Sunday, July 1, 2012

What are the National Standards for practicing Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine?

NCCAOM  National Standards

This is a summary of the NCCAOM article posted this Spring 2012, “NCCAOM Fact Sheet:  Meeting National Standards through Its Examinations and Certification Process”

1.      There are national standards for the practice of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  Since 1982 the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) and the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) have established national standards learning to programmatic accreditation (ACAOM) and certification (NCCAOM).  There are over 60 accredited programs for AOM in the USA and the NCCAOM currently provides examinations for licensure as an acupuncturist in 44 states plus the District of Columbia.  Every acupuncture regulatory board in the U.S. except California accepts the NCCAOM certification examinations as a measure of competency for an acupuncturist to ensure the safe and effective practice of AOM. [NCCAOM National Standards]

2.       NCCAOM provides the national examination(s) for the practice of AOM.  Of the states that regulate AOM, 98% require NCCAOM examinations or full certification as a prerequisite for licensure.

3.       All NCCAOM certification programs for the AOM (Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) profession are accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence’s (ICE) National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  This means that the NCCAOM examination development and certification processes for each of its certification programs have met all the essential elements of a nationally accredited certification program.

4.       The NCCAOM board exams are a national assessment tool that effectively measures the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to safely and effectively practice Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  The state regulatory boards that govern the practice of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine within their state rely on these national standards to protect their consumers from the unsafe practice of AOM by unqualified practitioners.  Each of the 44 states plus the District of Columbia that require the NCCAOM examinations for AOM practitioners as a measure of competency to practice safely and effectively recognize the financial and administrative benefits of requiring the NCCAOM certification or passing of the examinations as a prerequisite for licensure of acupuncturists.

5.       The NCCAOM’s certification programs (Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Chinese Herbology, and Asian Bodywork Therapy) are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  Accreditation assures that NCCAOM’s examinations are psychometrically validated for content and construct.

6.       The NCCAOM mission: 

a.       establish national standards of competency for the safe and effective practice of acupuncture 

b.      evaluate each applicant’s qualification through a robust eligibility status

c.       assess candidates for certification based on valid, reliable and legally defensible examination

d.      require candidates for certification and Diplomates to adhere to the NCCAOM Code of Ethics

e.      Ensure that certified practitioners maintain their competency to practice through a mandated recertification process

7.        Map of the states that require NCCAOM status to practice AOM
8.       To qualify to take the NCCAOM exam,  a student must

a.       Meet the education and training criteria standards established by the ACAOM (Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine)
b.      Meet the academic standards and professional competencies as set forth by the ACAOM

c.       Successfully complete the Clean Needle Technique course as given by the Council of Colleges for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)

d.      Have his or her educational transcripts verified through an NCCAOM approved agency

10.    What are recertification requirements for a NCCAOM “diplomate”?

a.       NCCAOM’s recertification process emphasizes core competency maintenance and demonstration of professional development.

b.      Core knowledge and skills in safety, professional ethics, and CPR

c.       60 PDA points documented every 4 years.  Continuing education courses, also called Professional Development Activity (PDA)s as approved by the NCCAOM .

d.      Check out the NCCAOM Recertification Guide for more details.


Source:  “National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) Fact Sheet:  Meeting National Standards Through Its Examinations and Certification Process”. Retrieved 6/8/2012. .

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