COMTA Endorsed Curriculum

COMTA Endorsed Curriculum

Your program is high quality.
Prove it to the world.

With COMTA-endorsed Curriculum status, you’ll gain recognition without full accreditation. This status can be an alternative to accreditation to honor programs who meet COMTA’s requirements, but may not be able to meet full accreditation standards or costs. It can also serve as a transition step for those interested in, but not yet ready for, accreditation. It focuses exclusively on the curriculum and instruction rather than complete school operations.

What’s the COMTA-Endorsement process?

Earning endorsement is an honor of hard work and dedication, and the COMTA staff is here to support your efforts in continual improvement for your school and students.

  1. Complete the COMTA Competency Chart aligning your curriculum to the competencies
  2. Complete an online application (Part I)
  3. Once accepted, complete a brief Endorsed Curriculum Addendum (Part II)
  4. Participate in phone verification interview with evaluator to review application & curriculum
  5. Address any issues found
  6. Receive COMTA’s approval on your application

A few things to note:
You must be approved to legally operate in your state, offering a program that meets licensing requirements, and have at least five students enrolled to be eligible to apply.

The application process takes only a few months and is valid for 4 years. During this time, if you decide to move forward with full accreditation, your application and application fee transfer in full.

Please see the following documents for detailed information on the requirements and policies/procedures for the Endorsed-Curriculum status.

COMTA Endorsed Curriculum Requirements – Revised 2017_04

Align your curriculum to the national COMTA Curriculum Competencies

COMTA-Endorsed Curriculum Policies & Procedures- Eff 07_2017

Click here to contact the COMTA office for more information

Areas reviewed by COMTA for each designation Endorsed Curriculum Programmatic Institutional
Qualified faculty      
 Curriculum meets national competencies      
Supervised public clinic    
Transcript integrity      
Facilities & equipment      
Admissions practices      
Completion and placement benchmarks      
Financial stability      


Questions we're asked most often

Why introduce an Endorsed Curriculum in addition to accreditation?

In the last few years, there have been many national conversations about the need for improved and consistent educational standards in the massage and 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 has developed 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.

COMTA Endorsed Curriculum focuses on verifying only the school or program’s curriculum and instructors, not the full operations of the school as is done in accreditation.

Is it the same as accreditation?

No. The COMTA Endorsed Curriculum recognition status does not qualify as accreditation. It’s a reflection of curriculum and instruction only, and does not involve the same level of verification rigor as accreditation. Nor does it require the same level of expense or paperwork. For those institutions seeking accreditation as a pre-requisite to Title IV funding participation, you must apply for accreditation. Where graduation from an “accredited institution or program” is required for licensure, this status would not currently qualify.

What are the benefits?

Many school owners and program directors have worked hard over the years to create a quality curriculum and instructional environment, and many have even used COMTA curriculum competencies as a model. However, they may not have the financial or staff resources to make accreditation a reality. This status was designed to serve this population in recognizing those schools/programs providing curriculum and instruction which meets the Commission’s expectations.

You can use this recognition status as a point of pride in promoting your program to prospective students. You can promote it to your state licensing boards who may want to ensure certain curriculum and instructional standards in practitioners’ schooling, but who may not have the resources to vet each school themselves.

You will also be joining a network of dedicated professionals around the country. The Commission encourages networking and mentoring among our members to collaborate in promoting the massage and bodywork profession in our

Am I eligible?

Any state-approved, post-secondary massage/bodywork institution or program which meets state professional licensing requirements (or a minimum of 500 hours in lieu of licensing) and the COMTA Curriculum Competencies is eligible to apply.

How long is the recognition?

Four years for both initial and renewal.

How much does it cost?

After the pilot phase, the Commission adjusted the pricing to meet current needs. The current pricing is in effective April 2017.

$1,000 application fee (may be paid in two installments)
$395 annual sustaining fee

What if I’m already accredited?

All currently accredited members of COMTA will automatically receive the COMTA Endorsed Curriculum designation to publish and promote. When future accreditations are granted, the additional mark of the COMTA Endorsed Curriculum will also be included.

What if I want to become accredited later?

The Commission has designed the Endorsed Curriculum to streamline nicely into accreditation should an institution or program choose to continue. The application fee will be credited directly to the accreditation application fee. Contact COMTA staff for additional questions.

What are the application requirements?

Please see the COMTA-Endorsed Curriculum Requirements document for a complete list of requirements and expectations.
This information will be verified by collecting three pieces of application in two parts:

Part 1
Initial Application, which includes:
a. Ownership information
b. State approval, other accreditation status
c. Catalog

Program Application, which includes:
a. COMTA Competency Chart (aligned with school’s program) b. List of courses/hours of program
c. Syllabi for each course in program
d. Sample assessment pieces

Part 2
Endorsed Curriculum Addendum, which includes:
a. Instructor Qualifications for each current instructor
b. State massage licensing information
c. Sample Transcript
d. Attestations for Endorsed Curriculum Requirements

How long does the application process take?

The process is designed to be more streamlined and shorter than accreditation. Depending on how prepared the school and how aligned the program already is with the COMTA requirements, the process can take 1 – 3 months from application to approval.

Is there a site visit?

No. As of April 2017, instead of an in-person site visit, the school undergoes a phone verification interview with a COMTA evaluator to confirm the documentation submitted. The school will have an opportunity to make revisions/adjustments to its application if necessary.

What are the ongoing requirements to maintain the recognition?

Submit the annual $395 fee and a brief annual report to include a current catalog, MBLEX pass rates and any changes made to the curricular program. Agree to adhere to all expectations as stated in the COMTA- Endorsed Curriculum Requirements.

How does the ELAP fit?

The Commission has reviewed and endorsed the Coalition’s Entry-Level Analysis Project (ELAP) requirements which came out in 2013. These were compared with the current COMTA Competencies for alignment and were determined to be well-reflected.

Therefore, the Commission will maintain its process for verifying a school curriculum to the COMTA Competencies at this time. For those schools who have worked hard to integrate the ELAP requirements into your curriculum, you can see the ELAP alignment to the COMTA Competencies in this document. The Commission feels confident that the COMTA-Endorsed Curriculum process reflects the spirit of the ELAP requirements, thereby fulfilling the FSMTB’s Model Practice Act recommendation:
“…it is recommended that all educational institutions adopt a curriculum that reflects the ELAP recommendations and that is acceptable to an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education.”

How do I apply?

Contact the COMTA staff at or 202-888-6790 and ask to be added to the COMTA online submission system to submit an application.

You can also go directly to and click “Request an Account.” Be sure to include the full name, address, phone number, web address of the institution, as well as the first/last name, position title and email address of all users to the account.