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Massage Today
December, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 12

CAMTC Begins Sunset Review Process

By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor

The California Massage Therapy Council, which was created by the legislature in 2008 to establish state certification for trained massage therapists, is beginning preparations for the council's sunset review process.

Unless renewed by the legislature, the CAMTC is due to sunset at the end of 2014.

According to CEO Ahmos Netanel, the CAMTC will receive its customized sunset questionnaire from the legislature in March of 2013, and has until December to submit its answers. As a part of this process, the CAMTC board spent considerable time at its September and October meetings to address the sunset review process and whether or not the structure, fees or current voluntary certification process should be altered or if things should remain as they are. "On October 12, 2012 the Board voted to recommend keeping CAMTC certification voluntary, however the Board may reconsider it in the future," said Netanel. "Keeping certification voluntary helps keep cost down and fees reasonable."

One potential change the Board did discuss was the possibility that the CAMTC would be moved from an independent entity to falling under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Netanel said, "the Board has reviewed this option and has taken a position against it. The lean and efficient way by which CAMTC has been operating already made it the new model for professional regulation, making such a scenario highly unlikely."

sunglasses - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Another issue the CAMTC has faced since it's inception has been creating positive relationships with cities and counties and their local law enforcement agencies. Prior to the CAMTC's creation, there was no statewide standard for massage certification, rather it was up to local jurisdictions to decide what ordinances and regulations were established and enforced. This created situations where massage therapists were required to obtain certification on a city-by-city or county-by-county basis, depending on where they were in the state. In creating the CAMTC, the bill specifically prohibits a city or county from enacting an ordinance that would regulate the practice of massage therapy by a certificate holder. However, according to the bill, cities and counties did retain the right to enforce local ordinances regarding zoning, business licensing and health and safety requirements for massage businesses.

According to Netanel those relationships have improved since the Council's early days. "CAMTC has worked hard to educate cities, counties and their law enforcement agencies about the legitimate massage therapy profession and I'm happy to say that we now have relationships that are respectful and cooperative," said Netanel. "Since CAMTC's inception, we had more than 40 meetings with individual cities, presented in more than 10 city council meetings and conducted more than 10 workshops for local government officials. In addition, CAMTC published an article in the League of California Cities monthly magazine, as well as worked with the League representatives. We also worked with the California State Association of Counties and presented at the California Police Chiefs Association. Three of our senior staff members work daily with local government officials on matters of public protection, compliance with the state massage law and development of local regulations that may affect certified professionals."

As of mid-October, the CAMTC has certified 35,309 massage professionals, with 1,251 applications pending. "We believe that sunset review is a healthy and important part of the organization's growth. Everyone at CAMTC is excited and optimistic about the future of CAMTC and the massage profession."

 

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