We have all been waiting to see what the Governor would do with SB 731. After threatening to veto all the bills on his desk if a budget was not delivered, he managed to get though to this piece of legislation. California has been faced with pending regulation for massage therapy for several decades in one way or another, and now we have SB 731 – a voluntary title act, regulated by a non-governmental organization that has yet to be formed.
This legislation will begin issuing certifications September 2009, giving us a year to make sure we have the minimum requirements and documents needed to be eligible for review by the California Massage Therapy Organization. I hope that throughout this year there is an effort to inform practicing massage therapists that this bill will become effective and that they ought to be aware of its provisions.
The language of SB 731 outlines some specific requirements in terms of number of hours required for certification through the MTO. The 250 hour tier will require that 100 hours of training is in Anatomy & Physiology, Business & Ethics, and Contraindications. It makes no further breakdown of required training hours for the 500 hour tier. Thus, leaving a gap in how this legislation is able to distinguish a qualified massage therapist.
There are many peculiarities that reside in this bill, hopefully over the next few months we can work together with the emerging MTO to define curriculum requirements and outcomes that will ensure safe and competent touch. It will be important to work together with the MTO to insure that the certification process will not be a timly process that prevents gradutes from beginning work soon after completing their coursework.
Over the next few weeks, we will be creating a FAQ for students, therapists and consumers around what SB 731 will mean. In the meantime, one of our exceptional teachers Keith Eric Grant has documented many other implications that the bill may impose, or not, at http://www.ramblemuse.com/mps/