Graduate profile

On completion of the diploma program, graduates will encompass the following professional attributes, subject knowledge and understanding, clinical skills, interpersonal skills, academic/intellectual abilities and transferable skills:

Professional Attributes
Graduates will:

1. understand the importance and the therapeutic potential of the patient-practitioner relationship, recognizing the inherent contribution to healing from the relationship of the practitioner, the spirits and the patient

2. demonstrate an awareness of the practitioner’s responsibilities and the patient’s responsibilities in the therapeutic relationship and be able to work appropriately with expectations

3. manifest a sensitive and holistic approach to patients and their presenting issues

4. honor patients’ dignity and privacy, and apply the principles of confidentiality

5. listen to patients and show respect for their different cultures, values, views and beliefs

6. be able to identify their own values and beliefs, and ensure that these do not prejudice patient care

7. respect patient autonomy and freedom of choice, and fully involve patients in decisions about their care

8. be familiar with allopathic and complementary medical practices and be both understanding and supportive when patients choose to use other disciplines

9. be able to apply the principles of equal opportunities in dealings with patients, colleagues and others

10. practice non-discrimination of thought or action

11. present themselves as competent, caring, professional people in their dealings with patients, the general public, colleagues and other professionals, embodying both integrity and humility

12. be aware of personal responsibilities and act in accordance with the standards of codes of conduct laid down by relevant professional bodies and/or regulatory agencies

13. be aware of the ethical considerations involved in being a practitioner, and be able to incorporate critical, ethical dimensions into professional work

14. understand and act in accordance with standards of ethics laid down by relevant professional bodies and/or regulatory agencies

15. respond appropriately to the influence of economic and emotional pressures in the provision of individual patient care

16. deal effectively with complaints about their own or others’ practice or behaviors

17. conduct themselves in a professional manner with regard to legal responsibilities

18. recognize and work within the limits of the scope of practice of acupuncture, their professional responsibility and capability

19. recognize when to seek assistance and understand the protocols for referrals and second opinions

20. demonstrate the necessary legal, financial and other business knowledge required for entering independent practice

21. demonstrate knowledge of the management of an acupuncture practice, including

a. responsibilities in relation to current employment laws, health and safety legislation, insurance codes and billing, professional and public liability insurance, and data protection regulations

b. financial and accounting practices and record keeping

c. practice standards and policies, including ethical advertising

d. protection of the environment

22. foster and maintain good professional relationships with colleagues

23. work in collaboration with interdisciplinary colleagues, in ways that best serve patients’ interests

24. demonstrate an awareness of the role of the acupuncture practitioner in the community

25. engage in reflective practice and appraisal of their own and others’ work

26. develop their own personal coping strategies

27. recognize that graduation is the first step in a lifelong process of learning and development

28. demonstrate commitment to continued learning, understanding the personal benefit and professional obligation for maintaining a program of continuing professional development

29. keep up-to-date with current acupuncture, Oriental medical, complementary, integrative and allopathic medical practice and research

30. show a passion for five element acupuncture, whilst appreciating the wider field of Oriental medicine

31. have an appreciation of other styles of acupuncture and be able to hold intelligent discussions with practitioners from different traditions

32. stand as peers in the wider context of medicine, demonstrating ownership as professional practitioners of an honorable, valid modality

33. know where to go to access resources, ask questions and receive external input/feedback after graduation (via professional supervision, mentors, senior practitioners and the wider acupuncture community)

34. show an awareness and respect for the rhythms of nature and cultivate nature within, leading to oneness

35. delight in exploring the mysteries of nature and the ten thousand beings

36. demonstrate commitment to self-development as an instrument of natural laws, with an appreciation of greater forces

37. work in harmony with HeavenEarth and apply the Dao, which is also the art of medicine, to their own lives, to their patients and to their wider communities

38. find their roots in the magic of nature, to sustain themselves as they serve themselves, their patients and their communities

39. recognize that there is more going on in professional practice than can be conceived

40. understand and embrace the fundamental simplicity within the seeming complexity of professional practice

41. understand the importance of the inner cultivation of the practitioner, and work with their own chosen ongoing inner cultivation practices

Subject Knowledge and Understanding
Graduates will show an appropriate, working level of knowledge and understanding of:

1. health as a human experience influenced by individual, family, community, national and worldwide perspectives

2. health studies informed by other academic disciplines, including anthropology, astronomy, biomedicine, economics, ethics, geography, geology, history, law, philosophy, politics, psychology, science, social science, sociology and theology

3. the diversity of the experience of and the values associated with health and well-being

4. the regulatory movements and cycles of nature

5. concepts of disease, disposition (authenticity) and destiny

6. the normal structure and functioning of the major systems and how they interrelate (anatomy, energetic geography and physiology)

7. mechanisms that maintain homeostasis

8. the human life cycle and the ageing process, and ways this affects normal structure and function

9. causes of disease (aetiology)

10. risk factors, disease prevention and health promotion

11. signs and symptoms of disease (pathology)

12. pathogenesis and alterations in structure or function consequent to illness or injury

13. the history of acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory and practice, with reference to classical texts and commentaries

14. basic theory and axioms (principles) of acupuncture and Oriental medicine

15. treatment principles of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, including specific protocols and uses of acupuncture points

16. current issues and debates in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine

17. the art of diagnosis, examination skills and clinical application of treatment principles

18. biomedical clinical sciences

19. pharmacological principles of treatment (drugs, herbs and supplements) and contraindications/adverse effects/toxicology

20. contagious diseases and infectious pathology control

21. the treatment of addiction

22. complementary, holistic and integrative medicine

23. concepts of body, mind and spirit in world philosophical, spiritual and medical traditions

24. body work as an aspect of Oriental medical practice

25. ethical, legal and environmental considerations of medical practice

26. hygiene, health and safety issues and how to prevent the transmission of disease

27. practice management

28. communication/therapeutic/counseling skills

29. public health education

30. professional bodies related to the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine

31. research strategies and methodologies

32. educational principles through which learning takes place

33. continuing practitioner development

Clinical Skills
Graduates will be able to:

1. demonstrate a practical ability to apply knowledge of acupuncture and Oriental medicine within a clinical environment

2. demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of allopathic medicine and clinical processes

3. conduct an initial case history, which is patient-centered, sensitive, accurate and relevant

4. perform a sensitive, thorough physical examination and basic biomedical tests, taking into account age, gender, sexual orientation and cultural factors etc.

5. show rigorous, in-depth application of the four examination skills (to see, hear/smell, palpate and inquire)

6. demonstrate appropriate, safe and effective clinical skills, including channel and point palpation, pulse reading, tongue assessment, akabani reading, point location, needling, moxibustion and other supplementary clinical techniques

7. apply a range of diagnostic and interactive skills in a clinical setting, leading to appropriate diagnostic conclusions and clinical reasoning

8. distinguish health from disease in individuals, considering the diversity of the experience of and the values associated with health and sickness which are informed by individual, family, community, national and global perspectives

9. formulate appropriate treatment principles based upon sound reasoning and critical evaluation, justified in relation to patients’ diagnoses, case histories and presentations

10. translate treatment principles into appropriate and effective selection of point combinations

11. understand patients’ allopathic diagnoses, results of investigations and current treatments, linking this to their acupuncture treatment plans

12. assess patient prognosis and plan patient care, recognizing the importance of negotiating the plan with the patient, the requirement for informed consent, and the relevance of age and social circumstances etc. in the treatment process

13. demonstrate an awareness of the likely limits of their knowledge and skill in relation to particular patients and disease conditions, and when/how to refer to others for advice and/or alternative interventions

14. formulate appropriate advice to give to patients based upon clinical need, taking into account patients’ particular circumstances and lifestyle, without interfering with the patients’ freedom

15. maintain legible, accurate and pertinent patient records

16. apply clear, ethical principles in clinical practice

17. critically reflect upon diagnosis, treatment principles and outcomes, based on evidence and findings, incorporating this into future treatment planning and clinical decisions

18. understand how to manage clinical emergencies, applying acupuncture and first aid skills and involving other trained professionals as appropriate

19. understand and synthesize all aspects and components that form the clinical role of ‘the practitioner’

20. demonstrate confidence and competence in independent, professional practice

Interpersonal Skills
Graduates will be skilled in the following areas of communication:

1. listening to patients

2. negotiating appropriate care plans with patients

3. providing patients with relevant and timely information and resources

4. dealing with patients’ partners and families whilst respecting the principles of confidentiality

5. handling complaints appropriately

6. supporting staff

7. referring to and liaising with colleagues and other healthcare professionals

8. explaining concepts of acupuncture and Oriental medicine to patients, the public and members of other heath-care modalities

9. participating in health education

10. relating effectively with the general public and all appropriate authorities

11. promoting their practice

Academic/Intellectual Abilities
Graduates will:

1. understand educational principles through which learning takes place

2. show a spirit of intellectual curiosity and academic inquiry

3. understand the relationship of theory to clinical practice

4. show self-determination in ongoing study projects

5. demonstrate an ability to think critically by embracing inquiry, adopting reflection and applying rational processes

6. demonstrate proficiency in clinical reasoning, through the ability to recognize and prioritize diagnostic information, and define, analyze, interpret and evaluate diagnostic conclusions

7. recognize the importance of rigor in collecting, analyzing and evaluating information

8. move between different cognitive modes, ranging from pattern recognition and rapid decision making to more reflective problem solving approaches

9. engage in creative thought, involvement, investigation, experience and deliberation as part of reflective practice

10. show an awareness of evidence-based practice and the role of research in influencing clinical interventions

11. show an understanding and critical appreciation of research methodologies

12. be able to identify the ethical considerations involved in research

13. draw on research and research methodologies to locate, review and evaluate research findings relevant to acupuncture, Oriental medicine and wider health issues

14. demonstrate curiosity and drive by applying research to professional practice

15. demonstrate the skills of critical appraisal via ongoing reading of professional literature

16. context acupuncture within the wider framework of world philosophy and history, and the ethical and moral principles inherent within its Daoist, Confucian and Buddhist roots

17. be able to review and critique different styles of acupuncture and Oriental medicine

18. demonstrate problem solving abilities and committed decision making

19. embrace an evidence based, rigorous self-assessment process

20. demonstrate the skills of self-assessment and peer-assessment

21. exhibit creativity and resourcefulness in clinical practice and in continuous learning

Transferable/Generic Skills and Abilities
Graduates will be able to:

1. Self-management

1.1. manage personal learning by identifying their own learning needs, set personal objectives, clarify personal values, distinguish opinion from evidence, and assess their own performance

1.2. effectively manage time, tasks and resources and set priorities

1.3. reflect on their own personal growth and development

1.4. demonstrate confidence and competence in managing change in themselves and others

1.5. demonstrate initiative and assertiveness skills

1.6. manage their own pressures and emotions in interpersonal interactions

1.7. show a sense of purpose and direction, and take responsibility for their own actions

1.8. seek assistance or guidance, as appropriate, in order to enhance their own personal development

2. Learning Skills

2.1. embrace the principles of reflective practice

2.2. enjoy lifelong learning and the process of discovery

2.3. learn effectively and be aware of personal learning strategies

2.4. work both independently and cooperatively

2.5. demonstrate self-motivating study habits and skills

2.6. apply research-mindedness

2.7. study topics in depth

2.8. design, plan, organize, carry out and reflect upon ongoing projects

2.9. apply rigor and a concern for quality

2.10. demonstrate various thinking styles: reflective; analytical; conceptual; intuitive; strategic

2.11. demonstrate a capacity for analysis and synthesis

2.12. use appropriate academic conventions in the production and presentation of work

2.13. use a range of academic skills, including library resources and information technology

2.14. have a good grasp of the scope of information technology, including the use of computers for word processing, data handling and information search and retrieval

2.15. gather and evaluate relevant information from a wide variety of sources, using appropriate manual and electronic systems

2.16. be able to creatively generate new ideas

2.17. be able to apply knowledge in practice

2.18. be able to compile a professional portfolio

3. Communication

3.1. show mutual respect, open process and open inquiry in all interactions

3.2. use appropriate language and form when writing and speaking

3.3. present information clearly in written, verbal and electronic mediums
3.4. communicate ideas and experiences effectively to colleagues

3.5. listen actively and participate in discussion

3.6. demonstrate critical thinking and be able to present a coherent argument

3.7. employ communication and listening skills appropriately in professional practice

3.8. understand the need for and apply the principles of confidentiality

3.9. show the ability to communicate appropriately with experts in different fields

4. Collaborative Learning

4.1. participate and cooperate within a group

4.2. take responsibility for and carry out agreed tasks

4.3. listen actively to others’ contributions

4.4. identify and respond appropriately to others’ needs

4.5. encourage and support the learning of others

4.6. recognize and negotiate individual or group objectives

4.7. share and assert their own feelings, beliefs, and opinions whilst valuing those of others

4.8. give and receive peer feedback and peer-assessment

4.9. support academic freedom and integrity

4.10. feel comfortable and confident giving a presentation to a group

4.11. build positive relationships

4.12. work effectively within a team

5. Problem Solving

5.1. evaluate the success of different learning and practice strategies

5.2. analyze and think laterally

5.3. apply logical, critical, creative and innovative thought

5.4. identify resources and strategies in order to achieve personal objectives

5.5. think critically about the dilemmas and challenges of professional practice

5.6. deal with uncertainty and work within a changing environment

5.7. use appropriate cognitive and intellectual strategies when dealing with uncertainty

5.8. deal with complex issues, sometimes in emotionally charged situations

5.9. make informed and reliable judgments even in the absence of complete information

5.10 exercise professional judgement

5.10. think and improvise on their feet

5.11. adapt to new situations

6. Social/Environmental Issues

6.1. own their place as individuals and as human beings in the natural order, accepting themselves and the unique authenticity of others

6.2. embrace the unity of all beings while celebrating the uniqueness of their manifestations

6.3. engage with the regulatory movement of the Dao and have a thriving relationship with the cycles of nature

6.4. show mindfulness and respect for the ten thousand beings

6.5. have an awareness of membership of both local and wider communities, and the international world, with a clear sense of ethical and social responsibility

6.6. recognize issues relating to equal opportunities and diversity, and identify appropriate courses of action in relation to such issues

6.7. respect and conserve all resources (time, materials, energy, inner resources)

6.8. make informed, personal health decisions
6.9. cultivate generosity of spirit

6.10. demonstrate stewardship

6.11. manifest personal responsibility, integrity, humility, compassion, commitment, reflection and mindfulness