Here we would like to explain different levels of regulation that music therapy can seek at the state level.
(Reference - AMTA/CBMT State Recognition Operational Plan Resources)
A license outlines specific education, clinical training, and continuing education requirements and provides title protection, practice protection, and public protection. The general purpose of music therapy licensure legislation is:
A registry is a list of professionals who have met predetermined education, clinical training, and certification requirements and this program provides title protection. The general purpose of music therapy registry legislation is:
A significant difference between licensure and registration is that the level of enforcement for licensure is stricter and non-compliance can result in fines and legal action.
In theory, title protection legislation should only regulate how individuals hold themselves out to the public (title protection) and should not regulate practice. That is, only those credentialed individuals that meet the requirements for “music therapists”, as defined by the act, may advertise themselves as being music therapists, but nothing would prevent non-credentialed persons from providing music therapy services or otherwise practicing music therapy so long as they do not hold themselves out to the public as being music therapists.
The primary purpose of title act legislation is to promote the competent practice of a profession by encouraging individuals to obtain those credentials recognized by the act and to protect the value of a professional title by preventing non-credentialed individuals from diluting the title’s value by prohibiting those individuals from holding themselves out as professionals in a given field.
Title act legislation should be viewed as an acceptable alternative to licensure only in jurisdictions where available resources are too scarce to permit a regime that includes the regulation or enforcement components inherent to registry or licensure schemes.
State certification granted to individuals who have met certain education, clinical training, and certification requirements. State certification: