Industry sector:

Acupuncture practice: Licences


Legislation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland requires acupuncturists to register with their local authority and to display their registration certificate. You also need to register your business premises and comply with a number of conditions, for example relating to the hygiene standards you must maintain and how you store and dispose of needles. Registration is a one-off process and you may be able to register online. You may also need a special treatments licence and this may not permit you to perform acupuncture on under 18-year olds unless you are a qualified medical professional. Contact your local environmental health department for further information.

In Greater London acupuncturists must hold a licence which is renewable every year.

In Scotland, all businesses that carry out skin piercing activities (including acupuncture) must have a licence. Registered medical practitioners working in hospitals or independent clinics do not require a licence.

At some point in the future acupuncturists in Wales will need a licence too.

You should also be aware that businesses which keep computerised records of individuals' personal details may be required to register as data users with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).