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 all together.
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 login 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 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.