Certification Exam Requirements
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Who can sit for the National Animal Acupressure & Massage Examination?
The minimum standard for sitting for the NBCAAM exam is documented proof of attendance at a school or schools of either animal massage or animal acupressure resulting in an accumulated course of study equaling a minimum of 200 hours.
The 200 hours of education should be broken down as follows:
the curriculum contains at least:
Minimum at least 50 hours of training in anatomy & physiology, kinesiology (for bodywork) and pathologies
Minimum 50 hours of supervised in class hands-on work, which would include assessment and execution of bodywork skill being studied, benefits of massage/acupressure, and practice guidelines.
o 10 of the 50 hours may include graded case studies
o During COVID, 10 of the 50 hours of skills and assessment training may be conducted live online
Minimum 100 hours divided among classes such as business, ethics, behavior, safety, etc. These must include training in:
o Behavior of your target animal (horse or dog)
o Ethics (as pertains to bodywork or acupressure)
o Handling of your target animal
o Bio-security (avoiding spread of disease)
Distance learning is acceptable for any “lecture” class such as anatomy & physiology, business and ethics. However, hands-on classes such as massage techniques, assessment, acupoint and meridian locations must be taught in an in-class supervised setting.
For those candidates wanting to take more than one of the NBCAAM examinations, a maximum of 50 hours is allowed for cross-certification (for example, a maximum of 50 hours of canine massage study can be applied towards the required 200 hours for canine acupressure), but none of the hours for cross-certification applies towards the hands-on requirement. All hands-on hours must be specific for the test to be taken.
Massage or acupressure training for humans may count for a maximum of 50 hours of the required 200 hour total. Such human training is required to be topic specific that is massage or acupressure techniques, Anatomy & Physiology, meridian theory or acupoint energetics, for example. The remaining 150 hours of massage or acupressure training or equivalent must be animal related.
International candidates may sit for the NBCAAM exam.
Along with submission of your application, you are required to submit verification of school attendance and/or the equivalent of other training or experience. Applications are subject to audit for verification of educational experience.
When is the NBCAAM exam administered?
The NBCAAM exam is administered online throughout the country at learning centers or at Veterinarian offices. Candidates are required to locate a learning center of their choice and schedule a proctored examination time, once NBCAAM approves their application. The date and time are arranged at the convenience of the applicant and the proctoring center.
More questions? See our guide.
please read our Code of Ethics. You will need to attest to it during your application.
please read the Legal Standing of Animal Massage and Acupressure statement, which you will attest to.
If you are using work hours to qualify for the exam (2000 hours worked equals 25 hours), please fill out and upload this document with your application.
Electronic application is below and is the preference for submission. A hard-copy of the application can be found here if an electronic submission is not possible. You can submit additional documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All submissions are subject to audit. NBCAAM reserves the right to contact schools for verification or request further information.
Examination Fee (includes two year membership in NBCAAM): $175.00* (* Fees may increase at anytime and $75 of the fee is non-refundable to cover administrative costs.)
Online proctoring available for those with a computer running Mac or Windows, with a working built-in or external connected webcam.
Checks or money orders made out to NBCAAM may also be sent to
1425 Broadway #28010 Seattle, WA 98122