TCM Regulation in Canada

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Regulation in Canada

Canada is a country situated in North America above the United States and has a population of about 33 million people. Canada has 10 provinces and 3 territories, although 86% of the population resides in 4 provinces; Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, unfortunately, are not regulated nationwide in Canada. However, there are currently five provinces established by provincial/territorial law with a mandate to protect the public’s right to safe, competent and ethical services offered by registered TCM Practitioners, TCM Acupuncturists, and/or TCM Herbalists who are members of the regulatory bodies. Currently, British Columbia and Ontario regulate both TCM Practitioners and Acupuncturists. Alberta, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador regulate Acupuncturists only.

The legislation in each province differs with the following as protected titles within some provinces. Here is an example from the province of British Columbia:

  • Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) – Acupuncture only- 3 yr program
  • Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (R.TCM.P) – combined acupuncture and herbology with restrictions -4 yr program
  • Doctor of TCM (Dr.TCM) – combined acupuncture and herbology without restrictions – 5 yr program

In order to practice as a R.Ac or Registered Acupuncturist (synonymous with L.Ac in the United States) or any other protected title in one of those five provinces, an individual must successfully complete the Pan-Canadian Written and Clinical Case-Study Examinations issued across all five provinces by the Canadian Alliance of Regulatory Bodies of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (CARB-TCMPA). CARB-TCMPA is the national organization of provincial and territorial regulatory bodies that govern and monitor the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners, Acupuncturists and/or Herbalists. Additional examinations such as safety or jurisprudence program may be required depending on the province.

The prerequisites to write the Pan-Canadian examinations vary slightly from province to province. For eligibility criteria to write the exam in each province, please refer to the examination application package information provided on the website of each provincial regulatory College (links found below). In general:

  • Ac. or R.TCM.H graduation from a traditional Chinese medicine program generally comprised of at least a minimum of 1900 hours including between 450 and 600 hours of practical clinical training completed in a minimum of 3 academic years to write the exams.
  • TCM.P exams require completion of a 2600 hours of traditional Chinese medicine program with at least 650 hours of practical clinical training.
  • TCM exams require completion of a 3,250 hours traditional Chinese medicine program including a minimum of 1,050 hours of clinical instruction of which 825 hours must be supervised practice.

Once an individual has successfully completed all examinations required in their province, they may apply to their provincial regulatory college for registration under the protected title within their province. This registration process generally includes a reference check and a criminal record check to ensure only ethical individuals may practice. If the individual can satisfy all the requirements for registration in their province, the regulatory college will grant them a license to practice under their protected title in their province. Some provinces have reciprocity agreements, and allow practitioners from other regulated provinces to transfer their license over to another province to practice but each practitioner can only be licensed in one province at a time.

In order to maintain a practitioner’s registration under their protected title, practitioners must be members of their regulatory college which includes annual dues, and every two years must see a minimum of 200 patient appointments and complete 50 hours of continuing education. Ongoing criminal record checks are also periodically conducted.

World Acupuncture Day 2018 Exhibition

Introduction to the Exhibition

Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago, and is an important aspect of
Chinese cultural heritage. Today, acupuncture is respected as an effective form of medicine used by millions of
people each year – not just in China, but throughout the world. A growing body of
evidence supports what patients have known for millennia.
The idea of the Exhibition is to celebrate the journey that acupuncture has made from
its Eastern origins, and to demonstrate how over time it has travelled to and been
adopted by many different countries around the world.
It is proposed that all countries participating in WAD produce large, attractive posters
that outline how acupuncture and TCM has evolved in their countries over time.
The posters will be exhibited in the hall of the high profile UNESCO building. This will
give an opportunity for those attending WAD to:

• Learn more about the origins of acupuncture and how it has grown over time
• Understand the scale of acupuncture’s importance around the world
• Appreciate that acupuncture is a valid and valuable health resource for the West
as well as the East

The ETCMA will lead this project as it has members from almost every country in
Europe and it is able to collaborate with a number of partners from different



The posters will comprise three parts:
• A timeline of the development of acupuncture in that country
• The current state of Acupuncture today in that country – to include key stats
• A short blurb about the society that produced the poster.



• Poster will be vertical – 120 Centimetres (height) X 90 Centimetres (width):
o Development of Acupuncture:
 1400 characters 1 (without image);
 970 characters (with image);
o Current state of Acupuncture:
 1400 characters (without image);
 970 characters (with image);
o About Us – Societies:
 180 characters (3 societies working together);
 300 characters (2 societies working together);
 600 characters (1 society);
o Size of images / pictures / graphics:
 Vertical – Minimum 1280 (height ) X 960 (width);
 Horizontal – Minimum 847 (height) X 1280 (width);
o Logo of the society in high definition or vectorised.
o The link of the webpage of the society order to do a QR code.



All information must be send before October 3rd, to be compile by the graphic
designer and send to the WADO and UNESCO for approval.

Important information

• All the information on the posters must be in English;
• If the information is send after the deadline the country poster will not be part
of the Exhibition;
• The WADO communication team may change the content of posters so as to
maintain the layout;

• The responsibility for the content on the posters is of the societies represented
in the them;
• This exhibition aims to be an excellent opportunity to promote acupuncture to
the media, general public and to policy makers. So it’s our suggestion that the
country poster focus on the positive aspects of acupuncture development;
• The WADO and the UNESCO reserves the right not to exhibit posters that shows
inaccuracy or offensive content;


Regulatory Colleges Which Regulate the Practice of Acupuncture and TCM (by province)

Regulatory Colleges TCM/A

Regulatory Colleges Which Regulate the Practice of Acupuncture and TCM

Province Regulatory College Website
British Columbia College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (CTCMA)
Alberta College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAAA)
Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO)
Quebec Order of Acupuncturists Quebec (OAQ)
Newfoundland College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Newfoundland and Labrador (CTCMPANL)

Find Registered Acupuncturists/TCM Practitioners (in regulated provinces)

British Columbia









Find Acupuncturists/TCM Practitioners in Other Provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI)

Translate »