Beginning a Massage School in Georgia

Beginning a Massage School in Georgia, the requirements for massage therapy practice and education are overseen by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy.  To start a massage therapy schools in Georgia, you must apply for recognition from the Board.

Requirements for recognition include a minimum of 500 hours of supervised instruction, with hours distributed as required by Georgia law.

In addition, there are requirements for faculty qualifications and student performance.

Your school must also have an NCBMTB School Provider Code and a Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission Authorization (NPEC) number.

National Certification Board for Massage Therapy and Bodywork (NCBMTB)

The NCBMTB will provide a school code to massage therapy schools that meet its minimum requirements for massage schools.

This includes a 500-hour or more curriculum with at least 125 hours of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology; 200 hours of in-class, supervised instruction in assessment, theory, and application; 40 hours of pathology; 10 hours of business and also, ethics (at least 6 must be in ethics; and 125 hours in related subjects that will complete your massage therapy education.

Assuming you are a new school and have not become accredited, you will require providing information in addition to the application.

This includes proof of your business license, proof of school ownership, a list of your instructors with their resumes and qualifications, a copy of the credentials for the licensed massage therapists working at your school, your school’s attendance policy, your school’s course description and catalog, your syllabus outline for each course, a copy a sample transcript, and a breakdown of your instruction hours.

NCBMTB school codes are needed for your graduates to be able to obtain certification from NCBMTB.

There is no cost to the school for obtaining a code.

You will have to renew your school’s code every 2-5 years.

Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (NPEC)

Your first step in obtaining authorization to operate from the NPEC is to complete and submit an Institutional Proposal for GNPEC Authorization to the Deputy Director.

In this proposal, you will need to provide basic information on the name and location of your school, the mission of the school and key personnel and representatives.

In addition, you will need to provide a list of all programs you are proposing to have, including the name, level (diploma, degree etc) and objective.

Finally, you will have to submit a needs assessment using Georgia Department of Labor statistics to show that there is a need for your type of program within the state.

At this point, you also ask to review the procedures, standards, fees and bonding requirements for authorization.

The Deputy Director had 10 days after receipt of your proposal to either request additional information or invite you for an initial interview.

The initial interview will give you additional information about the authorization process and representatives of your school that will involve in the process should attend in order to obtain any clarification of the process.

If you are approved to apply after your interview, you will give credentials to log on to the application portal.

Application – Beginning a Massage School in Georgia

Your application is to do electronically.

The information you will require to provide:

  • Basic institutional profile information;
  • Minimum Standards Self-Evaluation Form;
  • Entrance requirements description;
  • Entrance information provided to students;
  • Enrollment Agreement/Student Contract;
  • Educational goals;
  • Sample diploma;
  • Statement of business practices and advertising policies;
  • Description of facilities and equipment;
  • Description of placement services;
  • Current catalogue or similar publication;
  • Copy of Occupancy Permit;
  • Complaint Procedure;
  • Refund Policy;
  • Description of Learning Resource System;
  • Organizational Chart;
  • New Agent Permit Application(s);
  • Personnel Data Inventory Forms;
  • Director’s Agreement;
  • Records Agreement;
  • New program application for each program;
  • Financial Statement;
  • Preliminary Bond Approval Letter;

MIST – Beginning a Massage School in Georgia

For a non-degree granting school, the application evaluation fee is $1,000; the annual authorization fee is two-tenths of one percent of your estimated gross tuition for the year.

The fee cannot be less than $500 or more than $25,000.

For the first five years of operation, your school will also have to pay a tuition guaranty trust fund fee of one-tenth of one percent of your estimated gross tuition for the year.

The minimum fee is $100, and there is no maximum.

This fee is assessed to form a financial safety net for students in case of your school closing.

The final fee you may have to pay is a fee for a third party to review the quality of your school’s offerings.

Because this fee is $600 plus $600 per day per committee member doing the review.

Initially, you must pay the application evaluation fee, after which you will be assigned a Standards Administrator (SA) to work with your school through the rest of the process.

The SA will review your application and also, let you know if anything needs to be changed; forward your financial statement to an external auditor to conduct a financial viability assessment, and determine if a third party evaluation team is needed to review your curriculum.

Committee Evaluation Fee – Beginning a Massage School in Georgia

If the SA determines a committee needs to review your curriculum, you will be informed and also, will have to pay the Committee Evaluation Fee before a site visit is scheduled or any review is done.

Site visits can include inspections, data collection; reviews and audits.

So if the site inspection is unfavourable, you will give 6 months to respond and make improvements.

After a re-inspection, if you still not give a favourable report, you will have 1 month to remedy the problems if they are minor.

And also, if the problems are major, you will have to wait a full year and also, start the application process over from the beginning.

Once you have received a favourable review, you will have to provide a surety bond and also, pay the remainder of the fees listed above.

The NPEC will then issue an authorization certificate that is good for one year.

You will have to apply for re-authorization no less than 60 days before the certificate expires.

Georgia Board of Massage Therapy Application

The Georgia board requires that your school have a 500-hour or more curriculum that divide up as follows:

  • 125 hours anatomy, physiology and kinesiology;
  • 40 hours pathology;
  • 200 hours massage theory, technique and practice;
  • 125 hours contraindications, benefits, universal precautions, body mechanics, message history, client data collection, documentation and legalities of massage, professional standards, therapeutic relationships, and communications;
  • 10 hours business and ethics.

Fifty to 60 hours of a 500 hour program should supervise student clinical practice.

For a program of more than 500 hours, at least 440 hours must in-class supervise instruction.

The Georgia Board requires that faculty have 2 years or 2000 hours of practice in their field.

Instructors should hold a Georgia Massage Therapy license unless they are teaching science-based courses.

In that case, your instructors should hold appropriate degrees and/or have 2 years or 2000 hours of experience in their field.

Hands-on massage therapy classes are limited to 20 students per instructor, with no more than 10 student therapists and also, 10 student clients.

In addition, if you want your program to recognize by the Georgia Board, you must

  • require students to have a minimum grade of 70% and a minimum attendance rate of 70% in order to pass a course;
  • have a written program, philosophy and objectives and maintain written outlines or syllabuses for all courses;
  • provide a student handbook;
  • maintain student records that summarize the credentials for admission, attendance, grades and other measures of performance;
  • have an NCBMTB provider code;
  • have an NPEC authorization number.

The Georgia Board recognition application must approve at a board meeting, so you should send in your application at least 25 days before the meeting at which you want to review.

You do not have to pay an application fee to the board.

Summary – Beginning a Massage School in Georgia

If you want to open a new massage therapy school in Georgia and beginning a Massage School in Georgia.

So you have three hurdles to go over  NCBMTB approval, Georgia NPEC authorization and Georgia Board of Massage Therapy recognition.

The NPEC authorization process can take from a few months to over a year and also, will cost you at least $1,600 and also, could cost significantly more if a third-party evaluation of your curriculum is required.

Recognition of your program from the Georgia Board must take place at a board meeting.

According to the Georgia Rules, the board must meet at least once per year but may meet more often.

Your application must submit to the board at least 25 days before it meets.

Therefore, board approval could take a significant amount of time depending on the timing of their meetings.


Georgia Board of Massage Therapy Requirements

NCBTMB School Information

Beginning a Massage School in Georgia

Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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