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PE01590: Licences for Acupuncturists


Petitioner: Nick Pahl on behalf of British Acupuncture Council


Date Lodged: 30 November 2015

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to make a provision that exempts British Acupuncture Council practitioners from fees for Skin Piercing licenses (as long as they can demonstrate that they are a member of the British Acupuncture Council, a member of a professional body accredited by the Professional Standards Authority), as occurs in London.

Petition History:


15 December 2015: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government and COSLA. Link to Official Report 15 December 2015

23 February 2016: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the Scottish Government does not support the petition and has no plans to bring forward legislation to make the change the petitioner seeks. Link to Official Report 23 February 2016  

Written Submissions:

BAcC Acupuncturists provide public health benefit – it is recommended by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) for chronic pain and also by the World Health Organisation.

To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must have completed a minimum of three-years degree-level equivalent training of 3,600 hours in acupuncture in line with World Health Organisation Standards which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.

The BAcC is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, which is accountable to the UK parliament, under its Accredited Register scheme. Being accredited offers enhanced protection to anyone looking for an acupuncturist, as the BAcC’s register has been vetted and approved.

All members are required to abide by the BAcC’s standards of safe practice.

A Degree Course in Acupuncture includes thousands of hours study and should not be compared to a skin piercing businesses.

christine sloan

14:17 on 25 Nov 2015

As a practising acupuncturist with over 20 years experience of private practice and 9 years in the NHS, with a Master of Science Degree from the University of Wales, I regard it as totally unreasonable to be treated differently from other similar health professionals, e.g. physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths in the matter of licensing. This discriminating and demeaning anomaly deserves to be corrected forthwith .

Clifton Wicks

8:34 on 20 Nov 2015

Acupuncture is not an 'alternative' therapy and is now considered mainstream, backed up with a growing evidence as to its efficacy. It should be considered medical, and therefore should be exempt from the licensing fees.

Alexandra Gilmartin

20:20 on 16 Nov 2015

The BAcC membership should be sufficient. It covers all criteria.

Denise Violet Stewart

0:02 on 04 Nov 2015

The charges Edinburgh impose on acupuncturists aren't based on anything specific (that we know of). They seem to have pick a numbers out of the air. It should be based on transparent reasoning. How can there be such a vast difference between what one local authority charges compared to others

Rhian Wright

20:23 on 02 Nov 2015

I hope that this is looked into and actioned for those it affects.

Isobel Ganderton

17:44 on 02 Nov 2015

This has to be looked at and excepted. Many years ago I asked the former SNP Andrew Welsh to look into this, hopefully it will now be sorted.

Kevin G McGhee

13:08 on 02 Nov 2015

I am kept in very good health through regular sessions with my acupuncturist - I trust him totally and know that he meets high professional standards

Ruari Wilson

18:31 on 31 Oct 2015

Accredited acupuncturists are qualified practitioners and are vetted before being added to the register. Tattooing for instance does not require such qualifications, and poses a greater risk, due to the permanent placement of ink under the skin. Piercing inserts and implant or source of infection and at a deeper level of penetration than acupuncture needles. My personal experience is that acupuncture has treated me for chronic pain, stress, anxiety and fertility issues as wel as IBS both safely and successfully, and where conventional medicine could not. The practitioners deserve recognition for their expertise.

Claire Marcello

12:14 on 29 Oct 2015

Acupuncture is not a permanent piercing & it stimulates healing & promotes health.

Yasmina Ferrigan

22:08 on 28 Oct 2015

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