Accreditation is a peer review process that acknowledges schools and programs for achieving and maintaining high quality, performance and integrity based on educational and professional standards. Because the evaluation is completed by an outside party, accreditation is an unbiased demonstration of the quality of your programs and institution.
Specialized accreditation is crucial for a profession to ensure quality education. As the only specialized accreditor for massage/bodywork and esthetics, COMTA focuses on student learning and competencies in our field, including in-depth curriculum review by your own peers. COMTA is the only accrediting agency of, by, and for massage therapists and estheticians.
Institutional Accreditation evaluates the entire operations, while Programmatic Accreditation focuses on the educational quality of the program itself. As a specialized agency, COMTA is unique in that it offers both types of accreditation (depending on institution type). Institutions selecting COMTA have the advantage of an institutional accrediting agency which also provides the programmatic review to confirm the program’s curriculum and instructors meet the needs of the profession.
Benefits of Accreditation
Institutional Eligibility Requirements
Programmatic Eligibility Requirements
- Helps educators increase the quality and performance of massage/bodywork and esthetics programs.
- Offers external measure of credibility, which assists in attracting quality students, faculty and staff.
- Increases program quality as faculty, staff and students participate in the self-study process and clarify the important role each plays.
- Produces a sense of pride knowing that an impartial assessment attests to the quality of the school/program.
- Provides universal recognition of program quality, often by professional organizations, which may increase recruitment potential.
- Increases license recognition and portability by ensuring programs meet national competencies/standards.
- Enhances the reputation of the program/school in its local community.
- Provides valuable feedback from many stakeholders, including employers and graduates, to help improve the quality of the school/program.
For a massage or aesthetics school to apply for COMTA accreditation, there must be a minimum of five (5) students enrolled in each program being considered for accreditation. In addition:
- All programs offered must be massage therapy/bodywork or aesthetics/skin care programs.
- The institution must be legally organized and licensed by the appropriate state education and/or state licensing agency.
- The institution must offer instruction on the post-secondary level.
- The institution must offer at least one massage therapy or aesthetics program that requires completion of at least 600 clock hours.
For an educational institution with a massage or aesthetics program to apply for COMTA accreditation, there must be at least five (5) students enrolled in each program applying for accreditation. In addition:
- The program must be located in an institution that already has institutional accreditation from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- The program must be clearly identified as a professional massage therapy or aesthetics educational program. Other professional education programs that include massage or skin care courses are not eligible.
- A specific entity or department must be responsible for the program. Identifiable faculty and staff must be assigned to and responsible for the program.
- The program must provide an organized plan of study of at least 600 clock hours.
- The institution must offer a certificate, diploma or degree in massage therapy or aesthetics to a body of students enrolled for the purpose of receiving such a credential.
- The parent institution must demonstrate its financial commitment to the massage therapy and bodywork program or aesthetics/esthetics/skin care program by allocating enough financial support to enable all enrolled students to complete the program.