Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) Phase 1 Upcoming Events

(The following post was originally posted on 8/24/2009 here:

You may have noticed my absence for a couple of weeks, and I'm sorry about that. I don't expect it to continue. Right now the MTBOK Task Force is keeping themselves, and me, quite busy.

As you may know, we are working to create Phase 1 of the first Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge (MTBOK) created by and for the Massage Therapy community. Although the content we develop is independent, we are sponsored by six "Steward" organizations who have pooled their resources and joined to get the project going. One of the mandates they gave us was to strive to be as open and inclusive as possible. To that end, we are planning on two full draft versions which will be made publicly available, one in September and one shortly after the new year.

I'm proud of the draft that the Task Force is putting together. They've done an extraordinary job, and put a lot of time into it. However, we all feel that the job itself has really just begun, and no one on the Task Force thinks the MTBOK is finished, or for that matter even "ready for prime time."

But this is how we must proceed, because we want this document to be a consensus of the full Massage Therapy community, not just the Task Force. So this document is a first draft - rough, and not fully flushed out - but it does show you the direction we are moving in and how we are thinking. So it's the perfect time to start getting, analyzing, and incorporating the views of the community we represent.

We hope you will read the document well and provide us your comments, corrections and suggestions. This is the best time to do it, because the farther "upstream" a change is made the easier it is to make and the more powerful the "downstream" impact is.

We are now creating ways in which we can facilitate YOUR ability to provide suggestions and comments while we ensure that our small group (eight members working on this project as part-time volunteers) can efficiently manage a large volume of input. I hope you will like the comment collection options, and that you will try to comply with them. For us to be able to manage the comments, we will be asking for focused comments: one theme at a time, and that you target the specific place in the MTBOK as much as possible. Our automated collection instruments will help with this by allowing you to identify section number and line number of the area that you are commenting about. Of course, our goal is to get all of your comments, so you may provide as many as you wish, and this methodology will give us the best chance of keeping up with all of the comments we receive.

I've gone on too long about this for one blog, but please keep the following points in mind:

1. We will issue a first draft of the MTBOK content for public review and comment on 9/15/2009.
2. We will issue a second draft for public review and comment shortly after the first of the year.
3. The final phase 1 MTBOK content will be released in early May of 2010.
4. After the first draft is released, comments will be accepted at any time through the final release. Although you will see deadlines for comment submission, this will only relate to whether your comment will be able to be considered for the next release.

One other opportunity: for those of you who will attend the AMTA National Conference in Orlando, FL this September, we will be conducting a session designed to hear your comments in person. I hope we will see you there!

Finally, you can see from the above that we are both sponsored and independent. The MTBOK Steward organizations won't see the draft before anyone else. This blog is hosted on an ABMP site, and AMTA is assisting us with an in-person activity at their convention. I could (and probably will at some time) go on and on about the unconditional support all the Stewards are providing for the project, but that will be for a later blog...

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