Examination Requirements

Individuals wishing to practice acupuncture in California must first obtain a state license, which requires qualifying for and passing California's written (Business and Professions Code section 4938). The examination tests the competency of entry level acupuncturists.

In order to qualify for California's examination, an applicant must furnish satisfactory evidence of completion of one of the following:

California does not recognize out-of-state licensing (reciprocity) nor does it accept for licensure those individuals who take and pass the national examination (administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)). Therefore, licensees from other states or those individuals who have passed NCCAOM's examination may not practice until they have qualified for, taken and passed the California examination.

The Acupuncture Board administers the California Acupuncture Licensing Examination (CALE) and offers the examination in Mandarin, Korean and English. The CALE is based on and validated by an occupational analysis. The passing score on the examination is determined by subject matter experts (SMEs) who use a criterion-referenced scoring method.

Applications for examination must be received in the Sacramento office at least 120 days prior to the date of the examination for which the application is made. The application requires personal and demographic information, including relevant transcripts/diplomas, be submitted to the Board's office. Diplomas and transcripts must be original documents. All foreign language documents must be accompanied by an English translation certified by a translator who can attest to the accuracy. All original documents will be returned upon submitting a "Request for Return of Original Documents" and payment of the required fee.