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The mission of the FSMTB is to support its member boards in their work to ensure that the practice of massage therapy is provided to the public in a safe and effective manner.
In carrying out this mission, the FSMTB shall:
- Facilitate communication among member boards and provide a forum for the exchange of information and experience
- Provide education, services and guidance to member boards that helps them fulfill their statutory, professional, public and ethical obligations
- Support efforts among member boards to establish compatible requirements and cooperative procedures for the legal regulation of massage therapists in order to facilitate professional mobility and to simplify and standardize the licensing process
- Ensure the provision of a valid, reliable licensing examination to determine entry-level competence
- Improve the standards of massage therapy education, licensure and practice through cooperation with entities that share this objective, including other massage therapy organizations, accrediting agencies, governmental bodies and groups whose areas of interest may coincide with those of member boards
- Represent the interests of its member boards in matters consistent with the scope of the bylaws
In early 2005, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP) convened a meeting of massage regulators and educators to revive a former “Alliance” of the massage regulatory community. This meeting, attended by representatives from seven regulated states, along with educators from around the country, recognized the need to establish an organization that could unite the regulatory community in its mission of public protection. The most significant concerns were the need for the provision of a valid and reliable licensing exam and the desire to cultivate commonality in licensing requirements to assist with professional mobility.
The commitment to revive this former alliance came to fruition with the formation of an interim organization. The Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) formed an interim board consisting of all the regulators in attendance. This interim board was charged with conducting research into other like organizations, reaching out to the community for feedback, drafting bylaws and planning a meeting to formally establish the organization. In September 2005, the FSMTB held its formative meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, prior to the annual American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) convention. The meeting was attended by 22 states and the District of Columbia. During this landmark event, bylaws were unanimously adopted and the first formal board was elected.
Additionally, the meeting's dialogue indicated three key issues of utmost concern for the massage therapy regulatory community:
- The need for consistent scopes of practice and entry-level standards across the country
- The need for a valid and reliable licensing exam that would be accepted by all jurisdictions
- The need for a common database with licensing and disciplinary information, as well as the ability to store critical documents
Since the formative meeting in September 2005, the volunteer board of directors and committee members have continued to work diligently to establish a foundation upon which to build and advance the organization to carry out the desires of the member states.