Petition to bring reform to the California Massage Therapy Council
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My experience with the California Massage Therapy Council has kept me from being able to apply and work at spas since graduating from massage school on 29 October, 2016, and has made my first year out of the Navy very difficult!
The current system requires massage students to complete a minimum of 500 hour of education, pass an exam, provide finger prints and a background check, as well as pay a $150 processing fee. This process takes 90 days before entering a final review process which has no time limit, allowing the council to take as long as it likes to approve and mail the massage therapist's certification. During this process, even though applicants have completed their training and passed their exams, they are told that working as a massage therapist before they receive their certification is grounds for denial.
This problem I encountered is not an isolated one. Many of my fellow massage therapists who put in the work to be successful, or people like me who counted on this process being completed in a timely manner, have been hung out to dry by this process. It forced me to work a minimum wage job for months -- an unsustainable professional situation for me, especially with the rising cost of living in San Diego.
Previously licensed massage therapists are required to renew their certification every two years -- a process that takes 60 days to complete. They send all of their paperwork, processing fee, and proof of continued education well in advance and still don't receive their recertification before their current one expires, forcing them to stop practicing massage until they receive their new one.
The council's inability to act in a timely manner has devastating financial consequences for the massage therapists that depend on the council's certification. In addition, the council is extremely unresponsive, and refuses to provide answers over the phone, often leaving applicants no option but to have their state level representative call on their behalf to make the council do its job.
We demand change be made to the current system.
For new massage therapists we demand either A) The state allows massage therapists to work the day they pass their state approved massage exam and complete the minimum hours of education required. Or B) The state makes the processing period much shorter and transparent without an open-ended final review process.
For massage therapists seeking recertification, we demand a much shorter and transparent processing period, as well as that a grace period be granted to practicing massage therapists whose certifications are not issued and received before their current certifications expire.
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