Core Curriculum

The agreed minimum entry requirements for an individual to gain membership of the AFPA are as follows:

Core TCM Theory (300 hours)

  • History of traditional chinese medicine
  • Philosophy of tcm Theories of yin and yang
  • Theories of the 5 elements
  • Vital substances
  • Theory of the channels and collaterals
  • Theory of the eight principles
  • Pathogenic factors in tcm
  • Theory of the viscera and bowels (zang fu organs)
  • Organ patterns syndrome differentiation
  • Treatment principle
  • Tcm diagnostics
  • Internal medicine according to tcm patterns
  • Management of all common pathologies according to tcm

Point Location / Moxibustion / Cupping Methods / (165-200 hours)

  • To cover 14 meridians, 361 classical points and 48 extraordinary points
  • Location and anatomical description of points selected for the core curriculum
  • Alphanumeric codes and/or pinyin name classification of points
  • Direction, depth of insertion of needles actions and indications of the points
  • Needling – single use disposable needles sterile conditions, clean hands sterilisation and environment safe needling technique
  • Selection of needles, proper insertion, depth, duration manipulation / contraindications / needling with / without guide tubes
  • Safety in needle practice
  • Moxibustion direct/ indirect methods, and contraindications
  • Cupping methods

Bio-Medical Clinical Sciences (250 hours)

  • Lectures /study in anatomy, physiology and biochemistry
  • Basic mechanisms of diseases
  • Identify signs and symptoms which may suggest serious underlying pathology
  • Western pharmacology / analysis of lab reports / patient medication
  • Clinical features of diseases as understood by biomedicine
  • Knowledge of musclo skeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine and genitourinary, digestive, ent and gynaecological systems
  • Nutrition
  • CPR and first aid emergencies

Practitioner Development & Ethics (50 – 85 hours)

  • Lectures, study time for practitioner self development – effective communication skills – (listening, counselling and empathetic) to ensure therapeutic practice and professional liaisons with g.p.’s and other healthcare service professionals
  • To support the development of reflective practice: the practitioner as a life long learner, understanding of personal and psychological foundations of good practice, and applying these principles appropriately.
  • Practitioner must have cpr / first aid training
  • Ability to decide whether to treat a patient or to refer to health professional or facility
  • Ethics, reflection and professional development
  • Research methodology and evidence based practice

Supervised and Clinical Training (400 hours)

  • Training and experience in case history taking and physical examination.
  • Training in a broad range of clinical conditions reflecting what has been taught on the educational programme.
  • Training to enable students to develop an understanding of the limits of their own medical capabilities and thereby enhance the skills of appropriate referral.
  • Continuous practical and clinical training to achieve the required competencies necessary to meet professional standards.
  • To provide students with a foundation from which to compare and contrast their knowledge already acquired with their own approach to medicine and to communicate effectively with practitioners of conventional medicine.
  • An attendance of 100% is expected for the clinical training and must be strictly adhered to for the student patient contact hours.

Criteria for clinical hours done outside college clinics and hospitals:

This supervision must take place in a proper clinical environment as per the code of ethics and practice.

The monitoring practitioner must have practised for a minimum of 3000 hours – full time or part time.

The monitoring practitioner must treat a wide range of conditions including musculo-skeletal and internal medicine.

The monitoring practitioner must have 6 patients per day in his/her clinic.

Elective modules that may be included as extra hours to the core:

    • Electro acupuncture
    • Auricular acupuncture
    • TDP lamp instruction
    • Introduction to tuina techniques
    • Medical qi gong