Why National Certification?–Who Needs It?

By Christine Issel


“I know what I know, I’m getting good results, my clients are satisfied with my work so why should I bother to be nationally certified? Why should I take another test?”


These are all good questions to ask yourself as you look into national certification.


As reflexology gains greater acceptance as a legitimate and credible discipline in the larger wholistic health field there comes with this recognition certain responsibilities. A profession is made up of its practitioners. Thanks to those who have gone before us Reflexology is where it is today. In turn, today’s practitioners have the obligation of upgrading standards in the field and working to ensure the profession remains a separate, self-regulated profession. In addition, the field has the responsibility of protecting the public through the recognition of competent practitioners. All of these issues can be addressed through national certification testing with the American Reflexology Certification Board (ARCB).


Just as medical and law schools do not certify their own students, instead leaving that up to independent boards, certification is the non-governmental recognition by the private sector—or within a field—of voluntarily achieved standards. The goal of certification programs is to measure competence, and through the identification of competent professionals, promote public welfare. The current trend in legislation is to require nationally certification before granting state licensure.


The American Reflexology Certification Board is an independent testing agency for the field of reflexology. It is a legally constituted, non-government entity incorporated under California law as a non-profit corporation and is IRS tax exempt. The ARCB is not affiliated with any school or educational program. It does not accredit schools or instructors. Nor does it endorse any specific curriculum, training program, or instructor. ARCB is also not a membership association—one cannot join. When you have successfully passed the examination you become a certificant.


ARCB’s national certification process promotes higher standards of education, ensure public safety, and demonstrate practitioner commitment to the profession through self-improvement and continuing education requirements. With the identification of nationally certified practitioners there is confidence by the public in the quality of services offered.


“So, what’s in it for me?”


The ARCB promotes Reflexology and its certificants through a national referral list of practitioners and public relations work educating the public about Reflexology. ARCB acts as a resource center of information and assistance for its certificants. It produces free business related materials to help certificants succeed in their practice. Reflexology Today, as a semi-annual newsletter, keeps certificants updated on the latest developments within the field and legislative concerns which may directly impact them.


“I usually don’t do well on tests and I don’t want to embarrass myself by failing”.


We all have this fear. ARCB’s focus is the testing of those individuals who practice reflexology on a professional basis. While the testing process is lengthy, ARCB is not trying to create some elitist society to which only a few belong. They want you to pass and over 1,650 reflexologists have so far. A study guide is sent to assist you in your review work as you prepare to take the test—written, practical and record keeping or the documentation of client sessions. Answers on the written portion are either multiple choice or true and false. If you have studied, and are willing to work to complete all phases of testing, you should pass.


Are there other national certification programs?


Yes, however, none stand up to the rigorous standards of psychometric test validation. Some are related to a particular educational program and organization that is for profit. This makes them biased. Others do not even test but base their certification on the educational information provided by the applicant.


The New Hampshire state reflexology law requires national certification by ARCB before reflexologists are licensed (and the law demands licensure of them to legally practice) it is even more important that ARCB’s program be defensible in a court of law. This only happens when all steps or protocol in test development are followed by ARCB.


Highest Standard


Foot and Hand certification by ARCB is truly the highest standard to which professional reflexologists across the nation aspire. ARCB is thankful to the practitioners who spend the time and money to test. Only with a body of certified practitioners can reflexology become a true profession. ARCB is grateful to those professionals who share a passion for reflexology and this vision for the future.


For more information about ARCB, the national certification testing process, or the 2013 Testing Brochure visit the ARCB web site at or e-mail ARCB may also be reached at PH: 303-933-6921, FAX: 303-904-0460 or by regular mail at 2586 Knightsbridge Rd. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49526.


Reprinted with permission from  Christine Issel