Foot Reflexology FAQ
What do students need to do to prepare for the foot exam?
Since the ARCB® exam is national certification to the American standard (the techniques of thumb and finger-walking and hook-in and back-up) of foot reflexology practice, all content areas and details covered on the exam may or may not have been covered in your reflexology certification course or school curriculum. Your success on the exam is not a reflection on your instructor and depends on you and your preparation. Work with the Study Guide and the Additional Resources List materials (provided in the guide), read the Study Tips, and allow yourself a minimum of 3 months to study after receiving the Study Guide. It is recommended that you also begin to work on the Documentations portion prior to taking the exam as this will assist your study efforts.
What prerequisites are required to apply for the foot exam?
You must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent. You must have completed a minimum 200-hour reflexology course through certification (if available). This course must consist of at least 110 hours of classroom instruction that meets the content/subject requirements defined by ARCB®.
If the course you chose is between 110 classroom hours but less than the 200 hours required to sit for the exam, the remaining hours needed may consist of a combination of online instruction, giving and documenting client sessions, supervised practicum, internships, and other written work assigned as independent study or project hours as approved and graded by your reflexology school. The Anatomy and Physiology portion of your reflexology training may also be taken at an accredited college or university in a classroom or online if completed within the past 3 years.
Note: Any documented client sessions used to complete the 200-hour educational requirement for your school certification may not be used for the documentation portion of the ARCB® exam.
You must be able to provide a Certificate of Attendance or verification (in English) from the school(s) or instructor(s) confirming the number of hours attended and individual subjects taught and whether the format was classroom instruction or otherwise. Please see Legislative & Other Resources in the Main Menu and Choosing a Reflexology Education topic for more detailed information regarding course and subject requirements.
What if I don’t have a Certificate of Attendance?
ARCB® will accept a letter from your school/teacher verifying the number hours attended and the hours of individual subjects taught.
If I received my foot reflexology training in another country, am I eligible to take the ARCB® foot exam?
If you meet the prerequisites described above and can also provide the evidence of attendance or verification (in English) of training hours and subjects, then you are eligible to apply to take the exam. For detailed information on course and subject requirements, please see Legislative & Other Resources in the Main Menu and Choosing a Reflexology Education topic.
What is covered on the written foot exam?
The written portion consists of 150 questions on Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) and 150 questions on Foot Reflexology. A score of 75% is required to pass each portion of the written exam. Many reflexology books include excellent sections on A&P. However, adequate and thorough preparation for the exam requires the use of an A&P body systems-oriented textbook. The books cited in the Additional Resources List provided in the Study Guide are deemed excellent for this exam. The reflexology component of the exam will involve questions about reflexes to work for specific conditions. This information is found in the reflexology books on the Additional Resources List. Our analysis has shown that those candidates who do best on the Reflexology component also have a thorough knowledge and understanding of A&P.
What foot reflexology chart is used for the exam?
The chart used is the ARCB® foot chart provided in the Study Guide. During your initial certification training your school or instructor likely used one specific chart. For testing purposes, all candidates must have access to the same information, not affiliated with any school or teacher, and therefore ARCB® requires candidates to be tested based on their knowledge of the ARCB® provided chart. Note that ARCB’s® chart is used for exam purposes only and is not intended to be a definition of the American system of reflexology or the only correct chart.
What is the documentations portion of the foot exam?
You must provide documentation on the forms provided in the Study Guide in the required format evidencing 3 sessions each on 30 different clients (90 documented sessions total.) The documentations portion also requires submission of a client history (intake questionnaire) and that each session you document be 45-60 minutes in duration. Additionally these sessions must be post-graduate sessions which means you may not utilize any documented sessions from a previous reflexology training course. You have up to 6 months from date of completion of your written and practical exam to submit all 90 documented sessions. Many certificants report that completing the documentations portion prior to taking the written and practical exams assisted in their study for the exam.
What is the practical portion of the foot exam?
This exam tests your hands-on knowledge and skills. You will be asked to locate specific anatomical and reflex locations and to work selected areas as directed by the Exam Proctor. The reflexes you are asked to work or the technique you are asked to perform may not be identified as your school taught, but will be based on the information contained in the ARCB® Study Guide. The practical exam is graded on accuracy, technique and flow. You will not be allowed to use any oils, lotions, creams or tools with which to apply pressure. You will also be asked questions regarding reflexology to test your verbal communication skills.
Hand Reflexology FAQ's
Is there a prerequisite to take the ARCB® Hand Exam?
Yes, you must have successfully passed the ARCB® foot certification before you can take the hand exam.
What are the education requirements to take the Hand Exam?
You must have completed 30 hours of classroom instruction which meets the content/subject requirements defined by ARCB®. You must be able to provide a Certificate of Attendance or verification (in English) from the school/instructor verifying the number of hours attended and individual subjects taught. Please see Legislative & Other Resources in the Main Menu and Choosing a Reflexology Education topic for more detailed information regarding course and subject requirements.
What hand reflexology chart is used for the exam?
The chart used is the ARCB® hand chart provided in the Study Guide. During your hand reflexology training your school or instructor likely used one specific chart. For testing purposes, all candidates must have access to the same information, not affiliated with any school or teacher, and therefore ARCB® requires candidates to be tested based on their knowledge of the ARCB® provided chart. Note that ARCB’s® chart is used for exam purposes only and is not intended to be a definition of the American system of reflexology or the only correct chart.
What is covered on the hand exam and what are the documentation requirements?
The written portion consists of 45 questions on Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) and Kinesiology, as well as 15 questions on business practices and 50 questions on areas of emphasis and hand reflexes. The practical portion of the hand exam is similar to that described in the foot exam FAQs. The documentation portion of the hand exam requires documenting a total of 20 sessions that are a minimum of 30 minutes each.
What if I learned hand reflexology from a school/teacher that teaches a combined program (foot/hand or foot/hand/ear)? How do I provide evidence that I completed the required 30 hours?
The school or instructor must complete an ARCB® School Verification Form that states the program is a combined program that covers the required course and subject components and verifies the number of classroom instruction hours dedicated to hand reflexology. For detailed information on course and subject requirements, please see Other Resources in the Main Menu and Choosing a Reflexology Education topic.
What if the school or instructor I used did not offer at least 30 hours of instruction in hand reflexology?
Then you will need to take an additional course in hand reflexology to achieve the required number of hours.
Can I take a course in hand reflexology and apply it toward my CE hours to maintain my ARCB® foot certification?
Yes; however, please note that you cannot use the course you take as the basis for both your prerequisite training for hand certification and also for CE hours. It may apply to only the training prerequisite or to CE hours.
Does my Continuing Education (CE) hours requirement change if I also pass the hand exam?
No, the requirement remains the same (12 CE hours every 24 months).
Can I take the foot exam and the hand exam on the same date if they are both offered?
No, you must complete your ARCB® foot certification first.
Does the ARCB® have future plans to offer a combined hand and foot exam that doesn’t require completion of foot certification first or a standalone hands-only certification?
There are no such plans at this time.
How do I apply to take the ARCB® Exam?
Complete the exam application and submit the fee. Note the application requires school verification of your reflexology certification / education. See Take the ARCB® Exam section of this website for more detailed information. (Also see questions and answers below regarding educational requirements.)
Does passing the ARCB® exam provide me a license to practice reflexology anywhere in the USA?
ARCB® national certification does not provide you the right to practice legally in the USA. Laws and requirements vary from state to state and from city to city within a state. For information about practicing in a particular state, contact the local city and/or county clerk’s business licensing office for the city in which you desire to practice. The Reflexology Association of America (RAA) or the state’s reflexology association may also be able to provide more information about the requirements within a particular state. See Legislative & Other Resources from the Main Menu to contact these organizations.
How are test dates and locations determined?
ARCB® returns to some locations at approximately the same time each year and other locations are determined dependent upon requests by applicants in an area. Test dates are set to coincide with weather conditions in different areas of the country and are often scheduled adjacent to reflexology conference dates.
When are test locations and dates available?
Test dates and locations are set by the Board of Directors and are usually made available on our website in December of each year for the coming year. See the Take the ARCB® Exam section of this website for the most current list of dates and locations.
If I want ARCB® to test in my area, how can I arrange that?
ARCB’s® minimum requirement to test in any given location is 8 confirmed candidates. Such a group of candidates can request a specific location by informing our office by phone or e-mail and a date/location can be coordinated. We do not conduct tests at schools or spas, but only at conference/meeting centers.
After I apply, how much time do I have to take the exam?
You have 12 months from your application date to take the exam. If you do not take the exam within 12 months, the application fee is forfeited and you must reapply.
What if I can’t make it to the exam or decide I’m not ready to take it and need to cancel?
Call or e-mail the office immediately. You have the option for a refund of the application fee less a $50 processing fee or you may reschedule your test within 2 years. You may reschedule to take the exam at another location or wait to see if your original location will be available the next year.
What happens if ARCB® cancels an exam?
If ARCB® cancels an exam due to lack of candidates you will typically be notified at least 30 days prior to the exam date. If cancellation is due to another reason, such as weather prohibiting travel of the proctor and candidates, you will be notified as soon as possible. Notifications are generally made by phone and/or e-mail. In the event of ARCB® cancellation you have the option of receiving a refund of the full exam fee or keeping it on account for another exam date you choose within the next 2 years. If you do not take the exam within 2 years after an ARCB® cancellation, your fee is forfeited and you will need to reapply.
What if I make my travel arrangements and the exam is cancelled?
ARCB® is not responsible for travel costs. If ARCB® cancels an exam due to lack of candidates you will typically be notified at least 30 days prior to the exam date. We encourage you not to make reservations until the date has been confirmed or to choose refundable or transferrable fares.
Can I send my documentations to a street address via FedEx, etc?
All documentations should be sent to the street address listed on our website. If time is a concern you may utilize a priority delivery service, however we request that you do not structure the delivery to require a signature upon receipt.
Can I get feedback on my documentations prior to submitting them all to ARCB®?
Yes, you may send one sample of your documentations to the ARCB® office prior to formal submission requesting feedback on proper format and structure.
What if I passed the written and practical exam, but I haven’t been able to complete the required documentations within 6 months of the exam date?
Contact the office to explain the reason for your inability to complete the documentations and to request an extension. Extension requests are subject to review and approval by the ARCB® Board of Directors. (Note it is recommended you begin and complete at least a portion of your documentations prior to taking the exam.)
How can I get a copy of the ARCB® Study Guide?
The only way to obtain a copy of the Study Guide is to apply and be accepted for testing with ARCB®. The Study Guide (which includes Additional Resources Material recommendations, Study Tips and Documentation Forms) is sent to you upon completion of the application process.
How long will it take to receive my Study Guide?
Your completed application and fee as well as school verification must be received before the Study Guide can be sent. The Study Guide is mailed within 2 days of receipt of all required items and usually arrives within 3 to 7 business days. If you believe your application, verification and fee payment have been completed and you haven’t received your Study Guide, please contact our office.
When can I start doing my documentations?
As soon as you receive the instructions and the blank form masters for copying. These are sent within the Study Guide.
After I apply and am accepted, when may I take the exam?
You must sit for the exam within one year of application acceptance. ARCB® does not recommend that you schedule to take the exam until you have studied for at least 3 months after receiving your Study Guide. Please note there is no guarantee that test cities will be the same each year and that travel expenses to take the exam are your responsibility.
What do I have to do to maintain my ARCB® certification?
In order to remain certified, you must pay an annual fee and provide evidence of completion of 12 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years. See the Continuing Education section of this website for more information about your options for CE hours.
When is the annual fee due and how can I pay it?
Certificants are notified by mail or e-mail prior to the end of each year reminding them to pay their annual fee. Payment is due by January 31st of the new year. You may pay your fee on-line through the certificants-only area of this website or download the fee payment form and mail it with your payment (select Login from the Main Menu to access this area).
If I mail in my annual fee can I send my continuing education proof with it?
How long after I submit my annual fee before I receive my new ID card?
Allow a minimum of 30 days for processing. If you have not received it after that time, please contact our office.
How can a reflexology school or instructor help to prepare students for the ARCB® exam?
Schools and instructors cannot teach to the ARCB® exam and cannot orient their tests as a measure for the ARCB® exam. No school or instructor may claim that passing their certification course will enable their students to pass the ARCB® exam. Becoming nationally certified by ARCB® is designed to encourage applicants to go above and beyond the initial reflexology certification training they have already taken and to advance both the individual practitioner and the reflexology profession as a whole. Applicants should understand that they alone are responsible for working with the Study Guide, using the recommended resources in the guide and taking adequate time to study and prepare for the exam. ARCB® strongly recommends a minimum of 3 months preparation time between applying and taking the exam. Some applicants may need more study time. Schools and instructors may best help their students to prepare to take the ARCB® exam by accurately communicating this information to their students.
I’m an instructor or owner of a reflexology school. What should I include in my curriculum and should I be ARCB® certified?
ARCB® recommends that you review the current requirements for professional membership in the Reflexology Association of America and/or your state reflexology association for information to set your school curriculum. Also see Choosing a Reflexology Education in the Legislative & Other Resources area for ARCB’s® suggested minimum requirements for course content and hours by subject. As an instructor or school owner, you would want to know that your application of reflexology techniques and knowledge does meet the American standard (the techniques of thumb and finger-walking and hook-in and back-up), so you should consider ARCB® testing for yourself.
I’d like to become approved to provide ARCB® Continuing Education credits. How do I do that?
See the Continuing Education section of this website for Schools, Instructors & Associations.
Reflexology Education FAQ's
Can I take an on-line or distance learning (webinar, correspondence or DVD-based) reflexology course and still sit for the ARCB® exam?
ARCB’s® policy is 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 classroom instruction hours. An on-line or distance learning reflexology course is not eligible to fulfill the training requirement to test with ARCB®.
What reflexology schools or instructors does ARCB® recommend?
ARCB® does not approve or recommend any reflexology training schools or courses. No school or instructor has authorization from ARCB® to state that taking their course will qualify you to pass the ARCB® examination. You must select your own course of study. See the recommended information below about course content and hours for use in making your decision.
What is the recommended course content for foot reflexology training?
- The course must be at least 110 hours of classroom study in total. The suggested content should include:
- 25 hours of reflexology theory, history, zones, meridians and relaxation response (23%)
- 40 hours of body systems as related to reflexology; study of the leg and foot as a structure; hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas (congested, grainy, tight, soft, etc.); a map of reflexes (reflexology chart) as they are anatomically reflected on the feet; how the body is affected by stimulation to the reflexes on the feet, as well as hands-on experience (36%)
- 30 hours of Anatomy and Physiology (27%)
- 5 hours of business practice covering ethics and business standards, local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of reflexology (5%)
- 10 hours (or more) of supervised practicum or clinical work (9%) Any number of additional homework hours which can include giving and documenting client sessions and other written work.
What if I can’t find a reflexology program in my area offering at least 110 hours of classroom study? Can I piece together hours to achieve a total of 110 and still 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 take in this manner, include the course content as percentages of total described above.
Continuing Ed FAQs
How do I find out when my 2-year CE cycle ends?
Look at your ARCB® certification document. The cycle begins January 1 of the year after you achieved certification and ends 2 years later on December 31st. If you're still not sure, then you can call the ARCB® office to verify.
I had a hardship and was unable to complete my 12 CE hours before the end of my 2-year cycle. Now what?
With the option to perform an Independent Study project or to fulfill your CE requirement with an on-line course, there is little justification for granting hardship extension. ARCB® may grant an extension for hardships such as a major illness, full-time caring for a disabled or ill family member, etc. Please submit your extension request in writing to the ARCB® office via mail, e-mail or fax together with an explanation of the hardship and a proposed time frame in which you expect to complete the 12 CE hours.
What if I want to attend a couple of non-approved courses or perform several independent study projects or a combination of both to achieve my required 12 hours?
You can submit them all on a single App for Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study form and cover them all with the payment of one $25 non-refundable fee.
How long does it take for an Application for Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study to be approved?
Approvals are processed in the order received. If you are diligent about providing all required information, it usually takes less than 30 days to process your application; however, we suggest allowing 6 weeks, if possible, to be certain of approval before attending the activity.
What happens if my Application for Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study isn’t approved?
Our office will notify you of non-approval or may notify you of deferred approval pending receipt of further information.
If the course or activity provides more than 12 CE hours, do I receive credit for the additional hours and can I carry them over for credit to another 2-year period?
No more than 12 CE hours will be credited in any 2-year period and any additional hours earned may not be carried over to another 2-year period.
How will I know if my Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study Completion has been approved?
You will be notified by the ARCB® office. If it is not approved, further information will be provided to enable you to resubmit for approval.
What happens if I forget to submit my attestation form?
The office will remind you that you must submit it in order to avoid lapsed status.
What if I am one of those selected for random audit of attendance at an ARCB® approved activity or course and I’ve lost my verification documentation?
Contact the provider of the ARCB® approved activity/course to request replacement of the lost documentation.
Can I perform the same activity or attend the same course again and use it for credit?
For a repeated Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study activity to be approved, you must be able to indicate how it further enhanced your skills by describing in detail what was newly learned.
Can I still receive credit if I forgot to apply for approval before my Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study activity?
Failure to submit the form for approval will not automatically result in denial, and you may submit for approval after the fact. You should submit the App for Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study form together your $25 fee and the Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study Completion Form. Note that without pre-approval you risk that the completed study or activity will not be approved and you won’t receive credit.
I have a question about CE requirements that isn’t covered here. How do I get it answered?
Simply submit your question to the ARCB® office via mail, e-mail or fax.
Online FormsApplication to Provide ARCB® CE Hours ARCB® Approved CE Attestation Form Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study Completion Form App for Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study Accommodation Request and Documentation of Disability form Foot Exam Application Hand Exam Application The Records Release and School Verifications Form and Documentation of Disability-Related Needs Form may only be downloaded.
Downloadable FormsClick a document to download/save to your computer. Application to Provide ARCB® CE Hours ARCB® Approved CE Attestation Form Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study Completion Form App for Independent or Non-ARCB® Approved Study Accommodation Request and Documentation of Disability form Foot Exam Application Hand Exam Application Records Release and School Verification Forms
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