Massage therapy is a healing modality that plays a pivotal role in the modern day health care system.
Unfortunately, perhaps the bane of our existence is that shadowy “other kind” of massage. You know … the kind that is advertised on flashing neon signs at 11:30 at night … the “special massage” that is listed in the back of a magazine that does not include a license number … the connotations to prostitution that make you shirk when mentioned on a mainstream tv show or reported on the evening news. Clearly this illicit and illegal activity is not acceptable nor is it good for the future of our profession.
So, effective July 1, 2014, under Florida Statute 456.0135, legislation was enacted requiring (massage therapy) licensees to submit fingerprints and undergo a national criminal history check. The fingerprints received will be entered into the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse where they are retained for five years.
The State of Florida will be suspending or denying licensure for applicants who have a criminal background for offenses relating to kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual battery, prostitution, coercing others into prostitution, lewd or lascivious offences, computer pornography and crimes relating to sexual performance and the buying and selling of minors.
Unlicensed activity is already illegal in the State of Florida, punishable as a misdemeanor offense. Since this law only applies to licensed therapists, stricter enforcement of unlicensed activity must be demanded by the legitimate massage community.
Who does this rule apply to?
If you are a new therapist or establishment being licensed for the first time, this mandate has already been incorporated as a licensing requirement effective July 1, 2014.
If you have been licensed as a massage therapist prior to July 1, 2014; and/or if you have an ownership interest in a massage establishment; and/or if you are the person directly involved in the daily management of an establishment that is owned by a corporation with more than $250,000 of business assets in the State of Florida, then you are required to undergo a criminal background screening before January 31, 2015.
If you fail to comply with this statute, your license “may be disciplined” although it is not clear what that means exactly.
Check out the State of Florida’s Background Screening FAQ’s for more details.
No worries. It is a relatively quick and easy undertaking. Simply make an appointment with an authorized LiveScan service provider. They will ask you for some basic information and a photo identification such as a driver’s license to prove who you are. They will take your picture (like a passport photo) and you will place your fingers on an electronic device that records your prints. It only takes a couple of minutes. Your prints and the results of your background screening will be provided to the Florida Board of Massage. The LiveScan provider should already have the necessary form and the ORI number needed to submit your scan to the Board of Massage Therapy, but here is a link to one just in case you need it.
How much is the background check going to cost?
The prices vary based upon where you are located and the provider that you go to. You should expect to pay somewhere in the range of $85-$95. The good news is that this should be a tax deduction for you so make sure to save your receipt!
Where do I go to get this done?
At LMT Success Group, we have your back. We have put together a special “All You Knead” promotion where you can earn ALL of the classes that you need to renew your license PLUS we have arranged to have a LiveScan provider AT THE CLASS so you can get your fingerprints taken at the same time all for only $249. This offer is only for specific January 2015 classes. Class size limits are enforced.
Of course there are other locations and options to get your fingerprinting. Please make sure that you go to an authorized provider.