Having been a Florida Massage CE Provider for several renewal cycles now, I have received hundreds of emails and phone calls regarding license renewal.
Many of them are due to confusion between licensing, first time renewal, and regular renewal requirements. Some of them are due to receiving bad information from other therapists. Others are due to a lack of available information, or vague definitions that can be left open to interpretation.
Below, I have listed the seven questions that I most frequently receive.
1. I live out of state and do not want to travel to Florida to complete my CE hours. Where can I find approved continuing education in my state?
Continuing Education taken from NCBTMB Approved Providers may be used toward your Florida License Renewal.
When I first obtained my massage license in Florida, I wondered how I was going to complete my Florida approved hours while living and practicing in Iowa most of the year. As it turns out, it is really not that difficult.
We need to look at 64B7-28.010 Requirements for Board Approval of Continuing Education Programs.
(9) The following courses, that meet the criteria for approval under this section, are approved by the Board:
(a) Organized and accepted courses of study offered by providers approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork;
(b) Organized courses offered by a Board Approved Massage School;
(c) Continuing education courses offered by or sponsored by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy;
(d) Continuing education courses sponsored by the Florida State Massage Therapy Association; and
(e) Continuing education courses sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association or the American Massage Therapy Association Florida Chapter.
In case you missed it, 64B7-28.010 (9)(a) allows you to take courses from providers approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). NCBTMB Continuing Education Approved Providers can be found in every state.
The only stipulation is that you have to upload your own certificate or transcript to CE Broker if the NCBTMB provider does not have a Florida provider number. Entering your own credits into CE Broker is very easy to do. I have an article explaining the process here.
2. I don’t want to practice massage in Florida anymore, or not for a while, what should I do?
You may move your license to inactive status, or relinquish it altogether.
This is a question I have seen more of since the background/fingerprinting requirement. You have a couple options. You can relinquish your license or put your license on inactive status.
If you are completely done practicing massage therapy in Florida, you can relinquish your license. To do this you need to send a letter indicating that you want to relinquish your license along with your paper license to the Board office. Choose this option only if you are sure you are done practicing massage in Florida.
You may also place your license on inactive status if you see yourself returning to the field. This will require you to log in to your account on the board website and pay the renewal fee. Then when you are ready to practice again, you will only need to show proof of your continuing education hours to resume practicing (instead of going through the whole application process again).
64B7-28.0041 Inactive Status and Renewal of Inactive Status.
(1) Any licensee may elect at the time of biennial license renewal to place the license into inactive status by filing with the Department a completed application for inactive status as set forth in Section 456.036, F.S., and the appropriate fee required by paragraph 64B7-27.100(1)(d), F.A.C.
(2) Inactive licenses must be renewed biennially including payment of the renewal fee set forth in Rule 64B7-27.010, F.A.C.
(3) An inactive license can be reactivated at any time provided the licensee meets the requirements of Rule 64B7-28.0042, F.A.C.
3. Can I really take all my courses online for my first renewal?
I have confirmed this with the Board more times than I can count. The Board website does not explicitly say “you can take all your hours online”. Rather, it is the absence of the “12 required contact hours” in the first time renewal requirements that allows you to take all your continuing education credits in a home study format.
Here is the difference from the board website (Link Here):
Read under the requirements section, click on “CE” in the sub-menu.
Then read through “First Biennial Renewal Only”:
and compare it to “Following Your First Renewal”:
Notice there is no “live” requirement under the first renewal requirements.
Let me reiterate, this is for First Renewal Only!
4. Does CPR count as “Live” Hours?
When I used the term “live”, I mean what is said in 64B7-28.009(2)(a), the hours of “instruction must be relevant to and focus on massage therapy techniques, must be in the presence of the instructor, must include hands-on participation by the licensee and/or demonstration by the instructor.” Most CPR classes are in the presence of an instructor and include hands on participation, but are not “relevant to and focus on massage therapy techniques.”
After discussing this topic with many other colleagues, we looked further down in the Chapter after the “live” requirement (64B7-28.009(2)). Rule 64B7-28.009(3) says, “The remaining classroom hours may be satisfied by completing instruction in…(g) Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation if the course is instructed by persons certified by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or the American Safety and Health Institute.” CE Broker also lists CPR classes in the “General” category which is the same classification used for home study or online courses.
5. Do webinars count as “Live” Hours?
Again, any pre-recorded webinars would most definitely fall under the general category. But what about webinars that are live and where you can have interaction with the instructor via the internet? Would those be considered “live?”
I contacted CE Broker and they said “no.” I contacted the Board Office and they also gave me the, “that is a great question, but probably not.” A couple of boards under the MQA do allow this learning option, but apparently not for Massage Therapy at this time.
If this changes, I will post an update here.
6. Am I required to purchase a subscription to CE Broker.
CE Broker has a free basic account as well as paid accounts that have more benefits and features. You may still confirm and enter completed credits with a basic (free) account. A professional account is $29/year and the Concierge account is $99/year. You can read more about the different account benefits here.
7. Do you submit to CE Broker?
All Florida board approved providers are required to submit completed credits into CE Broker within 90 days. Under most circumstances, I submit hours for my Florida renewal courses to CE Broker within one (1) business day.
Got a Question Not Listed Here?
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.
For reference, here is the most current version of the Continuing Education Rules
(1) During each biennium, each licensee shall complete a minimum of one classroom hour of continuing education from a Board-approved provider for each month the license is active. Graduates of a Board-approved massage therapy school who are renewing their license for the first time shall complete a course of two classroom hours on prevention of medical errors that meets the requirements of Section 456.013(7), F.S. If the prevention of medical errors course completed during the course of study at the Board-approved massage school meets the requirements of Section 456.013(7), F.S., that course will satisfy the requirement of this rule.
(2) The continuing education shall include the following:
(a) At least one half of the classroom hours of instruction must be relevant to and focus on massage therapy techniques, must be in the presence of the instructor, must include hands-on participation by the licensee and/or demonstration by the instructor, and may include:
1. History of massage therapy,
2. Human anatomy,
3. Human physiology,
4. Human kinesiology, or
5. Human pathology.
(b) Two classroom hours of instruction on prevention of medical errors that meet the requirements of Section 456.013(7), F.S.
(c) Two classroom hours of instruction in professional ethics.
(d) Two classroom hours of instruction on Chapters 456 and 480 of the Florida Statutes and the rules promulgated by the Board. This requirement may be satisfied by attending four continuous hours of a meeting of the Board, provided the licensee does not have a disciplinary or licensure matter on the agenda and the licensee signs in and out of the meeting to demonstrate compliance.
(3) The remaining classroom hours may be satisfied by completing instruction in:
(a) Communications with clients and other professionals.
(b) Insurance relating to third party payment or reimbursement for services.
(c) Psychological dynamics of the client-therapist relationship.
(d) Risk management including charting, documentation and record keeping.
(e) Infection control.
(f) Practice management.
(g) Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation if the course is instructed by persons certified by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or the American Safety and Health Institute.
You have helped me tremendously in the past. I still am a bit confused on my license renewal. I have my license, I need 24 CEU’s for biennial renewal. I have completed 12 CEU’s online. They are ethics, law and legal issues, common sports injuries, chronic pain and massage, Arthritic conditions and massage, preventing medical errors, and Geriatric precautions. Totalling 12 CEU’s. My question is, Can I do my remaining 12 online?
Thank you for your help.
If this is your first renewal, then yes. If this is not your first renewal, then no. After your first renewal, 12 hours must be hands-on and in the presence of an instructor.
I received my first license in July 2015. I cannot recall if I had to “renew” being that I just received it. I was planning on taking all my CEU’s online because I have been out of the country and will not return until mid- Aug. If I did not complete an actual renewal in 2015, then I can proceed with online CEU’s, but if not…. I guess I’m asking whether you know if brand-new licenses still go through the renewal process (circa 2015)? I appreciate any and all insights!
If you got your license in July of 2015, then this is most likely your first renewal. I believe they opened the renewal in April of 2015. So you should be able to complete all of your hours online for this cycle. Next cycle you will not be able to complete them all online.
Your information and communication is stellar!
Thanks so much for being such a valuable source of help, including your on line courses.
Hello ivy! I’m trying to find out if I have extra ceu credits for how long can I use them. And if I take a class now and the 12 credit I will be receiving can I use them for renewal in 2019? I already renewed my license for this year but I found this amazing class and after I sign up now I’m wondering if in the next 2 years those credit will be valid.
Courses will only count towards the 2019 renewal if they are taken after the biennial ends (8/31/17). You cannot carry over hours from one renewal to the next. Hope this helps!
Hey there! So I was licensed in 2013 and never renewed due to some severe personal issues and am now looking at renewing my license and am not sure of the path I need to take. I know I need to write a letter to the board and pay a fee but what else do I need to do? Will I need to retake my MBLEX? Or can I simply turn in CE credits?
If you missed the 2015 and 2017 renewals, your license is now null and void. This means you need to reapply. You do not need to take the MBLEx again.
If you only missed the 2017 renewal, you need to complete the CEs and pay the renewal and late fees.
If you never have been fingerprinted, you will need to do that too.
I just moved to Florida in 2017. I am confirming what is needed to Renue my license. I got my massage license August 2017 it expires Aug. 2019. The way I understand the biennial first renewal is 2 CE of Prevention of medical errors and in my case 24 CE that can be done online between aug.2017-aug.2019?
Thank you, Kelly
Currently, that is the requirement. Things can change, but I do not see any changes in the future.
If I am currently licensed in FL, but move to, say, Cali, and do all the required fees, etc to get Cert out there..inorder to keepmy lic here in FL still, would it be wise to continue to just take the required live classes, general (book hours) and pay the fees? also, would
I be able to take a live seminar class in another state and then have it reported to C.E> Broker for credit towards my FL Massage lic? since INR usually reports for us, would they be reporting still if taken out in Cali for my FL lic to keep everything up to date? Cali doesnt require CE’s currently, but if i were to relocate, just seems crazy to have to fly back just to take 2, 6 hr courses in FL if they come to CA..seemseasier to just do corse in CA and have it applied to FL. Does this make sense? hopefully not too confusing LOL also, since i’ve had my fingerprints done already in FL, would those too need to be renewed at some point?? I know CA massage board said that you can’t transfer fingerprints that I would need to do my fingerprints in CA if i get cert out there.
Yes. I always recommend keeping a license active. You never know if you may move back. I have seen people let their license expire, move back (when they thought they would NEVER MOVE BACK!) and then do not qualify as the laws have changed.
You can take courses in Cali. If the provider is only NCBTM approved, you will enter them into CE Broker. If they are a FL approved provider, they will enter them for you. I take most of my classes in Iowa and just report them myself. It is easy.
http://www.fieldprintflorida.com will give you location outside Florida. Again, that is what I used here.
Hi there, I’m moving to Florida soon and should become licensed at the end of April or May 2019. Since renewal is August of this year, will I have to renew and redo some courses all over again? Since it’s only a few months, I’m not sure how this works with everything being that close.
Actually, the renewal will open soon and that means people licensed during that period will not need to renew until 2021! So call the board and ask them when that date will be and apply after that.