Who are the British Acupuncture Council?
Because there is no legal requirement for British acupuncturists to register with a regulatory body or organisation, practitioners can choose to become members of professional bodies like the British Acupuncture Council. In this article we look at why acupuncturists would choose to voluntarily register with the British Acupuncture Council, also known as the BAcC.
What does the British Acupuncture Council do?
The British Acupuncture Council is the largest British authority regulating the practice of acupuncture here in the UK. The organisation itself is self-managed and led by members, thereby very responsive to the needs of acupuncturists.
The British Acupuncture Council performs a number of different roles, including accepting complaints from the public and acting on behalf of the public when members have given clients cause for complaint.
The British Acupuncture Council is also responsible for expanding public awareness of the practice of acupuncture. It is a means by which standards of practice in the UK are established and regulated, and it represents practitioners in various matters. The Council is also closely linked to training organisations and processes, thereby ensuring that all acupuncturists qualified and joining the BAcC are receiving the education and experience they need to practice acupuncture safely and effectively.
One of the most important roles the British Acupuncture Council has to play involves backing research into the effectiveness of acupuncture, and presenting that information to the media and general public. The practice of acupuncture has been surrounding by controversy for some time, mostly regarding the effectiveness and usefulness of treatments. By funding research to support acupuncture, the BAcC acts on behalf of both practitioners and the public by determining which treatments work best and which don’t.
What are the British Acupuncture Council’s standards of practice?
As mentioned in the previous section, one of the most important roles played by the British Acupuncture Council is in ensuring that there are professional standards of acupuncture here in the UK.
Essential to these standards, also referred to as professional codes, is ensuring that members follow a set of guidelines referred to as the Code of Professional Conduct. This acts as a means by which the professional and ethical behaviour of practitioners can be regulated for the benefit of both the public and the practice of British acupuncture.
Members who violate the Code of Professional Conduct are subject to disciplinary action from the British Acupuncture Council. These actions can include a fine or a restriction on the offending acupuncturist’s right to practice. In extreme cases, a member can be excluded from the register.
The document stating the Code of Professional Conduct is readily available on the BAcC council website, and outlines the obligations of each and every member with regards to their fellow acupuncturists and their patients.
Why would an acupuncturist join the British Acupuncture Council?
There are a number of distinct benefits offered by membership to the British Acupuncture Council, and these benefits are what make the British Acupuncture Council the largest self-regulating acupuncture organisation in the UK.
The British Acupuncture Council represents acupuncturist to policy makers and legislators when necessary. By organising informative public relations campaigns, the British Acupuncture Council increases the profile of acupuncture and attracts more business.
Members can cover various professional needs, and provides members with the comfort of being part of an organisation representing them. Support, information, and advice is available from fellow acupuncturists through the British Acupuncture Council, and if necessary a legal team is also available to provide advice on sensitive issues.
The Council is also involved in regularly informing members about changes in legislation, by-laws of the organisation, and research being performed into the field of acupuncture.
Membership offers practitioners professional insurance that covers against issues like medical malpractice. The cover can be up to the value of five million pounds, and has the benefits of legal support, and insurance against any personal accidents.
Practices like acupuncture benefit hugely from Continuous Professional Development programmes, these CPD options allow acupuncturists to expand their knowledge and practice, thereby granting them more clients and an opportunity to expand their business. The British Acupuncture Council organises CPD courses and keeps its members informed about these qualifications.
Finally the British Acupuncture Council provides its members with a ‘seal of approval’ in that members of the public can take comfort in the qualifications and experience of an acupuncturist if they know he or she is a member of the BAcC. Membership puts practitioners on a register which can be accessed by any member of the public looking for a nearby acupuncturist. This is a major asset in any healthcare field, where future patients are always looking for some indication of a practitioner’s quality.
There are many other benefits offered by membership with the British Acupuncture Council, and these are detailed on the British Acupuncture Council website.
How do I find an acupuncturist who is a member of the British Acupuncture Council?
Finding a member of the British Acupuncture Council is easy as all registered acupuncturists are accessible through the Council’s website. This makes the process of finding an acupuncturist who is qualified and experienced easier for members of the public.
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