The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 26: Professions and Occupations

Chapter 75: ACUPUNCTURISTS

§ 3401. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Acupuncture" or the "practice of acupuncture" means the insertion of fine needles through the skin at certain points on the body, with or without the application of electric current or the application of heat to the needles or skin, or both, for the purpose of promoting health and balance as defined by traditional and modern Oriental theories. Acupuncture involves the use of traditional and modern Oriental diagnostic techniques, acupuncture therapy, and adjunctive therapies, including but not limited to: nonprescription remedies, exercise, nutritional and herbal therapies, therapeutic massage, and lifestyle counselling.

(2) "Licensed acupuncturist" means a person who is licensed to practice acupuncture under this chapter.

(3) "Director" means the director of the office of professional regulation.

(4) "Disciplinary action" includes any action taken by an administrative law officer appointed pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 129(j) against a licensed acupuncturist or applicant premised on a finding of unprofessional conduct. Disciplinary action includes all appropriate remedies, including denial of or renewal of a license, suspension, revocation, limiting, or conditioning of the license, issuing reprimands or warnings, and adopting consent orders.

(5) "Secretary" means the secretary of state. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, §§ 37, 49(b).)


§ 3402. Prohibitions; offenses; exemptions

(a) Except as provided in section 3412 of this title, no person shall practice acupuncture unless he or she is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) No person shall use in connection with the person's name any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is an acupuncturist unless the person is licensed in accordance with this chapter. The only title a licensed acupuncturist may use in reference to that license is "licensed acupuncturist" or its abbreviation, as "Lic. Ac."

(c) A person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127(c).

(d) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent a student from performing acupuncture under the supervision of a competent licensed acupuncturist instructor:

(1) within a school or a college or an acupuncture department of a college or university that is licensed by the Vermont Agency of Education or certified by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine; or

(2) as a student in a Director-approved apprenticeship; or

(3) as an intern in any hospital.

(e) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent a person who is licensed or certified as an acupuncturist in another state or Canadian province from practicing acupuncture for no more than five days in a calendar year as part of a health care professional educational seminar or program in Vermont, if the educational seminar or program is directly supervised by a Vermont-licensed health care professional whose scope of practice includes acupuncture. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 38; 2001, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. June 13, 2002; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 2007, No. 29, § 54; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 275, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)


§ 3403. Director; functions

(a) The director shall:

(1) Provide general information to applicants for licensure as acupuncturists.

(2) Collect fees as provided under this chapter.

(3) Explain appeal procedures to licensed acupuncturists and applicants and complaint procedures to the public.

(4) Receive applications for licensure, license applicants under this chapter, renew licenses, and revoke, reinstate, or condition licenses as ordered by an administrative law officer.

(5) Refer all disciplinary matters to an administrative law officer.

(b) The director may adopt rules necessary to perform his or her duties under this chapter. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 39.)


§ 3404. Advisor appointees

(a) The secretary of state shall appoint two licensed acupuncturists to serve as advisors in matters relating to acupuncture as set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129b. Appointees shall have at least three years' experience as an acupuncturist immediately preceding appointment and shall be actively engaged in the practice of acupuncture in Vermont during incumbency.

(b) The director shall seek the advice of the acupuncturist advisors in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. They shall be entitled to compensation and necessary expenses in the amount provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010 for attendance at any meeting called by the director for that purpose. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 39.)


§ 3405. Eligibility for licensure

To be eligible for licensure as an acupuncturist, an applicant shall be at least 18 years of age and shall furnish satisfactory proof that he or she has:

(1) completed a program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine and has received a degree or diploma from an educational institution in candidacy or accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or an equivalent or successor accrediting organization approved by the United States Department of Education and the director. The training received in the program shall be for a period of not less than three academic years, and shall include a minimum of 800 hours of supervised clinical practice; or

(2) completed a training program no later than December 31, 2010 with a preceptor approved by the director where the training program is approved by the director and begun prior to December 31, 2007 and which shall include earning a minimum of 40 points earned in any one of the following categories or combination of categories:

(A) self-directed study-10 points for study equivalent to one year of full-time academic work in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, for a maximum of two years or 20 points;

(B) apprenticeship-10 points for each 1,000 documented contact hours, up to a maximum of 13.5 points per year;

(C) completed academic work in an accredited acupuncture program as described in subdivision (1) of this section-five points for each six-month period of completed academic study in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, up to a maximum of four periods or 20 points;

(D) preceptors shall be licensed and in good standing and meet the standards of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in order to be approved, with no preceptor having more than two apprentices at any one time; and

(3) passed the examination described in section 3406 of this title. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 40; 2007, No. 29, § 55.)


§ 3406. Examination

(a) The director shall examine applicants for licensure and may use a standardized national examination. The examination shall include the following subjects:

(1) Anatomy and physiology.

(2) Traditional Oriental pathology.

(3) Traditional Oriental diagnosis.

(4) Hygiene, sanitation, and sterilization techniques.

(5) The principles, practices, and techniques of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

(6) Clean needle techniques.

(7) Chinese herbology for those licensed after January 1, 2007 who intend to employ nonprescription remedies and herbal therapies.

(b) The director may adopt rules necessary to perform his or her duties under this section. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 41.)


§ 3407. Licensure without examination

(a) The director may waive the examination requirement under subdivision 3405(3) of this title if the applicant is an acupuncturist regulated under the laws of another state who is in good standing to practice acupuncture in that state and, in the opinion of the director, the standards and qualifications required for regulation of acupuncturists in that state are substantially equivalent to those required by this chapter.

(b) The director may waive the examination requirement under subdivision 3405(3) of this title for an applicant who has furnished evidence of having passed the examination administered by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2007, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 33.)


§ 3407a. Repealed. 1997, No. 40, § 43.


§ 3408. Renewals

(a) Licenses shall be renewed every two years upon payment of the required fee and furnishing satisfactory evidence of having completed 30 hours of continuing education credit during the preceding two years. The director may adopt rules for the approval of continuing education programs and the awarding of credit.

(b) Biennially, the director shall forward a renewal form to each licensed acupuncturist. Upon receipt of the completed form and the renewal fee, the director shall issue a new license.

(c) A license that has expired for three years or less shall be renewed upon meeting the renewal requirements and paying a late renewal penalty. A license that has expired for more than three years shall not be renewed; the applicant shall be required to apply for reinstatement. The director may adopt rules relating to reinstatement to assure that the applicant is professionally qualified. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 40.)


§ 3409. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 65(8), eff. June 30, 1997.


§ 3410. Unprofessional conduct

(a) A licensed acupuncturist or applicant shall not engage in unprofessional conduct.

(b) Unprofessional conduct means any of the conduct listed in this section and 3 V.S.A. § 129a, whether committed by a licensed acupuncturist or an applicant:

(1) Using dishonest or misleading advertising.

(2) Addiction to narcotics, habitual drunkenness, or rendering professional services to a patient if the acupuncturist is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

(3) Sexual harassment of a patient.

(4) Engaging in sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a patient with whom the licensed acupuncturist has had a professional relationship within the previous two years.

(c) After hearing and upon a finding of unprofessional conduct, an administrative law officer appointed under 3 V.S.A. § 129(j) may take disciplinary action against a licensed acupuncturist or applicant. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 41; 1997, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 58.)


§ 3411. Disclosure information

The director shall adopt rules requiring licensed acupuncturists to disclose to each new client before the first treatment the acupuncturist's professional qualifications and experience, those actions that constitute unprofessional conduct, the method for filing a complaint or making a consumer inquiry, and provisions relating to the manner in which the information shall be displayed and signed by both the acupuncturist and the client. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 42.)


§ 3412. Acupuncture detoxification; specialized certification

(a) A person not licensed under this chapter may obtain a specialized certification as an acupuncture detoxification technician to practice auricular acupuncture according to the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol from the board for the purpose of the treatment of alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency if he or she provides documentation of successful completion of a board-approved training program in acupuncture for the treatment of alcoholism, substance abuse, or chemical dependency which meets or exceeds standards of training established by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.

(b) Treatment permitted under this section may only take place in a state, federal, or board-approved site under the supervision of an individual licensed under this chapter and certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.

(c) A person practicing under this section shall be subject to the requirements of section 3410 of this title.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify any of the requirements for licensure of acupuncturists contained in this chapter, nor shall it grant any rights to practice acupuncture which exceed the scope of this section.

(e) The fee for obtaining a specialized certification or renewal of a specialized certification under this section shall be that established in 3 V.S.A. § 125(b).

(f) Anyone certified under this section, while practicing the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol, shall be referred to as an acupuncture detoxification technician. (Added 2001, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 13, 2002.)