Acupuncture is the technique of inserting fine needles into the skin at specific points and manipulating them in order to relieve pain or for other therapeutic purposes. Because acupuncture needles penetrate the skin, many forms of acupuncture are classed as invasive procedures and therefore not without risk to health. However, injuries are generally rare among people who are treated by trained, registered practitioners.
If you are thinking about performing acupuncture on other people, whether at home or in a business premises, by law you must register with the Local Authority where you are normally based. You must ensure you are able to comply with the requirements of the Byelaws (see below) and must also prominently display a copy of both the byelaws and your certificate at your premises. It is an offence to carry on acupuncture without being properly registered.
You need to register the premises where acupuncture is normally carried on and for each additional person who operates with you. You also need to register if you occasionally perform acupuncture on someone in their home, at their request. If the acupuncture is carried out by or under the supervision of a person who is a registered medical practitioner or a dentist or to a premises on which the practice of acupuncture is carried on by or under the supervision of such a person you will not need to be registered;
If you are unsure whether you need to be registered, please contact us.
There is a one-off premises registration fee for yourself and your premises for you to carry out the activity of acupuncture. Additional persons are charged at a reduced rate. The registration fees are available here. If you move premises, you will also be required to re-register yourself and your premises.
A licence is required to register both the premises in which acupuncture is performed and for the person who practices it.
Your registration cannot be refused by the Council, however you may be subject to enforcement action if you do not comply with the necessary standards laid out in law and the bylaws (see below).
The registration lasts as long as the business proprietor or operation of the business does not change. If a new person takes over the business or the premises changes, then you will need to re-register. Please contact us if you are no longer running the business using the contact details below.
You can apply by any of the following means:
You can send us a completed and signed application form together with a cheque for the correct amount.
Contact us using the details at the bottom of this page and we will send you an application form.
YOU MUST BE ABLE TO COMPLY WITH THE BYELAWS
We aim to process your application within 21 days. We will confirm for all electronic applications via email that we have received your application. Please contact us if you have any queries about the process.
You cannot start trading until your application is processed by the Council and you have received a certificate to display in your premises. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us.
The legislation does not require a public register to be kept of registered acupuncturists. Each registered acupuncturist and premises must display a registration certificate in a prominent place. If you do not know if an acupuncturist or a premises carrying out acupuncture is registered, please contact us.
If you are concerned about the standards or practices within a local business or are concerned that they do not appear to be registered please use the Cosmetic/Beauty Business Advice and Complaints form.
For further information on appealing enforcement action, please see our Enforcement web page.
If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.
If you would like further advice about the standards or practices within a local business please use the Cosmetic/Beauty Business Advice and Complaints form.
Further information on acupuncture is also available from the British Acupuncture Council.