Find an acupuncturist...

Registration of acupuncturists

Q:  Is Rother District Council (East Sussex) linked in anyway to the Acupuncture Association?  I ask as I have been told that most London Councils are affiliated and accept the rule of the society.

A:  We think what you are alluding to here is the difference between the registration of acupuncturists in the UK outside London and the licensing of acupuncturists in Greater London.
Outside London, local authorities grant a one-off registration to a practitioner under the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982. This registers the premises and the practitioner, and often if the premises have already been registered by someone working there, any new practitioners joining their set-up pay a lower fee. There are no affiliations or exemptions granted to any organisations or members of organisations, unless the practitioner is a doctor or dentist in which case they do not have to register.
In London, however, most local authorities have adopted the London Local Authorities Act 1991 which requires the annual licensing of 'special treatments' of which acupuncture is regarded to be one. There are, however, provisions within the Act to exempt practitioners registered with statutory bodies, such as physiotherapists or osteopaths, and also members of professional organisations which can demonstrate that they have all of the necessary codes of conduct, registers and disciplinary processes to protect the public interest. A list is maintained of these associations, and a recent version can be found on Westminster's website at:
In all cases a practitioner belonging to one of these bodies is required to make themselves known to the local authority if they set up business in a borough, and the local environmental health officers have the power to inspect premises and require standards to be met on penalty of refusing to accept the exemption and requiring a licence subject to conditions.

Post a question

If you have any questions about acupuncture, browse our archive or ask an expert.

Ask an expert

BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

Browse the facts