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Which Process Best Ensures Quality?

Little Hover Commission 2004

Regulation of Acupuncture: A Complementary Therapy Framework

Questions for Policy-makers

While there is clearly animosity between some members of the California profession and ACAOM, the question for policy-makers is how to best ensure that schools are providing a quality education to students who will sit for the acupuncture exam.

Which Process Best Ensures Quality?

Nothing in the analysis conducted by the Center for the Health Professions or information provided to the Commission through its public process documented inadequacies in either the California or the ACAOM process that would diminish public safety. The Acupuncture Board's failure to periodically review approved colleges is perhaps the greatest concern in this regard.

Still the major differences between the approval procedures identified by the Center for the Health Professions indicate that the ACAOM process provided a more rigorous basis for establishing baseline quality. ACAOM's focus on continuously improving and continued monitoring can provide particular value to California consumers - both students and their future patients.

The Acupuncture Board has acknowledged this weakness in its strategic plan. But resources, rather than recognition of the problem, appear to be the limiting factor.

At the same time, most of the issues raised in the public process were not related to minimum standards - the purpose of state regulation - but aspirations among some practitioners to raise the overall standing of the profession.

By relying on ACAOM to assess individual schools, California's regulators would have more time and resources to spend on enforcement, clinic audits, continuous competency improvement of licensees and refining the California examination.



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