For Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Herbal Medicine and Related Therapies

These links are of value in student preparation for practice and during the class cycle; for the teaching requirements of instructors; new and establish practitioner competency review; school administration accreditation planning, review, and upgrading; coordinating regulatory board member communications, and legislative review.


For a synopsis of formal schooling and exam requirements for the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, click here.

For greater detail re: licensing, check the acupuncture laws at our medical boards laws and regulations page, click here.

Also, you can check the American Association of Oriental Medicine AAOM and download from their regulatory agency web pages. The AAOM also publishes yearly State Laws Regarding Acupuncture, State to State Guide to the Laws Regarding Acupuncture - AAOM Publications Fax:301-986-9313. You can also check for the most current book available from NAOMA Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Laws by Barbara Mitchell ordered by calling 1-800-345-1010. Check to make sure the books are current.

US FINANCIAL AID RESOURCES. Check with the individual schools and click on financial aid resources. Note: Accreditation provides the means for federally insured student loans.


The ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) maintains the standards regarding TCM schools through a specific accreditation process. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), click here. For Core Curriculum Competency Standards, Masters Program and Doctoral Program, see below. The ACAOM is recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education and the commission on Recognition of Post-secondary Accreditation. Most of the acupuncture schools in the US have gone through an accreditation process. Note that not all schools on this list are accredited. Any questions you can E-mail the ACAOM.
Federal loans require that a student attend an accredited school.

The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine was formed to advance the status of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the United States. They send up-to-date lists of the colleges and provide in-depth information to schools to assist them with faculty development programs, support school in their work toward accreditation, develop committees to improve the conditions of education and the practice of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. They provide the Clean Needle Technique Course throughout the country and continued development of standards for CNT. Their work includes the development of chemical dependency programs for acupuncturists as well as doctoral level programs.


  • (ACAOM) Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
    ACAOM Maryland Trade Center #3
    7501 Greenway Center Dr. #820 Greenbelt, MD 20770
    (301) 313-0855 Fax: (301) 313-0912

    This organization sets and maintains the standards for acupuncture and Oriental Medicine training. This information is on the From Tao to Earth site here. Click Below:
    • 1. Core Curriculum Competency Standards The Essential Requirements (section 8) for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. education:
    • 2. Masters Program (Accreditation standards for Masters Degree and Master's level programs in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine)
    • 3. Doctoral Program (Accreditation Standards for Doctoral Programs in Oriental Medicine)

  • CCAOM Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine They work with faculty development programs to improve teacher skills and promote excellence in education, support member schools in their work toward accreditation, develop chemical dependency programs for acupuncturists and worked on the development of the doctoral level programs. They send a list of member accredited colleges in the US. Make application for the Clean Needle Technique Course through this organization. They also have an article that is helpful entitled, How You can Prepare for a Doctorate. Maryland Trade Center #3 7501 Greenway Center Dr. #820 Greenbelt, MD 20770 Tel: (301) 313-0868 Fax: (301) 313-0869
  • CSOMA provides on their website the education for licensing and education requirements for California.
  • (NCCAOM) National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine tests graduates of acupuncture and oriental medicine colleges and universities on the competency requirements for acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and offers national certification in acupuncture and Chinese herbalogy.
  • Federation of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies (US) The objective of this site is to make recommendations for a more unified standard of practice in acupuncture and oriental medicine, provide a forum for state acupuncture board communication, to get up a chat room on site for the different regulatory acupuncture boards to meet and communicate on a more regular basis; to have a central site to link the acupuncture board newsletters; to keep up to date on accreditation standards of the colleges as it compares to schools from around the world; to keep abreast of the education requirements and status (primary care, referral, medical practice only) etc. for acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as it meets the needs in various states. They are very open to input of any links that will facilitate their process. E-mail
  • National Oriental Medicine Accreditation Agency (NOMAA)
    Their initial task has been to set a programmatic criteria for the professional OMD degree. Led by Dr. Ted Priebe Email
  • The American Herbalists Guild has written curriculum guidelines
  • for herbal medicine. This can be viewed online.

Government Publications on Practice Standards and the Competent Use of Products - See Laws and Regulations on this site.

Other Recommended Publications Related to Competency and Scope of Practice Requirements

  • Herbal Safety section of the National Acupuncture Alliance website. Click on their Overview and Recommendations, Scientific Studies, FDA List of Botanical Ingredients, FDA Important Alert, FDA Letter to the Industry, FDA Letter to Health Care Professionals.
  • Herb Safety Articles, including Drug Herb Interaction Page are outstanding. They are on Subudhi Dharma's web site:
  • On this site: Acupuncture Risk Management by D. Kailin, 336 pages. One of the best resources for clinical practice competency training and reference. Furthermore, the author synthesizes all of the above federal documents above into a readable manageable form.
  • On this site: The Art of Practice Management for Acupuncture Health Care Practices by Bestani, Fernandez and Gumenick 500+ pages addresses total acupuncture practice management, standards of care, safe practice planning and risk management communications and procedures within the philosophy of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
  • Clean Needle Technique Manual - Fourth Edition by the National Acupuncture Foundation - contains up-to-date information on revised CNT procedures, OSHA requirements and CNT procedures for public health settings. Available in English, Chinese and Korean. To order: please contact the National Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Alliance (NAOMA) at 800-345-1010.
  • Towards a Safer Choice (book) available from the AAOM, Acuneeds Australia, Oxford Press. It addresses competency standards and regulations in practice.
  • Acupuncture Efficacy: A Compendium of Controlled Clinical Studies by Birch and Hammerschlag was funded through the CCAOM member contributions to the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as a grant for this book. Review on its uses by practitioners, administrators, legislators. E-mail NAAOM for individual and bulk discounts. Available from AAOM.
  • Rockwell Laser Industries, Inc. LaserNet. Laser Safety information & database.
  • American Botanical Council Information

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