CHAPTER _______

An act to amend Sections 4927.5, 4928, 4934, 4938, and 4974 of, and to repeal and add Section 4939 of, the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2190, Salas. Acupuncture Board: executive officer: education.

Existing law, the Acupuncture Licensure Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of the practice of acupuncture by the Acupuncture Board, within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law authorizes the board, with the approval of the Director of Consumer Affairs, to appoint an executive officer who is exempt from civil service. Existing law repeals the provisions establishing the board and authority for it to appoint an executive officer on January 1, 2017.

The bill would extend the operation of the board and the board’s authority to appoint an executive officer until January 1, 2019.

Existing law requires, among other things, the completion of an approved educational and training program in order to be issued a license to practice acupuncture. For purposes of the act, beginning January 1, 2017, existing law defines “approved educational and training program” as a school or college offering education and training in the practice of an acupuncturist who meets various requirements, including offering curriculum that includes specified hours of didactic and laboratory training and supervised clinical instruction. Existing law requires these programs to submit that curriculum to the board and to receive board approval of the curriculum.

This bill would provide that any school or college offering education and training in the practice of acupuncture that was approved by the board prior to January 1, 2017, is deemed to have had its curriculum approved by the board if its approval has not been revoked and it has not changed its curriculum since receiving board approval.

Beginning January 1, 2017, existing law requires the board to establish standards for the approval of educational training and clinical experience received outside the United States.

This bill would repeal that board requirement. The bill would instead require an applicant completing education outside of the United States to submit documentation of his or her education to a board approved credential evaluation service for evaluation and to have the results of the evaluation sent directly from the credential evaluation service to the board. The bill would require the board to examine the received results to determine if an applicant meets requirements for licensure and, if the evaluated education is not sufficient, would authorize the board to offer the applicant additional education, training, or testing, as specified. The bill would require the board to establish, by regulation, an application process, criteria, and procedures for approval of a credential evaluation service. The bill would require the regulations to, at a minimum, require the credential evaluation service to meet specified requirements. The bill would define, for these purposes, an “approved credential evaluation service” as an agency or organization that is approved by the board to evaluate education completed outside the United States and identify the equivalency of that education to education completed within the United States. The bill would also make nonsubstantive changes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1.  

Section 4927.5 of the Business and Professions Code, as added by Section 2 of Chapter 397 of the Statutes of 2014, is amended to read:

4927.5.  

(a) For purposes of this chapter, “approved educational and training program” means a school or college offering education and training in the practice of an acupuncturist that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Offers curriculum that includes at least 3,000 hours of which at least 2,050 hours are didactic and laboratory training, and at least 950 hours are supervised clinical instruction. Has submitted that curriculum to the board, and has received board approval of the curriculum. Any school or college offering education and training in the practice of acupuncture that was approved by the board prior to January 1, 2017, has not had its approval revoked, and has not changed its curriculum since receiving board approval, is deemed to have had its curriculum approved by the board for the purposes of this section.

(2) Has received full institutional approval under Article 6 (commencing with Section 94885) of Chapter 8 of Part 59 of Division 10 of Title 3 of the Education Code in the field of traditional Asian medicine, or in the case of institutions located outside of this state, approval by the appropriate governmental educational authority using standards equivalent to those of Article 6 (commencing with Section 94885) of Chapter 8 of Part 59 of Division 10 of Title 3 of the Education Code.

(3) Meets any of the following:

(A) Is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

(B) Has been granted candidacy status by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

(C) Has submitted a letter of intent to pursue accreditation to the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine within 30 days of receiving full institutional approval pursuant to paragraph (2), and is granted candidacy status within three years of the date that letter was submitted.

(b) Within 30 days after receiving curriculum pursuant to paragraph (1), the board shall review the curriculum, determine whether the curriculum satisfies the requirements established by the board, and notify the school or college, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and Bureau of Private and Postsecondary Education of whether the board has approved the curriculum.

(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

SEC. 2.  

Section 4928 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4928.  

(a) The Acupuncture Board, which consists of seven members, shall enforce and administer this chapter.

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2019, and as of that date is repealed.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, the repeal of this section renders the board subject to review by the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature.

SEC. 3.  

Section 4934 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4934.  

(a) The board, by and with the approval of the director, may appoint an executive officer who is exempt from the State Civil Service Act (Part 2 (commencing with Section 18500) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(b) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2019, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.  

Section 4938 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4938.  

(a) The board shall issue a license to practice acupuncture to any person who makes an application and meets the following requirements:

(1) Is at least 18 years of age.

(2) Furnishes satisfactory evidence of completion of one of the following:

(A) (i) An approved educational and training program.

(ii) If an applicant began his or her educational and training program at a school or college that submitted a letter of intent to pursue accreditation to, or attained candidacy status from, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, but the commission subsequently denied the school or college candidacy status or accreditation, respectively, the board may review and evaluate the educational training and clinical experience to determine whether to waive the requirements set forth in this subdivision with respect to that applicant.

(B) Satisfactory completion of a tutorial program in the practice of an acupuncturist that is approved by the board.

(C) In the case of an applicant who has completed education and training outside the United States, documented educational training and clinical experience that meets the standards established pursuant to Sections 4939 and 4941.

(3) Passes a written examination administered by the board that tests the applicant’s ability, competency, and knowledge in the practice of an acupuncturist. The written examination shall be developed by the Office of Professional Examination Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

(4) Is not subject to denial pursuant to Division 1.5 (commencing with Section 475).

(5) Completes a clinical internship training program approved by the board. The clinical internship training program shall not exceed nine months in duration and shall be located in a clinic in this state that is an approved educational and training program. The length of the clinical internship shall depend upon the grades received in the examination and the clinical training already satisfactorily completed by the individual prior to taking the examination. On and after January 1, 1987, individuals with 800 or more hours of documented clinical training shall be deemed to have met this requirement. The purpose of the clinical internship training program shall be to ensure a minimum level of clinical competence.

(b) Each applicant who qualifies for a license shall pay, as a condition precedent to its issuance and in addition to other fees required, the initial licensure fee.

SEC. 5.  

Section 4939 of the Business and Professions Code, as amended by Section 37 of Chapter 426 of the Statutes of 2015, is repealed.

SEC. 6.  

Section 4939 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

4939.  

(a) For purposes of this chapter, “approved credential evaluation service” means an agency or organization that is approved by the board to evaluate education completed outside the United States and identify the equivalency of that education to education completed within the United States.

(b) If an applicant completes education outside of the United States, the applicant shall do both of the following:

(1) Submit documentation of his or her education to a board-approved credential evaluation service for evaluation.

(2) Have the results of the evaluation sent directly from the credential evaluation service to the board.

(c) If the board receives the results of an applicant’s evaluation pursuant to subdivision (b), the board shall examine the results and determine whether the applicant meets requirements for licensure. If the evaluated education is not sufficient to meet the requirements for licensure, the board may offer the applicant additional education, training, or standardized testing to satisfy the educational requirements. The board shall not require the applicant to complete education, training, or testing that is not otherwise required of applicants who complete education or training within the United States.

(d) The board shall establish, by regulation, an application process, criteria, and procedures for approval of credential evaluation services. The regulations shall, at a minimum, require the credential evaluation service to meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Furnish evaluations written in English directly to the board.

(2) Be a member of a nationally recognized foreign credential evaluation association, such as, but not limited to, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.

(3) Undergo reevaluation by the board every five years.

(4) Certify to the board that the credential evaluation service maintains a complete set of reference materials as determined by the board.

(5) Base evaluations only upon verified authentic, official transcripts, and degrees.

(6) Have a written procedure for identifying fraudulent transcripts.

(7) Include in an evaluation report submitted to the board the specific method or methods of authentication for the transcripts, certification, degrees, and other education evaluated for the purposes of the report.

(8) Include in the evaluation report, for each degree held by the applicant, the equivalent degree offered in the United States, the date the degree was granted, the institution granting the degree, an English translation of the course titles, and the semester unit equivalence for each course.

(9) Have an appeal procedure for applicants.

(10) Provide information concerning the credential evaluation service to the board that includes, but is not limited to, resumes or curriculum vitae for each evaluator and translator, which includes biographical information, three letters of references from public or private agencies, statistical information on the number of applications processed annually for the past five years, and any other information the board may require to determine whether the credential evaluation service meets the standards under this subdivision and the board’s regulations.

(11) Provide to the board all information required by the board, including, but not limited to, the following:

(A) Its credential evaluation policy.

(B) A complete list of terminology and evaluation terms used in producing its credential evaluations.

(C) A detailed description of the specific methods utilized for credential authentication.

SEC. 7.  

Section 4974 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4974.  

The board shall report to the Controller at the beginning of each month for the month preceding the amount and source of all revenue received by it pursuant to this chapter, and shall pay the entire amount thereof to the Treasurer for deposit in the Acupuncture Fund, which fund is created to carry out the provisions of this chapter, upon appropriation by the Legislature.

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