Acupuncture is a full-fledged profession that stands as a pillar of Chinese Medicine. The profession of Acupuncture is only licensed in three Canadian provinces; British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland and Quebec. It is licensed in about 40 American states. The Association of Registered Acupuncturists of Prince Edward Island (A.R.A.P.E.I.) was formed in November of 2002 to represent Acupuncture professionals in Prince Edward Island who practice using the same standards used in Canadian provinces and American states where the profession is licensed.
The terms ‘licensed’ and ‘certified’ are often confused and misused.
‘Licensing’ is something that governments do. It is a means of assuring that all practicing professionals meet certain minimum standards. These standards are usually two-fold; a minimum level of training and an acceptable independent certification process. If a professional is licensed, their license has been granted through government oversight.
‘Certification’ generally refers to a widely agreed upon profession-based guarantee that a person has demonstrated a minimum level of competency. That guarantee is usually provided by an organisation that offers testing as a means of assessment. You have probably heard of the ‘bar’ exams in law or the ‘board’ exams in medicine. These are certifying examinations. To be credible, they must be run independantly of the schools that do training. Schools and training organisations should not certify people and, if they do, it really has no meaning. Several different agencies offer credible certification of professional Acupuncturists in North America.
Members of ARAPEI meet two basic requirements;
(1) Graduation from an accredited Acupuncture training program.
There are over 40 such programs across North America. They range in length from 3 to 4 years, with at least 1200 hours of in-class theory and 500 hours of clinical supervision.
(2) Certification by an accepted independent certification agency.
We accept certification from the following agencies;
- The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). A National US-based certification agency that is used by most American states for licensing.
- The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA). The certification body used in British Columbia for licensing in that province.
- Alberta Health and Wellness. This Provincial Department administers the certification exam for Alberta licensing.
- Ordre Professionels des Acupuncteurs du Quebec. The body that certifies Acupuncturists in Quebec.
- The California State Board of Acupuncture
Members of ARAPEI may call themselves,
‘Registered Acupuncturist‘ and carry the credentials ‘R.Ac.’
Please feel free to familiarize yourself with our:
Or contact a member of our executive here.