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Certification Requirements

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.

Ready to apply? 

Have ready to upload a pdf of your graduation certificate if you are a graduate of an approved school, or transcripts and any certificates from other schools.

Student Member ready to take the exam? 

What must my education cover?

The 200 hours of education should be broken down as below:

A Minimum of 50 hours course work in:
--Anatomy & physiology,
--Kinesiology (for bodywork)

A Minimum 100 hours divided among the subjects of business, ethics, behavior, safety, etc.

These must include training in:

--Behavior of your target animal (horse or dog)
--Ethics (as pertains to bodywork or acupressure)
--Handling of your target animal
--Biosecurity (avoiding spread of disease)

An additional minimum of 50 hours of supervised in class hands-on work, which would include:

--Assessment and execution of bodywork skill being studied
--Benefits of massage/acupressure, 
--Practice guidelines.
--10 of the 50 hours may include graded case studies

Does it matter how I take the courses?

Distance learning is acceptable for any “lecture” class such as anatomy & physiology, business and ethics. 

Hands-on classes such as massage techniques, assessment, acupoint and meridian locations must be taught in an in-class supervised setting

If your school does graded case studies, 10 of those hours may be counted towards the 50  hands-on hours.
During COVID, 10 
of the 50 hours of skills and assessment training may be conducted live online.

What if I want to take more than one exam?

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.

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.

I'm a human bodyworker does any of my schooling and/or experience count?

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.

How do I take the exams?

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.

Online proctoring is available.  

More questions? See our NBCAAM Certification Guide

Ready to apply to take the exam?

Before submitting your application please:

Read our Code of Ethics. You will need to attest to it during your application.

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.

Important Messages

All submissions are subject to audit. NBCAAM reserves the right to contact schools for verification or request further information.

Please allow us 7 business days to review and respond to your application. Check your spam for our emails.

If you have any questions or need further assistance before then please email Roxana Soler at

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