Transfer Student Program
Bellevue Massage School accepts transfer students from both inside and outside of Washington State. As one of the few schools in Washington that offers a transfer student program, BMS has been helping massage therapists from all over the country since 1977.
Licensing Requirements for Massage Therapists
To become a "licensed massage practitioner" in Washington State, a person must fulfill the following criteria that is detailed at the Washington State Department of Health website.
|Credentialing Requirement||Verification Documents|
Completion of a Washington State Board of Massage approved education program -and- Successful completion of national exam
Verification of completion form stamped with the program’s Department of Health-issued stamp received directly from the approved education program.
Official exam report from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB).
|State license verification||Applicant lists all states where credentials are or were held, including where applicant has applied but a credential was not granted. A verification form must be completed and submitted by the jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed. Applicant sends form to jurisdiction for completion. The jurisdiction sends completed form directly to the department.|
|Applicant must answer personal data questions. An appropriate explanation and required documentation must be sent with positive answers. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint and the settlement or final disposition. If pending, applicant must indicate status.|
Additional Information/Documents Required
- HIV/AIDS training - four hours.
- Successful completion of an examination administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB). The NCBTMB or the FSMTB must send a copy of exam score report directly to the department.
- First aid and CPR cards or verification from an approved education program.
Process for Approving/Denying Applications
Credentialing staff review the application and supporting documents to make an initial determination on eligibility. Credentialing supervisors approve applications that don’t have positive answers to personal data questions, have questionable verifying documents, or are otherwise "red flag" applications. "Red flag" applications are forwarded to the exception application process for determination by the appropriate disciplining authority. An applicant will be formally notified of a denial and has the opportunity for a hearing.
Massage practitioners must renew their license every year on or before their birthday. Twenty-four hours of continuing education is due every two years on or before their birthday. A minimum of eight hours must be direct massage skills training, and a minimum of four hours must be in professional ethics, communication and/or Washington State massage laws and regulations. Two of these hours must include professional roles and boundaries. Licensee is required to submit the appropriate fee, renewal card and an affidavit of compliance with the continuing education requirement.
1st Step to Licensure: is the school you attended Washington State Board Approved?
In order to meet the above requirements, a therapist licensed in another state wishing to gain an LMP license in Washington must first see if the school they attended is a "board approved school" in Washington State. If this is the case, the therapist does not need help from Bellevue Massage School and can simply apply for a license with Washington State directly. See Massage Therapist Approved Schools.
If a therapist licensed in another state wishing to gain an LMP license in Washington graduated from a school that is not listed on the "board approved" schools, Bellevue Massage School can "transfer" in the credits they earned and compare them with Washington State standards provided that the student’s school is not on the "blacklist" of massage therapy institutions listed here.
Getting Started with Bellevue Massage School
If the school attended is not on the "blacklist", the process can proceed. In order for Bellevue Massage School to evaluate a therapist’s transcript, they must pay the evaluation fee of $75. That $75, should the therapist decide to work with BMS is deducted from future fees.
When evaluating transcripts, one of two situations will exist:
- The therapist will either meet or exceed the standards of Bellevue Massage School’s Approved Transfer Student Program (513 hours)
- The therapist will NOT meet the standards of Bellevue Massage School’s Approved Transfer Student Program (513 hours)
In case #1, the therapist will have graduated from a program that was at least 6 months in length, and fulfilled the following hourly 513 hr requirements:
Massage Theory & Practice hours required: 270 Clinical Practices hours: 55 Kinesiology hours: 40 Anatomy & Physiology Hours: 90 Pathology Hours: 50 Other Hours that even if not met, can be obtained quickly: current certification in First Aid/CPR (minimum of 4 hours) and 4 hours of HIV/AIDS= 8 hours minimum
- In case #1, the therapist can qualify for graduation from Bellevue Massage School if they pay the fee of $750 (the $75 evaluation fee is included as part of the $750) to transfer their credits and satisfy a practical massage requirement. This involves performing a full body Swedish massage including a satisfactory health intake and comprehensive SOAP chart.
- In case #2 where the therapist does not meet the above standards, Bellevue Massage School will fill in the missing gap of hours to meet Washington requirements. The rate charged is the $750 transfer fee plus $20 per hour needed by the student. The therapist must satisfy a practical massage requirement which involves performing a full body Swedish massage including a satisfactory health intake and comprehensive SOAP chart.
If in either case a student’s practical massage is deemed unfit to proceed, further hours of massage therapy training in our "Student Clinic" will become mandatory for graduation. Fees will be determined on a case by case basis if this step becomes necessary.
When a student fulfills the necessary educational and practical massage requirements, they now "graduate" from Bellevue Massage School.
The following steps are also necessary for the student to complete in order to receive their Washington State LMP license:
Steps Necessary to Graduate from Bellevue Massage School & Gain LMP License
- Fill out a Vital Statistics form so that graduation paperwork can be completed
- Have all fees paid in full
- Request that an official transcript be sent to Washington State as well as Bellevue Massage School (BMS can accept a sealed transcript from the student but WA State DOH cannot - for WA State DOH it must come directly from the institution they attended)
- Fill out the Massage Licensing Application: Massage Therapist Applications and Forms
- Take the jurisprudence exam, pass with 100% and print to send along with application: Massage Therapist Applications and Form
- $106 fee in cashier’s check or money order
- If the student was licensed in another state, they need to send the "Out-of-State Credential Verification" form to the state(s) they are licensed and make sure that the second page is filled out by that state and sent to Washington
- Send MBLEX or NCBTMB passing score to Washington: For the MBLEX, to get scores to WA, go to fsmtb.org & fill out the "mobility form" on their website - their fee is $20
Bellevue Massage School will complete the following steps:
Send an official School Board Completion form by email to the Department of Health as well as all paperwork documenting the hours determination & send the graduate an official transcript as well as a Certificate of Completion
If you are thinking about moving to Washington as a massage therapist or just need to finish massage school, our knowledgeable staff is here to help you with your questions. Please give us a call at 425-641-3409.