Rep. Crouch has introduced HB 1051 concerning the certification of music therapists.
In the licensure world, there are three basic approaches: licensing, registration, and certification. Licensing generally prohibits an activity unless you have demonstrated certain qualifications and the state has issued you a permit to perform the activity. Registration says that pretty much anyone can do the activity, but you have to sign up and provide the state with certain information first. (This can bleed over into licensure inasmuch as you might have to jump certain hoops before you’re allowed to sign up.) Certification says that anyone can perform the activity but only people who meet certain qualifications can hold themselves out as “certified”; the idea being that the consumer can then decide whether credentials or price is more important.
This bill is an odd hybrid. It looks a lot like a certification bill – it says that you can’t call yourself a certified music therapist unless the “the individual holds and maintains the credentialing administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.” (CBMT). CBMT is apparently an outfit based in Pennsylvania.
On the other hand, it also simply prohibits people from practicing music therapy if they aren’t credentialed by CBMT. However, there is an exception for other credentialed or licensed professions to perform music therapy where that therapy is within the scope of their practice.
So, on reflection, I think this bill would be better if it referred to licenses instead of certifications.
As to “music therapy” it is defined in the legislation as, “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.” That’s a nice piece of jargon right there.
In any event, the motivation of these bills always has a mix of protecting consumers and the public as well as protecting professionals from competition. The first is a legitimate public interest. The second seems more likely to drive the sort of lobbying necessary to get these bills passed.