Code of Practice and Professional Conduct


Part 1. Code of management and practice

1.This code has been published to define standards for the safety of practice and management. It’s designed to ensure our members can provide professional Chinese medicine services (Including acupuncture, herbal medicine and tuina…).

2.This code is the guide and for FTCMP members. All members must comply with the standards set by this Code.

  •  The FTCMP supervision department (PCC) and FTCMP committee are responsible for supervising the implementation of the code, interpretation of this code and punishment, appeals.

Part 2. Clinic environment, facilities, health and safety

Environmental requirements

4.Clinic location should be conducive to treatment. The clinic environment should be relatively quiet, safe and avoid excessive noise.

5. The consultation and treatment areas should be relatively separated. A waiting area should be set up.


6 You must have safe passages and effective fire safety facilities; all staff members should be familiar with fire emergency access and related operations. You are responsible for ensuring the safety of anyone who visits your premises. You must ensure that all electrical and gas appliances are subject to regular examination

Clinic basic facilities

7.You must only use CE-marked equipment and conform to current legislation

8. Instruments that touch the patient’s body, such as acupuncture needles, alcohol swabs, gloves, paper couch rolls, etc., can only be used once; Any needle(s) in an unopened package with a damaged seal must not be used.

9. Electronic scales for weighing and selling herbs require an EC Verification Class IIqualification and a calibration certification from the calibration committee of the European Union (calibration certification is required for products weighing in grams with a calibration certification accuracy of 0.1 g).


10. You must ensure that both you and any premises in which you work are properly registered or licensed for your treatment. (You can apply with your FTCMP membership)

11.Treatment room must have hand washing and sanitary facilities, floor, chair and sofa surface must be smooth and easily cleanable.  

12. Practicing members must be insured and must purchase Public Liability insurance; if Employer Liability should be purchased. You must have a license to play music in the premises.

13. You must dispose of used equipment and clinical waste legally, safely and in accordance with current legislation. You must dispose of sealed sharps containers via a licensed agent. You must retain all contracts and receipts for clinical waste collection for two years. Your sharps box must conform to BS EN ISO 23907:2012 requirements.


14. The medical records must be kept for at least 7 years. The medical records are owned by the practitioner; the practitioner is obliged to abide by the EU General Data Protection Regulation to preserve the medical records and protect the privacy of patients.

Safe practice

Before applying traditional Chinese medicine herbs and acupuncture, tuina and cupping (except dietary and Daoyin), FTCMP members must:

15. Before implementing any treatment, it is necessary to know the details of the patient’s medical history and the current status, combined with palpation, listening, and observing. choose the right treatment principle according to the conditions of individual patients, choose the right treatment and medication.

16. Communicate with patients about their condition and explain the TCM treatment. Avoid “guarantee” and other forms of oversell and misleading to patients; If a patient has, or is suspected of having a serious pre-existing medical condition, you should ensure that it is safe to treat them, if necessary by contacting their GP

17. According to the situation of the patient and the treatment received by the patient, various possible clinical situations should be evaluated and informed in advance. Communicate with patients in advance about possible treatment results (such as slight dry mouth, tiredness during acupuncture/possible skin ecchymosis after cupping/increased stool frequency caused by certain herbs, etc.), help patients fully understand and ensure that patients voluntarily accept relevant treatment;

  1. Age, physical condition and mental factors of the patient should be fully considered, and the physiological and psychological feelings of the patient should be fully taken care of during the treatment to avoid excessive treatment.
  2. All the treatment should follow the safe practice code to prevent any possible accidents. Acupuncture needles must be disposable sterile products, acupuncture needles must be immediately put into the sharps disposal bin.

20 You must not use acupoint injection, various cutting treatment, small needle blade and other traumatic treatment.

21. Patients should lie down during the treatment unless it is difficult for patients to lie down. Make sure the patient is comfortable and relaxed as much as possible during treatment.

  • You must pay attention to patients’ reactions to treatment. The treatment should be conducted in certain situation. In case of serious illness, emergency services should be called immediately. If you leave a patient unattended: you must first obtain their consent; you must advise them not to move in any way which might bend or damage a needle and cause them injury;

23. You must strictly abide the health and safety measures to prevent cross-infection and any incidents. You must wash your hands with antibacterial soap before and after every treatment. You must sanitise your hands with alcohol gel before removing any needles. You must sanitise your hands with alcohol gel before touching the patient if your hands have become contaminated by handling anything which could transfer infection from patient to patient. You must wash your hands after dealing with blood and body fluids regardless of whether you wear gloves.

You must insert and remove needles hygienically and safely. You must ensure that the skin at the needle site is clean and clear of any clothing.

Provisions on the purchase and sale of products:

24 You must not use any medicine containing drug. Herbal medicines (both for internal use and external use) require a THR (registration of traditional Chinese medicines) or MA (market access) license to purchase, sell and use them (no license has been granted for any patterned Chinese medicine).

25. Loose herbs and powders must be purchased from distributors with GMP standard. The quality of the herbs shall comply with EU regulations.

26.The following contents shall not be sold:

1) patterned Chinese medicine without a license

2)Anything contains drug

3)Animal products or anything contains animal products

4) Prohibited plants, such as CITES or poisonous plants (aristolochiaceae), may refer to the relevant regulations published by FTCMP.

Clinic and practitioner

27. The clinic shall be clearly identified by a professional nameplate or sign. Practitioners’ name and qualifications should be listed in the clinic. Practitioners’ information should be the members who often work in the clinic; if someone leave the clinic, you should delete the relevant information of the person.

Professional title

28. Qualifications and records related to practitioners but not related to traditional Chinese medicine can be displayed. For example, medical qualifications from academic institutions or generally recognized professional bodies. The title of our members should be “traditional Chinese medicine practitioner” or “Chinese medicine practitioner”. Only GMC members are allowed to use a doctor’s title.


 29. The price should be clearly marked. Initial consultation, follow-up treatment and possible prescription costs should be stated and must make clear what each fee covers.


  • All advertising must be legal, decent, honest and must conform to relevant rules in the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Codes. You must not use the FTCMP logo in any advertising without the explicit authority of the FTCMP. Advertising must not mislead or deceive. You must not claim to cure certain conditions.

31. Members can participate in relevant local medical, commercial or official activities to explain about Chinese medicine and its treatment. Members are responsible for ensuring that their advertisements appear in an appropriate advertising environment. Your advertisements may include information about any non-TCM practitioners, members should take reasonable steps to ensure that those other therapists are also registered with bona fide professional bodies. Advertising must not mislead or deceive. It must not be sensational and make

unrealistic, self-laudatory or extravagant claims. You must not use the FTCMP logo in any advertising or commercial activities without the explicit authority of the FTCMP.

Media reports, paper publications, lectures, education, etc.

32. Members should avoid publishing in any media to avoid any unprofessional and inappropriate speech damage to the reputation of Chinese medicine.

33. Formal Chinese medicine courses must not be offered on behalf of the FTCMP without the consent of FTCMP. You may teach Chinese medicine theory and techniques to other fully qualified practitioners of TCM. Your insurance, however, only covers you yourself. You must, therefore, ensure that you have obtained appropriate additional insurance for teaching and indemnify those whom you have trained in the use of the techniques. You may teach short courses to non-TCM practitioners or members of other regulated health professions. You must, however, ensure that you are properly insured to do so and that those practitioners who complete the course are aware that this does not qualify them to use the title ‘acupuncturist’ or ‘Chinese medicine practitioner’ unless this has been the subject of agreement between the FTCMP and the regulatory body concerned.

Case notes

34. You must keep accurate, comprehensive and dated case notes recording:

• the patient’s personal details (name, address, telephone number and date of birth)

• the presenting complaint and symptoms reported by the patient

• relevant medical and family history (including the GP’s name and address)

• your clinical findings

• any treatment given and details of progress of the case, including reviews of treatment planning

• any information and advice that you give, especially when referring the patient to any other health professional

• any decisions made in conjunction with the patient

• records of the patient’s consent to treatment, or the consent of their next-of-kin.

35. You must not enter into a sexual relationship with a patient. You must also be aware of the dangers of allowing any sort of emotional relationship to develop with a patient. If you realise you are becoming emotionally or sexually involved with a patient you should end the professional relationship, and recommend to the patient an alternative source of appropriate care. If a patient shows signs of becoming inappropriately involved with you, you should discourage them and, if necessary, end the professional relationship. You may wish to report such matters to the Council, in your own interest, or seek advice from a colleague whilst maintaining the anonymity of the patient.

36. You must ensure that your behaviour in dealing with patients is professional at all times and not open to misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Non-physical behaviour, gesture, unnecessary physical contact, verbal suggestion or innuendo can easily be construed as abusive or harassing. You must respect a patient’s modesty. You should only ask your patient to undress to the minimum level required by you to carry out an effective examination and/or treatment. You must allow the patient privacy to dress and undress and also ensure that you provide adequate clean gowns or blankets for their use. You should not leave the patient exposed for more time than is necessary to carry out treatment. If treatment involves sensitive or intimate areas of the body you should offer the patient the opportunity to provide a chaperone. This can be a spouse, a relative or friend. Alternatively, you may be able to provide a chaperone from your practice.

Legal liability

37. You must explain carefully the procedures and treatment that you intend to administer, and must recognise that the patient is entitled to choose whether or not to accept advice or treatment. It can be construed as an assault to examine or even prepare to treat someone without their consent, and to continue to treat someone if they withdraw their consent in the middle of a treatment. Consent must be given by a legally competent person, must be given voluntarily and must be informed.

You must seek explicit consent, in writing if necessary, and ensure that the patient understands what you propose to do. This is particularly important where treatment may involve sensitive areas of the body. You are recommended to record all relevant information in the notes.

38. You must not delegate the obtaining of consent to a receptionist or unqualified assistant. Informed consent requires that you (or an appropriately qualified colleague) must explain the procedure, be available to answer questions and be able to satisfy yourself that the patient understands what you have told them. You should a separate consent form.

39. You must seek the consent of a parent or guardian if the patient is under the age of 16. In the absence of such consent you must not offer treatment. You must also be aware that the refusal of treatment by a child under the age of 16 may carry legal force and override the consent, even though properly given, of a legally authorised adult. If you are in any doubt you must contact the Council or seek legal advice before you perform any treatment. If you do treat a child under the age of 16, a parent or legally authorised guardian must be present in the treatment room throughout the whole of the examination and treatment. No other person may perform this role without the explicit written consent of the parent or legally authorised guardian.


40. If you are involved in research involving patients you must seek the approval of an appropriate research ethics committee. You must also obtain a patient’s consent if they are involved in your research. You must also ensure that the patient’s confidentiality is respected in the sharing or publication of research findings.

Standards of behaviour

41. You must uphold the high standards of the TCM profession at all times. You must not bring the profession into disrepute by your personal behaviour. For example, convicted for alcohol abuse, drug abuse or fraud; or unethical competition with other practitioners or discrediting the reputation of other practitioners.

42. Reporting important information about your conduct and competence

You must tell the FTCMP straightaway if you are charged or convicted anywhere in the world, with an offence relating to: violence, sexual offences or indecency, dishonesty alcohol or drug abuse. Or if you: receive a conditional discharge for an offence, accept a police caution, save for minor motoring offences.

The Association is committed to achieving a highly responsible attitude towards patients, so that patients can receive the highest standards of Chinese medicine practice in the treatment. Our FTCMP has strict requirements for membership. Members accept the strict standards of professional conduct and ethical standards that FTCMP is bound to enforce. If a member violates FTCMP’s professional guidelines, this member will be subject to stringent warning and even penalties etc. In severe cases, this member may be removed from FTCMP.