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The Official Publication of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia
Quality Assurance Program News

Quality Assurance Program News

As part of our mandate to regulate practitioners of TCM/A, the College is required to maintain a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) supporting our public protection mandate.
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The purpose of the QAP is to promote and facilitate continuing high practice standards and competencies, ensuring that you, as registrants, deliver safe and ethical care in an evidence-informed and self-reflective manner.

Today it is generally agreed that helping practitioners build competence, in varied professions, involves more than simply providing courses for credit. It’s a question of supporting registrants throughout their careers and facilitating their ability to develop personal learning plans.

For this reason, starting with the Quality Assurance (QA) cycle that began in April 2022, the Practice Support Program (PSP) is a mandatory component of the QAP. The PSP requires you to reflect on and assess your practice, and design your own Professional Development Plan.

Registrants whose QA cycle started in April 2022 should complete a self-reflective assessment by the end of 2022. The self-reflective assessment form can be downloaded here.

We are in the final stages of developing a comprehensive QAP Handbook which will soon be available for downloading on the College website.

You are encouraged to ask QAP/PSP related questions by emailing [email protected]

Interactive Safety Course Launching

Interactive Safety Course Launching

“The College serves and protects the public interest by regulating the safe, ethical practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in BC”.
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This is the Mission of the College and the foundation of everything we do. We are pleased to announce the ‘soft’ launch of a new Interactive Safety Course later this month, that is, in August 2022.

Successful completion of either the Interactive Safety Course or passing the currently offered Safety Exam will fulfill the ‘Safety Examination’ requirement for initial registration. This requirement ensures that applicants to the College have acquired the minimum entry-level competency in safety for practicing as an Acupuncturist, TCM Herbalist, TCM Practitioner, or Dr.TCM.

The new Interactive Safety Course will provide learners with safety knowledge in infection prevention and control, risk management, and procedures and processes in acupuncture and herbology required for safe practice.

The course uses real-life situations to explain and demonstrate the content of the Safety Program Handbook. Each module will include videos, audio, and text related to clinical scenarios in a simulated practice setting, covering situations a TCM professional can be expected to face and resolve on a daily basis. The modules are engaging and interactive, enabling a potential practitioner to gain necessary knowledge and its practical application to safe practice.

The course is offered in both English and Chinese (Mandarin / Simplified Chinese). Detailed information will be available on the College website once it is officially available.

Liberal Arts or Sciences Requirements

Liberal Arts or Sciences Requirements

Individuals contemplating becoming registered to practice TCM and Acupuncture in BC are required to successfully complete two (2) years of liberal arts or science studies.
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This requirement is set out under section 48(1)(a.1) of the CTCMA bylaws and specifies completion of at least 60 credits in an accredited college or chartered/approved university acceptable to the College’s Registration Committee. 

Acceptable courses will be academic, such as those normally taken in the first two years of study towards a bachelor’s degree. Non-accredited vocational and applied/trade courses are not acceptable.

For registration purposes, College staff will continue to provide assistance and respond to enquiries regarding this requirement, including enquiries relating to the registration examinations. The College Committees will not, however, provide pre-evaluation of these academic credentials. Examination and registration applications, and their supporting documents, will be considered by the appropriate Committees during the application assessment and processing stage, in keeping with the examination and registration requirements in place at the time of application.

The College has prepared a detailed outline of the protocols surrounding the liberal arts and sciences requirements. Topic covered include:

  • What to do if your credentials were obtained within Canada

  • What to do if your credentials were obtained outside of Canada

  • What to do if applying for a substantial equivalency on the basis of work experience or other prior learning.

The document is available HERE. The “Transcripts Requirements” webpage contains information what supporting document(s) applicants should submit to the College regarding their academic credentials

As always, College staff are available to answer registration requirement questions at [email protected].

Cupping Safety

Cupping Safety

Cupping is popular as a means of promoting healing and is a treatment technique that our registrants use widely.
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It has been a familiar treatment modality for thousands of years in Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. To ensure cupping is performed in a safe and responsible manner, registrants are reminded to review the following four topics in the Safety Program Handbook.

  • Cupping Sterilization and Disinfection – pages 24 and 68

  • Fire Emergency Plan for Fire Cupping Therapy – page 47

  • Documenting Informed Consent to treatment – page 58

  • Possible Side Effects and Adverse Reactions – page 76

A few other important points:

Fire cupping

Burns may result from placing the flame too close to the lip of the fire cup so that the edge becomes very hot, or from dropping the burning material into the fire cup, and then placing the cup on the skin with the hot material inside the cup.

Suction cupping

Extensive bruising can result from either applying the cups for too long or with too strong a vacuum. In order to ensure patient safety, patients should be screened for reactive skin lesions and bleeding disorders.

Wet cupping

In this procedure, the skin is punctured with a lancet or with sterile needles, such as those used for plum blossom tapping, before the cups are applied. Wet cupping may be done with either suction cups or fire cups. This technique, which draws out blood and other potentially infectious material, carries an obvious risk of exposure to and transfer of bloodborne pathogens.

When accidents occur

According to the Code of Ethics, registrants have the professional responsibility and accountability to safeguard the quality of care their patients receive. Registrants are expected to take preventive as well as corrective action to protect patients from unsafe, incompetent, or unethical care.

In the event of an accident, registrants must assume responsibility and act professionally to manage the situation in the best interest of the patient, and to properly document the incident.

Professional Liability Insurance Information

Professional Liability Insurance Information

Registrants are reminded to keep their Professional Liability Insurance coverage valid and up to date.
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Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make sure your policy covers all the types of services you provide. If you are authorized to provide other health services in another regulated health profession, or if you provide an unregulated technique or service outside the scope of Acupuncture/TCM that is not restricted but that you are competent to perform, such services are most likely not covered by your professional liability insurance for TCM/A service. A separate policy might be required, and it is always a good idea to clearly differentiate your roles when providing regulated Acupuncture/TCM services, when providing other regulated health services, and when providing non-regulated services.

  • Be sure to discuss your level of coverage with your insurance provider to ensure it is sufficient for your particular practice. If you have staff in your clinic, whether paid or unpaid, are they covered when assisting you with providing services? If you practise in multiple locations or provide mobile services at patients’ homes, does your insurance still cover you?

  • And here’s a note for retiring/retired registrants and non-practising registrants. Be sure you have coverage for services provided in the past, even if you’re no longer providing them. You are responsible for services rendered in the past, and it is a requirement for non-practising registrants to continue to hold valid insurance coverage.

Update: College’s Commitment to Cultural Safety & Humility

Update: College’s Commitment to Cultural Safety & Humility

As reported in the Spring 2022 issue of Balance, the College, along with 22 other regulatory bodies in BC, is committed to making the health system culturally safe for First Nations and Aboriginal People.
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With the guidance of First Nations Knowledge Carriers, we are collaborating with other health regulatory colleges to develop a set of Indigenous cultural safety and humility practice standards. These standards will set clear expectations for registrants regarding the provision of culturally safe and anti-racist care for Indigenous patients and clients, ultimately serving the interests of all communities and cultures.

The College encourages registrants to continue to familiarize themselves regarding cultural safety and humility. The BC College of Nurses and Midwives and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC have compiled this list of helpful resources: Learning Resources – Cultural Safety and Humility, shared here with their kind permission. This list will be added to so check back frequently.

The new practice standard is in development and the Board is expected to review it at its September meeting. We will keep registrants informed as to its progress and content, and the date on which it will come into effect.

The implementation of this practice standard will by no means be a conclusion. Moving forward, the College will continue to engage with Indigenous peoples to ensure that this standard is adequately and effectively addressing the challenges they face when accessing health services. 

We continue to ask registrants who are Indigenous or have extensive experience working with the Indigenous population to identify themselves with the College. Please email [email protected] with the subject line “Cultural Safety and Humility in TCM/Acupuncture” to help fine-tune this new practice standard in the context of the TCM and acupuncture profession.

Annual Report and Financial Statement

Annual Report and Financial Statement

The College’s 2021 – 2022 Annual Report and the 2021 – 2022 Audited Financial Statements have been published.
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2022 Annual General Meeting

2022 Annual General Meeting

CTCMA’s 2022 AGM will be held Thursday, September 15, 2022, 10:00 am – 11:00 am.
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This year’s AGM will once again be conducted virtually, via Zoom. It will be similar in format to last year’s AGM.

As was the case last year, participants will be able to observe the proceedings, and listen, but will not be able to interact with speakers during the meeting itself. Participants wishing to ask questions were asked to submit them earlier. Answers will be provided during the AGM Q & A Session.

The link to the Zoom meeting and instructions for joining will be sent

by email on September 8, so please be watching for that.

The following material relevant to the 2022 AGM is now available:

The AGM will be conducted in English only. Following the AGM, the College will post videos of the proceedings on the College website, in both English and Chinese.

Further materials, including the Agenda and questions received, will be provided in advance.

Registrants wishing to receive CE credit should document AGM participation in their Continuing Competency Activity Log as Category C – Structured Interactive Activities. The College will give credit for one (1) hour but will not be providing certificates.

Further information will be provided. In the meantime, please mark the date,

Thursday, September 15, 2022. We hope to see you!

CTCMA Election 2022— Board Nominations for 2023-2025

CTCMA Election 2022— Board Nominations for 2023-2025

Planning for CTCMA’s Board Nominations and Election for the 2023-2025 term is well underway—always an important event on the College’s annual calendar. Nominations will be opened on August 23rd.
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Three positions are available for the 2023-2025 term, open to registrants in either of the following electoral districts:

  • District 1 (Lower Mainland)

  • District 2 (the province of British Columbia outside of Lower Mainland)

Of course, we want to be sure to have a full roster of qualified candidates. The deadline for Nominations is September 30 so you have plenty of time to think about someone you might want to nominate. Or maybe this is the year you decide to run yourself!

If you are committed to the best interests of public safety, like to work hard, and enjoy peer-to-peer discussion, you could be an effective and valuable CTCMA Board member. We are privileged to be self-regulated and that is due to the contributions of those registrants who have served on the Board as well as those public members who have been appointed.

You will find more useful information about what the Board does, and the Nominations process, in College Board Information. Click here for the Nomination Form.

Note that the deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, September 30, 2022, at 4:30 PM (PDT). Completed forms must be submitted electronically to the College by emailing to [email protected].

The Board Election will begin in early November, with voting taking place throughout the month. By voting in the 2022 CTCMA Board election, you will make your voice heard. As an eligible registrant, you have the right to vote, so make sure your vote is counted!

We will be providing more details and important dates regarding the Nominations process, and the Board Election itself, in the coming weeks.