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Australian acupuncturist wanting to work and register in UK

Q:  I’m an Australian and British citizen completing a Bhsc degree of Acupuncture in Australia next month. What are the possibilities of working and registering as an acupuncturist in the UK?

A: There is very little  restriction on working as an acupuncturist in the UK. There is no statutory regulation, and the only laws which govern what we do are the skin piercing regulations under which we have to be registered and which are mainly concerned with hygiene and safety. In mist of the UK this is administered by local rather than central government under Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982, and involves a one-off registration payment for every practice in which you work. In Greater London there is annual licensing under the London Local Authorities

Act 1991, but membership of some professional bodies (we are one such) makes members exempt from licensing. In Scotland the Skin Piercing regulations of 2006 mean that all practitioners who are not statutorily regulated healthcare practitioners have to be annually licensed.

Costs vary. One off registration can be between £200 and £400, and annual licensing rather similar. Some authorities have begun to examine qualifications to assess whether someone is fit and proper to practice but the majority don't. An Australian qualification would more than meet the criteria. As long as you have the appropriate visas and work permits that would be that. Professional insurance is essential, and the main broker for individual practitioners currently charges just over £100 per annum for a rather good policy on a 'claims occurring' basis.

Obviously joining a professional body makes life a great deal easier, and while we regard the BAcC as the creme de la creme there are other associations, most of whom would be satisfied by an Australian qualification. Unfortunately at this point we do not have reciprocal recognition of qualifications in the BAcC, so someone from outside the UK has to follow the external applicant rout outlined here


but eventually we hope to move forward with reciprocity to make transitions easier.

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