NCBTMB Call for Comments: 911 for Approved Providers

The NCBTMB has decided to call for comments on their latest revisions for the CE/Approved Provider program–something they should have done before they ever unrolled the plan to start with–and I can virtually guarantee they aren’t going to like the responses they receive. I have been cc’d on numerous letters to them from providers, and so far, the only responses I have seen are anger and disgust.

I’m not one to get too bent out of shape about paperwork, and in reality, the revised new requirements are not adding that much of a burden, time-wise. One wants to assume if you are teaching a class that you actually have all the paperwork they are asking to see. Uploading it shouldn’t be such a big deal.

The flash point here is the almighty dollar. It is no secret that the NCBTMB has lost a lot of revenue to the MBLEx in the past few years, and there’s no indication that trend will ever reverse itself. The NCB is proposing quite a drastic increase in approved provider fees, no doubt hopeful that it will increase their financial coffers.

I personally have organizational approval. In their new paradigm, I am considered a “small” organization. In spite of that, my renewal fee is jumping from $300 to $750. Larger organizations are taking a much bigger hit. The biggest increase is going to fall on trade shows and conferences….something I personally enjoy attending. There are already some conferences out there that don’t pay the instructors (or only pay those who are at the top of the big heap), but instead provide them with a table to sell their wares. That’s well and good, but I don’t carry my wares around, personally. My publisher is usually at big conferences, so I don’t go to the expense of shipping books to sell. They’re there selling mine and those of the other authors they represent, and in reality, if I were to pay to ship them myself, my profit would be so miniscule it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Those conferences, as well as those that do pay instructors, are going to see a big increase in the amount of money they have to pay, so the fallout is going to be either paying the instructors less, charging the students more, or both.

While I frequently get invited to teach in other places, I sometimes host as few as six classes a year at my own facility. I spend several thousand dollars a year to advertise these events. I handle all the registrations, I provide massage tables and linens so people don’t have to worry about transporting those, and I provide snacks for the classes. I pay the instructor 70%–and sometimes more. In the past, when I’ve had a teacher scheduled to come from out of state and they didn’t get the minimum number of students they wanted, I have forgone my percentage altogether in order to make the class happen.

Like many instructors, money isn’t my primary motivation. It’s the love of education, and the thrill that I get when a student calls me up a year or two later and says “Thank you so much. What I learned in  your class that day has really increased my business.”

Providers will really not have any choice at all except to pass this increase in costs on to those who attend our classes.

Adding insult to injury, the FSMTB seems to be charging ahead with their ill-conceived plan to do away with continuing education requirements altogether, except for the classes centered around “public protection” that they plan to offer from their own website.

I’m beginning to think we might as well give up continuing education altogether. We have a couple of national organizations here, one who is in dire need of money and looking at CE providers as the cash cow that will keep them afloat, and the other who is already rolling in money and wants to force their ownership of continuing education down our throats. I don’t like either scenario.

While I am glad that the NCBTMB decided to send out the call for comments, I am wondering how they are going to yet again revise this plan after they see that those comments are all negative. So far, I haven’t seen one single comment on my networks that is in support of this plan and these price increases.

If you have not added your two cents worth yet, I urge you to view this video and then fill out the survey. The NCB has left plenty of space for comments, and you should seize this opportunity to give them your opinion.

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