Code of Conduct in the Student Clinic

Students must at all times behave in an honourable and responsible manner and observe the ethical standards of registered acupuncturists as laid down in the BAcC Code of Professional Conduct, both in their relations with patients they encounter in clinical practice and observation and in their relations with each other.

In treating patients or carrying out practical work in class with fellow students, they must act with all reasonable care and under the direction of a clinical supervisor or teacher.

Students must observe confidentiality with regard to information concerning patients and fellow students, which is available to them through practice or observation at the College clinic, observation in other clinics, or in class.  The duty of confidentiality covers information about a patient or student, and views formed about a patient or student.  Such information or views should not be discussed with other students, staff, relatives or friends of the patient or fellow student without the patient’s or student’s express consent.

In their dealings with patients students must not denigrate practitioners of Chinese Medicine or any other system of medicine, fellow students, or staff members, or any styles of practice in Chinese Medicine or any other system of medicine.

If a supervisor feels it necessary to intervene in a student’s treatment, the student concerned and any observers present should not react in any way that might communicate unease to the patient.

Under no circumstance may a student either in the clinic, the College or outside the course environment, lead another person to suppose or allow another person to continue to suppose that he or she is a qualified acupuncturist.  No student may cause or allow another person to think that enrolment on this course is sufficient preparation to treat people without supervision.  Students who are practitioners in other fields and who may already have clients should take particular note of this rule.

Students are encouraged to practise diagnostic techniques and point location but must not under any circumstances practise needle insertion or manipulation without appropriate supervision provided by the College.  Undergraduate students may not give advice to patients or suggest patent herbal remedies without appropriate supervision.

In their relations with patients, staff and fellow students, students are expected to act with sensitivity towards and respect for their colleagues’ backgrounds and points of view.

Students practising and observing in the clinic are expected to treat patients, staff and fellow students without prejudice or discrimination of any sort.

In all situations in the clinic the student must adhere to instructions given by the supervisor or assistant supervisor on duty.



Inappropriate Behaviour

Any student who is under the influence of drink or drugs, who is violent physically or verbally towards anyone (patient, staff or student) in the clinic, or who makes inappropriate advances towards a patient will be excluded from the clinic immediately and for the remainder of that day.  Any such exclusion and the reason for it will be logged in the student’s clinical file.  In deciding to exclude a student, the clinical supervisor should act in consultation with another supervisor, and with the receptionist, or any other witness to the behaviour.  The second supervisor and any witness should also sign the report in the student’s file.

Re-admittance to the clinic will be on the basis of an interview with the student conducted by two supervisors or one supervisor and one member of the teaching staff.

Negative feedback on a student’s conduct in an external clinic is dealt with by a follow-up procedure.  The practitioner giving the negative feedback is contacted for further details and the student is made aware of the feedback.  The feedback is discussed at a meeting between the student, the Academic Director and the Dean or, in the case of students in their clinical year, between the student, his/her clinical supervisor and the Dean.  A summary of the discussion is signed by the student, the Dean, the Academic Director and/or the clinical supervisor and filed in the student’s academic file.  In the case of a serious incident or three instances of negative feedback the Student Disciplinary Procedure would be invoked.



Behaviour showing lack of ethical awareness

If in a supervisor’s judgement a student’s interaction with a patient or information concerning that patient, or with the supervisor or other colleagues, suggests a lack of appreciation of appropriate boundaries, the matter will be discussed with the student and entered as a concern in their clinical log as a matter for personal development.


Stage 1

Students are expected to record in their clinical journal constructive feedback from clinical supervisors concerning incidents that the supervisor considers bring into question the student’s understanding of what constitutes ethical behaviour and attributes.  The student will be expected to demonstrate how this feedback has been acted upon and this will form part of the assessment of student’s reflective clinical journal and of the assessment of their attitudes and behaviours.


Stage 2

Three instances of constructive feedback related to the student’s personal development of appropriate boundaries, recorded in the student’s clinical file or a serious incident likely to cause distress or compromise safety will normally result in the student’s immediate temporary exclusion from the clinic or from direct contact with patients, as is seen to be appropriate for safeguarding the patient’s interests.  In taking this decision the supervisor will work in consultation with another supervisor. 



Behaviour that indicates a lack of fitness to practise

Where a student’s behaviour over a period of time displays symptoms of mental or physical ill-health to the extent that in the clinical supervisor’s judgement there is doubt as to whether the student is able to maintain appropriate boundaries between their own concerns and the patient’s needs, the supervisor will discuss their concerns with a second clinical supervisor.

If after this discussion the supervisor is still concerned about the student’s fitness for clinical responsibility, the matter will be referred to a review panel formed by the student’s clinical supervisor, one other supervisor, and a member of the College Executive Committee.  The supervisor will submit a written report of his/her concerns and the incidents which have given rise to it.  Following this meeting a decision will be made on whether to exclude the student pending a return to fitness.  A decision to exclude the student will specify how the student will demonstrate a return to fitness.  In these circumstances the student will be given full information about the support mechanisms available to him/her.



Procedures in the case of a student’s exclusion from the clinic

In the event of a student being excluded from the clinic, the clinical supervisor, Academic Director and Dean will meet to discuss the student’s future.  At this meeting criteria will be set for a piece of reflective critical evaluation of the patient-centred issues in the incident, and the timescale and any other requirements for the student’s return to the clinic.  This will normally include a viva related to the critical paper the student has produced and discussion relevant to the incident.

The work by the student to demonstrate ethical development will be assessed by the Academic Director, the clinical supervisor and one other member of staff.


  • "I wanted to become an acupuncturist because I had experienced its amazing benefits…studying acupuncture at CICM was one of the best decisions in my life.”

    Ehsan Salout

  • "I love the teaching at CICM, it is varied, interesting and extremely inspiring and the teachers all have a wealth of experience to draw on.”

    Keeley Farrington

  • “CICM was suggested by an acupuncturist I know and recommended for its high-quality tuition and professional approach. I knew I wanted to explore a degree course and after my open day experience I knew it had to be CICM.”

    Michelle Patrick

  • "I recently joined CICM and there are so many things I love about the place. The teachers are genuinely helpful and want us to do well. The place has a calm, harmonic feel and studying has already had a tangible benefit to my lifestyle and health."

    Erica Chen

  • "I was an electrician before I started studying acupuncture. It might not seem like it but there are overlaps between them, you look at a circuit and work out where the problem is coming from and then rectify it. The difference is with acupuncture I’ll help people to get better!"

    Jack Keeping

  • "Since embarking on this course, I have been astounded every day by the passion that this subject has sparked in me. I realised very quickly that I was in the right place, doing the right thing. I can only describe it as finally finding my place in the universe and becoming part of something much bigger than myself."

    Sally Connelly

  • "I wanted to become an acupuncturist as I prefer to use natural remedies which are in line with my faith and cultural background. I have witnessed the profound effects treatment can have on patients. CICM has an excellent reputation and I love the whole package here, especially the staff and supportive teachers."

    Bev Holder

  • "I appreciated the integrated style of TCM and the five elements as being the most profound way to reach and help people. This was the best possible start to a long acupuncture career that I could possibly wish for."

    Bethan Morgan

  • "My years at CICM will always hold a special place in my mind. It was like entering Hogwarts. The subjects are mind-expanding, the teachers and tutors really passionate and always keen to answer questions and give guidance. It has transformed me as a person and changed the way I see people, emotions, relationships, disease and health."

    Efthymios Fotenios

  • The teachers are really supportive and make every effort to tailor how they teach to suit the different styles of students. I like to question things and look at things from different angles - and the teachers have always supported me by being there to answer things by email after class, recommend further reading, or even being there to support me when I set up a Chinese medicine society for the college.

    Helen Reid

  • The course covers a huge range of topics, angles and perspectives, and whilst so much of it is new, unfamiliar and challenging at times- especially the 'hands on practical aspects- I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing, or anywhere else I’d rather be doing it. CICM is a hub of connection, commitment and energy, and something I am honoured to be part of.

    Ellie Farnfield

  • All of my teachers are practicing therapists with a library of information and experience to reinforce their words and the lectures. I have gained a lot of insight into myself and I often find myself reflecting on what we learned in class and applying it to life. I am recommending the course to everyone I know!

    Jacob Marley

  • As I was in my late forties I was concerned that I was too old, however the Open Day dispelled any doubts that I had as the age range of students and staff spanned from 18 to 80. The beautiful building was a joy to explore and I felt immersed in the world of Chinese Medicine. It was a cocoon of learning in the heart of Reading and only ten minutes’ walk from the train station.

    Samanthan Roderick