"I joined CICM expecting to learn how to put needles into people.  I had no idea what an extraordinary journey I was about to begin!

Over three years, I’ve learnt a whole new way of thinking, of perceiving the world, and how to understand people. It has also been exhilarating to combine ancient Chinese philosophy with the latest Western medical thinking. The benefits have permeated every aspect of my life – I  work more effectively, I enjoy the natural world more, my relationships have  flourished, and I can make better choices about my own healthcare.

Sarah Attwell-Griffths, cicm graduate



Background and ethos

John and Angela Hicks founded the college as a not-for-profit organisation in 1993 and were joined by Judith Clark and Peter Mole.  They originally trained in the mid 1970s at the college of traditional acupuncture with J R Worsley, who introduced five element acupuncture to the UK.  They later undertook clinical training in China, learning what is currently called traditional Chinese medicine or TCM.  They realised that the two styles complemented each other and increased the scope of treatment.  

John, Angela, and Peter have between them written eight books on various aspects of Chinese medicine, including five element constitutional acupuncture, the first comprehensive textbook published on five element acupuncture. 

Teaching staff and management

Students learn best from teachers who are both experienced acupuncturists and passionate teachers.  Our teachers meet regularly at staff development days, sharing skills, pooling ideas and being updated on new developments. These meetings help to maintain a cohesive and creative staff with a high morale. Our teachers regularly contribute articles about acupuncture to Chinese medicine magazines and journals. 

The executive committee manages the college, under the guidance of a board of governors.  Angela and Jonathan Pledger are joint principals, Susannah Fone is academic director, Peter Mole is the dean.  


Growth of our mission

We have trained practitioners for many years and our mission is to produce practitioners who are:

  • Safe, confident and competent
  • Can diagnose both the person and the complaint
  • Can determine lifestyle factors that are contributing to the imbalance
  • Can create and carry out effective treatments and life-style changes


Our graduates develop:

  • A thorough understanding and grasp of the theory and practice of acupuncture
  • The requisite skills to develop rapport, diagnose and treat
  • An understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses
  • An awareness of their own health, how to improve it and how to develop their own qi 
  • Ways to continue their professional development and become outstanding practitioners

 We have learned how to:

  • Create a supportive and friendly environment where learning is made as natural and enjoyable as possible
  • Engage effectively with our students and use their feedback to develop yet further
  • Assess progress in a fair and supportive way
  • Demonstrate values that are congruent with the practice of Chinese medicine
  • Provide an experienced and qualified teaching staff


To read our institutional policy and mission statement click here