Year of the Wooden Ram

Harmony Meets Creativity and Productivity – NCCAOM’s Commitment to Its Diplomates


As we leave the steadfastness and productivity of 2014, the Year of the Horse, we now embark on a new journey in 2015 with the Year of the Wood Ram. The Wood Ram, occupying the 8th position in the Chinese Zodiac, symbolizes such character traits as creativity, intelligence, dependability, and calmness. These remarkable creatures are known for their inner strength and are comfortable being alone to ponder the workings of their inner minds. In essence, the Year of the Ram will be a time for caring, bringing out creative talent, imagination and emotion, while remaining, calm, level and unhurried. These are the ideal traits for 2015 as the NCCAOM Board and staff focus on implementing our newly adopted strategic goals, based on our new mission and vision. Like the traits of the Wooden Ram, “harmony” and “creativity” are associated with our new organizational strategic goals. We anticipate that these goals will fit the collective needs of our Diplomates who are currently adjusting to the changing U.S. healthcare system landscape.

In 2013, the NCCAOM began its 18-month journey to examine the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and possible threats to its constituents, as part of the strategic planning process that takes place approximately every five years. This process (called a SWOT analysis) revealed that the NCCAOM sets high standards for certification, is stable, and is often thought of by its Diplomates as a membership association rather than a certification organization.

Early in 2014, the NCCAOM gathered additional external stakeholder input in order to identify areas of concern, especially from our NCCAOM constituents. The Board and staff learned that NCCAOM Diplomates and other AOM stakeholders were most concerned with the following issues:

  • Recognition of acupuncturists at the federal level, e.g., the need for an independent occupational code by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and opportunities for government employment
  • Reimbursement by third-party payers
  • Reciprocity of credentials from state to state
  • Scope of practice encroachment
  • Leadership training for AOM professionals
  • Public/consumer education about AOM

After 18 months of strategic planning, and in consideration of what NCCAOM stakeholders identified as pressing issues, the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners have adopted the following new mission and vison statements:

The new NCCAOM mission statement is: To establish and promote national standards of competence by utilizing evidence-based credentialing to assure the safety and well-being of the public and advance the professional practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

The new NCCAOM vision statement is: Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provided by NCCAOM credentialed practitioners will be integral to healthcare and accessible to all members of the public.

In order to the meet the intent of the new mission statement to continue to promote national standards of competence through NCCAOM credentialing and to actively assure the safety and well-being of the public, the NCCAOM will play a more deliberate role in advancing the professional practice of its Diplomates, keeping in mind its vision of having NCCAOM credentialed practitioners be integral to healthcare and accessible to all members of the public. The NCCAOM Board and staff are listening and desire to emphasize our commitment to our Diplomates by more directly assisting Diplomates throughout their career. The following new strategic goals have been adopted for the next three to five years:

  • Integrate NCCAOM credentialed providers into healthcare in the United States.
  • Distinguish NCCAOM as the expert source for AOM credentialing and competency standards.
  • Expand the value of NCCAOM credentials to assure and advance professional opportunities for NCCAOM Diplomates.

The NCCAOM Board and staff have met to create specific strategies for the implementation of each of the above goals as well as outcome measures that will demonstrate the successful execution of each of the goals. We will be notifying our Diplomates and other stakeholders of the progress towards each goal such as the gaining of an independent standards occupational classification code for “Acupuncturists” within the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Board and staff look forward to working collaboratively with members of the AOM community, state and federal government representatives, and other healthcare partners, to further the AOM profession and the success of our Diplomates in the coming years. We hope that you have a productive and balanced Year of the Wooden Ram.