Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge



   
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Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge FAQ’s

What is a Body of Knowledge?
When did work start on the Massage Therapy BOK (MTBOK)?
Why is establishing the MTBOK important?
Why are your groups working together?
Did you consider inviting any other organizations to participate?
How can I get involved in this project?
Who is funding this work?
When will the MTBOK work be completed?
How will you involve the entire profession?
Who will be running this project?
How will you select task force members?
How will you select the project manager?
What will you do with this information once it is defined?
What is the process for review and feedback?
How can I voice my opinion?



What is a Body of Knowledge?
Although there are certainly a variety of definitions, the definition of a Body of Knowledge (BOK) the Steward Group is guided by is “The domain of essential information, mastery over which is the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to practice.”

When did work start on the Massage Therapy BOK (MTBOK)?
In January 2007, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) began hosting a series of four meetings to explore the possibility of the massage therapy profession’s leadership organizations working together to develop consensus around definitional and scope issues – what is typically called the Body of Knowledge (BOK) for a profession. This group, initially started by AMTA, was comprised of over a dozen entities that included bodies from the accreditation, certification, education, regulatory, advocacy and research arenas. In July of 2008, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) joined the group along with several organizations representing accreditation and other bodywork, movement and somatic disciplines. Today, key stakeholder organizations have chosen to move forward. The others elected to not participate in subsequent meetings. The groups that elected to discontinue participation have been kept apprised of the group’s progress and will have further opportunity for input at a later time.

The continuing participant organizations transitioned into an autonomous Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge Stewardship group comprised of representatives from each of the following six organizations: American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), AMTA-Council of Schools, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Why is establishing the MTBOK important?
The profession is at a key stage in its development. Work done now on the MTBOK will shape the future of massage therapy. The following vision for an initiative to articulate the profession’s BOK has emerged from these ongoing discussions:
To develop and adopt across the massage therapy profession a living resource of competencies, standards and values that inform and guide the domains of practice, licensure, certification, education, accreditation and research.

Most acknowledged professions have well-articulated foundational understanding of who they are and what they do. To date, the massage therapy profession has yet to establish this in a cohesive manner. A well-articulated body of knowledge will help to drive the recognition and growth of massage therapy. The long-term goal of the participating organizations is to advance the profession through collaborative action around a common definition of the BOK for the massage therapy profession. Many attendant elements of a profession, including education standards, teaching qualifications, and regulatory requirements, stem from a profession’s common body of knowledge.

Why are your groups working together?
Our groups are working together because we strongly believe the only way for a valid, comprehensive body of knowledge to be developed and embraced is to represent all stakeholders. Participation by the key stakeholder organizations is critical to achieve that goal.

Did you consider inviting any other organizations to participate?
We did invite other groups from within the massage therapy association, accreditation, certification, regulatory, education, advocacy and research arenas. A couple of these organizations attended early MTBOK meetings and decided it was not worth their ongoing participation because of time or financial constraints, or the feeling they weren’t the best fit for the initiative. Several other organizations have agreed to serve as advisors or support future elements of the Body of Knowledge initiative.

How can I get involved in this project?
A task force will be established in mid-2009 to perform the actual compilation and development of the MTBOK. There will be an opportunity to apply for one of the task force volunteer positions. In addition, once the task force is seated and work on the MTBOK has commenced, all massage therapy stakeholders will be asked to comment on the process and progress made. There will be several times throughout our efforts when members of the profession will be asked for their opinions and review of information. We are aware that inclusiveness is critical to making this initiative a success We are making every effort to be as transparent and inclusive as is possible, to ensure the MTBOK is accepted, recognized, and used as “the standard” for massage therapy across the whole profession as well as with external stakeholders.

Who is funding this work?
The six BOK stewardship group participants are making contributions of monetary support, in-kind resources, or both to support the MTBOK project.

When will the MTBOK work be completed?
The initial emphasis of the MTBOK project is to articulate the foundational elements common to a massage therapy body of knowledge shared by all stakeholders in the profession. The foundational elements of the MTBOK consist of: definition of massage therapy (scope of practice, terminology, describing the field) and definition of the competencies of an entry-level massage therapist, in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s). The work is expected to be completed by mid-2010. Subsequent MTBOK project work is undefined at this point, but it is reasonable to expect follow-on work will continue beyond that date.

How will you involve the entire profession?
Through continued updates via this website, along with comment periods where members of the massage therapy community will have the opportunity to review work to date as well as provide input.

Who will be running this project?
The MTBOK Steward Group wil retain ultimate accountability for the success of the initiative. However, a Project Manager will be hired to manage and support the day to day work of the task force.

How will you select task force members?
A task force made up of subject matter experts in the field – practitioners, educators, and researchers will be established to define, develop, and articulate the MTBOK. This group will be selected by members of the MTBOK Stewardship Group. This task force will be seated by July 2009. If you or someone you know is interested in being part of the task force, please return to this website in early March 2009 to review the task force criteria required for submission of interest.

How will you select the project manager?
The Project Manager will be selected by members of the MTBOK Stewardship Group. The candidate selected will ideally be the person who the group feels meets the requirements articulated in the Project Manager Position description, which is posted on this site.

What will you do with this information once it is defined?
The resources developed will be shared broadly with the massage therapy community and all its stakeholders. It is envisioned that the work product will be freely distributed so that any and all stakeholders may utilize it in furthering the development of the massage therapy profession.

What is the process for review and feedback?
The specific process for review and feedback won’t be set until the Project Manager and task force members are in place. However, the MTBOK stewards are committed to the values of transparency, openness, and inclusiveness. The expectations set by the Stewards will encourage a collaborative, review-based process for developing the MTBOK.

How can I voice my opinion?
Send your questions or comments to our mtbok@gmail.com e-mail address. Please note that this website and e-mail account is managed by volunteers from the MTBOK Stewardship Group and responses may take a week or so.



 

 

 

 

 
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