Licensure examinations protect consumers by ensuring that new licensees possess the minimally acceptable knowledge necessary to perform tasks on the job safely and competently.

To ensure that the licensure examination is fair, job-related, and legally defensible, the examination is based upon what licensees actually do on the job. An occupational analysis (OA) is conducted every 5 years to describe the acupuncture profession in California in terms of the tasks that new licensees must be able to perform safely and competently at the time of licensure. The examination outline contains the tasks and the knowledge that practitioners identified as critical for safe and effective practice at entry level. The examination outline is used to develop examination content and to construct examinations.

The content of the current examination is based on the most current examination outline, which resulted from the California OA of the acupuncturist profession completed in 2021. The OA report is available here:

Examination development is a group process, conducted in structured workshops comprised of licensed acupuncturists serving as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who are representative of the profession in terms of experience level, language, geographical location, practice setting, and area of specialization. To ensure that the examination reflects practice at entry level, each workshop includes newly licensed practitioners.

During each workshop, SMEs are trained in the relevant technical, professional, and legal guidelines for the development of licensure examinations. SMEs write and review questions, construct examinations, set passing scores, translate examinations, and participate in all stages of OAs. The final examinations are reviewed by SMEs, test specialists, examination editors, and Board staff.