History and Overview

The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM®) is a non-profit organization established in 1982 and operates as a 501(c)6. Its mission is to assure the safety and well-being of the public and to advance the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine by establishing and promoting national evidence-based standards of competence and credentialing.

As a part its mission, the NCCAOM is dedicated to promoting its nationally accredited certification programs and certified practitioners (Diplomates) to consumers and the public. NCCAOM accomplishes this by continuously offering customized services and publications for Diplomates to promote their certification such as marketing and consumer brochures, press packets, statistics about the profession and online continuing educational courses. These tools empower Diplomates to better inform consumers about the benefits of choosing an NCCAOM certified practitioner who can be found by going to the NCCAOM® Find-A-Practitioner Directory.

All of NCCAOM’s certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the Institution for Credentialing Excellence (ICE). NCCA standards for accreditation exceed the requirements set forth by the American Psychological Association and the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission. NCCAOM certification and/or the passing of the NCCAOM certification examination(s) are recognized for licensure by 43 states including the District of Columbia (which represents 98 percent of the states that regulate licensure of acupuncturists). Since the organization’s inception, the NCCAOM has issued more than 21,000 certificates in Acupuncture, Oriental medicine, Chinese herbology and Asian bodywork therapy.

It is a considerable professional achievement to earn the designation “Diplomate (NCCAOM)”. NCCAOM certification indicates to employers, patients, and peers that one has met national standards for the safe and competent practice of acupuncture as defined by the profession. National board certification in acupuncture has been the mark of excellence in acupuncture since the inception of the Commission. In 2007, the NCCAOM celebrated its 25th Anniversary, along with its sister organizations the American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), and the Council of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM). As a tribute to the tireless volunteers and staff that devoted countless hours to the success of the organization, the NCCAOM dedicated its NCCAOM® 25th Year Anniversary Commemorative Booklet as a thank you to their immense contributions.

In recent years, the NCCAOM has also worked directly with federal government agencies to establish recognition of its certification programs and its Diplomates in the federal arena, a very important aspect of its mission. This includes providing supporting data to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for the creation of a distinct job classification code for acupuncturists in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.