The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 26: Professions and Occupations
Chapter 075: ACUPUNCTURISTS
- Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 3401. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) “Acupuncture” or the “practice of acupuncture” means the insertion of fine needles through the skin at certain points on the body, with or without the application of electric current or the application of heat to the needles or skin, or both, for the purpose of promoting health and well-being or to prevent or alleviate pain or unease.
(2) “Licensed acupuncturist” means a person who is licensed to practice acupuncture under this chapter.
(3) “Director” means the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, §§ 37, 49(b); 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
§ 3401a. Scope of practice
(a) A licensed acupuncturist may, in addition to the practice of acupuncture employing fine needles, in a manner consistent with acupuncture theory, employ electrical, magnetic, thermal, and mechanical skin stimulation techniques; nonlaboratory diagnostic techniques; nutritional, herbal, and manual therapies; exercise and lifestyle counseling; acupressure; and massage.
(b) A licensed acupuncturist shall not offer diagnosis of any human pathology except for a functional diagnosis, based upon the physical complaint of a patient or acupuncture theory, for purposes of developing and managing a plan of acupuncture care, or as necessary to document to insurers and other payers the reason a patient sought care. (Added 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
§ 3402. Prohibitions; offenses; exemptions; evaluating nonacupuncturists
(a) Except as provided in subsections (d) through (g) of this section, a person shall not practice acupuncture unless he or she is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b)(1) A person shall not use in connection with the person’s name any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is an acupuncturist unless the person is licensed in accordance with this chapter.
(2) The only title a licensed acupuncturist may use in reference to that license is “licensed acupuncturist” or its abbreviation, as “Lic. Ac.”
(c) A person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127.
(d) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent a student from performing acupuncture under the supervision of a competent licensed acupuncturist instructor:
(1) within a school or a college or an acupuncture department of a college or university that is licensed by the Vermont Agency of Education or certified by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine;
(2) as a student in a Director-approved apprenticeship; or
(3) as an intern in any hospital.
(e) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent a person who is licensed or certified as an acupuncturist in another state or Canadian province from practicing acupuncture for no more than five days in a calendar year as part of a health care professional educational seminar or program in Vermont, if the educational seminar or program is directly supervised by a Vermont-licensed health care professional whose scope of practice includes acupuncture.
(f) This chapter shall not be construed to limit or restrict in any way the right of a licensed practitioner of a health care profession regulated under this title from performing services within the scope of his or her professional practice.
(g) Nothing in subsection (a) of this section shall prevent an unlicensed person from engaging in auriculotherapy, an unregulated practice wherein needles are inserted into the external human ear, provided such person:
(1) has appropriate training in clean needle technique;
(2) employs sterile, single-use needles, without reuse;
(3) does not purport to treat any disease, disorder, infirmity, or affliction;
(4) does not use any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is an acupuncturist; and
(5) makes no statement implying that his or her practice of auriculotherapy is licensed, certified, or otherwise overseen by the State.
(h) The Director, with cooperation of the relevant professional regulatory boards, shall monitor and evaluate whether nonacupuncturists employing acupuncture as a therapeutic modality are doing so safely, within their scopes of practice, and in a manner consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 38; 2001, No. 136 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. June 13, 2002; 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 2007, No. 29, § 54; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 275, eff. Feb. 14, 2014; 2015, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 17, 2016; 2017, No. 48, § 25; 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
- Subchapter 002: ADMINISTRATION
§ 3403. Director; functions
(a) The Director shall:
(1) Provide general information to applicants for licensure as acupuncturists.
(2) Collect fees as provided under this chapter.
(3) Explain appeal procedures to licensed acupuncturists and applicants and complaint procedures to the public.
(4) Receive applications for licensure, license applicants under this chapter, renew licenses, and revoke, reinstate, or condition licenses as ordered by an administrative law officer.
(5) Refer all disciplinary matters to an administrative law officer.
(b) The Director may adopt rules necessary to perform his or her duties under this chapter. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 39; 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
§ 3404. Advisor appointees
(a)(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint two licensed acupuncturists to serve as advisors in matters relating to acupuncture as set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129b.
(2) Appointees shall have at least three years’ experience as an acupuncturist immediately preceding appointment and shall be actively engaged in the practice of acupuncture in Vermont during incumbency.
(b) The Director shall seek the advice of the acupuncturist advisors in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 39; 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
- Subchapter 003: LICENSES
§ 3405. Licenses
To be eligible for licensure as an acupuncturist, an applicant shall be at least 18 years of age and shall furnish satisfactory proof that he or she:
(1) holds a degree or diploma from an educational institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine or a substantially equivalent or successor accrediting organization approved by the U.S. Department of Education and the Director, which shall include at least two academic years and a minimum of 400 hours of supervised clinical practice; and
(2) passed the examination described in section 3406 of this chapter. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 40; 2007, No. 29, § 55; 2017, No. 48, § 27; 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
§ 3406. Examination
(a) The Director shall examine applicants for licensure and may use a standardized national examination. The examination shall include the following subjects:
(1) Anatomy and physiology.
(2) Acupuncture pathology.
(3) Acupuncture diagnosis.
(4) Hygiene, sanitation, and sterilization techniques.
(5) The principles, practices, and techniques of acupuncture.
(6) Clean needle techniques.
(b) The Director may adopt rules necessary to perform his or her duties under this section. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2005, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 41; 2019, No. 30, § 23; 2021, No. 69, § 6.)
§ 3407. Licensure without examination
(a) The Director may waive the examination requirement under subdivision 3405(2) of this chapter if the applicant is an acupuncturist regulated under the laws of another state who is in good standing to practice acupuncture in that state and, in the opinion of the Director, the standards and qualifications required for regulation of acupuncturists in that state are substantially equivalent to those required by this chapter.
(b) The Director may waive the examination requirement under subdivision 3405(2) of this chapter for an applicant who has furnished evidence of having passed the examination administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 49(b); 2007, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
§ 3407a. Repealed. 1997, No. 40, § 43.
§ 3408. Renewals
Licenses shall be renewed every two years upon payment of the required fee and furnishing satisfactory evidence of having completed 30 hours of continuing education credit during the preceding two years. The Director may adopt rules for the approval of continuing education programs and the awarding of credit. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 40; 2019, No. 30, § 23.)
§ 3409. Repealed. 1997, No. 59, § 65(8), eff. June 30, 1997.
§ 3410. Repealed. 2019, No. 30, § 23.
§ 3411. Disclosure information
The Director shall adopt rules requiring licensed acupuncturists to disclose to each new client before the first treatment the acupuncturist’s professional qualifications and experience, those actions that constitute unprofessional conduct, the method for filing a complaint or making a consumer inquiry, and provisions relating to the manner in which the information shall be displayed and signed by both the acupuncturist and the client. (Added 1993, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 40, § 42.)
§ 3412. Repealed. 2019, No. 30, § 23.