At the Orlando, Florida board meeting on May 2, 2012 the RAA Board agreed to adopt a 300-hour requirement for Professional Level membership. The responsibility of developing a plan to implement the change was then passed onto the Education Committee.
The Education Committee recognized that reflexology education is not equally available to everyone in the United States and therefore created a number of “pathways” that individuals needing to increase their hours could follow. Below are the details of the proposal that was submitted to and approved by the RAA Board:
- The 300-hour requirement will go into effect July 1, 2014. This date was chosen so as to allow individuals already in the midst of their reflexology studies a reasonable amount of time to complete their studies, sit for their certification exams and qualify before the new rule goes into effect. The July 1, 2014 date also allows time for educators to bring their curriculums up to the new standard.
- Current Professional Level members will be grandfathered, providing renewals are dated before or on June 30, 2014; any renewals after that will need to meet the new requirement of 300 hours.
- In order to increase educational standards for professional membership beginning July 1, 2014, the acceptable criteria for meeting the 300 hours of education shall be one or a combination of any of the pathways described below. Applicants will be required to submit proof that 60% of the 300 hours was attained live in a classroom setting. Acceptable proof may be in the form of a completed school transcript or signed letter from the school administrator attesting to the number of hours completed in a live classroom and number of hours completed by other means. All applications will be reviewed by the RAA Administrative Assistant. Any unusual circumstances falling outside the outlined pathways below will be reviewed by the RAA Education chair, the Education Committee and/or the President.
- Since the pathways describe ways in which people may acquire a Professional level membership as a practicing reflexologist, education hours referred to herein refer to hours accrued to qualify someone to practice reflexology. Hours spent developing curriculum and/or teaching reflexology do not qualify.
- All forms referred to within the pathways are currently available as downloads through the RAA website at http://reflexology-usa.org/information/downloads-online-resources/.
1. Educational Programs of 300-hours or Higher
The American Commission for Accreditation of Reflexology Education and Training accredited programs and teachers that voluntarily met its 300-hour standards. A certificate of completion from an ACARET-accredited instructor or program in foot, hand and/or outer ear reflexology qualifies for the professional membership level within RAA.
Graduates of non-ACARET-approved programs in foot, hand and/or outer ear reflexology that meet 300-hours or higher qualify for a RAA professional membership, providing at least sixty percent (180 hours) were met in a live classroom with instructor interaction.
2. National Certification
National reflexology certifications qualify for professional membership if the following criteria are met:
a. 300 hours in hand, foot and/or outer ear reflexology were completed to sit for national certification; 60% of which (180 hours) were met in a live classroom with instructor interaction.
b. certifying agency is national in scope
c. certifying agency is non-profit (existing for the good of the profession; not for financial gain)
d. certifying agency is independent (i.e. not affiliated with any school, teacher, educational program, membership organization, or other entity), so there is no conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest.
Depending on the number of hours awarded for national certification, an individual desiring professional membership in RAA may need additional hours to qualify. If less than 300 hours in hand, foot and/or outer ear reflexology were required for national certification the applicant would need to submit additional hours to meet the RAA requirement.
3. State License in Reflexology
This refers to a license granted to an individual by a state agency governing the professional practice of reflexology as a stand-alone discipline. This does not include other licenses that allow the practice of reflexology under their scope of practice; i.e. massage therapy, cosmetology, and nursing. Depending on the number of hours required to sit for licensure, an individual desiring membership in RAA may need additional hours to qualify. If state licensure were for less than 300 hours then the applicant would need to submit additional hours to meet the RAA requirement.
4. Pathways to Acquire Additional Hours
Sixty percent (180 hours) of the 300-hours required for professional membership must be met in a live classroom with instructor interaction. The live hours must include training and supervised practicum in hands-on techniques, therapeutic communication skills and interpersonal and intrapersonal skills.
Since the requirement for Professional status within RAA is based on education in reflexology, classes and continuing education workshops that teach the integration of other disciplines into reflexology sessions will qualify for hours, providing at least 50% of the class time is spent on:
~ instruction of hand, foot and/or outer ear reflexology;
~ integration of the new modality with hand, foot and/or outer ear reflexology;
~ hands-on practice time of both the new modality and hand, foot and/or outer ear reflexology.
An example would be Aromatherapy and Reflexology.
Instructors of trainings integrating other disciplines must provide students with a signed form or letter, prepared on the instructor’s letterhead that verifies that the workshop does in fact meet the above criteria. The exact wording as stated above should be included in the form. When making application for Professional membership, the student would need to attach the verification form to her or his certificate for attendance at the workshop.
The remaining 40% (120 hours) may be met through 4a, 4b, 4c, and/or 4d.
4a. Internet or Distance Learning Classes
Subjects that may be considered for this pathway include anatomy and physiology, human disease and pathologies, biology, neurobiology, kinesiology, medical terminology, prevention of medical errors, infectious diseases, ethics, laws, hygiene, SOAP, business practices, marketing, working with diverse populations and additional information specific to reflexology history, theory and/or foot, hand and/or ear techniques. Classes conducted through Skype, Facetime or any other forms of video conferencing are included in this pathway.
In order for Mentorship hours to qualify, certain criteria must be met.
- Mentorship hours are accrued after a live course has been completed.
- The Mentor must be an ARCB-certified practitioner with a minimum of 300 hours of training and five years documented experience as a reflexology practitioner.
- An individual wishing to serve as a Mentor must complete a Mentor Application provided by RAA and be approved by RAA before entering into the Mentor/Mentee relationship.
- The Mentor must be prepared to assess the individual skill level and needs of the Mentee, create a customized mentoring program that will satisfy those needs (as opposed to a “cookie-cutter” program), document the mentee’s progress and communicate the aforementioned on a Verification Form provided by RAA.
- The Mentorship hours must be face-to-face in a live setting.
Both the Mentor Application and Verification Form are accessible from the RAA website at http://reflexology-usa.org/information/downloads-online-resources/. The relationship will be strictly between Mentor and Mentee – no liability or responsibility will lay with RAA – thus, it is suggested that Mentor and Mentee enter into a written contractual agreement that outlines the time-line and responsibilities of both parties. Mentors may charge for their mentoring.
NOTE: Mentorship hours must come AFTER the applicant has taken a live course.
4c. Independent Study
Independent Study is a learning activity developed and directed by the individual learner. The learner can study at his or her own rate and time. An independent study may include, but is not limited to, such learning activities dealing with reflexology as writing articles, delivering a lecture, reading or listening to books, viewing videotapes or DVDs, attending a conference and practicing skills independently. Study must be specific to reflexology, not adjunct modalities. Applicants will be required to write a report of the activity and state how the activity supports/adds to their reflexology practice. Applicants are recommended to first check with RAA to confirm whether or not the activity they are considering qualifies as an Independent Study activity.
NOTE: Independent Study hours must come AFTER the applicant has taken a live course.
4d. Research Case Studies
Research literacy is the ability to find, understand & critically evaluate research. Research on how reflexology affects people living with identifiable disorders can be beneficial to the therapist’s personal practice and contribute to the larger body of knowledge that supports the efficacy of the field. A research case study that follows a common recognizable format, provided by RAA, can be submitted to meet the 300-hour requirement for membership. Applicants will be asked to explain what they learned from this activity that they could apply to their practice of reflexology. People wishing to use this pathway would also be given links to read published reflexology case studies as examples of how to fulfill this option. Guidelines are available on the RAA website on the Information > Downloads and Resources page.
NOTE: The case study cannot have been part of the initial training in reflexology; it must be initiated following completion of the course material.
5. A combination of the above.