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Comparing ACAOM and California's Approvals

Little Hover Commission 2004

Regulation of Acupuncture: A Complementary Therapy Framework

Through a survey of school administrators and other research, UC's Center for the Health Professions identified similarities and differences between California's review process and that used by ACAOM. Both agencies express similar philosophies, use similar procedures and look for similar factors when visiting programs. In the past, they have even coordinated their school visits.

Both agencies are increasing their educational requirements. And most of the schools approved by the Acupuncture Board also are approved by ACAOM (28 of 31). Among the differences:

Prerequisites. ACAOM-accredited programs must require that students complete 60 semester hours (two years) of college coursework before entering the acupuncture school. The California Acupuncture Board has no similar requirement.

Renewal requirement. ACAOM also accredits programs for a limited time period - one to five years, depending on the quality and stability of the program. The Acupuncture Board's approval does not expire. However, if problems come to the attention of the board, it can, and has, pulled approvals. ACAOM's periodic review of schools is a more rigorous monitoring process that assesses whether programs, once approved, continue to meet standards. Three California schools approved by the Acupuncture Board have not met or have lost ACAOM accreditation.112

Transparency. ACAOM's guidelines, procedures, practices, history, accounting, reporting and decision-making were judged by the researchers to be more detailed and publicly available.

Focus. The approval process used by the board is focused on ensuring that schools meet the State's minimum requirements. ACAOM's process is more focused on continuous improvement of programs that meet minimum requirements.


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