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Massage Today
February, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 02

National Certification Board Tweaks Strategic Plan

By Editorial Staff

Duck Key, FL -- As this issue of Massage Today goes to press, the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has just met to review progress on implementation of its Strategic Plan.

This was the first major review of NCBTMB's current strategic plan since it was initially implemented in 1999.

This review has resulted in some significant changes. Even though the goals of NCBTMB remain the same, several of the conditions relative to each goal have changed in the past few years. These changes should shift the prioritization of NCBTMB's strategies so as to enhance the competency levels of massage therapists and bodyworkers; provide legally defensible programs for utilization of jurisdictions choosing to regulate the profession; and make choosing therapists an easier task for employers and consumers. These strategies will lead to action plans and outcomes that will be achieved over the next 12 to 18 months.

Neal Cross, PhD, chairman of the NCBTMB, noted that this review process was designed to assure that the organization remains responsive to the needs and expectations of its stakeholders in an ever-changing environment.

Dr. Cross affirmed that all segments of the strategic plan were developed after a reconfirmation of the organization's core purpose and core values:

Core Purpose of NCBTMB:

To foster high standards for therapeutic massage and bodywork professionals and public acceptance of the value of these standards and the professionals who uphold them.

And ...

Core Values of NCBTMB:

  1. Credentialing programs that serve the public trust;
  2. Belief in the importance of integrity and ethical behavior;
  3. Commitment to professional excellence;
  4. Therapeutic massage and bodywork enhances health and wellness; and
  5. Commitment to active participation in the evolution of the profession.

Dr. Cross stated that all of NCBTMB's priorites remain linked to its core values. The top priority remains educating various groups about the value of national certification.

"While we have made great strides in the last couple of years, we want to double our effort in educating legislators, employers and consumers about the value of national certification," said Dr. Cross. "We have recently spent considerable effort and resources to initiate communication with the spa industry. We intend to continue and increase these efforts. We are putting more resources forward to help educate state boards and other legislative groups about the value of national certification and recertification. We hope our certificants are beginning to notice the efforts of NCBTMB in dramatically reaching out to consumers."

Dr. Cross indicated that the NCBTMB has been the focus of more and more media events, ranging from regional television coverage to articles in major and diverse national publications. He hopes that certificants will follow these developments as they take place.

Dr. Cross also stated that, in addition to a mid-cycle rework of the Strategic Plan, efforts were being made to increase organizational effectiveness. He noted that NCBTMB's new website ( is more user-friendly. For example, consumers can now search for information on individual certificants using a number of different criteria. Organizational infrastructure is also being streamlined to assist in processing certificant and examinee requests more efficiently.


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