Code of Ethics

AACMA Code of Ethics 

Click here to download a 'print friendly' version of the current AACMA Code of Ethics (also incorporating the Code of Conduct and Policy on Reasonably Necessary Treatment).

Review of AACMA Code of Ethics

In 2004 and 2005, AACMA undertook a comprehensive review of its Code of Ethics. A new Code was overwhelmingly approved by the members at the 2006 Annual General Meeting, held in Adelaide on 20 May 2006.

The new (current) Code is presented as three separate documents:

  • Code of Ethics;
  • Code of Conduct; and
  • Policy on Reasonably Necessary Treatment - the Peer Review Panel.

The Code of Ethics outlines the profession's ideals and aspirations.

The Code of Conduct is more prescriptive and consists of a series of statements about professional practice directed at the practitioner, and describes the minimum acceptable standard of professional conduct.

The issue of what constitutes 'reasonably necessary' treatment is a matter of concern, not only to patients, but also to third party payers such as health funds and workers compensation bodies. In response to calls for a profession-based response to this issue, AACMA has established a Peer Review Panel to investigate and make determinations on complaints about inappropriate servicing and other matters where treatment that is not reasonably necessary has been alleged.

The previous AACMA Code of Ethics was drafted in 1977, at a time when these Codes were intended to be prescriptive rather than idealistic. It contained a number of provisions that would be considered unnecessary and, in parts, anti-competitive in the present day.

Although there were several amendments of the previous Code of Ethics to address emerging issues, it was time to consider a fresh approach and bring the AACMA Code of Ethics in line with the Codes of other established health professions. In 2004, a review of the previous Code of Ethics was commissioned by the AACMA Board.

The Board of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd wishes to acknowledge the contribution to the review of Mr Stephen Janz, a Past President of AACMA and past Chair of the National Academic Standards Committee for TCM.  Mr Janz was commissioned by the AACMA Board in 2004 to undertake a review of the previous AACMA Code of Ethics. This Code of Ethics, Code of Practice and Policy on Reasonably Necessary Treatment - The Peer Review Panel) are the result of that project. 

A Draft was released for broad-based consultation in early 2005. Feedback was sought from AACMA members, third party payers for acupuncture and Chinese medicine services, and other interested parties. Following consideration of the feedback, key issues in the Draft Codes were discussed at the Annual General Meeting held mid 2005 and further considered by the AACMA Board. 

The new Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct were submitted and approved by the membership at the 2006 Annual General Meeting.

The Policy on Reasonably Necessary Treatment - The Peer Review Panel was then ratified by the incoming AACMA Board after the 2006 Annual General Meeting.