licensure program approved by the affiliated credentialing board; OR
- At least 180 days before the effective date of this act (June 24, 2010 or earlier), the applicant completed a minimum 600-hour massage or bodywork training program.
Applicants will also have to attest that they have professional liability insurance, pass a state exam on massage and bodywork laws and regulations, and pay the fee.
Q. What will the qualifications for licensure be after the grandfathering provision expires on December 1, 2011?
- Complete an approved, minimum 600-hour massage or bodywork program.
- Pass a nationally administered, entry-level competency exam accepted by the board.
- Pass a state exam on massage and bodywork laws and regulations.
- Attest to having professional liability insurance (which is included in your AMTA membership).
- Pay the fee.
Q. Bodywork is a general term; are any practitioners exempt from licensure?
A. Specific practices are not named in the law. However, there are four exemption categories by description:
- Persons manipulating only the soft tissue of the hands, feet, and ears; and
- Persons using touch, words, and directed movement to change a client’s awareness of existing patterns of movement; and
- Persons using touch to affect the energy systems; and
- Persons using touch and education to effect change in the structure of the body while engaged in the practice of structural integration.
Three additional groups are not required to get a license as a massage therapist or bodywork therapist: 1) persons whose scope of practice includes massage therapy or bodywork therapy; 2) persons providing the services not for compensation; and 3) persons who are authorized to practice by another state or country and are providing a demonstration with or consultation to another license holder.
What title will I use if I practice one of the exempt practices?
A person who is exempt from licensure may use the terms “bodywork,” “bodyworker,” and “bodywork therapy.”
Affiliated Credentialing Board
The law creates the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing Board. A credentialing board has similar responsibilities to an examining board. Members are appointed by the governor and subject to senate confirmation; they will have authority to issue administrative rules interpreting the licensing law, and they will have authority to investigate complaints and discipline licensees.
Who will be appointed to the Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Credentialing Board?
The board will be comprised of six massage and bodywork therapists who have engaged in practice of massage or bodywork therapy for at least two years. One will represent private, occupational schools approved by the Educational Approval Board and one will represent massage and bodywork programs offered by the Wisconsin Technical Colleges. A seventh member will be a public member who is a practitioner of one of the exempt practices. Each member will serve a four-year term.
How do I apply to be a member of the board?
Members of Wisconsin state boards and commissions are vital participants in developing policy, regulation, advisory and advocacy efforts for a wide variety of issues affecting all Wisconsinites. AMTA encourages members looking for a meaningful volunteer experience within the massage therapy profession to apply. This is not a paid position and will likely be a time commitment of 10 or more hours a month.
If you wish to apply, simply complete the Appointments Application
) and return it with your resume to the governor’s office by email
) or fax it to (608) 267-7888.
AMTA-WI Chapter will keep you informed as the board is appointed and rules and regulations are developed. Stay informed at www.amtawi.org
. You may also contact Betsy Krizenesky, AMTA-WI Government Relations Chair, at
920-725-0224 or Krizenesky@aol.com