On February 1, 2019, the NCCAOM opened a new, temporary route to certification in Oriental Medicine called – Route 8: NCCAOM Certification for Active California Licensed Acupuncturists. This time-limited route will close on December 31, 2020. Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements of Route 8 will be granted an NCCAOM Oriental Medicine (OM) Certification without the requirement of taking the NCCAOM examinations.
NCCAOM’s opportunity to offer this time-limited route was made possible, at this time, because of the CA Acupuncture Board’s (CAB) 2016 audit of the NCCAOM certification program in OM, as well as the 2016 CAB recommendation to Assembly Professions and Business Oversight Committee to recommend that the CAB begin using the NCCAOM exams for licensure, plus a separate CA state-Specific exam to cover all the content of the current CA Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE). At this time there has been no legislation introduced that will make the switch to the use of the NCCAOM examinations in CA.
In 2018, the NCCAOM submitted a proposal to the its accreditation organization, the National Commission for Certification Agencies (NCCA) to show how the eligibility, requirements, exam competency assessment CA licensing and relicensing requirements compared to the NCCAOM’s requirements.
Note, although the OPES Team conducted the audit of the NCCAOM examination development and administration program, as well as examined its psychometric data based on the 2013 NCCAOM Job Analysis study, the NCCAOM did not have the opportunity to conduct an audit of the CALE exam development components and outcomes and did not have an opportunity to see the CALE reliability, validity and fairness data. Therefore, the NCCAOM cannot directly attest to the psychometric reliability, validity and fairness, of the CALE.
After the evaluation of the NCCAOM exams, in July 2016, the CA Acupuncture Board voted to move forward to implementing the NCCAOM exams – please see CAB letter here: Since this will require a statutory change, it requires legislation and CA has not yet moved forward with introducing this legislation. We will hopefully have more progress on this topic in the next few months as we are tracking this initiative. The NCCAOM’s hope is that California will accept NCCAOM exams the national standard as part of their licensure process as do all other states that regulate acupuncture using the NCCAOM modular exams.