Chinese Herbology Grandfathering information/explanation

02 Jul 2014 4:31 PM | Candace Sarges

As our members know, the updated acupuncture practice act went into effect in 2009 in New Jersey.  Among other things, it now includes the practice of herbology with certification criteria.  People who were licensed prior to 2009, or who graduated school prior to 2009 were given certain grandfathering exemptions (these do not apply to people who were licensed after 2009 or who graduated school after 2009). 

Just a few months ago, in April 2014 the rules and regulations administering the 2009 statute were finalized which started the official grandfathering process.

Recently the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board sent an affidavit related to the grandfathering process for herbology as set forth in the 2009 statute and 2014 rules adoption. The affidavit received has nothing to do with any new regulations or laws.  This does not pertain to any licensed acupuncturist who does not use herbs in their clinical practice.

Members have called with some confusion over the affidavit since instructions were vague. Here are some explanations for commonly asked questions we have received so far:

If you were licensed before 2009 you may apply for grandfathering under:

#1 “I received my license to practice acupuncture in New Jersey on or before November 2, 2009 and I…”. 

a) Successfully completed an herbology program form a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).

This means that as long as you were licensed to practice prior to November 2, 2009, it is okay to have completed an ACAOM accredited herbology program either before or after that date without having taken the NCCAOM herbal exam or module.

b) Passed the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) herbology examination.

This refers to the examination given prior to NCCAOM offering the exam in a modular format.  If you passed this exam, you can still be grandfathered even if you do not maintain your CH or OM certification from NCCAOM.

c) Was certified in Chinese herbology or Oriental Medicine by NCCAOM 

This means if you were ever certified by NCCAOM for CH or OM, you automatically qualify for grandfathering, even if you do not maintain certification.  This covers people who were certified by NCCAOM in either CH or OM who did not sit for any exam, or who let their certification lapse. 

 d) Passed the NCCAOM herbology examination module.  

This option refers to the current herbology examination module, which is different than the herbology exam that used to be given.

2) “I graduated from _______________________, a school accredited by ACAOM, on or before November 2, 2009 and, as part of my course of study, I completed a program in Chinese herbal medicine. “

This is for people who were licensed in NJ after 2009 but graduated prior to 2009 and had completed an ACAOM accredited herbology program.   For example, anyone who relocated to NJ and obtained a license after November 2, 2009, but had graduated prior to that date.

3) “I am currently certified by the NCCAOM in Chinese Herbology or Oriental Medicine.”

For all licensees who were licensed after 2009 and graduated after 2009 then there is no grandfathering. They will have to demonstrate current certification in Chinese Herbology or in Oriental Medicine. 

Anyone who does not apply for the grandfathering by October 21, 2014 will also have to have current NCCAOM certification in Chinese Herbology or in Oriental Medicine if they want to use herbs in their practice.

Again, if you do not use herbology in your practice you do not need to do anything.  

Please bear in mind, that if you make use of Chinese patent medicine, that is considered the practice of herbology and you must go through the grandfathering process or sit for the NCCAOM Chinese Herbology Module.

There are other possible scenarios, which were not addressed on the affidavit.  We are trying to get clarification on this and other questions that are coming up. NJAAOM members may also contact us with questions and we will try to answer as best as possible. 

The NJAAOM offer is offering free notary services to NJAAOM members (this service is only open to current members). Any member who would like their affidavit notarized (it has to be notarized) can come to our Madison office to have that done. Notarization can only be done in person. 

Update as of 7/7/14 - addressing recent questions

1) If you were licensed prior to Nov. 2, 2009, you MUST have COMPLETED an ACAOM accredited herbology program.  If you did not complete one but it was available, you must complete an ACAOM accredited Herbology program and sit for the NCCAOM Herbology module.  

2) If your education was completed outside of the US, and included herbology, the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board is in the process of determining the procedure for your situation.  Information should be available by next week.

3) If you have not yet received an affidavit from the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board, then you should contact the board to verify that they have your updated mailing address.

4) Even if you have recently submitted your NCCAOM scores or certification (for another reason), you will still have to submit them again.

Update 7/29/14


L.Acs who:
- had their training overseas:
need to contact the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board. You may need to provide transcripts from your school. Please contact the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board at the phone number listed below.

- do not fit into any other category of the grandfathering process: For those L.Acs who have been practicing herbs for a long time and have taken some training have but never been certified, the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board has arranged a special herbal exam provided by the NCCAOM. This is exam will not certify you in herbs, but it will be used to test competency and safety. This is a one time exam that will be used only for the State of NJ for this particular grandfathering process.

If you wish to sign up for this exam you must contact the NJ Acupuncture Examining Board, Renee Clark, Executive Director or Tanya, Administrative Assistant, by calling (973) 273- 8092.

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