Are All Online CEU Classes the Same?
There are plenty of venues offering distance learning CEU units without testing and reporting requirements; unfortunately, they frequently fall short of providing the kind of training that certifying bodies look for. Of course, therein also lies the rub: massage therapists are not uniformly licensed, and states have varying licensure and certification prerequisites.
As a general rule of thumb, when shopping around for online CEU providers in massage therapy and related fields, it is a good idea to look for sanctioning by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). It is noteworthy that 37 states look to the organization to set industry benchmarks with respect to testing and education; 26 states rely on the licensing offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) via its MBLEx exam, which in some cases overlaps with the other governing body.
In addition to quality, the quantity of mandated continuing education units also differs. As outlined in the 2006 listing of state boards administering massage practice laws, Alabama requires CEUs worth 16 hours on a biennial basis. In Arizona, this number sits at 25. Arkansas, in contrast, only asks massage therapists to complete six hours of CEUs annually.