Credentialing Requirements

Verification Documents


Graduation from a ACAOM accredited school, department approved school or department approved apprenticeship.


Official transcript with degree and date posted, received directly from applicant’s program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation. Completed clinical training form received directly from applicant’s program.


Certification of successful completion of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) examination.


Certified copy of the passing scores for the Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture with Point Location and Biomedicine modules.


Clean needle technique


Verification of having taken the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine clean needle technique course.


Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)


Copy of the front and back of the applicant’s current CPR card.


Background information form


Must complete the background information form. List out all Basic Science courses and all East Asian medicine science courses that are being claimed to meet the education.


Work history (professional training and experience)


Must have a complete listing of professional education and experience including college or university and a complete chronology of practice history from the date of East Asian medicine (acupuncture) school graduation to present, whether or not engaged in activities related to East Asian medicine.


State licensure verification


Applicant lists all states where credentials are or were held, including where applicant has applied but a credential was not granted. A verification form must be completed and submitted by the jurisdiction where the applicant is or was credentialed. Applicant sends form to jurisdiction for completion. The jurisdiction sends completed form directly to the department.


Statement about:

    • physical and mental health status
    • lack of impairment due to chemical dependency/substance abuse
    • history of loss of license, certification or registration
    • felony convictions
    • loss or limitations of privileges
    • disciplinary actions
    • professional liability claims history.


Applicant must answer personal data questions. An appropriate explanation and required documentation must be sent with positive answers. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint, and the settlement or final disposition. If pending, applicant must indicate status.


Additional Information/Documents Required

      ·  HIV/AIDS training – seven hours

Licensing Requirements

1. Minimum of two academic years training in basic sciences. This must equal a minimum of 45 credits or 450 hours. The mandatory courses are:

      a. Anatomy;
      b. Physiology;
      c. Microbiology;
      d. Biochemistry;
      e. Survey of western clinical sciences; and
      f. Hygiene

2. East Asian medicine science courses that must equal a minimum of 75 credits or 750 hours. The mandatory courses are:

      a. Fundamental principles;
      b. Diagnosis;
      c. Pathology;
      d. Therapeutics;
      e. Meridians/vessels and points; and
      f. Techniques, including electro-acupuncture.

3. Clinical training that consists of a minimum of 500 hours of supervised clinical training to include no more than 100 hours of observation which includes case presentation and discussion. At least 400 hours must be patient treatment.

Foreign Trained

An applicant seeking licensure in Washington who is foreign trained must:

1. Have at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree in East Asian medicine or acupuncture from an institution of higher learning which is approved by the foreign country’s ministry of education/health, or other governmental entity;

2. Have graduated from a program of East Asian medicine or acupuncture education with requirements substantially equal to those required of graduates of secretary-approved programs;

3. Demonstrate fluency in reading, speaking and understanding the English language by taking the required NCCAOM examinations in English or by passage of the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL) internet-based (IBT) examinations. The scores on the TOEFL IBT must be at least:

      a. Twenty four on the writing section;
      b. Twenty six on the speaking section;
      c. Twenty one on the reading section; and
      d. Eighteen on the listening comprehension section.

4. The department recognizes the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) for a credentialing evaluation report. Have the report sent directly to the department. Submit transcripts, fees and other documentation to a department approved credentialing service and they will send directly to the department; and

5. Meet all of the requirements listed above.

Process for Approving/Denying Applications

Credentialing staff review the application and supporting documents to make an initial determination on eligibility. Credentialing supervisors approve applications that don't have positive answers to personal data questions, have questionable verifying documents, or are otherwise “red flag” applications. "Red flag" applications are forwarded to the exception application process for determination by the appropriate disciplining authority. An applicant will be formally notified of a denial and has the opportunity for a hearing.

Renewal Requirements

East Asian medicine practitioners (licensed acupuncturists) must renew their license annually on or before their birthday. They are required to submit the appropriate fee and renewal card. Please keep your address updated to receive courtesy renewal notices.

Avoid an expired license

Do not let your license expire. You must make sure we have your renewal before it expires. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to practice. A timely postmark on your renewal will not prevent an expired license. Renewal sent by mail take about two weeks to process.