2015 HOD: Position Statement: Portability

Published: July 21, 2015

This is 5 of 5 in our 2015 House of Delegates Blog Series. Our Delegates and Alternate Delegate convened to review each of the 2 Position Statements and 3 Recommendations (Human Trafficking, Media Education, Online CE). We've provided a pros and cons section for each. Please read and offer your thoughts on this year's Recommendations and Position Statements by commenting at the end of each of the blogs. You can earn FREE MA Chapter education! Get to know more about the House of Delegates and this year's Recommendations and Position Statements by clicking here.

Position Statement

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that regulations, in statute and/or rules, should provide options for portability of credentials, which can be used to help meet the licensing, certification, or registration requirements of massage therapists across the United States.


Acceptance of credentials in and out of states and DC through changes in statutes and/or rules for massage therapy regulation would facilitate portability. Massage therapists would then be able to more easily move across state lines or practice in adjoining states/DC and continue to practice. This is especially important as massage therapy continues to be accepted and regulated in many states as health care. Stating this to the public through a Position Statement reflects the current position held in AMTA documents. Having this as an AMTA Position Statement could prove to be useful for Chapter Government Relations volunteers and staff in educating legislators and/or massage regulatory boards as it shows that massage therapists need and want portability.

Additionally, it does not affect existing massage therapy regulations but rather, expresses a vision held by AMTA. There are many options available for providing for portability including, but not limited to, portfolio review and acceptance of another jurisdiction’s regulatory requirements as

Relevant Changes

The Position Statement itself had the following re-write:

FROM (2014) “which meet the required licensing,...”

TO (2015) “which can be used to help meet the licensing ...“

This is the second time this Position Statement is being presented. Last year, it was not approved at the HOD 2014. The Portability Position Statement is a very complex Statement in itself. There seems to be some misinterpretation surrounding it, e.g., some look at this as National AMTA being able to mandate or suggest what State agencies put forth for licensure/certification requirements for massage therapists. This is not the case at all. The intention of this Position Statement is asking whether or not you are or are not in favor of Portability in the Massage Therapy profession. Voting in favor of Portability would not have impact on what states currently have in place for credentialing/certifying massage therapists. If a massage therapist wanted to become multi-licensed, or moved to a different state from which they were originally credentialed, the massage therapist would need to comply with that state’s licensing/certification requirements. The Portability Position Statement would give the new governing agency opportunity and option to review the therapist’s previous credentials, i.e., hours of program, years in practice, to help to determine what additional education or compliances the massage therapist would need to complete, if necessary, to be granted licensure/certification in the new state(s). Also, if National AMTA was in support of the Portability Position Statement, it would help to lend endorsement to governing state agencies as they try to determine how Portability could be implemented within their state.


1) Passing this position statement would send the message that the AMTA would like states to consider putting in a mechanism or procedure that would allow for portability. It doesn’t change anything (ie. it doesn’t allow LMTs to practice in multiple states, or allow greater mobility for massage therapists) it just shows that the AMTA supports portability.

2) Passing this Position Statement could stimulate efforts on the national level to work towards true portability (or reciprocity) through advocacy and lobbying efforts.


1) If this position statement doesn’t, in fact, change anything, because the AMTA does not have the power to make changes at the state level, is this position statement necessary & useful?

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