Here is some of the information I recently shared in a July newsletter. This newsletter is focused on licensing information, especially for those in Texas. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, please head over to my contact page and sign up.
Updates from Other States and Organizations that May Affect Texas
1. Gov. Ducey, of Arizona, signed HB 2569 on April 10, 2019. The new law provides for recognition of licensed professionals. This means anyone holding a license from another state can move to Arizona and begin practicing in that licensed occupation.
“You must go through the process of application, background check (fingerprint), and license issued by the Arizona Massage Board which takes anywhere from five to eight weeks,” he said. “Any person practicing without a license can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and also be subject for review in front of the Arizona massage board, which has the authority to issue or not issue the license if the applicant has failed to meet the standards or violate the law, which can endanger the public.”
The ability to move to Arizona and practice in a licensed occupation will be available only to people from states that require them to hold a license.
The applicant has to have been licensed in another state or U.S. territory for at least two years of the last five years immediately preceding their application, or the applicant has to hold a current certification from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) “or another agency that meets the standards of the national organization.”
All massage applicants must submit to a fingerprint background check. If an applicant has worked as a massage therapist for less than two of the past five years immediately preceding their Arizona application, they must also submit educational transcripts.
2. NCBTMB ANNOUNCES NEW COMPETENCY-BASED BOARD CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, REVISED EXAM.
To further align with healthcare professions and embrace similar competency-based criteria, NCBTMB announced the following new Board Certification requirements as of August 3, 2018:
Graduate from a NCBTMB Assigned School
Passing score on the NCBTMB Board Certification Exam
Pass a criminal background check (performed by NCBTMB)
Verification of current massage therapy state licensure
Agree to uphold NCBTMB’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
NCBTMB removed its previously mandated 750 hours of education and 250 hours of professional, hands-on work experience.
Board Certification renewal requirements remain mainly unaffected. However, 100 hours of hands-on work experience is no longer required.
Texas Laws and Rules
1. HB 1865 removes the five-year license ineligibility provision for persons who have been convicted of, entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilt to, or received deferred adjudication for an offense under Chapter 20A or Subchapter A, Chapter 43 of the Penal Code. This part of the bill takes effect on September 1, 2019 and allows TDLR to assess each applicant’s fitness for licensure on a case-by-case basis.
2. HB 1865 requires persons who apply for an initial license on or after September 1, 2019 to submit fingerprints for the purposes of obtaining criminal history information. All licensees must comply with the fingerprint requirement no later than September 1, 2021.
3. HB 1865 requires students who are enrolled in a massage school on or after June 1, 2020 to hold a student permit.
4. HB 1865 also requires massage schools to maintain a monthly progress report regarding attendance for students and to notify TDLR when a student is eligible to take the examination. Massage school reporting requirements go into effect on July 1, 2020
5. HB 2747 prohibits any individual, including a student, license holder, or employee, from residing on the premises of a massage establishment after September 1, 2019.
6. HB 2747 requires licensed massage therapists to attach their photograph to the front of their posted license no later than January 1, 2020.
7. HB 2747 also requires massage establishments and schools to display a sign concerning the services and assistance available to victims of human trafficking no later than April 1, 2020.
Other Laws not specific to Massage
1. Senate Bill (SB) 37 removes authority for a licensing agency to take disciplinary action against an applicant or licensee, including refusal to issue or renew an occupational license, based on the person’s default on a student loan or breach of a student loan repayment contract or scholarship contract. The bill went into effect on June 7, 2019.
2. HB 2452 also allows TDLR to accept anonymous complaints. The bill went into effect on May 29, 2019.