The ETCMA: Working to promote and develop high standards

The European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association (ETCMA)‘s mission statement says we ‘Promote and develop the standards and structures that will enable healthcare policy makers to have the confidence to incorporate the provision of Chinese Medicine into national healthcare systems through the establishment of a profession whose practitioners are safe, competent and ethical.’

I have now been a member of the Executive Committee (EC) of the ETCMA  for eight months and I am getting my head around all the strands of work that we are currently involved in. As an umbrella organisation, we work with around 30 associations, the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) being one of the largest.

So what is the work that we do?
With such a wide- reaching mission statement, there are several ways we aim to achieve our goals. With such huge diversity – for example, in some countries in Europe, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is fully regulated, while in others you have to be a medically qualified doctor to practice acupuncture – learning from each other is a vital tool to the enhancement of our goals.

From education to research
By promoting high standards of education, we help to instill confidence in healthcare agencies and policymakers, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care possible. We have a very active Education committee that looks at how education of TCM is carried out in the various countries where our members reside. Currently, we are working on a core curriculum throughout Europe, which would be beneficial to all current schools and support any new schools setting up.

Every year, the ETCMA organises a School Leaders day, initially set up by our own Jasmine Uddin of the BAcC, which allows the leaders of our schools throughout Europe to discuss the topics that most interest them. We also facilitate an active Research group which brings together research from across the world.

Another vital thread of the work we carry out, is to advocate for TCM within the powers that be. We are active in a branch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and several other Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) organisations, EUROCAM and Traditional Complementary and Integrative Healthcare (TCIH) that meet in Brussels. It is vital that we sit at these tables to discuss the scope of TCM.

What’s on the horizon?
The ETCMA supports many organisations to help them grow and run effective and efficient organisations by helping them to look at their governance structure. We are lucky in the BAcC that we have a really well- run organisation with a strong governance structure and, in Europe, we are seen as the ‘Gold standard.’

We have just started a project looking at how me might gain some funding in the next few years which would open up new opportunities within Europe.

As well as meeting monthly online and twice a year in person, the EC of the ETCMA runs a Congress every year for our members. We’re currently working on a new strategy from 2024.

We want to promote our profession everywhere we can and are looking forward to this year’s World Acupuncture Day on 16 November. We would love to see BAcC Members get involved, so do go to the ETCMA website and follow the link.

Susan Evans MBAcC – Head of Governance ETCMA
November 2023