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Acupuncture Today
September, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 09
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Landmark Achievement for NCCAOM

ABT Program Receives Five-Year Accreditation; Existing Programs Reaccredited

By Editorial Staff

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has notified the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) that its Asian bodywork therapy program (ABT) has received full accreditation for the maximum limit of five years.

NCCAOM has also been informed that its existing programs in acupuncture and Chinese herbology have been reaccredited for five years, making all three programs accredited through April 2007.

"NCCA accreditation is another demonstration that NCCAOM's programs are of high quality," remarked Christina S. Herlihy, MA, PhD, NCCAOM's chief executive officer. "The public can feel confident that an NCCAOM-certified practitioner has met nationally recognized standards of competency and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine."

NCCA is the accrediting body of NOCA, the National Organization for Competency Assurance. It was created in 1989 to establish voluntary standards for organizations that assess professional competency, and to recognize organizations that comply with such standards via accreditation. Originally designed to develop criteria for health agencies, NCCA now establishes standards for a wide range of professions and occupations.

NCCAOM's acupuncture examination is among the most widely-recognized certification testing documents in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession, and has become an integral part of the licensure process for most new acupuncturists. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia currently require applicants to pass the NCCAOM exam as a prerequisite for licensure. Those who pass are allowed to use the professional title of Dipl.Ac., Dipl.CH or Dipl.ABT, depending on the exam being taken.

The Asian bodywork therapy program was initiated by NCCAOM in the mid-1990s in response to requests from members of the profession who wanted more training in Asian bodywork. After several years of research, ABT certification was first offered through NCCAOM's credentials documentation review process in 1996. After completing credentials documentation review, the first comprehensive written examination in ABT was given in October 2000.

The ABT program became eligible for NCCA accreditation earlier this year. The Certification Commission's acupuncture program was first accredited in 1991; its Chinese herbology program achieved accredited status is 1996.

Exam Update

NCCAOM has also announced the test dates and application deadlines for its 2003 exams. To facilitate students, exams will be offered at 30 locations across the U.S. The first round of exams will be administered on February 22-23, 2003, with an application deadline of November 22, 2002. Additional exams will be given in June and October; however, the Asian bodywork therapy test will be given in October only. More information on the exam process is available at the NCCAOM's website (


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