The Board was established in 1990 by the acupuncture professional associations and the colleges of acupuncture. We adopted a system of accreditation (course approval) developed in the USA and have since added to this and undertaken major revisions. We are a company limited by guarantee (number), and work closely with the – the professional body that represents the majority of acupuncture practitioners in the UK and with the teaching institutions in a formal relationship with us. Acupuncture is currently not subject to statutory regulation (i.e regulated by law).
Our purpose is to establish standards of professional education in acupuncture within the UK through a formal process of approval.
Our focus is on courses in universities and independent colleges where the primary emphasis is on traditional acupuncture based on East Asian oriental medicine, and which prepare students to be independent primary practitioners of acupuncture within a UK context.
Our key concerns are patient safety, student focus, clear educational standards and a developmental approach.
We meet the highest standards expected of professional regulatory bodies through:
- Clear published standards and processes;
- Balanced membership; The Board comprises equal numbers of professional acupuncturists (representatives of the professional body and of the teaching institutions) and those who are not acupuncturists from education, medicine, other complementary therapies and representatives of the public interest, thereby enriching the debate and enhancing the transparency of the decision making.
The Board meets three times a year, develops and reviews all policies; responds to Government consultations; initiates joint working with other bodies; and considers, approves, modifies or rejects recommendations on accreditation of courses and receives other reports. The detailed scrutiny of accreditation submissions and annual reports from teaching institutions is undertaken by the, which meets five times a year and reports to and makes recommendations to the Board. A small Finance Committee meets twice a year to oversee the Board financial management.
Note – some courses are not in a relationship with the BAAB, but may be accredited with other professional bodies. These include shorter courses for qualified health care professionals, which may enable the person to administer acupuncture to complement their existing professional skills. Details of the standards relating to accreditation by these other bodies are available from the professional associations concerned. The standards of courses that are not accredited by any other body but the training course provider should be judged individually.