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The A OO MM CC What???

By Corine Danchik, M.S.T.C.M., Dipl.O.M., L.Ac., Academic Dean, Boulder Campus

A common question that comes up in conversation is who and what the ACAOM, CCAOM, and NCCAOM are. The simple answer is that they are the governances that make the education of this amazing medicine possible. The pioneers of the acupuncture profession in the U.S. came together with their own expertise and formed these organizations to bring credibility to the acupuncture profession and to educate the public. Here is an easy way to remember what each organization does.

The Letter A for Accreditation
Let’s start with the ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), which is the national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To be an accredited school is very important. It means that the school is teaching to the highest standards of the profession. ACAOM establishes “polices and procedures and standards that govern the accreditation process for acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs.” In short, ACAOM establishes institutional and educational requirements. In turn, by making sure that colleges are implementing the requirements, it then helps students to pass the NCCAOM board exams.

The Letter C for Colleges, Curriculum and Council
The CCAOM (Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) was created by a wise group of educators whose goal was to promote “educational excellence within the field” of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Currently, there are 54 members in the CCAOM. In order to be a member, a college must be accredited or in candidacy status. The CCAOM meets two times a year to discuss ways to enrich, review, and refine the curriculum of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

The Letter N for National
The NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) was formed to “establish, assess and promote recognized standards of competence and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine for the protection and benefit of the public.” In short terms, the NCCAOM is dedicated to showing to the public that the practitioners who have passed their exams, and been termed Diplomates (NCCAOM), are ready to treat the public safely and competently.