ACCREDITATION AND LICENSURE
Previously, the practice of acupuncture was unregulated in Ontario. Legislation regulating the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) received Royal Assent on December 20, 2006 and specific sections of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Act 2006 are now law in Ontario.
As a result of the new law:
- A self-governing profession will be created with the authority to set standards of practice and entry to practice requirements for the profession
- A new, self-financing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario will be established, with the mandate of insuring that the profession is regulated in the interest of the public
- The scope of practice and titles that may be used by certain members of the profession have been defined
- The performance of acupuncture will be restricted to members of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, members of certain other regulated health professions and when acupuncture is performed as part of an addiction treatment program and the person performs the acupuncture within a health facility
A Transitional Council has been formed and is in the process of setting up the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario. It is anticipated that the newly formed College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario will take 2-3 years to set standards and be ready to accept members. It is expected that Ontario’s regulatory college will form similar requirements to those of British Columbia.
Ontario may indeed follow the Core Competencies of Regulated Acupuncturists in Canada (entry-level knowledge, skills and abilities), approved as Appendix A of the Mutual Recognition Agreement developed by the representatives of Regulatory Authorities from Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia in November 2001. The Professional Diploma of Acupuncture and Moxibustion offered by Ongiara College exceeds the Standards of Competency and the Specific Competencies detailed in the above document. While students at Ongiara will receive a firm foundation in the core competencies as currently laid out in the CTCMA guidelines and exceed both instructional and clinical hours, completion of Ongiara’s program does not automatically confer the right to practice in Ontario.
QUEBEC, ALBERTA AND BRITISH COLUMBIA
These provinces are currently the only three (plus Ontario) to regulate the practice of acupuncture, although there are Acupuncture Associations and practitioners in other provinces. British Columbia is the only province to regulate both acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.
Alberta has regulations under the Health Disciplines Act (1991) administered by the Alberta Acupuncture Board.
British Columbia has regulations under the Health Professions Act with guidelines for an education/training program, issued by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA).
Quebec has regulations under the Medical Act, R.S.Q.c.M-9 administered by the Corporation professionnelle des medecins du Quebec.
If you intend to practice in an as yet unregulated province, we suggest you contact local Acupuncture Associations and/or practitioners for further information, as well as the relevant government department(s).
The Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) is the national accreditation agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit programs in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession.
Ongiara College wishes to enter into the accreditation process with the ACAOM and this is a process with a clearly defined timetable.
Information is available at: www.acaom.org/
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine was established in 1982 to establish, assess and promote recognized standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Its acupuncture examination consists of 3 modules: Acupuncture, Point Location, Biomedicine. NCCAOM Certification allows the designation “Diplomate in Acupuncture or Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)”. Many US states require NCCAOM certification as a condition of licensing.
Candidates applying for NCCAOM Certification in Acupuncture who have graduated from an educational institution outside the United States must submit a Foreign Education Review Application (FERA) directly to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). AACRAO determines whether the course an applicant has taken is equivalent to the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (ACAOM) curricular requirements.
NCCAOM publishes a list of schools outside the United States that have been previously evaluated by AACRAO and where, after a case-by-case evaluation of each applicant’s transcript, the program of education completed at that school is substantially equivalent to a program at a school accredited by ACAOM.
Graduates from a school on this list will not automatically be regarded as eligible for NCCAOM certification but will still need to have their graduation transcript individually evaluated by AACRAO to ensure that it is substantially equivalent to an ACAOM approved program. Three Canadian schools/colleges currently appear on this list.
Graduates from educational institutions based in Canada that are either accredited or a candidate for accreditation by ACAOM do not need to submit a FERA to AACRAO.
Information is available at: www.nccaom.org/educatedoutus.htm
Successful completion of the Clean Needle Technique (CNT) course, administered by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) is one of the requirements for NCCAOM certification.
Information is available at: www.ccaom.org/CNTOver.html
NEW YORK STATE
In order to practice acupuncture in New York, the applicant must
- have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of study with at least 9 hours of biosciences at an accredited institution prior to application to an acupuncture program
- have successfully completed a course of study in acupuncture registered by the state education department or determined by the department to be the equivalent of such a registered program
- successfully complete the NCCAOM exam
- be a minimum of 21 years of age
The recommended course of study must provide 4050 hours (classroom instruction, supervised clinical experience and independent study assignments), including 200 hours of biosciences, 600 hours of acupuncture instruction and 650 hours of supervised clinical experience: the Ongiara Professional Diploma of Acupuncture and Moxibustion exceeds these requirements.
Applicants from abroad may apply to join the British Acupuncture Council. The whole process is described on their website at www.acupuncture.org.uk . Ongiara College believes that its Professional Diploma of Acupuncture and Moxibustion would fulfill the course requirements laid down by the BAcC. Ongiara College has used and will continue to use principles and procedures established by the British Acupuncture Accreditation Board in the development and ongoing running of its program.