Announcing COMTA Endorsed Curriculum

“COMTA Endorsed Curriculum” Status

To view as a pdf, click here: COMTA Announcement – COMTA Endorsed Curriculum – April 2015

The Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) is excited to announce development of a new recognition status available for massage therapy/bodywork schools and programs, beginning July 2015.

In the last few years, there have been many national conversations about the need for improved and consistent educational standards in the massage/bodywork field.  At the same time, there are many professionals who object to mandatory accreditation because of the burden for smaller schools.

As a solution, the Commission is developing a new status which recognizes quality curriculum and instruction without the additional financial and administrative burden of accreditation.  It is anticipated that this will honor those schools doing exceptional work, incorporating the COMTA Curriculum Competencies and ELAP Outcomes into their programs, and help move the profession forward in a more inclusive manner.

It is entitled “COMTA Endorsed Curriculum and will focus on verifying only the curriculum and instructors, not the full operations of the school as is done in accreditation.  This will not fulfill the pre-requisite for Title IV funding or licensure laws which require accreditation, but it will serve as an independent approval that the curriculum meets national standards. It can also be a path to accreditation, as it will become the first step in the accreditation process—all COMTA accredited schools and programs will receive this added designation as well.

COMTA Staff is in the process of developing the application materials and eligibility requirements.  Schools and programs  interested in pursuing this new honor are encouraged to send an email to, so you can be the first to be contacted when the status is launched in July 2015.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Institution must be authorized/approved by applicable state agency.

  • Program must meet state licensing requirements and all COMTA Curriculum Competencies (which are being aligned with ELAP Outcomes).

Please look for more details and information to follow.  The Commission will be also be discussing more details of the status at the Educational Congress COMTA Open Forum on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN.  We invite you to join us!

With Gratitude…

The Commission and staff would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the following people and organizations for their generous support and invaluable input during the initial developments of this project:

Bob Benson, Les Sweeney, and Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP)

ABMP generously donated $25,000 to COMTA to explore the possibility of creating a new status. This funding allowed us to use staff time on the project without using the funds our accredited schools pay for accreditation services. The donation was also used to bring together an Advisory Group for one in-person meeting in January 2015 to discuss the idea of a new status. COMTA thanks ABMP for helping bring this idea into manifestation.

Advisory Group Members

Su Bibik, Institute for Massage Education

David Lauterstein, The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School & Clinic

Taffie Lewis, ABMP Director of Membership Outreach

Arlene Reardon, Therapeutic Massage & Training Center

Ed Bolden, COMTA Commissioner, Arbor College School of Massage

Dawn Hogue, COMTA Commission Chair, Cayce/Reilly School of Massage

Our Advisory Group met via conference call several times, plus one in-person meeting. These volunteers shared their thoughts about what would give the new status integrity while keeping it less burdensome than accreditation. They have helped us tremendously in shaping a status which keeps the best interests of the students and the profession central.

Thank You to the Professional Community

Finally, COMTA thanks those individuals who provided valuable feedback during Focus Group webinars, individual phone calls and informal meetings. We listened carefully to your input. While not everyone agrees on the details, we certainly found agreement on many aspects and look forward to launching a status which reflects those areas of agreement. As with our other services, this new status will continue to be evaluated for efficacy and relevance to the profession. Thank you for helping us!

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