Title 16, Article 3.5 Acupuncture Training Programs

1399.434. Criteria for Approval of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Training Programs (effective 1/1/05)

A school approved by the board shall use a training program, which relate to the study and practice of acupuncture and oriental medicine, for all students entering its acupuncture and Oriental medicine training program on or after January 1, 2005 that meets the following criteria:

  1. (a) Basic Sciences 350 hours

    The curriculum in basic sciences shall prepare students to enter postsecondary upper division biomedical and clinical science courses and shall consist of at least 350 hours of didactic and laboratory instruction in the following basic science courses:

  2. (1) General biology;
  3. (2) Chemistry, including organic and biochemistry;
  4. (3) General physics, including a general survey of biophysics;
  5. (4) General psychology, including counseling skills;
  6. (5) Anatomy-- a survey of microscopic, gross anatomy and neuroanatomy;
  7. (6) Physiology-- a survey of basic physiology, including neurophysiology, endocrinology, and neurochemistry;
  8. (7) Pathology and Pathophysiology-- a survey of the nature of disease and illness, including microbiology, immunology, psychopathology, and epidemiology;
  9. (8) Nutrition and vitamins;
  10. (b) Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Principles, Theories and Treatment 1,255 hours

    The curriculum in acupuncture and Oriental medicine principles, theories and treatment shall consist of at least 1,255 hours of didactic instruction in the following principles, theories, prescription, and treatment procedures of acupuncture and Oriental medicine:

  11. (1) Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Principles and Theories
  12. (A) Oriental Medicine Principles and Theory;
  13. (B) Acupuncture Principles and Theory;
  14. (C) Oriental Massage (e.g., Tui Na or Shiatsu) Principles and Theory;
  15. (D) Chinese Herbal Medicine Principles and Theory, including relevant botany concepts (This subject area shall consist of at least 450 hours of instruction);
  16. (E) Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Diagnosis;
  17. (F) Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Specialties, including dermatology, gynecology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, orthopedics, internal medicine, geriatrics, family medicine, traumatology, and emergency care;
  18. (G) Classical acupuncture and Oriental medicine literature, including Jin Gui, Wen Bing/Shang Han, Nei Jing;
  19. (H) Modern acupuncture and Oriental medicine literature.
  20. (2) Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Treatment
  21. (A) Integrated acupuncture and Oriental medicine diagnostic and treatment procedures;
  22. (B) Acupuncture techniques and treatment procedures, including electroacupuncture;
  23. (C) Oriental massage (e.g., Tui Na or Shiatsu), acupressure, and other techniques utilizing manual therapy and mechanical devices;
  24. (D) Exercise therapy, including breathing, qi gong and taiji quan;
  25. (E) Herbal prescription, counseling and preparation;
  26. (F) Oriental and Western clinical and medical nutrition, dietary and supplement prescription and counseling;
  27. (G) Cold and heat therapy, including moxibustion and ultrasound;
  28. (H) Lifestyle counseling, and self-care recommendations;
  29. (I) Adjunctive acupuncture procedures, including bleeding, cupping, gua sha, and dermal tacks;
  30. (J) Acupuncture micro therapies, including auricular and scalp therapy;
  31. (K) Hygienic standards, including clean needle techniques. The clean needle technique portion of this subject shall use as its primary reference the most current edition of the "Clean Needle Technique Manual" published by the National Acupuncture Foundation, or an equivalent standard which has been approved by the Board. Students shall successfully complete the clean needle technique portion of the hygienic standards subject prior to performing any needling techniques on human beings;
  32. (L) Equipment maintenance and safety;
  33. (M) Adjunctive acupoint stimulation devices, including magnets and beads.
  34. (c) Clinical Medicine, Patient Assessment and Diagnosis 240 hours

    The curriculum in clinical medicine, patient assessment and diagnosis shall consist of at least 240 hours of didactic instruction and shall prepare the student to possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to utilize standard physical examinations, laboratory and imaging studies, and international classification of diseases (ICD) diagnostic principles to improve treatment efficacy, patient safety, referral, and continuity of care; to improve communication and collaboration of care with all other medical providers; to assist in the evaluation and documentation of patient progress; and to improve the acupuncturists understanding of biochemical etiology and pathology. Clinical medicine, patient assessment, and diagnostic skills curriculum shall include the following:

  35. (1) Comprehensive history taking;
  36. (2) Standard physical examination and assessment, including neuromusculoskeletal, orthopedic, neurological, abdominal, and ear, nose and throat examinations, and functional assessment;
  37. (3) Pharmacological assessment, emphasizing side-effects and herb-drug interactions;
  38. (4) Patient/practitioner rapport, communication skills, including multicultural sensitivity;
  39. (5) Procedures for ordering diagnostic imaging, radiological, and laboratory tests and incorporating the resulting data and reports;
  40. (6) Clinical reasoning and problem solving;
  41. (7) Clinical impressions and the formation of a working diagnosis, including acupuncture and Oriental medicine diagnoses, and the World Health Organization's international classification of diseases (ICD-9);
  42. (8) Awareness of at-risk populations, including gender, age, indigent, and disease specific patients;
  43. (9) Standard medical terminology;
  44. (10) Clinical sciences--a review of internal medicine, pharmacology, neurology, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, urology, radiology, nutrition and public health;
  45. (11) Clinical medicine--a survey of the clinical practice of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, psychology, nursing, chiropractic, podiatry, naturopathy, and homeopathy to familiarize practitioners with the practices of other health care practitioners.
  46. (d) Case Management 90 hours

    The curriculum in case management shall consist of at least 90 hours of didactic instruction and shall prepare the student to manage patient care as a primary health care professional, and shall include instruction in the following subject:

  47. (1) Primary care responsibilities;
  48. (2) Secondary and specialty care responsibilities;
  49. (3) Psychosocial assessment;
  50. (4) Treatment contraindications and complications, including drug and herb interactions;
  51. (5) Treatment planning, continuity of care, referral, and collaboration;
  52. (6) Follow-up care, final review, and functional outcome measurements;
  53. (7) Prognosis and future medical care;
  54. (8) Case management for injured workers and socialized medicine patients, including a knowledge of workers compensation/labor codes and procedures and qualified medical evaluations;
  55. (9) Coding procedures for current procedural codes, including (CPT) and ICD-9 diagnoses;
  56. (10) Medical-legal report writing, expert medical testimony, and independent medical review;
  57. (11) Special care/seriously ill patients;
  58. (12) Emergency procedures.
  59. (e) Practice Management 45 hours

    The curriculum in practice management shall consist of at least 45 hours of didactic instruction and shall include the following subjects:

  60. (1) Record keeping, insurance billing and collection;
  61. (2) Business written communication;
  62. (3) Knowledge of regulatory compliance and jurisprudence (municipal, California, and federal laws, including OSHA, Labor Code, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA);
  63. (4) Front office procedures;
  64. (5) Planning and establishing a professional office;
  65. (6) Practice growth and development;
  66. (7) Ability to practice in interdisciplinary medical settings including hospitals;
  67. (8) Risk management and insurance issues;
  68. (9) Ethics and peer review.
  69. (f) Public Health 40 hours

    The curriculum in public health shall consist of at least 40 hours of didactic instruction and shall include training in the principles of public health, including the following subjects:

  70. (1) Public and community health and disease prevention;
  71. (2) Public health education;
  72. (3) A minimum of eight (8) hours in first-aid and adult/child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or other organization with an equivalent course approved by the board;
  73. (4) Treatment of chemical dependency;
  74. (5) Communicable disease, public health alerts, and epidemiology.
  75. (g) Professional Development 30 hours

    The curriculum in professional development shall consist of at least 30 hours of didactic instruction and shall prepare the student with the skills to continue to expand their knowledge, including instruction in the following subjects:

  76. (1) Research and evidence based medicine;
  77. (2) Knowledge of academic peer review process;
  78. (3) Knowledge and critique of research methods;
  79. (4) History of medicine.
  80. (h) Clinical Practice 950 hours

    The curriculum in clinical practice shall consist of at least 950 hours in clinical instruction, 75% of which shall be in a clinic owned and operated by the school, which includes direct patient contact where appropriate in the following:

  81. (1) Practice Observation (minimum 150 hours)--supervised observation of the clinical practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine with case presentations and discussion;
  82. (2) Diagnosis and evaluation (minimum 275 hours)--the application of Eastern and Western diagnostic procedures in evaluating patients;
  83. (3) Supervised practice (minimum 275 hours)--the clinical treatment of patients with acupuncture and oriental medicine treatment modalities listed in the Business and Professions Code section 4927(d) and 4937(b).

    During the initial 275 hours of diagnosis, evaluation and clinical practice, the clinic supervisor shall be physically present at all times during the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Thereafter, for a second period of 275 hours the clinic supervisor shall be physically present at the needling of the patient. The clinic supervisor shall otherwise be in close proximity to the location at which the patient is being treated during the clinical instruction. The student shall also consult with the clinic supervisor before and after each treatment.

  84. (i) A board approved training program shall consist of at least 2,050 hours of didactic and laboratory training and at least 950 hours of supervised clinical instruction. The course work shall extend over a minimum period of four (4) academic years, eight (8) semesters, twelve (12) quarters, nine (9) trimesters, or thirty-six (36) months.

1399.435. Criteria for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Training Programs

An acupuncture and Oriental medicine training program approved by the board shall adopt the following procedures for its program effective January 1, 2005:

  1. (a) Candidates for admission shall have successfully completed at least two (2) academic years (60 semester credits/90 quarter credits) of education at the baccalaureate level that is appropriate preparation for graduate level work, or the equivalent from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education
  2. (b) The training program should be located in an educational institution approved under Article 4 (commencing with Section 94770) of Chapter 7 of Part 59 of the Education Code, or in the case of training programs located outside California, in an institution which is approved by the appropriate governmental accrediting authority or an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  3. (c) The training program shall develop self study evaluation process to determine the effectiveness of its theoretical and clinical program.
  4. (d) Coursework shall carry academic credit.
  5. (e) The director and supervisor(s) of the clinical portion of the training program shall be a licensed acupuncturist in the state where the educational institution is located and with at least 5 years of licensed clinical experience in the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
  6. (f) All instructors shall be competent to teach their designated courses by virtue of their education, training and experience. All faculty credentials shall be equivalent to the course and degree level being taught.
  7. (g) Each training program shall develop policies and procedures to evaluate and award transfer credit to students for coursework and experience which is equivalent to current coursework and clinical instruction required Such policies and procedures shall be defined in the school's catalog and shall include the following
  8. (1) Credit shall only be awarded for actual coursework.
  9. (2) Where the coursework and clinical instruction were completed at an acupuncture school not approved by the board, the evaluation shall include an examination administered and retained by the school in the subject area(s) in which transfer credit may be awarded.
  10. (3) Up to 100% transfer credit may be awarded for coursework and clinical instruction completed successfully at another acupuncture school or college which is approved by the board.
  11. (4) Up to 100% transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed successfully in basic sciences, clinical medicine, case management, practice management, public health, and professional development at a school which is approved under Article 4 (commencing with Section 94770) of Chapter 7 of Part 59 of the Education Code or by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  12. (5) Up to fifty percent (50%) credit, by transfer or challenge exam, for clinical practice coursework and instruction in acupuncture and Oriental medicine principles, theories and treatment procedures completed successfully at a school which is not approved by the board may be awarded by a school approved by the board, provided that at least 50% of the course hours in individual subjects are completed successfully at a school approved by the board.
  13. (6) The entire record of the evaluation and award of the student's transfer credit shall be included in the student's academic file and shall be made an official part of the student's transcript which shall be filed with the board upon request.
  14. (7) All students shall receive upon matriculation a copy of the school's policies and procedures for evaluating and awarding transfer credit.

1399.436. Criteria for Approval of Acupuncture Training Programs.

A school approved by the board shall use a training program for all students enrolled in its acupuncture and Oriental medicine training program before January 1, 2005 that meets the following criteria:

  1. (a) The curriculum shall include adequate theoretical training in the following:
Subject
Minimum Class Hours
(1) General biology.
(2) Chemistry--including organic and biochemistry.
(3) General physics--including a general survey of biophysics.
(4) General psychology--including counseling skills.
(5) Anatomy--a survey of microscopic, gross anatomy and neuroanatomy.
(6) Physiology--a survey of basic physiology, including neurophysiology, endocrinology, and neurochemistry.
(7) Pathology--a survey of the nature of disease and illness, including microbiology, immunology, psychopathology, and epidemiology.
(8) Nutrition and vitamins.
400
(9) History of medicine--a survey of medical history, including transcultural healing practices.
(10) Medical terminology--fundamentals of English language medical terminology.
30
(11) Clinical sciences--a review of internal medicine, pharmacology, neurology, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, urology, radiology, nutrition and public health.
(12) Clinical medicine--a survey of the clinical practice of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, psychology, nursing, chiropractic, podiatry, and homeopathy to familiarize practitioners with the practices of other health care practitioners.
(13) Western pharmacology.
(14) A minimum of eight (8) hours in a certified course offering first-aid and adult/child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Such course shall be taken from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or other organization with an equivalent course work approved by the board.
128
(15) Traditional Oriental medicine--a survey of the theory and practice of traditional diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
(16) Acupuncture anatomy and physiology--fundamentals of acupuncture, including the meridian system, special and extra loci, and auriculotherapy.
(17) Acupuncture techniques--instruction in the use of needling techniques, moxibustion, and electroacupuncture, including contraindication and complications. Students shall either (1) successfully complete a course which requires a student to pass an examination in clean needle technique, taught at a board approved school that uses as its primary reference the most current edition of the "Clean Needle Technique Manual" published by the National Acupuncture Foundation, or (2) successfully complete a Clean Needle Technique course administered by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
(18) Acupressure.
(19) Breathing techniques--introductory course in QiGong.
(20) Traditional Oriental exercise--introductory course in Tai Chi Chuan.
660
(21) Traditional Oriental herbology including botany--a portion of the hours shall be given in a clinical setting
300
(22) Practice management--instruction in the legal and ethical aspects of maintaining a professional practice, including record keeping, professional liability, patient accounts, and referral procedures.
(23) Ethics relating to the practice of acupuncture.
30
  1. (b) The curriculum shall include adequate clinical instruction, 75% of which shall be in a clinic which is owned and operated by the training program, which includes direct patient contact where appropriate in the following:
  2. (1) Practice observation--supervised observation of the clinical practice of acupuncture with case presentations and discussions.
  3. (2) Diagnosis and evaluation--the application of Eastern and Western diagnostic procedures in evaluating patients.
  4. (3) Supervised practice--the clinical treatment of a patient with acupuncture 800
    During the initial 235 hours of diagnosis, evaluation and clinical practice the supervisor shall be physically present at all times during the diagnosis and treatment of the patient. Thereafter, for a second period of 235 hours the supervisor shall be physically present at the needling of the patient. The supervisor shall otherwise be in close proximity to the location at which the patient is being treated during the clinical instruction. The student shall also consult with the supervisor before and after each treatment.
  5. (c) The total number of hours of all theoretical training shall consist of a minimum of 1,548 hours and the total number of hours of clinical instruction shall consist of a minimum of 800 hours, and the course work shall extend over a minimum period of four (4) academic years, eight (8) semesters, twelve (12) quarters, nine (9) trimesters, or thirty-six (36) months.
  6. (d) Candidates for admission shall have successfully completed an approved high school course of study or have passed a standard equivalency test.
  7. (e) The training program should be located in a state university or college, an institution approved under Article 4 (commencing with Section 94770) of Chapter 7 of Part 59 of the Education Code, or in the case of training programs located outside California, in an institution which is approved by the appropriate governmental accrediting authority or an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  8. (f) The training program shall develop an evaluation mechanism to determine the effectiveness of its theoretical and clinical program.
  9. (g) Coursework shall carry academic credit.
  10. (h) The director and/or supervisor(s) of the clinical portion of the training program shall be a licensed acupuncturist or other licensed practitioner authorized to practice acupuncture.
  11. (i) All instructors shall be competent to teach their designated courses by virtue of their education, training and experience.
  12. (j) Each approved program shall receive accreditation or approval under Article 4 (commencing with Section 94770) of Chapter 7 of Part 59 of the Education Code, or the approval of the program by the board shall automatically lapse.
  13. (k) Each training program shall develop a mechanism to evaluate and award transfer credit to students for prior coursework and experience which is equivalent to that coursework and clinical instruction required in subsections (b) and (d). The training program's policies and procedures for evaluating and awarding transfer credit shall be set forth in writing and submitted to the board. Such policies and procedures shall include all of the following:
  14. (1) Credit shall only be awarded for actual coursework or directly relevant experience received by the student. As used in this regulation, "experience" means academically relevant learning which involved the student directly in the area of the curriculum required in this section and includes integrated field and clinical internships, apprenticeships, tutorial programs and cooperative educational programs.
  15. (2) Where the coursework and clinical instruction were completed at an acupuncture school not approved by the board, the evaluation shall include an examination administered by the school in the subject area(s) in which transfer credit may be awarded.
  16. (3) The outcome of the prior education and experience shall be equivalent to that of an average student who has completed the same subject(s) in the training program and shall meet the curriculum standards and graduation requirements of the training program.
  17. (4) Up to 100% transfer credit may be awarded for coursework and clinical instruction completed successfully at another acupuncture school or college which is approved by the board.
  18. (5) Up to 100% transfer credit may be awarded for courses completed successfully in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, nutrition and vitamins, history of medicine, medical terminology, clinical science, clinical medicine, Western pharmacology, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, practice management, and ethics at a school which is approved under Article 4 (commencing with Section 94770) of Chapter 7 of Part 59 of the Education Code or by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  19. (6) Credit for clinical coursework and instruction in traditional Oriental medicine, acupuncture anatomy and physiology, acupuncture techniques, acupressure, breathing techniques, traditional Oriental exercise, or traditional Oriental herbology completed successfully at a school which is not approved by the board may be awarded by a school approved by the board, provided that at least 50% of the course hours in these subject areas are completed successfully at a school approved by the board.
  20. (7) The entire record of the training program's evaluation and award of the student's transfer credit shall be included in the student's academic file and shall be made an official part of the student's transcript which shall be filed with the board upon request of the student.
  21. (8) All students shall receive upon matriculation a copy of the training program's policies and procedures for evaluating and awarding transfer credit.

1399.437. Documentation Required for Approval.

Educational institutions or programs seeking approval of an acupuncture training program shall provide the board with such documents and other evidence as may be necessary for the board to determine the actual nature and extent of the training offered, including but not limited to, catalogues, course description, curricula plans, and study bulletins.

1399.438. Suspension or Revocation of Approval.

The board may deny, place on probation, suspend or revoke the approval granted to any acupuncture training program for any failure to comply with the regulations in this article, the Acupuncture Regulations or the Acupuncture Licensure Act.

1399.439. School Monitoring; Records; Reporting.

  1. (a) Every approved acupuncture school shall be required to submit to the board within sixty (60) days after the close of the school's fiscal year a current course catalog with a letter outlining the following: 1) any courses added/deleted or significantly changed from the previous year's curriculum; 2) any changes in faculty, administration, or governing body; 3) any major changes in the school facility; and 4) a statement regarding the school's financial condition, which enables the board to evaluate whether the school has sufficient resources to ensure the capability of the program for enrolled students.
  2. (b) If determined necessary an on-site visit by representatives of the board will be made to the school to review and evaluate the status of the school. The school will be required to reimburse the board for direct costs incurred in conducting such review and evaluation.
  3. (c) All student records shall be maintained in at least English.
  4. (d) Each approved acupuncture school shall report to the board within 30 days any substantial changes to the facility and/or clinic(s), and curriculum required in this section.