(a) The board shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, establishing a procedure for licensing of massage therapists. License requirements shall include the following:
(1) Completion of a program of massage education at a school approved by the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education pursuant to section nine, article two-b, chapter eighteen-b of this code or by a state agency in another state, the District of Columbia or a United States territory which approves educational programs and which meets qualifications for the National Certification Exam administered through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. This school shall require a diploma from an accredited high school, or the equivalent, and require completion of at least five hundred hours of supervised academic instruction;
(2) Successful completion of the National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) examination, or other board approved examination; and
(3) Payment of a reasonable fee every two years required by the board which shall compensate and be retained by the board for the costs of administration.
(b) A license to practice massage therapy issued by the board prior to July 1, 2006, shall for all purposes be considered a license issued under this section: Provided, That a person holding a license to practice massage therapy issued prior to July 1, 2006, must renew the license pursuant to the provisions of this article: Provided, however, That a person whose license was issued by the board prior to July 1, 2006, and whose license subsequently lapses may, in the discretion of the board, be subject to the licensing requirements of this section.
(c) In addition to provisions for licensure, the rules shall include:
(1) Requirements for completion of continuing education hours conforming to NCTMB guidelines; and
(2) Requirements for issuance of a reciprocal license to licensees of states with requirements which may include the successful completion of the NCTMB examination or other board approved examination.
(d) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the board may deny an application for renewal for any reason which would justify the denial of an application for initial licensure.
(e) Any person practicing massage therapy during the time his or her license has lapsed is in violation of this article and is subject to the penalties provided in this article.
(f) A massage therapist who is licensed by the board shall be issued a certificate and a license number. The current, valid license certificate shall be publicly displayed and available for inspection by the board and the public at a massage therapist's work site.
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