I encourage all to read Les Sweeney’s Blog found at- abmp.com He is speaking to the Entry-Level Analysis Project (ELAP), which is collecting data to determine how many clock hours an educational program for massage should be. This issue and the apparently selected 500 clock hours determined years ago has been a source of wonderment for many years. The 500 clock hour requirement has been written into many state licenses for massage. I am always concerned when something comes out of the blue as it appeared that the ELAP project did. I have investigated and followed multiple discussions on the topic and have formed my own opinions. First, transparency and making sure the project does not have the appearance of bias or self-serving to any one organization or special interest. Because of past action the massage community is suspicious. It is necessary for anything that would influence the entire profession be as transparent as possible. I am especially concerned that the clock hour requirement for massage education will be influenced by current mandates for eligibility for federal financial aid
Financial aid eligibility SHOULD NOT BE A CONSIDERATION WHEN DETERMININE NEEDED CLOCK HOURS FOR ENTRY LEVEL MASSAGE EDUCATION. PERIOD!
There is/was also concern that similar work would not be taken into consideration, ie the MTBOK, Line by line analysis of the MTBOK by the Alliance for Massage Education, COMTA competencies, NCTMB job task analysis for example. It is important to realize that this is not an either / or situation but validity will only occur when all are considered and all is in the open. There are research methods that can be used to integrate all of the data collect from multiple sources and identify relevance and remove bias. I see the ELAP as another data collection process and in that regard I am supportive.
However, it cannot stand alone and the profession will really only benefit with everything -MTBOK, Line by Line analysis of MTBOK by the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, Competencies, JTA’s etc, along with data from the ELAP are combined together into an Integrated, profession wide statement on entry level competencies, recommended core curriculum recommended clock hour requirement and then translated into model legislation.
So the problem is not the ELAP, or MTBOK or any of the other data so long as it is valid data. The problem is us–I am so tired of the competition when what we need is unification. There is room for everyone at the table and the Leadership Summits are a start. Now all organization need to come together and present a unified statement so the massage profession can move forward. Let’s not forget the importance of the Massage Research Foundation. Without evidence to support massage benefit none of the rest makes much difference.
The current Job Task Analysis being conducted by the Federation of State Massage Boards has added content intended to collect data for the ELAP. Everyone need to complete the survey and remember that the focus is Entry Level education.