Reflexology Law


Overview

As of July 1, 2013, anybody wishing to practice reflexology professionally in Washington State must go through the process of certification by the Washington State Department of Health. The only exception is for massage practitioners licensed in Washington State.

Individuals practicing reflexology within other professions including estheticians, cosmetologists, nail techs, reiki and other energy work providers, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and any other professional health care providers will NOT be able to advertise or practice reflexology in their professions legally unless they go through the application process with Department of Health and either become certified as reflexologists or licensed as massage practitioners.

Reflexology education must be completed at a reflexology school which is approved by Department of Health and is being overseen by Workforce Training Board. Seattle Reflexology & Massage Center is approved by both of these agencies.

  • SRMC was the first reflexology school to be approved by Washington State Department of Health and by the Workforce Training Board.

Certified Reflexologists may work on the microcosms on the outer ears, hands and feet, and on the lower 1/3 of the arms and legs.

Click HERE to read the laws pertaining to reflexology in Washington.

 

Summary of the Reflexology Credentialing Process in Washington State

To be certified as a reflexologist the applicant must:

  • Complete the initial reflexology education and receive a Diploma from a school approved by Department of Health;
  • Submit a completed application to Department of Health;
  • Pay applicable fees to Department of Health;
  • Be eighteen years of age or older; and
  • Provide evidence of:
    a. completion of a reflexology education program approved by Department of Health;
    b. completion of an examination approved by Department of Health (the ARCB exam is approved and requires separate application be made directly to ARCB);
    c. completion of a jurisprudence examination (an open book test about the law regarding reflexology);
    d. four hours of in-person or online AIDS education and training;
    e. any additional documents or information requested by Department of Health.

Here is a chart of the reflexology license requirements from the Department of Health.

 

Further Information Regarding the Credentialing Process

After completing your education with SRMC, fill out the School Completion Form from your student binder and send it to SRMC. Once we have evaluated your educational records to determine that you have met all requirements and have no outstanding balance we will send your Diploma to you.

  • Keep track of your educational progress after receiving your initial Diploma from us. When you have met the requirements of the Advanced Diploma there is a process in place for you to upgrade to the higher level Diploma. This will allow you to be a member of Reflexology Association of America (and attend their national conferences every other year) and will illustrate to clients your continued dedication to your professional education and skills.

Next, register with ARCB to take the test. You can take the test in Washington or anywhere else they offer it. You must take the test within 12 months of registering. It is a good idea to take the test as soon as possible after completing your education so that your knowledge base is fresh. We suggest you register early in order to receive their study guide as soon as possible. Begin studying right away, as there is supplemental information in the guide.

  • You may take the ARCB exam up to two additional times if you fail it the first time. After that, your certification application to Washington State will be invalidated and remedial education may be required before future examinations can be taken. A passing score on the written exam is 75{9b7c454af58e9d6e19fd3f94d90ae26102bd8501b477feae0d2a9d8ab4b9b70c}.
  • You may choose either Washington state certification or national certification when testing with ARCB. Washington state law requires that reflexologists take the written ARCB test. National certification involves the written test as well as a practical test and submission of 90 documented practice hours within 6 months of your test date (these must be different from your SRMC documentation requirement). National Certification is recognized as our highest national standard and will earn you referrals and other benefits from ARCB.
  • Within 12 months of taking the written test and earning state certification you may elect to “upgrade” your certification to the national level. To do this you must pay the difference of cost between state and national certification ($45 in 2015), perform the practical exam and submit the required documentations. If you choose to earn national certification after 12 months it will cost more ($150 in 2015).
  • Our ARCB Review Session is offered help you prepare for the written test and the tutorials required in our program are designed to help prepare you for the practical exam. Students have reported that our A&P Review has also been a very helpful study tool.

Now begin the application process with Washington State. Be sure you have completed each of the steps listed above in the Summary of Reflexology Credentialing Process in Washington State.

  • Included with the application is a form called the Reflexology Program School Completion Form. Graduates of SRMC need to fill in everything on that form in BLUE INK except the bottom two lines and send the completed form by mail to SRMC. SRMC will complete the bottom portion and send it to Department of Health.

ARCB will notify you regarding your test results 4-6 weeks after your test date. You will need to submit these results to the Department of Health as part of your application process.

Once Department of Health has evaluated and approved your application and test results they will issue you a certification number (expect it in around four weeks after they have received your completed application and test results) and you may practice reflexology legally.

  • The designatory letters that come after your name indicating that you are certified by Washington State Department of Health are “RF” (not “CR”).
  • LMPs may not use these letters unless they have a separate certification in reflexology.

 

Current ARCB National Certificants

Reflexologists who are currently ARCB certified do not need to retake the test in order to become certified by Washington State Department of Health. Applicants will simply need to contact ARCB and request that the test results be sent to Washington State Department of Health.

Even if you have ARCB certification your initial education will need to have been from a Washington State approved reflexology school for it to be valid with Washington State Department of Health. If it wasn’t, you may apply to SRMC or another approved school to become a transfer student.

 

Educational Requirements

The educational component of the state requirements is a minimum of 200 hours of reflexology training from a school approved by Washington State Department of Health. These hours must consist of the following:

• 30 hours of reflexology theory, history, zones, reflex points, relaxation response and contraindications;
• 40 hours of study of body systems as related to reflexology; the study of the leg, feet, hands and outer ears as structures; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas, a map of reflexes as they are anatomically reflected on the feet, hands and outer ears; and how the reflexes are affected by stimulation to the feet, hands and outer ears through hands-on experience;
• 30 hours of anatomy and physiology;
• 5 hours of business practice involving ethics, business standards and local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of reflexology;
• 25 hours or more of supervised practicum or clinical work;
• 70 hours of additional homework that can include giving and documenting client sessions as well as other written work.

If you are coming to Washington from another state or country you may submit a transfer application directly to the Department of Health. Check the status of your school in this list of approved schools.

If you earned your education from a school not approved by Washington State Department of Health, an approved school such as SRMC may evaluate your educational background as a transferring student.

 

Educational Requirements for LMPs and others with applicable prior learning

Those with prior learning such as Licensed Massage Practitioners, estheticians, cosmetologists and registered nurses may consult SRMC (or another reflexology school) to see if redundant education might be waived. The answer, as well as any associated requirements (i.e. fees or testing of students’ level of retained learning from their prior classes), will be entirely up to the individual reflexology school.

SRMC offers four Diploma levels designed to address different levels of prior education, and requires proof of current and valid licensing for Level II students.

 

Certification fees

Initial and annual renewal fees for the state are commensurate with those of massage licensing. Licensed Massage Practitioners who are also Certified Reflexologists must pay both fees. Among other fees listed, the basic fees in 2015 are $50 for initial credential and $40 per year renewal.

As of 2015, the test fee for the written ARCB exam is $250 and for the complete National Certification exam is $295. Please note: if another testing agency is approved by Washington State, it will probably charge a similar fee to administer the test. To earn National Certification within 12 months of having earned Washington State certification it will cost, in addition to further testing and a documentation requirement, an additional $45 (after 12 months it will cost $150). The cost to retake any individual portion of the test is $75. There will be an annual renewal fee of $55 and a continuing education requirement of 12 CE hours every 24 months for those who earned National Certification through ARCB.

 

Future legislation

It is possible that the reflexology law will be reevaluated some day in the future. If this happens, it is likely that the professional community will seek a continuing education requirement. There might also be a “prior learning” component included in order to reduce the specific educational requirements for LMPs.

 

LEGISLATION HISTORY

July 1, 2013 – Reflexology Law is Enacted

As of today, reflexologists practicing professionally in Washington State must be certified by Washington State Department of Health or be Licensed Massage Therapists.

 

June 14, 2013 – Reflexology School Approval

We are pleased to announce that ALL of the programs at Seattle Reflexology have officially been approved by Washington State Department of Health – we are now the first reflexology school in the State to be approved.  SO exciting!!  Individuals who have earned their education through SRMC are now officially eligible to become certified in reflexology by Washington State DOH.  YAY!

IMPORTANT:  When you download and print your forms, be sure that the document appears to be complete – check the letters, as sometimes the paperwork hasn’t downloaded correctly.  The State has sent at least one Reflexology Program School Completion Form back to the applicant for revision!

 

June 13, 2013 – Reflexology School Approval #1

We are pleased to announce that one of the programs at Seattle Reflexology has officially been approved by Washington State Department of Health.  Very exciting!!  We are the first to have any approved program in the state.  We’ve got several more programs to go – I’ll keep you posted…

 

June 1, 2013 – Reflexology Certification Application

Unless you are a Licensed Massage Practitioner or have been certified as a reflexologist by the State of Washington’s Department of Health, you may not legally practice reflexology in Washington as of July 1, 2013. If you are an LMP, unless you have been certified as a reflexologist by Washington’s DOH it will be illegal to call yourself a Certified Reflexologist in Washington State.

The Washington State Reflexology Certification application is now available.

Included with the application is a formed called the Reflexology Program School Completion Form.  Graduates of SRMC should fill in everything on that form in BLUE INK except the bottom two lines and send the completed form by mail to SRMC.  We will complete the bottom portion and send it to Department of Health directly.

The Jurisprudence Exam was not available on the initial application, but the link is there now.  If you have already mailed in your application take the online exam, print a copy of your result, and mail it to Reflexologist Credentialing, PO BOX 47877, Olympia, WA  98504-7877.

Section 6:  Attestation of Waiver of Examination:  If you checked either the first or second options (I certify that I have practiced reflexology as an LMP for at least five years prior to July 1, 2013 or I have provided proof of completion in a course of study in a reflexology program approved by the secretary) you do not have to request that the ARCB verify that you have successfully completed the examination.

Your reflexology school must be approved by Washington State in order for your education to be recognized toward certification.  If your school has not been approved, you may transfer your hours to a Washington State approved reflexology school for evaluation. If you are a student of a school not approved by Washington State, please visit HERE for our Transfer Student Policy.

We will keep you posted with other information about the application process as it becomes available to us!

 

May 8, 2013 – Legislative Update regarding Chapter 246-831 WAC

One of the most exciting bits of news from this meeting is that the certification applications for reflexologists and reflexology schools are expected to be available on June 1.  If all goes well with your application processing, you will hear back from the Department of Health within about 4 weeks of your initial application.  This means you may not have much (if any) lag time in your current reflexology practice!

If lag time in your practice is a concern for you, get your records ready in advance.

  1. Finish any classes you still need to take,
  2. Complete and submit your practice documentation,
  3. Make a copy of your final certificate of completion from your reflexology school,
  4. Complete your AIDS training, and
  5. Familiarize yourself with the law in preparation for the jurisprudence exam.

 

February 19, 2013 – Legislative Update regarding Chapter 246-831 WAC

We are still without a final copy of the new rules and regulations for the reflexology law which will take effect July 1, 2013, but there has been significant progress made toward the development of the rules.  Once they have been finalized it will be possible for the State to create and distribute applications both for certification in reflexology by practitioners and for state approval of reflexology schools.

Therefore, please be aware that any details listed below are STILL not final, and reflect only the current state of development of the rules.

In an effort to clear up scope of practice questions:  as of July 1, 2013 it will be legal for Licensed Massage Practitioners and Certified Reflexologists to advertise, perform and claim to perform reflexology.  Nail techs, cosmetologists, estheticians, registered nurses and certified nursing assistants will NOT be able to advertise or practice reflexology unless they go through the process of reflexology certification (this is a matter of “title protection” for reflexology, similar to the title protection of the word “massage” – only Licensed Massage Practitioners may use the term “massage” and only certified reflexologists may call themselves “reflexologists”).

RULES UPDATES FOR SELECTED ITEMS FROM THE MEETING FEB 19, 2013:

Credentialing requirements

To be certified as a reflexologist the applicant must:

  1. Provide a completed application on forms provided by the secretary (applications are NOT available yet);
  2. Pay applicable fees as defined in WAC 246-831-990;
  3. Be eighteen years of age or older; and
  4. Provide evidence of:
    a.  completion of a reflexology education program approved by the secretary;
    b.  completion of an examination approved by the secretary (ARCB is approved);
    c.  completion of a jurisprudence examination (an open book test about the law regarding reflexology)
    d.  four hours of AIDS education and training as set in chapter 246-12 WAC, Part 8; and
    e.  any additional documents or information requested by the secretary.

Educational Requirements

Certification for those with no other license to touch requires a minimum of 200 hours of reflexology-only training from a Washington state approved school. These hours consist of the following:

  • 30 hours of reflexology theory, history, zones, reflex points, relaxation response and contraindications;
  • 40 hours of study of body systems as related to reflexology; the study of the leg, feet, hands and outer ears as structures; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas, a map of reflexes as they are anatomically reflected on the feet, hands and outer ears; and how the reflexes are affected by stimulation to the feet, hands and outer ears through hands-on experience;
  • 30 hours of anatomy and physiology;
  • 5 hours of business practice involving ethics, business standards and local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of reflexology;
  • 25 hours or more of supervised practicum or clinical work;
  • 70 hours of additional homework that can include giving and documenting client sessions as well as other written work.

Educational Requirements for LMPs and others with applicable prior learning

Those with prior learning such as Licensed Massage Practitioners, estheticians, cosmetologists and registered nurses may consult their reflexology school to see if redundant education might be waived.  The answer, as well as any associated requirements (i.e. fees or testing of students’ level of retained learning from their prior classes), will be entirely up to the individual reflexology school.

It is possible that in future years legislation will be sought to reduce the specific educational requirements for LMPs.

Waiver of Examination (Grandfathering)

Persons eligible for a waiver of the examination for certification as a reflexologist must apply for certification between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014. The secretary may waive the examination and certify a person after receipt of the following documentation:

  • completed application including payment of fees;
  • verification of four clock hours of AIDS education and training
  • (a) verification of successfully completing a secretary-approved course of study in reflexology prior to July 1, 2013, or
  • (b) verification of reflexology practice as a licensed massage practitioner for at least five years prior to July 1, 2013, or
  • (c) verification of holding a reflexology credential in another state or a territory of the United States which has substantially equivalent credentialing requirements to those of Washington State.

Testing

All applicants must take and pass the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB) examination or another examination approved by the secretary. An applicant who fails an approved examination may take an approved examination up to two additional times, at which point the application will be invalidated and remedial education may be required before future examinations can be taken.

*** Side note:  It is my understanding that the ARCB has graciously agreed to allow Washington State to use its psychometrically validated (scientifically tested and legally defensible) written exam for one of the state examination possibilities without requiring use of their FULL exam, which includes a practical and verbal component. Any concerns about infrequent testing may be allayed by the fact that frequency of opportunity will increase along with increased demand. Any concerns about subjectivity of examination or limitation to current reflexology techniques standards in America are no longer an issue since there will be no practical or verbal component to the test.

Equipment and sanitation

All instruments, surfaces and equipment that come in contact with the body must be cleaned and disinfected.  Any instruments or equipment that is used on one person must be cleaned and disinfected before being used on another person.  Linens used for one person must be laundered or cleaned before they are used by any other person.  Soiled linens must be immediately placed in a covered receptacle.  All equipment and instruments must be clean, well maintained and in good repair.

Certification fees

Fees will be commensurate with those of massage licensing. Licensed Massage Practitioners who are also Certified Reflexologists must pay both fees. Among other fees listed, the basic fees are $50 for initial credential and $40 per year renewal.  The test fee for the ARCB will be $250 (any state approved testing agency will most likely charge a similar price to administer their test).

 

Staying in the loop on legislative activity is one timely and potent reason to maintain an active membership with Washington Reflexology Association (WRA). Get involved with the future of reflexology. Begin your WRA membership or re-enroll here.

Request regular legislative updates for a very reasonable fee, an offer recently made available by WRA, by visiting http://www.washingtonreflexology.org/home/legislation/.

The Department of Health has created a page for reflexology, on which they offer a FAQ page and make periodic updates about reflexology law: http://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/ProfessionsNewReneworUpdate/Reflexologist/FrequentlyAskedQuestions.aspx#2.

We will keep you posted with further details as soon as we have them.

 

September 28, 2012 – Legislative Updates regarding Chapter 246-831 WAC

We are still without a final and confirmed copy of the new rules and regulations for the reflexology law which will begin July 1, 2013.  However, there are several apparent updates ensuing from the meeting on Sept 28, 2012.  Please be aware that these details are not final, and reflect only the current state of development of the rules.  As before, we will keep you posted with any new information we receive.

To reduce confusion, on 2/19/13 I removed any redundant rules listings from this post.

Applicants licensed in another state

Persons credentialed as a reflexologist in another state may be issued a certificate by providing the following documentation:

  1. Evidence of meeting substantially equivalent credentialing requirements as defined in WAC 246-831-XXX;
  2. Passing score on the examination as defined in WAC 246-831-XXX;
  3. Verification of a current, active credential from any state or territory of the United States.

Applicants licensed in another country

International programs will have similar guidelines as applicants licensed in another state.  The program must be approved by the secretary.  Official transcripts in English are required, and the secretary must approve these as well.

Continuing Education

Continuing education requirements have not yet been implemented by the State, but Washington Reflexology Association members will pursue that option in the next legislative session.  If you are not a member, please join now to help develop the law in order to protect and elevate our profession.  Visit www.washingtonreflexology.org to join or to offer yourself as a volunteer.

We will keep you posted with further details as soon as we have them.

 

July 31, 2012:  Update on Washington State Reflexology Certification Law

Washington State is now the 4th State in the union in which reflexologists will be required to be certified or licensed in order to legally practice.

A stakeholders meeting took place on July 30 and the following are the updates in information – read below for a Summary and The Full Story

Summary

1. Every person wishing to be called a Certified Reflexologist must go through the process of certification as of July 1, 2013.

2. To be Certified one must submit an application to the Washington State Department of Health, provide proof of meeting a basic education requirement, pay a fee, take a test, and subsequently get annual renewal.

3. Certification for anybody who is not a licensed massage therapist requires 200 hours of reflexology-only training from a state approved school (specific hours description listed below).

4. Licensed massage therapists may continue to practice reflexology without additional certification but may not advertise as a Certified Reflexologist unless they go through the certification process.

5. There will be a grandfathering clause lasting from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. Grandfathering allows certification without a test but still includes an application and fee.  Those without a license to touch must have completed 200 hours of reflexology-only training by a state approved school by July 1, 2013 and make application.  Licensed massage therapists must have had at least 5 years of practice in reflexology prior to July 1, 2013 and make application.

6. Standard fees will be commensurate with those of massage licensing (less than $100 per year).

7. Testing is still being worked out.

The Full Story

Governor Christine Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6103 in March of 2012, amending the existing massage licensing statute by requiring that all reflexologists be either certified by the State or otherwise appropriately licensed to touch (i.e. be a massage practitioner, esthetician, cosmetologist, or medical practitioner).  Additionally, NO person may advertise as a Certified Reflexologist unless they have gone through the application process within the State and have been certified.

Department of Health will oversee certification and coordinate the development of the certification process.  Yesterday, in a meeting in the state capitol, more than 20 individuals gathered to discuss the details of the certification process.  Attendees included two Department of Health representatives, reflexology and massage practitioners and school owners, Washington Reflexology Association (WRA) board members, AMTA general and board members and AMTA lobbyists, as well as those representing other fields of interest (i.e. registered nurse).  Items under discussion were educational standards, grandfathering, certification fees and renewal, and testing.

The upshot of the meeting is that the State will set a basic educational requirement of 200 reflexology-only hours (110 class, 90 practice hours) for the general public with proof of completion of those hours from a state-approved school. Reflexology-specific classes will need to be in person, not online. Those with a license to touch who choose to become Certified Reflexologists will most likely be required to complete 75 hours of reflexology-only classes and 90 documented practice hours.  Curriculum standards will align with current American Reflexology Certification Board standards (visit www.arcb.net for more information).

Grandfathering will exempt applicants from having to take the test, but they will still need to complete the certification process with the application, fee and validation of experience and/or education.

Applicants seeking grandfathering will need to submit proof of completion of a 200 hour basic reflexology program, except in the case of massage therapists who have been practicing reflexology for at least 5 years prior to July 1, 2013 (they will not need to provide evidence of reflexology schooling).

Anybody wishing to become a Certified Reflexologist and take advantage of grandfathering provisions can apply as early as July 1, 2013.   Grandfathering is only open until July 1, 2014.

The next meeting will take place in about a month.  Be sure to attend or email me if you want your perspective to be included in the process!

 

July 30, 2012:  Stakeholders Meeting Regarding Reflexology Law will be held in Tumwater at 9 am

ALL stakeholders are welcome to attend (for example, reflexology practitioners and students, estheticians, nail technicians, licensed massage practitioners, reflexology clients, teachers, and school owners).  We need your voice to be heard NOW, before all of the critical details and certification and grandfathering are written in stone.

After the meeting we will post updates.

 

March 29, 2012:  Reflexology Certification Bill Signed into Law in Washington State

Washington State is now the 4th State in the union in which reflexologists will be required to be certified or licensed.

On March 29, 2012, Governor Christine Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6103, which amends and supplements the existing massage licensing statute by requiring the certification of reflexologists. Because massage practitioners must be licensed in Washington under existing law and reflexology falls within their scope of practice, the new certification provisions will not have an impact on currently licensed massage practitioners, estheticians, cosmetologists or medical practitioners.

The new law states that no person may advertise or represent him or herself as a reflexologist by the use of any title without first being certified as a reflexologist (unless an LMP). In order to obtain certification as a reflexologist the applicant must complete an approved course of study and pass an examination approved by the Washington Secretary of Health.

The statute includes a grandfathering provision which states that an applicant may be certified without examination if he or she has practiced reflexology for at least five years prior to the statute’s effective date (July 1, 2013) or has completed a course of study in an approved reflexology program and applies for certification within one year of the effective date.  It further indicates that practitioners holding a reflexology certification in another state or U.S. territory may be certified to practice in ours as long as the credentialing standards are similar and approved by Washington state authority.

Additionally, the legislation adds a new section to the massage licensing law which states that the secretary of health has the authority to inspect the premises of any massage or reflexology business during business hours, and may apply to a court for a warrant if access to the premises is denied. The prior statute provided for inspections only by state and local law enforcement personnel.

The Washington state board of massage may adopt rules and regulations to implement the statute.

Stakeholders meetings will take place shortly to determine appropriate reflexology curriculum and hours requirements.

This Bill is a work in progress.  Much will be done to refine the certification guidelines, process and exam by the effective date of July 1, 2013.

We will keep you posted with further details as soon as we have them.

This school is licensed under Chapter 28C.10RCW.
Inquiries or complaints regarding this private vocational school may be made to: Workforce Board,
128-10th Ave. SW, Box 43105, Olympia, WA 98504 - Phone: 360-709-4600 - Web: wtb.wa.gov

© Copyright Seattle Reflexology & Massage Center - Website by Quality Webmaster Service