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HPC welcomes DH Steering Group report that proposes regulation of complementary and alternative medicine by the HPC

16/06/2008 - 15:00

HPC welcomes the opportunity to regulate practitioners of acupuncture, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and other traditional medicine systems practised in the UK

The Health Professions Council (HPC) welcomes today’s publication of the ‘Report to Ministers from the Department of Health (DH)Steering Group on the Statutory Regulation of Practitioners of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and other Traditional Medicine Systems Practised in the UK’

The report proposes that the HPC regulate acupuncturists, medical herbalists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and highlights that the HPC continues to demonstrate effective, safe and cost effective statutory regulation.

The HPC currently regulates 13 professions varying from dietitians to biomedical scientists and as a multi-professional regulator the HPC has the required experience of successfully taking on new professions.

HPC’s president, Anna van der Gaag, said:

"These practitioners provide an important service to the public and we welcome the proposals for statutory regulation

"The HPC depends upon the professional knowledge and expertise from the professions it regulates to provide detailed input, particularly into its standard-setting process. We look forward to working with these professions in the coming months and years as we move towards statutory regulation.


HPC’s Chief Executive, Marc Seale, said:

"The HPC welcome the opportunity to regulate acupuncturists, medical herbalists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. As a multi-professional regulator we are aware that without robust regulation the public is not protected from incompetent or unethical practitioners.

"Public protection is paramount and it’s important that the public feel protected by knowing that practitioners will have to meet our high standards. The HPC firmly believe that statutory regulation can more effectively assure that practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine are meeting appropriate standards and are fit to practise."



Notes to Editors:

1. The Health Professions Council is an independent, UK-wide health regulator set up by the Health Professions Order (2001). The HPC keeps a register for 13 different health professions and only registers people who meet the standards it sets for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The HPC will take action against people who do not meet these standards or who use a protected title illegally.

2. For further information about the Health Professions Council and the regulation of new professions please see the website

3. For further comment from Marc Seale or Anna van der Gaag please contact Ebony Gayle, Communications Manager on 020 7840 9784 or email

4. The HPC currently regulate the following 13 professions. Each of these professions has one or more ‘protected titles’. Anyone who uses one of these titles must register with the HPC. To see the full list of protected titles please see:

• Arts therapists

• Biomedical scientists

• Chiropodists / podiatrists

• Clinical scientists

• Dietitians

• Occupational therapists

• Operating department practitioners

• Orthoptists

• Paramedics

• Physiotherapists

• Prosthetists / orthotists

• Radiographers

• Speech and language therapists








Ebony Gayle
44 (0)20 7840 9784

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