Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of accreditation?

Accreditation is a process that acknowledges schools and programs for achieving high quality, performance, and integrity. Specialized accreditation is crucial for a profession to ensure quality education – COMTA focuses on student learning and competence fundamental to our fields.

How is COMTA different from other accrediting agencies?

COMTA is the only specialized accreditor for massage/bodywork and esthetics – Specialized accreditation refers to organizations that establish standards related to a specific profession. COMTA is of, by and for massage therapists and estheticians.

Does my school have to be in operation for two years before we can apply for accreditation?

No – provided your school or program meets the eligibility requirements, you can apply any time. Eligibility requirements include: the institution or program must be licensed and/or approved by the appropriate state education and/or state licensing agency; the institution must offer instruction at the postsecondary level; the institution must offer a massage therapy or esthetics program that has at least 5 students enrolled and equals or exceeds the number of hours required for state licensure or, in the absence of a state licensure hour requirement, the program is at least 600 clock hours.

How long does the accreditation process take?

On average, the process from Initial Application to final Commission approval takes 12 months. Following the Initial Application submission and review, the school completes a Self-Study Report and hosts an On-Site Visit for a COMTA Peer Review team. After the site visit, there is time allotted for staff review and any follow up with the institution before moving to the final step of Commission approval.

How much does the process cost?

For an institution, the cost for initial accreditation equals $9000 and for programs, $7500. The Initial Application cost is $3000 and cost for the Self-Study/On-Site Visit is $6000 for institutions and $4500 for programs. Currently, the AMTA is providing financial support to cover 50% of these initial costs.

How long does the status last?

The accreditation grant is for 7 years

Is my school required to do anything to maintain the status?

Ongoing compliance and maintaining your accreditation status requires submission of an Annual report due February 1 each year, and for institutions, submission of a Financial report due July 1 each year (or 6 months after your fiscal year end). Additionally, payment of an annual sustaining fee is required – see Fee Schedule by following this link:

Can my school offer Title IV – Federal Financial Aid – if we are accredited?

Yes, accreditation by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education, like COMTA, is required for an institution to participate in Title IV funding and enable students to receive federal financial aid.

How do we start the application process?

All reports and applications are completed in our online accreditation management system, EDvera – follow this link:
Follow the instructions to Sign Up and submit an Initial Inquiry – COMTA staff will reach out and schedule a follow up call or virtual meeting to review the process with you in detail and answer all of your specific questions.

Will COMTA staff be available to assist me through the process?

Yes! The COMTA team is happy to help you get started and work with you to manage the project all throughout the process. We are also here to be your partner once you become a COMTA member – we want to be a support and resource in any way we can! Please email us:

Does COMTA offer any employee training or certification programs?

Yes we do! COMTA offers an Online Training Center for faculty, staff, and management. We have over 200 training courses in various functional areas. You will receive a Badge & Certificate of Completion, along with 4 hours of Continuing Education.