Tips on Navigating the NCBMTB and FSMTB Agreement

The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) have worked cooperatively to reach an agreement that the NCBTMB will no longer provide examinations for licensure purposes and will now focus exclusively on delivering certification programs.

NCBTMB will cease accepting licensure exam applications effective November 1, 2014 and will cease offering licensure exams effective February 1, 2015. Professionals and regulators will be notified of additional information and important transition timelines as this collaboration ensues. Access the full announcement »

Considerations for Massage Therapists, Students, Schools & CE Providers

  • This does not affect those who are already certified through NCBTMB. However, new graduates will have to take the MBLEx as one of their licensure requirements in any state that requires this test as one of their licensure requirements.
  • Through October 31, 2014, students are welcome to register to take any NCBTMB licensure examinations. Upon registration, students will be allotted a 90-day window to schedule and sit for their examination—through January 31, 2015. After January 31, 2015, all students will be required to take the MBLEx.
  • NCBTMB's Continuing Education and our Approved Provider Program are not affected by this change, and Approved Provider applications are still welcome.


For more information, contact NCBTMB at 1-800-296-0664 or email

"As a professional member of AMTA, I have found comfort in knowing that all the effort I put into obtaining my massage certification is recognized and protected. AMTA standards validate the profession."

Kim K., AMTA member since 2003