If you haven’t already completed your initial reflexology education, now is the time. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GRANDFATHERING PROVISION described below BY COMPLETING YOUR BASIC REFLEXOLOGY EDUCATION BY July 1, 2013 and applying for Reflexology Certification by July 1, 2014!
May 8, 2013 – Legislative Update regarding Chapter 246-831 WAC
One of the most exciting bits of news from this meeting is that the certification applications for reflexologists and reflexology schools are expected to be available on June 1. If all goes well with your application processing, you will hear back from the Department of Health within about 4 weeks of your initial application. This means you may not have much (if any) lag time in your current reflexology practice!
If lag time in your practice is a concern for you, get your records ready in advance.
- Finish any classes you still need to take,
- Complete and submit your practice documentation,
- Make a copy of your final certificate of completion from your reflexology school,
- Complete your AIDS training Training.aspx, and
- Familiarize yourself with the law 6103-reflexology.pdf in preparation for the jurisprudence exam.
Unless you are a Licensed Massage Practitioner or have been certified as a reflexologist by the State of Washington, you may not legally practice reflexology in Washington as of July 1, 2013.
February 19, 2013 – Legislative Update regarding Chapter 246-831 WAC
We are still without a final copy of the new rules and regulations for the reflexology law which will take effect July 1, 2013, but there has been significant progress made toward the development of the rules. Once they have been finalized it will be possible for the State to create and distribute applications both for certification in reflexology by practitioners and for state approval of reflexology schools.
Therefore, please be aware that any details listed below are STILL not final, and reflect only the current state of development of the rules.
In an effort to clear up scope of practice questions: as of July 1, 2013 it will be legal for Licensed Massage Practitioners and Certified Reflexologists to advertise, perform and claim to perform reflexology. Nail techs, cosmetologists, estheticians, registered nurses and certified nursing assistants will NOT be able to advertise or practice reflexology unless they go through the process of reflexology certification (this is a matter of “title protection” for reflexology, similar to the title protection of the word ”massage” – only Licensed Massage Practitioners may use the term “massage” and only certified reflexologists may call themselves “reflexologists”).
RULES UPDATES FOR SELECTED ITEMS FROM THE MEETING FEB 19, 2013:
To be certified as a reflexologist the applicant must:
- Provide a completed application on forms provided by the secretary (applications are NOT available yet);
- Pay applicable fees as defined in WAC 246-831-990;
- Be eighteen years of age or older; and
- Provide evidence of:
a. completion of a reflexology education program approved by the secretary;
b. completion of an examination approved by the secretary (ARCB is approved);
c. completion of a jurisprudence examination (an open book test about the law regarding reflexology)
d. four hours of AIDS education and training as set in chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 8 (see this link for training availability - Training.aspx); and
e. any additional documents or information requested by the secretary.
Certification for those with no other license to touch requires a minimum of 200 hours of reflexology-only training from a Washington state approved school. These hours consist of the following:
- 30 hours of reflexology theory, history, zones, reflex points, relaxation response and contraindications;
- 40 hours of study of body systems as related to reflexology; the study of the leg, feet, hands and outer ears as structures; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas, a map of reflexes as they are anatomically reflected on the feet, hands and outer ears; and how the reflexes are affected by stimulation to the feet, hands and outer ears through hands-on experience;
- 30 hours of anatomy and physiology;
- 5 hours of business practice involving ethics, business standards and local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of reflexology;
- 25 hours or more of supervised practicum or clinical work;
- 70 hours of additional homework that can include giving and documenting client sessions as well as other written work.
Educational Requirements for LMPs and others with applicable prior learning
Those with prior learning such as Licensed Massage Practitioners, estheticians, cosmetologists and registered nurses may consult their reflexology school to see if redundant education might be waived. The answer, as well as any associated requirements (i.e. fees or testing of students’ level of retained learning from their prior classes), will be entirely up to the individual reflexology school.
It is possible that in future years legislation will be sought to reduce the specific educational requirements for LMPs.
Waiver of Examination (Grandfathering)
Persons eligible for a waiver of the examination for certification as a reflexologist must apply for certification between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. The secretary may waive the examination and certify a person after receipt of the following documentation:
- completed application including payment of fees;
- verification of four clock hours of AIDS education and training (see this link for training availability – Training.aspx)
- (a) verification of successfully completing a secretary-approved course of study in reflexology prior to July 1, 2013, or
- (b) verification of reflexology practice as a licensed massage practitioner for at least five years prior to July 1, 2013, or
- (c) verification of holding a reflexology credential in another state or a territory of the United States which has substantially equivalent credentialing requirements to those of Washington State.
All applicants must take and pass the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) examination or another examination approved by the secretary. An applicant who fails an approved examination may take an approved examination up to two additional times, at which point the application will be invalidated and remedial education may be required before future examinations can be taken.
*** Side note: It is my understanding that the ARCB has graciously agreed to allow Washington State to use its psychometrically validated (scientifically tested and legally defensible) written exam for one of the state examination possibilities without requiring use of their FULL exam, which includes a practical and verbal component. Any concerns about infrequent testing may be allayed by the fact that frequency of opportunity will increase along with increased demand. Any concerns about subjectivity of examination or limitation to current reflexology techniques standards in America are no longer an issue since there will be no practical or verbal component to the test.
Equipment and sanitation
All instruments, surfaces and equipment that come in contact with the body must be cleaned and disinfected. Any instruments or equipment that is used on one person must be cleaned and disinfected before being used on another person. Linens used for one person must be laundered or cleaned before they are used by any other person. Soiled linens must be immediately placed in a covered receptacle. All equipment and instruments must be clean, well maintained and in good repair.
Fees will be commensurate with those of massage licensing. Licensed Massage Practitioners who are also Certified Reflexologists must pay both fees. Among other fees listed, the basic fees are $50 for initial credential and $40 per year renewal. The test fee for the ARCB will be $250 (any state approved testing agency will most likely charge a similar price to administer their test).
To read the new law, please follow this link: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/2300/6103-reflexology.pdf
Staying in the loop on legislative activity is one timely and potent reason to maintain an active membership with Washington Reflexology Association (WRA). Get involved with the future of reflexology. Begin your WRA membership or re-enroll by visiting www.washingtonreflexology.org/membership/.
Request regular legislative updates for a very reasonable fee, an offer recently made available by WRA, by visiting http://www.washingtonreflexology.org/home/legislation/.
The Department of Health has created a page for reflexology, on which they offer a FAQ page and make periodic updates about reflexology law: http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/Reflexologist/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.aspx#2.
The Department of Health lists information regarding the practice of massage here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/hsqa/professions/Massage_Therapy/faq.htm#q16.
We will keep you posted with further details as soon as we have them.
September 28, 2012 – Legislative Updates regarding Chapter 246-831 WAC
We are still without a final and confirmed copy of the new rules and regulations for the reflexology law which will begin July 1, 2013. However, there are several apparent updates ensuing from the meeting on Sept 28, 2012. Please be aware that these details are not final, and reflect only the current state of development of the rules. As before, we will keep you posted with any new information we receive.
To reduce confusion, on 2/19/13 I removed any redundant rules listings from this post.
Applicants licensed in another state
Persons credentialed as a reflexologist in another state may be issued a certificate by providing the following documentation:
- Evidence of meeting substantially equivalent credentialing requirements as defined in WAC 246-831-XXX;
- Passing score on the examination as defined in WAC 246-831-XXX;
- Verification of a current, active credential from any state or territory of the United States.
Applicants licensed in another country
International programs will have similar guidelines as applicants licensed in another state. The program must be approved by the secretary. Official transcripts in English are required, and the secretary must approve these as well.
Continuing education requirements have not yet been implemented by the State, but Washington Reflexology Association members will pursue that option in the next legislative session. If you are not a member, please join now to help develop the law in order to protect and elevate our profession. Visit www.washingtonreflexology.org to join or to offer yourself as a volunteer.
We will keep you posted with further details as soon as we have them.
July 31, 2012: Update on Washington State Reflexology Certification Law
Washington State is now the 4th State in the union in which reflexologists will be required to be certified or licensed in order to legally practice.
A stakeholders meeting took place on July 30 and the following are the updates in information – read below for a Summary and The Full Story…
1. Every person wishing to be called a Certified Reflexologist must go through the process of certification as of July 1, 2013.
2. To be Certified one must submit an application to the Washington State Department of Health, provide proof of meeting a basic education requirement, pay a fee, take a test, and subsequently get annual renewal.
3. Certification for anybody who is not a licensed massage therapist requires 200 hours of reflexology-only training from a state approved school (specific hours description listed below).
4. Licensed massage therapists may continue to practice reflexology without additional certification but may not advertise as a Certified Reflexologist unless they go through the certification process.
5. There will be a grandfathering clause lasting from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. Grandfathering allows certification without a test but still includes an application and fee. Those without a license to touch must have completed 200 hours of reflexology-only training by a state approved school by July 1, 2013 and make application. Licensed massage therapists must have had at least 5 years of practice in reflexology prior to July 1, 2013 and make application.
6. Standard fees will be commensurate with those of massage licensing (less than $100 per year).
7. Testing is still being worked out.
The Full Story
Governor Christine Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6103 in March of 2012, amending the existing massage licensing statute by requiring that all reflexologists be either certified by the State or otherwise appropriately licensed to touch (i.e. be a massage practitioner, esthetician, cosmetologist, or medical practitioner). Additionally, NO person may advertise as a Certified Reflexologist unless they have gone through the application process within the State and have been certified.
Department of Health will oversee certification and coordinate the development of the certification process. Yesterday, in a meeting in the state capitol, more than 20 individuals gathered to discuss the details of the certification process. Attendees included two Department of Health representatives, reflexology and massage practitioners and school owners, Washington Reflexology Association (WRA) board members, AMTA general and board members and AMTA lobbyists, as well as those representing other fields of interest (i.e. registered nurse). Items under discussion were educational standards, grandfathering, certification fees and renewal, and testing.
The upshot of the meeting is that the State will set a basic educational requirement of 200 reflexology-only hours (110 class, 90 practice hours) for the general public with proof of completion of those hours from a state-approved school. Reflexology-specific classes will need to be in person, not online. Those with a license to touch who choose to become Certified Reflexologists will most likely be required to complete 75 hours of reflexology-only classes and 90 documented practice hours. Curriculum standards will align with current American Reflexology Certification Board standards (visit www.arcb.net for more information).
Grandfathering will exempt applicants from having to take the test, but they will still need to complete the certification process with the application, fee and validation of experience and/or education.
Applicants seeking grandfathering will need to submit proof of completion of a 200 hour basic reflexology program, except in the case of massage therapists who have been practicing reflexology for at least 5 years prior to July 1, 2013 (they will not need to provide evidence of reflexology schooling).
Anybody wishing to become a Certified Reflexologist and take advantage of grandfathering provisions can apply as early as July 1, 2013. Grandfathering is only open until July 1, 2014.
The next meeting will take place in about a month. Be sure to attend or email me if you want your perspective to be included in the process!
July 30, 2012: Stakeholders Meeting Regarding Reflexology Law will be held in Tumwater at 9 am
ALL stakeholders are welcome to attend (for example, reflexology practitioners and students, estheticians, nail technicians, licensed massage practitioners, reflexology clients, teachers, and school owners). We need your voice to be heard NOW, before all of the critical details and certification and grandfathering are written in stone.
After the meeting we will post updates.
March 29, 2012: Reflexology Certification Bill Signed into Law in Washington State
Washington State is now the 4th State in the union in which reflexologists will be required to be certified or licensed.
On March 29, 2012, Governor Christine Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6103, which amends and supplements the existing massage licensing statute by requiring the certification of reflexologists. Because massage practitioners must be licensed in Washington under existing law and reflexology falls within their scope of practice, the new certification provisions will not have an impact on currently licensed massage practitioners, estheticians, cosmetologists or medical practitioners.
The new law states that no person may advertise or represent him or herself as a reflexologist by the use of any title without first being certified as a reflexologist (unless an LMP). In order to obtain certification as a reflexologist the applicant must complete an approved course of study and pass an examination approved by the Washington Secretary of Health.
The statute includes a grandfathering provision which states that an applicant may be certified without examination if he or she has practiced reflexology for at least five years prior to the statute’s effective date (July 1, 2013) or has completed a course of study in an approved reflexology program and applies for certification within one year of the effective date. It further indicates that practitioners holding a reflexology certification in another state or U.S. territory may be certified to practice in ours as long as the credentialing standards are similar and approved by Washington state authority.
Additionally, the legislation adds a new section to the massage licensing law which states that the secretary of health has the authority to inspect the premises of any massage or reflexology business during business hours, and may apply to a court for a warrant if access to the premises is denied. The prior statute provided for inspections only by state and local law enforcement personnel.
The Washington state board of massage may adopt rules and regulations to implement the statute.
Stakeholders meetings will take place shortly to determine appropriate reflexology curriculum and hours requirements.
This Bill is a work in progress. Much will be done to refine the certification guidelines, process and exam by the effective date of July 1, 2013.
We will keep you posted with further details as soon as we have them.