Understanding the NYS Continuing Education Law

Understanding the NYS Continuing Education Law

Have questions about continuing education in NYS? Read this summary of the NYS Continuing Education Law to find out more.


Summary of NYS Continuing Education Law

  • Requires 36 hours of continuing education every 3 years beginning with your first re-registration. (Same as NY registration period.)  2012 graduate’s first registration period begins in 2015.   So between 2015 and 2018 you must obtain a total of 36 CE hours, and 36 hours every 3 years thereafter.  For those whose registration comes up before then,  see table at the bottom for how many credits you need.
  • Subject matter must be that which “contribute to your professional and clinical skills.”
  • Hands-on within scope of practice,
  • A&P, myo, pathology etc – “the sciences” you took in massage school
  • Philosophy and principles of massage therapy
  • Clinical interventions / evidence based models /“how to” research and case studies)
  • Professional rules, regulations, standards of good practice, law and/or ethics, health, safety and public welfare.
  • First Aid, CPR, intake, evaluation, assessment, treatment planning, record-keeping, chemistry and safety of products
  • Subjects not approved CEs are those that are not within licensed scope of practice:
  • Reiki, Alexander,  Feldenkrais
  • “appearance enhancement” (wraps, scrubs, “facelift massage” etc)
  • Classes for the sole purpose of maximizing profits
  • If you cannot take your CE’s before you need to register, you cannot practice until you “catch up.”  OPD may issue a conditional registration good for one year for “catch up time.”
  • CE’s  may also be given for:
  • ** Preparing and teaching a course offered by an approved provider or an approved massage school
  • ** Presenting at a professional conference sponsored by an approved provider
  • **Achieving a specialty certification from an “entity acceptable to NYS OPD.”
  • ** Authoring a per-reviewed journal article or published book
  • Passing the (free) exam on the OPD website about massage laws, rules and regs.  (3 hours CE’s)
  • Renewing First Aid or CPR certificate (up to 3 hours CE’s)
  • Any class in “another jurisdiction” for formal education in massage therapy (up to 6 hours CE’s)
  • Online classes are ok as long as they are from an approved provider.  If not approved provider, then up to 6 hours as defined above


** see:  http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mt/mtceapplicantinfo.htm#cer for number of CE hours to be credited.

Record Keeping:

  • Continuing education records – 6 years
  • Client records – 6 years   Minors at least 6 years and must be 1 year after the minor turns 21
  • Advertising copy – 1 year

Helpful Links:

NYSED Continuing Education Questions & Answers for Licensed Massage Therapists

Continuing Education Department Approved Providers

NCBTMB Approved Providers