Certification FAQ’s

1.   Can I take a home-study or correspondence reflexology course and still sit for the ARCB exam?

ARCB is of the opinion that reflexology is a hands-on discipline and, therefore, requires hands-on instruction.  For this reason, one of the prerequisites for testing with ARCB is completion of a ‘hands-on’ reflexology course through certification (if available) involving a minimum of 110 hours.  A home-study or correspondence type of reflexology course would not provide you with this ‘hands-on’ training, making you ineligible to test with ARCB.

2.    What if I can’t find a reflexology program in my area offering at least 110 hours of study?  Can I piece together the hours (for a total of 110 hours) and sit for the exam?

Yes, it is possible to piece together the requisite hours from a number of sources.  For example, you might take a college level course in anatomy and physiology and take several weekend courses in reflexology to obtain proper training in hands-on techniques, etc.  ARCB recommends that any training you obtain in this manner include at least the following: 

  • 23% (25 hours) of reflexology theory, history, zones, meridians & relaxation response.
  • 36% (40 hours) of study of body systems as related to reflexology; the study of the leg and foot as a structure; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas (i.e., congested, grainy, leathery, stringy, tight, soft, etc.); a map of reflexes as they are anatomically reflected on the feet; and how the above are affected by stimulation to the feet and hands-on experience
  • 27% (30 hours) of anatomy & physiology
  • 5% (5 hours) of business practice which involves ethics and business standards and local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of Reflexology; and
  • 9% (10 hours) or more of supervised practicum or clinical work.
  • Plus any number of additional homework hours which can include giving and documenting client sessions and other written work.

3.   How do I apply to take the ARCB Exam?

 There are four (4) components. They are: (1)The application itself; (2) Copy of your Certificate of Attendance (which must state the name and contact information of the training program); (3) The School Verification Form (from the school/program or teacher); and (4) The exam fee.

4.   What if I don’t have a Certificate of Attendance?

ARCB will accept a letter of verification from your school/teacher verifying the number of hours attended and individual subjects taught.

5.   I want to test, but it is less than 60 days before the testing date.

Please contact the office to discuss the situation. To allow sufficient time for review of the study material, applications are due 60 days prior to the test date. If you feel confident you are prepared an exception may be made.

6.   How can I get a copy of the ARCB Study Guide?

The only way to obtain a copy of the ARCB Study Guide is to apply for—and be accepted for—testing with ARCB.  The Study Guide (which includes the documentation forms) is sent to you upon completion of the application process.

7.   How long will it take to get my ARCB Study Guide?

All four parts of the application must be received before the study guide can be sent. Once received the Study Guide is mailed via Priority Mail.  Generally it is received within 3-7 business days.

8.    I sent in my application some time ago and haven’t received my Study Guide Outline

Study Guide Outlines are sent via priority mail. If you haven’t receive the Outline contact the office immediately.

9.   When can I start doing my documentations?

As soon as you receive the blank form which comes with the Study Guide and have duplicated it.

10.   Does ARCB certification allow me to practice reflexology anywhere in the U.S.?

ARCB certification is not a license to practice.  Being certified through ARCB only means that you have met national standards for skill and knowledge in reflexology by passing a three-part examination (written, practical, and documentation).  In order to practice reflexology legally in the U.S., you must abide by any laws pertaining to it at the state, city, and county levels of government.  States that currently have reflexology law are North Dakota New Hampshire and Tennessee.  Many other states have statewide massage laws, which may or may not have an exemption for reflexology.  Be sure to check with all appropriate governmental agencies about reflexology laws in your state, city and/or county.

11.   With regard to the documented portion of the ARCB exam, what do ‘post-graduate sessions’ mean exactly?

‘Post-graduate sessions’ means those sessions you have performed after you have graduated from a reflexology school/program.  Most reflexology programs require their students to perform reflexology sessions outside of school and document those sessions as part of their requirements for graduation.  You could NOT use any of these sessions that you performed for school certification for testing purposes with ARCB.  However, any sessions you performed after your school graduation, even if on these same clients, could be used for the documented portion of the ARCB exam, as long as you work on each client at least three times each, and each session is from 45-60 minutes in length.

12.   How long after applying for the ARCB test before I must sit for the exam?

You must sit for the exam within one year of applying for the test.  If you have missed the test in your area, or if you would rather take the exam in another city, you are free to do so as long as you notify the office thirty (30) days in advance.  Travel is at your own expense.

13.   What do I have to do to maintain my certification with ARCB?

In order to remain in good standing with ARCB, a certificant must pay an annual fee every year and obtain 12 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years.

 14.   What happens if I don’t pay my annual fee and/or don’t take any continuing education?

You will no longer be considered an active certificant, and your name will be removed from the national referral list.  ARCB’s policy states that a one-year grace period in which to reinstate certification will be allowed for those certificants whose annual fees have lapsed.  A certificant may pay back the previous year’s fee and the current fee to remain in good standing.  Inactivity longer than this requires a certificant to retake the written and practical exams (check with the ARCB office fore the amount of the retake fee). This policy eliminates the problem of continuing education units (CEUs) and is less expensive for the certificant, since he/she does not have to pay all fees in arrears and does not have to earn and pay for CEUs from those prior years as well.

15.    I’m thinking of starting my own reflexology school, and I want to make sure that the students who take my course can sit for the ARCB exam.  What should I include in my curriculum?

One of the prerequisites for taking the ARCB exam is completion of a reflexology course of instruction through certification (if available) involving a minimum of 110 hours.  For a breakdown of course specifics, please see the answer to question no. 7 above.  Please bear in mind that the guidelines outlined above are only suggested recommendations for course curriculum.  You may certainly vary your curriculum in any way, but it should contain instruction in at least these course subjects.

In addition, ARCB recommends that you contact the American Commission for the Accreditation for Reflexology Education and Training (ACARET) for further assistance in setting school curriculum.  Their mission is to provide schools with guidelines to advance the standards for education of professional reflexologists in America.  ACARET may be reached at 1309 Hillcrest Dr., Anchorage, AK 99503, PH: 907-278-4646. Click here for the ACARET website: www.acaret.org/.

16.    I want to teach. Should I be ARCB certified?

ARCB’s focus is on practitioner standards.  Testing has nothing to do with teaching.  That said, as a teacher, you would want to know that your application of reflexology techniques and knowledge does meet the American Standard, so you should test for that reason.  In addition, you would want to apply to ACARET for recognition as an approved instructor.  ACARET may be reached at 1309 Hillcrest Dr., Anchorage, AK 99503, PH: 907-279-9939.  Click here for the ACARET website: www.acaret.org/

17.   If I received my reflexology education outside the United States, can I become ARCB certified in the US and are there any special concerns I should be aware of?

Yes, foreign education does count toward testing with ARCB provided it can be documented on the School Verification Form and signed by the school. Candidates should allow extra time for this process.

National certification, however, is no guarantee a reflexologist may legally practice in the United States, and the legalities for practicing reflexology throughout the country is not an easy question to answer. Laws and requirements vary from state to state and city to city within a state. For information about practicing in a particular state the reflexologist will want to contact the local city and/or county clerk’s business licensing office and possibly the Department of Health.

Some states and municipalities acknowledge the distinction between reflexology and massage, others do not. Reflexologists may be told they must have a massage license, or worse, an adult entertainment license to practice. They may also find that they cannot practice as a home-based business, or on an out-call basis, and must therefore rent commercial space. On the other hand, they may be told there are no licensing restrictions or requirements; only that local and county zoning business regulations apply and they need to fill out a form and pay a modest business license fee.

18.   I mailed in my annual fees, can I send my continuing education proof along with it?


 19.   How long before I get a new I.D. card, my check or credit card has not been cashed/charged? 

ARCB’s bank is in a state other than the office address, and it takes 6-8 weeks for checks to be cashed.  Credit cards are usually charged once a week (i.e. Friday).

 20.    When is the annual fee due? 

The ARCB annual fee mailing goes out at the end of every year, and is due in the office the end of January the following year.

 21.    Can I call the office and pay my annual fee with a credit card? 

Yes. If you call and get a recording, please leave a message, as we are on the phone helping other certificants or candidates.

 22    What if my payment is late or I could not find my annual dues card? 

Check the website for the annual dues amount and send your dues to the post office box along with all of your current contact information.