PO Box 40014, Tucson, AZ 85717

Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Educator Certification



The AFMTE Educator Certification Program is currently a voluntary portfolio review process through which educators can demonstrate they have achieved proficiency in the Core Competencies for Massage Therapy Teachers. The portfolio review process allows experienced educators to become certified without having to go through a formal teacher training process. The official credential earned through the process is Certified Educator of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (CETMB).

The following Value Proposition Statement reflects the intention of the certification process:

The AFMTE provides a national, voluntary certification program to individuals who wish to exemplify the highest excellence as educators of massage and bodywork. AFMTE certified educators integrate theory and practice of teaching, learning, and assessment for adult student learners in a somatic-based curriculum. They build engaging and self-motivated learning environments that address varied patterns of student development and make central concepts, tools of inquiry, and subject matter accessible to all learners.

Certified educators of therapeutic massage and bodywork also link instruction to well-defined learning objectives and create strategies for motivating and retaining learners. They foster students to develop deeper critical thinking skills to improve learning outcomes, achieve a high level of ethical awareness, and encourage collaboration with colleagues and other healthcare professionals. The competencies of the AFMTE educator certification program will help to graduate ethical, employable massage and bodywork practitioners with the knowledge, ability, and skills that can positively impact the massage and bodywork profession.

This certification has a three (3) year renewal, requiring a minimum of nine (9) CE credit hours concentrated in the areas of teaching and learning.

>> Review the Core Competencies with Deanna:




The Educator Certification portfolio pathway is open to

  • Applicants with a foundation in a somatic-based area of expertise (Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, etc.).
  • Applicants who serve as either a classroom instructor or a CE provider in somatic-based education.
  • Applicants can be either a teaching assistant or lead instructor, but formal teacher training is not required for certification.
  • At this time, State regulations for teaching therapeutic massage and bodywork courses supersede this certification.



Before you proceed to the application, you will first need to prepare the following portfolio materials. The portfolio review committee will utilize these materials to determine your competency in the National Teacher Education Standards for Massage Therapy Teachers. Portfolios are evaluated by your peers, according to this rubricClick here to download an information packet to help you prepare.

Statement of Interest

  • A statement in which you share your approach to teaching in a somatic-based classroom. In your narrative please discuss your teaching philosophy and how that philosophy aligns with the core competencies. Include specific examples that demonstrate how you address learner development and well-being, learner differences, integrative approaches, and learning environments. Please limit your narrative to two (2) pages, typed, single-spaced.

Course Syllabus or Course Outline

  • A syllabus or outline for a classroom or CE course you teach.

Lesson Plans

  • Two (2) lesson plans from the classroom or CE course you are submitting with your application. For CE providers, this may be a detailed description of how you use your time to cover a specific topic. For each lesson plan, also fully describe:
    • One (1) evidence of formative assessment, and
    • One (1) evidence of summative assessment.
    • For each lesson plan, provide two (2) examples of graded student evidence. Please remove student identifiers.

Instructor Evaluations

  • Evaluations from the classroom or CE course you are submitting with your application. The most recently available teaching evaluations performed by students can be submitted either as a summary of evaluations or as a packet of copies of the individual evaluations.

Video Evidences*

  • Two (2) separate video recordings demonstrating your ability to explain a concept, interact with the classroom, and reply to students’ questions. Each video should be between 5 and 10 minutes in length, and you must appear in the video frame.
  • *Video size is limited to 400MB per file upload. In order to keep your video under this size, you may need to record at lower resolution. For example, on an iPhone one minute of video at 720p HD is about 40MB, while one minute of video at 1080p HD is 60-90MB.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Two (2) recommendations from a teaching supervisor, administrator, or colleague who has observed your teaching and can comment on your competency in the National Teacher Education Standards for Massage Therapy Teachers.
  • During the application process, you will enter your recommenders’ email addresses and they each will be sent a link to upload their letters securely.

>> Review the Portfolio Items with Deanna:


>> Learn more about the Portfolio Review Process:


APPLY FOR CERTIFICATION massage education certification


  • $249 Application and Portfolio Review Fee (non-members)
  • $199 Application and Portfolio Review Fee (members)

Take the next step: Click here to pay your application fee

For more information on this program and the application process, contact Deanna Sylvester, Educator Certification Project Manager, at [email protected].

>> Watch this video to get a glimpse into what the online application portal actually looks like:


Want to get your application material together in advance? Get organized before you apply!

Download an informational application packet to get started! This Application Packet contains:

  • A checklist of all the material you will need to apply 
  • Worksheets to begin preparing the content for your application
  • The RUBRIC used to evaluate your application