THE CERTIFICATION DEBATE GOES ON . . .
Long before the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) embarked on a campaign to promote and help finance a national-type MT certificate, it used to award a professional designation certificate to active members who passed an AMTA nationally- administered test . The holder of the AMTA certificate would thus be recognized and known as an AMTA-registered advanced-level MT. Within the AMTA, RMTs, as they were called for short, were so designated in the Registery of AMTA members and were modestly proud of their advanced standing. To minimize potential confusion with the legal status of some MTs, such as MTs registered by the state of Texas or MTs registered across Canada, some members simply for short continued to use the AMTA-RMT acronym. And all those years and still to date, AMTA members who are state licensed MTs have never been recognized, promoted, or encouraged to use their legally-earned professional designation of LicMT.
The decision to discontinue the administration and promotion of the RMT advanced professional designation tests left the few hundred holders of the AMTA-RMT designation with an essentially meaningless certificate. Even though they deserved to be, they were never "grandfathered" into the "new improved" national certificate, nor were they reimbursed for the cost of the RMT test that they had taken and passed. In fact, using their own member dues-generated dollars to the tune of a $250,000.00 loan from the AMTA to the newly formed National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), theAMTA-RMTs were encouraged to spend their time and money on the new professional designation certificate.
MTs who practice in states already under an MT professional licensing law--LicMTs, that is--were also encouraged to take the NCBTMB test(@ $150.00) even though--in their MT licensed state--the certificate would be no more than another piece of paper decoration. According to full-page ads which were run by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB), the thousands of MTs who have subsequently bought into this well-promoted campaign "couldn't be wrong." The professional state MT licenses continued to be treated as some sort of a national "organizational secret" by the AMTA and by its brain child, NCBTMB. Against all logic and professional interest, that secret was readily adopted by other MT organiaztions and the MT media. Until . . .
In 1993, ASSOCIATED MTs was the first national professional network to undo the inexplicable professional blunder by proudly attaching the unambiguous LicMT and other earned designations to the names of its duly credentialed members. It has pointed out to many confused or mis-informed colleagues that--like in other health professions--a national certification can be worthwhile--to MTs--when all states are licensed. But without a professional license, or when only some states are licensed, a national certification program is costly and only partially effective--to MTs, of course. ASSOCIATED MTs has tried--so far, in vain--to convinve the leadership of other MT organizations to invest in the ethical promotion of LicMTs and in an educational campaign which sets clear and practical professional priorities toward a unified real and legal professional status. Yet, it continues to hope that, with information more readily available, more MTs will want to see real change in their professional status.
MT WEB CENTRAL thought you'd like to know and see for yourself how good and clear such professional designations look and feel throughout the Global Directory, MTs NEAR YOU .
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