There is no statutory regulation of acupuncture, and the only registrations which a practitioner has to have relate to the various pieces of skin piercing legislation which apply across the UK. These set standards of hygience and safe practice with which a practitioner must comply.
In most of England, Wales and Northern Ireland the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982 amended by the Local Government Act 2003 applies to all acupuncturists except those who are also doctors or dentists. A practitioner pays one-off fee for every practice which they set up. All authorities inspect premises on registration, and many conduct regular inspections.
In Greater London, the London Local Authorities Act 1991 applies, and everyone must pay an annual licence unless they are a statutorily regulated practitioner. such as a doct, physio or nurse, or unless they belong to an exempt body by virtue of meeting strict organisational criteria. The BAcC is an exempt body.
In Scotland skin piercing regulations introduced in 2006 under the Civic Government Act 1982 mean that all acupuncturists except statutorily regulated healthcare practitioners must pay an annual licence.
Although there have been recommendations from three working groups to regulate acupuncture by statute, the Secretary of State's latest statement in February 2011 congratulated the acupuncture profession on its robust self-regulation and announced that there were no imminent plans to regulate the profession further.