Board of Medicine

Acupuncture Licensure

Administrative Rules

Definition

"Acupuncture" is defined as a form of health care developed from traditional and modern oriental medical concepts that employ oriental medical diagnosis and treatment and adjunctive therapies and diagnostic techniques for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and the prevention of disease.

Eligibility for Licensure

To be eligible for licensure to practice acupuncture in Iowa, state regulation requires that an applicant must show the following:

  1. Successful completion of a three-year postsecondary training program or acupuncture college program which is accredited by, in candidacy for accreditation by, or which meets the standards of the National Accreditation Commission for Schools and Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  2. Current active status as a diplomate in the NCCAOM
  3. Sufficient knowledge of the English language
    • An applicant who passed the NCCAOM written and practical examination components in English may be presumed to have sufficient proficiency in English
    • An applicant who passed NCCAOM written or practical examination components in a language other than English shall pass the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), examinations administered by the Educational Testing Service. A passing score on TSE is a minimum of 50. A passing score on TOEFL is a minimum overall score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL that was administered on a Friday or Saturday (formerly special or international administration) or a minimum overall score of 213 on the computer-administered TOEFL, or a minimum overall score of 79 on the internet-based examination
  4. Successful completion of a course in Clean Needle Technique approved by the NCCAOM

Iowa Licensees Not Required to Obtain Acupuncture Licensure

Physicians (M.D., D.O.), Chiropractors, Dentists, and Podiatrists may practice acupuncture under their Iowa professional license according to IAC 653-17.2(148E).

A student practicing acupuncture under the direct supervision of a licensed acupuncturist as part of a course of study approved by the board as one that leads to eligibility for licensure is not required to obtain a license.

Application

To apply for licensure in Iowa, an applicant must provide the following:

Fees

Click here to check the fee for an acupuncture license.

How to Apply

Click here for more information on the application process.

Title

An acupuncturist who is licensed as such by the board may use the words "licensed acupuncturist" or "L.Ac." to denote professional standing after the licensee's name.

License Discipline

The board is authorized to discipline licensed acupuncturists who violate the law.  You may report an acupuncturist to the board for a possible violation of the law by calling (515) 242-3252 or by submitting an online form. Enter information about the acupuncturist where the form states “physician.”

License Renewal

After an acupuncture license is issued, the license expires every two years on October 31 of even years. Submitted renewal applications must include the correct renewal fee, along with documented evidence that the licensee has completed a minimum of 30 professional development activity (PDA) points and holds a current active status as a diplomate in the NCCAOM.  A professional development activity means any activity for the purpose of continuing a person's education that is defined and approved by the NCCAOM.  One PDA point equals one hour of continuing education.

Related Link

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

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