Licensing Fees!!!

Here is what happened at the board meeting today!

It was reported that the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) read the 400+ letters from the public and made a recommendation to the board to make the increase gradual,  over the next 3 renewal periods. Their recommendation was to raise it to $125 for the January 2019 renewal, $150 for Jan 2021 and $175 for Jan 2023. 

The report went to the Bureau of finance and operations (BFO), which agreed with IRRC. The BFO made a presentation today at the meeting outlining the budget for the massage board that reflected these incremental increases.

The board then had to vote on whether to keep the proposal at $200 or implement these increases recommended by IRRC. With a unanimous decision, they voted to change the proposal to reflect the incremental increases over the next 3 renewal periods!

But that does not mean that this is what's going to happen! I want you to understand that this is a proposal for new legislation that needs to be approved by the House and the Senate of the Pennsylvania State Legislature. The board is now charged with getting the proposal to the House and Senate for a vote. In order for this new increase to be implemented in time for our renewal this coming January, the state legislature needs to approve this soon. 

In short, the fee COULD be raised to $125 if it is done in time. If it is not, the fee will be $75.

One more thing regarding the renewal this year. There will be no applications accepted through the US Mail Service! All massage license renewal applications will be handled online! It was suggested by the board that massage therapist should start to go online, create an account or sign in to your account that you created at list renewal, and make sure your email address is up-to-date! Also, when you are signed in, you will be able to see whether or not your child abuse continuing education was completed or not. So check and verify that while you are there!

The web address is click register if you do not already have an account. Click login to sign into your account.

Pa Massage Board Meeting December 12, 2017

Hi everyone! These are the notes I took at the meeting. These should not be constued as the official minutes. 

In attendance were representatives from AMTA, NCBTMB AND FSMTB. 

NCBTMB - The presentation described the policies and procedures for all approved providers of continuing education. They were recently upgraded in order to raise the bar on the quality of education that you receive by mandating specific requirements to thise wishing to teach ce’s. They also announced that in the near future they will not be approving any continuing education courses that teach non-hands on energy work. These include modalities such as Crystal healing and distant healing. I would expect that reiki and qigong would be included in this category. 

This information can be found on their website at

FSMTB - The presentation included programs that outline policies for continuing education providers. In the near future, they plan to approve ce providers to teach continuing education and they outlined their policies and procedures. They also discussed and informed the board of a new database system that are implementing. It is called Massage Therapist Licensing Database (MTLD, aka Matilda). Matilda will keep track of lmt’s continuing education and any disciplinary actions that may have been brought against them by their state boards ir judicial systems. At this time, it appears that this system is only available to state biards and not to employers, lmt’s or the public. Things may change in the future, this has yet to be implemented. They will need to work out any bugs in the system. This could take a few years to get up and running.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved with 2 corrections.

FSMTB has on their website a report regarding human traffiking as it pertains to the massage therapy industry. Their website address is 

Interesting find in the massage law


So here it is!  The information you have been waiting for!

I went to the massage board meeting and they were discussing changes to the Rules and Regulations.  Of course, I had out my copy of the Law AND the Regs. Please understand this basic piece of information:

The law is written by legislators, in this case, your state representatives, not the massage therapy board.  The massage board has the obligation and authority, by this law, to uphold the law, approve licenses, discipline licensees and write rules and regulations based on the law.  The board has no authority to change the law.  Regarding the Rules and Regulations, however, the board does have the right to add, modify, change or omit any of the regulations but only after going through a process which includes gathering opinions from the public.  It also must be approved by other bodies, like the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the Board of Professional and Occupational Affairs.


As they were discussing proposed changes I was looking through the Law and I noticed this:


Section 13.  Other professions Nothing in this act shall be construed as preventing, restricting or requiring licensure of any of the following activities:

                                (3) A student enrolled in a massage therapy education program who is:

                                                (i) conducting massage therapy activities under the supervision of:

                                                                (A) a Licensee


Ok, let that sink in a moment.  Here is what I found in the Rules and Regulations:


Section 20.14 Student Practice

                                (b) A student, while enrolled in an approved massage therapy program, may perform techniques learned in class under indirect supervision

                                (C) A student may not receive payment from the school, a client or other source for providing massage therapy services; however, a student may accept a nominal gratuity voluntarily given by a client in a clinical training program operated by the school in which the student is obtaining credit. 


Section 13 in the law seems to allow non-licensed massage therapy students to work in a facility that has licensed massage therapists on site provided they are supervised.  Section 20.14 states that they cannot receive any monies for doing so.  They can only accept a tip only in the clinical setting in the school under instructor supervision. My concern is that unscrupulous people will and can allow students in a massage program to massage clients at their spa.  The law states they can do this but only únder the supervision of a licensee, it doesn’t specify direct or indirect supervision.  But the Regulations seems to say that they can practice their massage techniques under indirect supervision. They cannot get paid for their work, so is this like an internship type of thing?  Can a spa owner, who has multiple therapists on staff, have a student come in and massage their clients and not pay them?  They would be breaking the law if they did pay them.


I spoke to the prosecuting attorney, the one who would be present in the court room representing the board. He said yes, I read it correctly.  He said, “how else can they learn how to do massage?”.  Interesting!  I did not ask him about a spa unofficially “hiring” them.  Perhaps when I see him again I will approach him about that.


So….. What are your thoughts? I totally understand how this can help a student learn and I think it could be beneficial for them.  Do you think this is a loop hole to allow unlicensed therapists to work in a massage setting?



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