Accredit your course

BAAB accredited courses guarantee excellence in training, safe practice and professional conduct.

Advantages of Accreditation

  • the opportunity to offer your students a professional education and training in acupuncture equivalent to the majority of degree level healthcare courses
  • support and advice to develop your course
  • national recognition of your course as providing high standards of education and training
  • once fully accredited, your graduates are automatically eligible for British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) membership with excellent benefits
  • joining a professional community of acupuncture educators

Development of a new programme

If you are considering developing an acupuncture programme for accreditation by the Board you should look at the details on the website and then get in touch with us. The Board’s lead accreditation officer will answer any queries and ensure you understand the standards expected, the resources required to run a programme, the process through which you would be going and the costs involved.

If you decide to pursue accreditation you will be allocated an accreditation officer (AO) for advice and support and with whom you will arrange any visits. See the 'Downloads' tab for the relevant documents, including a New Programme Proposal (NPP) pro-forma for completion. The NPP comprises an outline of your organisation, an outline of the planned programme, the resources you already have in place and those you plan to have and the timescale for these, and the issues that you need to address. It also requires your contact details and a statement of commitment to the principles, standards and expectations of the Board which should be signed by the appropriate senior person in your organisation. The NPP should be discussed at draft stage with your accreditation officer (AO).

The proposal will be circulated by the Board office and considered at the next meeting of the Accreditation Committee (AC) against the following criteria:

  • The institutional representative has had a thorough discussion with the lead AO and subsequent contact with the allocated AO.
  • The NPP demonstrates that you have given serious thought to the planned development, that you are developing the programme to meet the requirements of SETAPs and are aware of some of the issues you will need to address.
  • The relevant senior person in your organisation has confirmed in writing on the NPP that they are committed to developing the institutional context and the programme with a staff team, to meet the Board’s requirements and to comply with the Board’s processes including fee payment.

If the AC considers that the above criteria have been met, the NPP will be forwarded to the Board with their recommendation. You may receive feedback and be asked to resubmit, after which the Board will consider the NPP together with the AC’s recommendation. Acceptance of an institution’s NPP is an endorsement of the institution’s potential for developing towards accreditation, but is not a guarantee that accreditation will be successfully achieved. Your course will be included on all circulation lists for receipt of BAAB and BAcC policy documents and will be included on the Board’s website under ‘Institutions with New Programme Proposal’. You may advertise the fact that you are ‘in a formal relationship with the Board, the programme is being developed to meet the requirements of the Board and is subject to accreditation by the Board'. Where a programme is already running, graduates of that programme are not eligible for direct entry to BAcC membership, but may apply for membership individually, until the institution and its programme has achieved full accreditation.

From the point of acceptance of their New Programme Proposal, the Board (in an advisory capacity) will support the institution in their development of the course, the resources and infrastructure. From this point also the institutions will be required to pay the Board's annual fee which is inclusive of all Board planned visits – details are available from the BAAB office.

Approved for Development to Full BAAB Accreditation

Within a year or two of the New Programme Proposal being accepted, you will need to submit full details of the proposed programme, the policies on which it is based, the way it is to be managed and the resources that will be made available. Your AO will be available to offer advice and support throughout this process. The criteria for awarding provisional accreditation are:

  • the programme planning demonstrates that it is likely substantially to meet the Standards of Education and Training for Acupuncture (SETAPs)
  • there is one appropriately qualified and experienced acupuncture teacher either in post or appointed two months prior to the planned start of the programme and firm planning for a second to be appointed within six months of the programme commencing (a total of no less than 1.0 WTE (whole time equivalent) between the two posts)
  • firm plans are in place for a teaching clinic to open within six months of the commencement of the programme
  • firm arrangements have been made for the first cohort to observe clinical practice during their first year.

Your documents will be scrutinised by the Accreditation Committee, and a visit arranged to discuss their feedback with the course team, and with students if the course has already commenced. A report of this visit is discussed by the Accreditation Committee and forwarded with a recommendation to the Board, which has the final say on whether Approval for Development to Full BAAB Accreditation is awarded. Approval for Development to Full BAAB Accreditation may be awarded either to a course that has already commenced or to a course that is planned to commence shortly.

Full Accreditation

The timing of submission of documents for full accreditation is based on the need for the institution to demonstrate that the programme substantially meets the SETAPs. Institutions that have been awarded provisional accreditation will normally submit for full accreditation:

  • once their first cohort on the approved for full BAAB accredited programme has completed two years of the programme
  • there is external examiner’s feedback on the standard of at least their first-year work
  • the teaching clinic has been fully operational for at least a year
  • the first cohort of students has commenced their ‘management of patients’ clinical experience at least two months prior to the accreditation visit.

Full Accreditation ensures that the standards achieved by the graduates are appropriate for independent primary health care professional practice. The visit will normally extend over four days and will include observation of classroom teaching, observation of clinical teaching and supervision, and will include external verification of compliance in the clinic with the BAcC's Code of Safe Practice. Graduates of courses which have achieved Full Accreditation are eligible for direct entry to BAcC membership.

From this point institutions can claim that they are fully accredited so long as they continue to demonstrate that they are meeting the requirements of the Board. This is achieved through annual reports, annual visits by the Accreditation Officers and intermittent renewed accreditation visits by a team. The period which can elapse before renewed accreditation will be specified at the time of full accreditation and will depend on the robustness of the course management and the overall quality of the course provision, and may be up to 6 years.

Full details of the processes of accreditation are available in the Accreditation Handbook

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The BAAB accredits teaching institutions, not practitioners - if you are a fully qualified acupuncturist wishing to join the British Acupuncture Council

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