ELAP First Draft and Call for Comments Released

The first draft of the ELAP (Entry-Level Analysis Project) has finally been released. It’s been more than a year since I first blogged about it.

This research project proposal was introduced by ABMP and has come full circle from the first statements put out about it, which put me out quite a bit. The initial proposal stated: There is no step in this proposal to obtain input from the broader massage profession or from other health-care or bodywork organizations during this project. The reason is simple—the work group is simply performing a work task in writing learning outcomes and objectives for job tasks defined by surveys already conducted by FSMTB and NCBTMB. It doesn’t matter what stakeholders, or other groups think should be taught or shouldn’t be taught. The work group would be responding to what therapists report they do, on a day-to-day basis, in their massage-related environments as part of their jobs.

They had to back up and punt on that. The ELAP website now contains the following statements clarifying the purpose and scope of the project:

The Entry-Level Analysis Project (ELAP) is a research project that defines the minimum number of training hours necessary to acquire knowledge and skills essential for safe and competent practice as an entry-level massage therapist. The project was initiated through conversations between the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education, American Massage Therapy Association, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, the Massage Therapy Foundation, and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.

ELAP aims to obtain and use research data and analysis of findings from other massage profession projects to inform the creation of an entry-level curriculum map. The map will define the essential elements of an entry-level curriculum necessary for safe and competent practice in a massage career, as well as the number of hours deemed necessary to teach these learning objectives and outcomes. The project outputs will be used to inform the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) Model Practice Act designed to promote interstate portability of credentials in the massage profession. The recommendations of the ELAP project will be available to the massage profession as a resource to enhance consistency of entry-level curricula in massage and bodywork training programs.

The ELAP website now contains five webinars explaining the various facets of the project, and numerous surveys to complete. You do not have to complete all of them; the option is to pick and choose those areas that interest you the most.

I urge everyone to give feedback. It happens too often in our field that there is either no opportunity to give feedback, or the opportunity is presented and ignored….the MTBOK (Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge) was a prime example of that. Only a smattering of people responded to that, and then it came under all kinds of criticism when it was released. If you don’t take the opportunity to express your opinion, then don’t gripe when it comes out and you don’t like it. Visit the website and take advantage of your opportunity to participate.

5 Replies to “ELAP First Draft and Call for Comments Released”

  1. I agree! We as a profession need to help set core standards for our students to become proficient in important areas before they enter the profession

  2. The ELAP group altered the approach to be more inclusive have many in the profession such as Laura put pressure for trasparency. I am not agaist the concept of ELAP and infact am supportive. However I have been unhappy with how it has been conducted and now that the draft is out for comment I can see where some of my concerns have surfaced. For example in the initial survey when asked what type of massage do you do the ONLY option for general massage was Swedish Massage-Now if you look at the draft the the foundation is based on Swedish Massage. This is a fundimental error in data collection. I am not against Swedish massage. I believe however that as a descriptor of massage today it is confusing and inconsistant with the need to strive toward an intigrated language that is based on what is done. I believe it is tame to call massage Massage Therapy since the ELAP term for massage provider is massage therapist. The MTBOK definition and descriptors are much more in line with this concept. Entry Level practice should be based on safe practice and therefore I suggest we look at outcomes as the measure. For example : An entry level massage therapist is able to perform a fullbody general massage adapted to individual clients focusing of the outcomes of wellness, relaxation and stress managment with the ability to address minor complaints of pain and limited mobility in the generally healthy client.

  3. Setting standards for entry level, career training is essential to any profession that wishes to sustain or enhance their professional stature in the business community. Although, I agree the methods cited above seem somewhat ambiguous, it is Bloggers and industry advocates like you Laura that can change the mind set by bringing issues like this to light.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmarked – Shared – And more importantly, forwarded to all faculty and staff for their chance to also provide feedback!

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