Previous Updates: N/A
Date Approved: February 9, 2021

Standard of Practice: Acupuncture


Bolded terms below are found in the Glossary

Client Outcome

The client receives acupuncture treatment from a competent, authorized RMT who provides safe, effective and ethical care within the Scope of Practice of Massage Therapy.

Registered Massage Therapist Outcome

An authorized Registered Massage Therapist (RMT/MT)[1] performs the controlled act of acupuncture in compliance with relevant legislation and Standards of Practice.


The RMT must:

  1. Always practise within the Scope of Practice of Massage Therapy, CMTO’s definition of acupuncture, and all Standards of Practice.
  2. Have successfully completed a Confirmed Acupuncture Education Program or have been grand-parented by CMTO and have the required entry-level acupuncture practice competencies as outlined in the Acupuncture Practice Competencies and Performance Indicators.
  3. Have applied for and been granted authorization from CMTO to practise acupuncture.
  4. Have the required professional liability insurance to practise acupuncture.
  5. During registration renewal, comply with CMTO’s annual declaration requirements regarding acupuncture practise.
  6. Only practise acupuncture when competent to safely do so.
  7. Obtain the client’s informed consent (consent) prior to conducting an assessment, providing treatment or modifying a treatment plan. Consent must include a discussion with the client about the following six elements:
    1. the nature of the treatment;
    2. the expected benefits;
    3. risks and side effects;
    4. alternative courses of action;
    5. likely consequences of not having treatment; and
    6. the client’s right to ask questions about the information provided and that assessment or treatment will be stopped or modified at any time at their request.
  8. Ensure the client’s ongoing comfort and safety, addressing any intended and unintended effects and outcomes as required.
  9. Comply with current Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and safety measures in the Standard of Practice: Infection Prevention and Control and the Standard of Practice: Safety and Risk Management, including:
    1. ensuring needles are sterile prior to use;
    2. storing and disposing of used needles safely;
    3. documenting and implementing needlestick injury protocols; and
    4. vigilance in maintaining high standards of cleanliness, skin disinfection technique, needling technique and careful anatomical considerations.
  10. When appropriate and with the client’s agreement, refer the client to another RMT, healthcare professional or person whose expertise can best address the client’s needs, and document the referral in the client’s health record.
  11. Follow all other requirements of CMTO’s Standards of Practice including the Standard of Practice: Draping and Physical Privacy.

Relevant Legislation and Regulation

Related Career-Span Competencies (CSCs)

[1]An RMT/MT authorized to perform acupuncture has this notation on CMTO’s public register. This Standard of Practice applies to those authorized RMTs who perform acupuncture as part of Massage Therapy.

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