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Acupuncture licence

You must be licensed by us to run an acupuncture business.

The licence rules are all contained in our byelaw which can be found by clicking the link below.

Acupuncture Byelaws

Relating to persons practicing Acupuncture together with their premises made by Allerdale District Council under Section 15(7) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and Section 236 of the Local Government Act 1972.

1. Interpretation

a) In these Byelaws, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions shall have the meanings hereby assigned to them:

"The Act" means the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

"Patient or Client" means any person who is present on the premises for the purpose of receiving acupuncture treatment.

"Council" means the Allerdale Borough Council.

"Day" means a day on which the practice is carried on.

"Operator" means any person giving treatment.

"Practice" means the practice of acupuncture not being the practice of acupuncture carried out under the supervision of a person who is a registered medical practitioner or a dentist registered under the Dentists Act 1957.

"Premises" means any premises registered under Part VIII of the Act.

"Proprietor" means any person registered under Part VIII of the Act.

"Treatment" means any operation in the practice of acupuncture.

"The Treatment Area" means any part of the premises where treatment is given to clients.

b) The Interpretation Act 1978 shall apply for the interpretation of these byelaws as it applies for the interpretation of an Act of Parliament.

2. For the purpose of securing the cleanliness of premises and fittings therein, a proprietor shall ensure that:

a) All internal walls, doors, windows, partitions, floors and floor coverings and ceilings are kept clean and in such good order and repair as to enable them to be cleaned effectively.

b) The treatment area is used solely for giving treatment.

c) There shall be provided in the premises suitable and sufficient covered bins or receptacles for the collection of all waste materials and every such bin or receptacle shall be emptied as often as necessary but not less than once a day into suitable containers which shall be sealed before disposal. Where liners are not used, the receptacles shall then be cleaned and sterilised.

d) Every needle, razor and other instrument used for cutting and piercing shall before disposal, be placed in a waterproof covered container capable of preventing penetration by, or the exposure of any needle point, blade or cutting edge. Where washable boxes are used they shall be emptied at least once every working day or more frequently as necessary and the contents disposed of safely or sterilised for re-use as appropriate. The box shall then be cleaned. Where needle boxes are used they shall be disposed of safely at suitable intervals.

e) All furniture and fittings in the premises are kept clean and in such good order and repair as to enable them to be cleaned effectively.

f) Any surface on which items specified in 3(b) below are placed immediately prior to treatment, have a smooth impervious surface which is wiped down whenever necessary and at least daily with suitable disinfectant.

g) In the case of chairs and couches, clients shall sit or lie on a disposable paper sheet which shall be changed for each client.

h) A notice or notices reading "NO SMOKING" are prominently displayed within the treatment area.

i) Premises shall be provided with suitable and adequate heating, ventilation and lighting.

3) For the purpose of securing the cleansing and so far as is appropriate, the sterilisation of instruments, materials and equipment used in connection with the treatment:

a) An operator shall ensure that before use in connection with treatment, any gown, wrap or other protective clothing, paper or other covering, towel, cloth or other such articles which may be applied to the patients skin when used in the treatment
(i) is clean and in good repair and so far as is appropriate, is sterile;
(ii) has not been previously used in connection with any other client unless it consists of a material which can be and has been adequately cleaned and sterilised.

b) An operator shall ensure that any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment, or for handling instruments and needles used in the treatment is in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used. The needles should be solid and have a surface which is not corroded.

c) A proprietor shall provide
(i) adequate facilities and equipment for the purpose of sterilisation unless disposable items are used, and for cleansing as required in pursuance of these byelaws:
(ii) sufficient and safe gas points and / or electrical socket outlets to enable compliance with these byelaws;
(iii) an adequate and constant supply of clean hot and cold water readily available at all times on the premises;
(iv) adequate storage for all items mentioned in byelaw 3(a) and (b) above so that those items shall be properly stored in a clean and suitable place so as to avoid as far as possible the risk of contamination.

4) For the purpose of securing the cleanliness of operators:

a) An operator whilst giving treatment shall ensure that:
(i) His or her hands and nails are clean and nails kept short.
(ii) He or she is wearing clean and washable clothing or alternatively a disposable covering that has not been previously used in connection with any other client.
(iii) He or she keeps any open sore, boil, cut or open wound on an exposed part of his or her body effectively covered by an impermeable dressing.
(iv) He or she does not smoke or consume food or drink on the premises other than in a proper staff room provided for this purpose

b) A proprietor shall provide:
(i) for the sole use of operators, a wash hand basin properly connected to the drainage system with a supply of clean running hot and cold water. At the wash hand basin there must be provided bactericidal soap or detergent, clean nailbrush and disposable towels or a hot air hand dryer.
(ii) Suitable and sufficient sanitary accommodation for sole use of the operators which must be kept in a good state of repair and in a clean condition.

5. For the purpose of assisting in the investigation of infectious disease, the proprietor shall ensure that:

a) A record is kept, showing the name and address of all patients having had treatment.

b) Each patient's record shall be kept no less than six months.

c) The records are kept on the premises and are conveniently accessible.

d) Any authorised Officer of the council is permitted to examine and copy the records thus kept at all reasonable times.

THE COMMON SEAL of ALLERDALE DISTRICT COUNCIL was in pursuance of a resolution in that behalf affixed on the first day of February 1984

How to apply for an acupuncture licence

To apply for a licence from us:

  • Download and complete the application form to apply for a new licence, or to renew an old one
  • Enclose the relevant  fee as shown in the fees and charges document  - We no longer accept cheques for applications. Fees can be paid over the telephone with a credit/debit card.
  • Send to the Environmental Health team at our offices in Workington

Download the application form for an acupuncture licence






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