AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Board of Acupuncture
The Acupuncture Board of Examiners was created in 1998 to protect the public health by ensuring that acupuncture is provided by qualified and competent individuals. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-3901 through 32-3954.
The Acupuncture Board of Examiners (Board) oversees regulation of acupuncturists and licensure of applicants. A person may not practice acupuncture without a license issued by the Board. The Board is authorized to deny, revoke or suspend a license, investigate misconduct, hold hearings and issue subpoenas.
The Board is made up of nine members appointed to three-year terms by the Governor and may employ an executive director and personnel to carry out its functions. It is funded by fees collected for applications, licenses and certificates. As a 90/10 board, ten percent of all monies collected is deposited in the state General Fund and the remainder is deposited in the Acupuncture Board of Examiners Fund.
Laws 1998, Chapter 239 created the Board, specified its composition, set out its powers and duties, authorized employment of an executive director and personnel, created the Acupuncture Board of Examiners Fund and established fees. The measure prescribed qualifications to obtain a license to practice; outlined provisions related to renewal and continuing education; authorized the Board to deny, revoke or suspend a license; to impose alternative sanctions and to request injunctive relief. A violation is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor.
Laws 2014, Chapter 107 revised qualifications for licensure by providing an additional option for an applicant to demonstrate competency by completing specific modules offered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The measure also required an applicant to: 1) disclose all other active and past health care licenses issued to the applicant; and 2) submit a full set of fingerprints to the Board for the purpose of conducting a state and federal criminal records check.
In 2016, the Arizona Auditor General conducted a performance audit of the Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners. The audit was prepared in response to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee resolution of October 22, 2014. The audit found the Board: 1) had not consistently obtained all licensing information before issuing licenses; 2) had renewed some licenses without verifying compliance with continuing education requirements; 3) had not developed procedures to handle complaints and adequately guide staff; and 4) did not consistently provide accurate information about licensees and certificate holders over the phone.
The Senate Health and Human Services and the House Health Committee of Reference met November 27, 2017 and recommended the Board: be continued for one year; continue to address the concerns raised in the audit; and submit a progress report by March 1, 2018 to the Auditor General and the Legislative standing Health Committees.
Laws 2018, Chapter 63 continued the Board for four years. A second measure adopted in 2018 revised qualifications for an auricular acupuncture certificate and required an applicant to: 1) disclose all other active and past health care licenses and certificates issued to the applicant; and 2) effective January 1, 2019, submit a full set of fingerprints to the Board for the purpose of conducting a state and federal criminal records check. See Laws 2018, Chapter 205.
Laws 2019, Chapter 195 allowed the Board to authorize its executive director to issue licenses, certifications, registrations, preceptorships, reinstatements and waivers to eligible applicants who meet the requirements identified in the statute. In addition, the Board may issue temporary licenses of thirty days to qualified applicants who meet the statutory requirements and may adopt rules to carry out the new provisions.
A second enactment in 2019 requires the Board to regulate the unauthorized practice of the profession by investigating complaints and referring verified complaints to the county attorney or attorney general for prosecution. See Laws 2019, Chapter 227.
Laws 2021, Chapter 312 modifies qualifications to serve on the Board, creates an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist certificate, removes the limitation on practicing auricular acupuncture in certain programs, and establishes a requirement for a patient to sign a consent form prior to receiving treatment from an auricular acupuncturist. The measure also decreases the number of members on the Board from nine to seven, effective January 17, 2022.
Laws 2022, Chapter 23 modifies responsibilities of the Board, modifies the scope of practice for acupuncturists, and requires a person who is applying for an initial license or a renewal to possess a fingerprint clearance card at the time of application. The measure also creates the position of and outlines the scope of duties for an acupuncture assistant, and establishes registration requirements for the position.
Performance Audit and Sunset Review of the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners, September 2016, Arizona Auditor General Report 16-109
Sunset Review of the Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners: November 27, 2017.
Sunrise application related to the expansion of scope for licensed acupuncturists. Submitted October 30, 2020 by the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA).
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 175 – Arizona Acupuncture Board of Examiners, 2004-2016