CALE Is the Only Test for Qualifying Acupuncture License in California


By Namwook Cho, L.Ac.

Still many people who are interested in applying acupuncture license exam in California confused with National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and California Acupuncture License Exam (CALE).

Recently, California Acupuncture Board (CAB) announced and confirmed that “the only pathway to achieve acupuncture licensure in California is to qualify for and pass the CALE.”

CAB explained, “CAB has received questions from stakeholders expressing confusion regarding the use of the NCCAOM examinations to qualify for licensure in California”.

At the CAB meeting held on June 10, 2016, the CAB voted to recommend, “the introduction of legislation mandating for Acupuncture licensure in California, that applicants now be required to take the NCCAOM exam with a California supplemental exam, to be implemented not before January 1, 2019.”

A change to utilizing the NCCAOM in place of the CALE will require legislative action. Yet there has been no legislative action regarding the utilization of the NCCAOM exams as part of acupuncture licensure in California.


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