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AB-1537 The California Massage Therapy Council.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 09/17/2021 09:00 PM

Assembly Bill No. 1537

An act to amend Sections 4604 and 4621 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to massage therapy.

[ Approved by Governor  September 16, 2021. Filed with Secretary of State  September 16, 2021. ]


AB 1537, Low. The California Massage Therapy Council.
Existing law, the Massage Therapy Act, until January 1, 2022, establishes the California Massage Therapy Council, and tasks it with, among other things, issuing certificates to practice as a massage therapist and approving massage therapy schools. Existing law authorizes the board of directors, which governs the council, to establish fees for initial certification, and renewal of certification, in an amount sufficient to support the functions of the council.
This bill would extend the operation of the Massage Therapy Act to January 1, 2023, and make conforming changes relating to massage therapist certification requirements. The bill would state that it is the intent of the Legislature, in extending the operation of the act, that there be subsequent consideration of legislation to create a new state board and a new category of licensed professional, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 4604 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

 (a) In order to obtain certification as a massage therapist, an applicant shall submit a written application and provide the council with satisfactory evidence that the applicant meets all of the following requirements:
(1) The applicant is 18 years of age or older.
(2) The applicant has successfully completed the curricula in massage and related subjects totaling a minimum of 500 hours, or the credit unit equivalent, that incorporates appropriate school assessment of student knowledge and skills.
(A) Of the 500 hours, a minimum of 100 hours of instruction shall address anatomy and physiology, contraindications, health and hygiene, and business and ethics.
(B) All of the 500 hours shall be from approved schools. The council shall accept the 500 hours if, at the time all of the hours were completed, the school or schools were approved. The 500 hours may be completed at more than one approved school. Notwithstanding any other law, pursuant to its policies and procedures for approval of schools, the council shall accept hours earned by an applicant for certification as a massage therapist if those hours were completed before July 1, 2016, and were earned from a school providing education in this state that was unapproved by the council after July 1, 2016, based solely on the fact that the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork took denial or disciplinary action against the school. For purposes of this section, “unapproved” means that the council determined that it will not accept hours from a school toward certification.
(3) The applicant has passed a massage and bodywork competency assessment examination that meets generally recognized psychometric principles and standards and that is approved by the council. The successful completion of this examination may have been accomplished before the date the council is authorized by this chapter to begin issuing certificates. This paragraph shall be inoperative commencing on January 1, 2019, and shall become operative on January 1, 2023.
(4) The applicant has successfully passed a background investigation pursuant to Section 4606, and has not violated any of the provisions of this chapter.
(5) All fees required by the council have been paid.
(6) The council may issue a certificate to an applicant who meets the qualifications of this chapter if the applicant holds a current and valid registration, certification, or license from any other state whose licensure requirements meet or exceed those defined within this chapter. If an applicant has received education at a school that is not approved by the council, the council shall have the discretion to give credit for comparable academic work completed by an applicant in a program outside of California.
(b) A certificate issued pursuant to this chapter and any identification card issued by the council shall be surrendered to the council by any certificate holder whose certificate is suspended or revoked.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4621 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

 (a) This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the powers and duties of the council shall be subject to review by the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature, in extending the operation of this chapter to January 1, 2023, that there be subsequent consideration of legislation to create a new state board and a new category of licensed professional in accordance with Section 9148.4 of the Government Code.