Professional codes & Complaints

Professional codes and standards of practice

The British Acupuncture Council is committed to ensuring that all patients receive the highest standard of professional care during their acupuncture treatment. Our Code of Professional Conduct governs ethical and professional behaviour, while the Code of Safe Practice sets benchmark standards for best practice in acupuncture. All BAcC members are bound by these codes. 

All members are accountable to the BAcC for their professional behaviour and the codes are rigorously enforced. If members break the BAcC’s rules they can be cautioned or have conditions placed on their practice. In more serious cases, members may be removed or suspended from the BAcC register. 

Although we are currently a voluntary self-regulating body, our reputation as the lead body for acupuncture in the UK means any sanctions we impose are taken seriously. 

Underlying these codes are the British Acupuncture Council Standards of Practice for Acupuncture that BAcC has created to set out the practices that our members should adhere to. 

Professional conduct 

The Code of Professional Conduct sets out the high standards of personal and professional conduct required of BAcC members. 

Concerns about a member’s behaviour should be referred to our Professional Conduct Officer who will explain the formal complaints procedure and collect preliminary details. Complex cases may take some time to resolve because of the need for thorough and impartial investigation. 

Conduct enquiries can be sent in confidence to the Professional Conduct Officer by email to ethics@acupuncture.org.uk or call 020 8735 1213. 

Safe practice 

The British Acupuncture Council believes patient safety is paramount. All BAcC members are required to meet and maintain the standards for safe acupuncture practice set out in our Code of Safe Practice. 

Concerns about the safety of acupuncture can be referred to our Safe Practice Officer who is able to give advice on all aspects of best practice. 

Safe practice enquiries should be sent to the Professional Standards team by email to profstds@acupuncture.org.uk. 

The BAcC Standards of Practice for Acupuncture 

The BAcC Standards of Practice for Acupuncture reflect the artistry of professional practice expected of an experienced practitioner. There are six standards that our members work to.

  • Practice Context 
  • Diagnosis and Treatment 
  • Communications and Interaction 
  • Safety 
  • Professional Development 
  • Business Management 

Complaints

If you are unhappy about the service you have received from your practitioner for any reason, we recommend taking the steps outlined below.

However, if your issue or area of concern is about the British Acupuncture or a member of our staff, please see our complaints policy and procedure with more information about the process for dealing with your complaint.

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
Step 1

Step 1

Consider expressing your concerns to your practitioner or if he/she works in a larger practice, to the practice manager either by phone, by letter, by email or in person.

Step 2

Step 2

If you remain unhappy or prefer to contact us directly you can make a complaint to the British Acupuncture Council by letter or mail marked Private and Confidential. We will need:

  • Your name and contact details
  • The name and address of the member you are complaining about
  • Details of what happened, when and where

If you find it difficult to make your complaint in writing please let us know and we will help you.

Our contact details:

Ethics Department
(Private & Confidential)
British Acupuncture Council
63 Jeddo Road
London W12 9HQ

email: ethics@acupuncture.org.uk

phone 020 8735 1213

Step 3

Step 3

The Ethics Department will check to see if the BAcC can deal with your complaint or concern. The BAcC can only deal with matters which relate to:

  • treatment, care or advice given by a BAcC member
  • any aspect of the professional or personal behaviour of a BAcC member
  • the physical or mental health of a BAcC member

If the BAcC can deal with your complaint the Ethics Department will send you some forms to complete, together with information about complaints.

Please note, the BAcC cannot grant compensation, however all our members are covered by comprehensive professional indemnity insurance, details of which can be obtained from the BAcC or from your practitioner.

The Moderator

The Moderator is appointed by the Governing Board to examine all cases in which the Investigating Panel has decided not to refer to the Professional Conduct and Competence Panel (or the Health Committee).  The Moderator also examines cases in which the Professional Conduct Officer has decided not to refer to the Investigating Panel.

The Moderator is a non-acupuncturist (lay person) and is not an employee of the BAcC, nor a member of the Governing Board or member of any BAcC committees or panels.

The Moderator prepares an annual report for the Governing Board which includes whatever recommendations and conclusions he/she feels necessary to improve the functions of the Investigating Panel.  A summary of the latest Moderator’s report can be downloaded at the foot of the page.

Professional Conduct and Competence Panel Findings and Orders

Downloads:

Information for Complainants
Information for Witnesses
Complaint form
Code of Disciplinary Procedures
Latest Moderator Report