American Reflexology Certification Board ®

Setting the highest testing standards to which Professional Reflexologists aspire since 1991.

Reflexology Digest

Understanding the Difference

(Between ARCB® and RAA or your State Reflexology Association)  
Lessons From the Geese

We often receive questions about the difference between ARCB® and various membership organizations for reflexologists such as the Reflexology Association of America and state reflexology associations. So, let’s clarify the differences again, in a format which will perhaps make it easier to understand:

American Reflexology Certification Board® (ARCB®)

ARCB® is a testing board. We serve to verify to the public, and to law enforcement and legislative agencies, that a person who has been certified by ARCB® has met the necessary minimum standards in order to be allowed to practice reflexology with the public.

ARCB® certification is required by some law enforcement and legislative agencies as the basis for receiving a license to practice in their jurisdictions. While not yet required in all states, legislative activities are increasingly requiring licensing of reflexologists.

Reflexology Association of America (RAA) and State Reflexology Organizations

These organizations are not testing entities.

  • ARCB® is an independent body not associated with any school or membership association.

  • A reflexologist cannot “join” ARCB®.

  • In order to become certified by ARCB®, a reflexologist must sit for both written and practical examinations as well as submit defined client documentation work. All three portions of the exam must be passed to achieve certification.

  • In order to maintain ARCB® certification, Continuing Education (CE) hours must be completed and submitted every 2 years.

  • These are membership organizations for both students and professionals in the field of reflexology as well as associated entities (such as schools, instructors and equipment suppliers) who support or obtain revenue from the field.

  • These organizations can typically be joined by completing an application evidencing you meet membership level requirements determined by each organization and paying the required fee.

  • These organizations typically have no test requirements and set their own standards for levels of membership.

  • These organizations typically do not require Continuing Education hours to maintain membership.

ARCB’s® examination was developed and is updated based upon:

  • A survey of reflexologists conducted periodically to determine the American standard of professional reflexology practice,

  • Consultation with a professional psychometrist1

Again, no test or examination is typically required, although the organization may require evidence of a certain number of hours of education in order to join. The organization’s board of directors determines the membership requirements and changes may require a vote by the professional membership.

1Psychometrics is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. As defined by National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), psychometrics refers to psychological measurement. Generally, it refers to the field in psychology and education that is devoted to testing, measurement, assessment, and related activities and with the objective measurement of skills and knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational achievement.

A candidate for testing with ARCB® must provide evidence of completed reflexology education through certification (if available) consisting of a minimum of 110 hours of classroom instruction and fulfilling certain course content requirements2. An additional 90 hours of independent study, supervised clinical hours or client documentation hours are required for a total of 200 hours minimum.

These minimum hours and course content requirements are based upon the psychometrically developed standards referenced above.

The candidate’s educational providers are required to confirm the candidate’s successful course completion in writing.

A person interested in membership with RAA (and associated state reflexology organizations) must meet these requirements:

Professional Membership requires completion of 300 hours of reflexology-only training(s); 60% of which must have been taken in a live classroom setting with an instructor. Documentation of training is required to be submitted.

Associate Membership is open to reflexologists not meeting the Professional member level standards, students, clients, interested parties, agencies, schools, businesses, or other entities concerned about, and desiring to support the field of reflexology.

(It should be noted that some state associations are not affiliated with RAA and may have different membership requirements.)

A reflexologist who wishes to sit for the ARCB® examination must have a minimum of 200 hours of reflexology-specific education. This means that you can be confident an ARCB® certified reflexologist will be a professional reflexologist who meets psychometrically valid national standards. ARCB’s® minimum educational hours and specific course content requirements prohibit those who have an on-line only education or an education in another field such as massage, with only a few hours of reflexology instruction, from achieving ARCB® certification. While membership organizations such as RAA or your state reflexology association, may set certain standards for professional membership levels, they typically allow students and others who don’t meet professional level requirements to join as an associate member.

The membership organizations exist to support all reflexologists, no matter their education or skill level, while ARCB® exists to:

  • Support professional reflexologists whose educators have confirmed their minimum educational requirements have been met and who have tested to ensure they meet psychometrically valid standards,

  • Protect the public and aid law enforcement by providing certification of the reflexologist to a minimum standard.

Membership organizations set their standards for professional membership based upon their understanding of and desire for the field of practice both now and in future. Certification bodies such as ARCB® set their educational minimums and exam standards based on psychometrically valid analysis of the actual practices by currently existing professionals.

In conclusion, think of ARCB® as a national entity similar to your state cosmetology or medical board which administers an exam that must be passed in order for the person to legally practice. While not yet required in all jurisdictions, ARCB’s® exam is the requirement for reflexologist licensing in some states.

223% of hours must consist of reflexology theory, history, zones, meridians and relaxation response; 36% of hours must relate to study of the leg and foot as a structure, hands-on palpation of landmarks with sensory identification of palpated areas, map of reflexes as anatomically reflected on the feet, how the body is affected by stimulation to the reflexes on the feet, hands-on experience; 27% of hours must relate to Anatomy and Physiology; 5% of hours must relate to business practice covering ethics and business standards, local/state laws and ordinances pertaining to the practice of reflexology; 9% (minimum) of hours must consist of supervised practicum or clinical work. There may be any number of additional independent study hours which can include giving and documenting client sessions and other written work.

©2017 ARCB®

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