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2021 Annual Symposium
2021 ACA Council of Chiropractic Acupuncture Symposium
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ABCA Membership Application, Fee Payment, and Renewal

Table of Contents

  1. President’s Message
  2. Guidelines
    1. Diplomate Information
    2. State Licensure
    3. Board Certification Exam Information
      1. Applicant Eligibility Requirements
      2. Exam Requirements
      3. Download Exam Application
      4. Download the Handbook
      5. Fee Payment
    4. Maintaining Diplomate Credentials
      1. Download Recertification Application
      2. Fee Payment

President’s Message

The American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture (ABCA) serves as the credentialing board for the Council of Chiropractic Acupuncture. As such, we hold our own separate and distinct bylaws. The responsibilities of the ABCA are as follows:

  • Develop all documents necessary to administer the Diplomate Examination for Chiropractic Acupuncture. Create and administer the Diplomate Exam.
  • Credential all candidates who successfully pass the Diplomate Exam.
  • Confer the credential of Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture (DABCA).
  • Verify and oversee the bi-annual Diplomate status renewals.
  • Report all activity to the CCA who, in turn, reports ABCA activity to the American Chiropractic Association.


Diplomate Information

The American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture (ABCA) provides national testing for Diplomate status in the field of chiropractic acupuncture. Its mission is to credential knowledgeable and effective chiropractic practitioners in the art, science, and philosophy of chiropractic acupuncture within nationally recognized standards. In providing standardized written and oral/practical assessment for the chiropractic profession, the ABCA develops, administers, scores and reports test results for DABCA (Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture) licensure.

The ABCA functions in the official capacity as the sole credentialing agency in Chiropractic Acupuncture for the ACA Council of Chiropractic Acupuncture. Based on American Chiropractic Association (ACA) policies relating to the use of chiropractic acupuncture, all applicants are obligated to review and accept the policies set forth by the ACA.

State Licensure

Decisions regarding licensure of successful completion of DACBA (Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture) rest with individual state licensing boards. Any questions should be directed to the board of each individual state.

ABCA Certification represents professional recognition. It does not authorize or license an individual to practice chiropractic acupuncture. Chiropractic acupuncture licensure and registration are state regulatory functions.

Board Certification Exam Information

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

In order to sit for the Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture (DABCA) exam, the Candidate must meet the following General Requirements:

  1. Graduation from an accredited chiropractic school in the United States or Canada
  2. Possession of a current, valid, unrestricted license to practice chiropractic medicine in a state or jurisdiction of the United States or province of Canada. **(See Student Exception below)
  3. The ABCA has adopted a policy that explicitly establishes that there is no requirement that applicants be a member of any membership organization or professional society in order to be eligible to apply for or to receive certification.

**Student Exception – A student currently enrolled in a Doctor of Chiropractic program may apply to take the DABCA exam if they meet all other requirements. If the student passes the exam, their application and testing folder will be held until they submit documentation that they have obtained a state chiropractic license. The ABCA will then issue the formal certificate indicating that the candidate is a DABCA.

The Candidate must meet the following Acupuncture Education and Training Requirements:

  1. The candidate must successfully have completed 300 hours of an acupuncture program from a CCE accredited college. The program shall meet the following requirements:
    • The 300-hour course must be at least 90% onsite learning. ***Due to covid, hours are temporarily (through 2021) allowed as follows:
      • 1st 100 hours- 75% live
      • 2nd 100 hours- 50% live
      • 3rd 100 hours- 25% live
    • The first 100 hours (basic acupuncture) must be completed before the 200 or 300-hour program is started. The first 100 hours must be 60% didactic and 40% practical/hands-on. The practical portion must include live needling, clean needle technique, moxibustion, and electric device point stimulation.
    • The 200 and 300-hour programs must contain a minimum of 30% practical/hands-on and a minimum of 65% didactic hours.
    • Individual classes can only be taken once for credit.
  2. Applicants should review the current list of ABCA approved education programs.
  3. Applicants who have obtained training through means other than through an ABCA approved education course (i.e. NCAAOM or Medical Acupuncture courses) must have the Board review their program to determine acceptability in lieu of an approved course of study. Detailed information regarding the content and curriculum of the course, the faculty, and the teaching methodologies employed in addition to appropriate certificates documenting successful completion of said training must accompany the application. The Board, in its sole judgment, shall determine the acceptability of any such training, on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Licensed DC’s, who are also LAc’s, may submit their credentials to ABCA in lieu of the 300 CCE hours to allow them to sit for the DABCA examination, at the Board’s discretion.

Exam Requirements

2008 Job Analysis Breakdown

Summary of the Diplomate Acupuncture Examination:

While the requirements to sit for the examination include successfully completing 300 hours of acupuncture training from a CCE accredited college or state association, programs and seminars being taught vary in structure and training. Please refer to the 2008 JOB ANALYSIS BREAKDOWN for a complete listing of acupuncture topics and data that will be covered in the Diplomate exam.

The examinee will be expected to take a two-part examination:

  • 200 multiple choice question comprehensive written acupuncture exam.
    • There will be no “all of the above” or “none of the above” answers.
    • There will be one correct answer per question.
    • Three (3) hours will be appropriated for the written exam. Four and one-half (4½) hours will be appropriated for those who have provided the necessary documentation to substantiate the need.
    • Examinees will not be given extra time to review their test at the end of the designated time allowed. It is important to carefully read each question and give your answer to the best of your knowledge.
  • Oral/Practical acupuncture exam.
    • The examinee will move through three (3) stations with two (2) proctors per station.
    • Fifteen (15) minutes will be allowed per station.
    • Station 1: Point Location – choose one of several cards. Each card will have 12 acupoints listed. The examinee will choose 10 of 12 acupoints and demonstrate point location on themselves.
    • Station 2: Clean Needle – examinee will bring their own clean needle kit with them and demonstrate on themselves the ability to perform clean needle technique.
    • Station 3: Case Study – examinee will choose one of several cards with a case study reflecting chiropractic acupuncture. The examinee is responsible for diagnosing the condition in chiropractic and chiropractic acupuncture terminology. The examinee will then describe how they would treat the case, explain how they chose the particular acupuncture points and treatment plan.

The ABCA will send test scores and certification status to state licensing bodies for a fee of $50.

Failure to Pass Diplomate Examination/Additional Training Requirements:

If a doctor of chiropractic fails his/her initial attempt of the two-part examination, they will be allowed to retest within a 12 month period. The candidate will only be required to retest the portion of the exam he/she did not pass. If a failure occurs after the second attempt of the two-part examination, the candidate will be required to take 48 additional hours of chiropractic acupuncture training at an accredited college, state association, or accredited post-graduate course. Candidates will be required to submit proof of these 48 additional hours of training to the ABCA board before retaking the Diplomate examination again.

Examination Appeals:

If a candidate is convinced there is an error in any of the questions on the examination, their grievance must be submitted in writing to the ABCA within 30 days of the mailing of the test scores. There will be a $75 fee for a grievance to review the score sheet. There will be a $150 fee for a grievance to review the test. NO EXCEPTIONS. Each appeal must include:

  1. Candidates name and address
  2. Test date and location
  3. The portion of Exam (Written or Oral/Practical)
  4. A detailed description of the challenged grievance
  5. All grievances will be reviewed by the ABCA Appeals and Disciplinary Committee (ADC). A decision will be made and the candidate will receive a written explanation to their grievance by the U.S. Postal Service within 60 days of receiving the grievance. THE ABCA DOES NOT ALLOW CANDIDATES TO REVIEW EXAMINATION QUESTIONS IN THIS APPEALS PROCESS.

Download Exam Application

ABCA Diplomate Exam Application

Download the Handbook

ABCA Diplomate Candidate Handbook

Fee Payment

See Candidate’s Handbook for a complete schedule of fees (late application fee, exam retake fee, etc.)

Application to Test $200 (non-refundable)
Examination Fee $695

Maintain Diplomate Credentials

To maintain Diplomate Status, the chiropractic physician must renew their DABCA membership, as well as their CCA membership, bi-annually. In order to do so, they must provide the ABCA with the following information:

  1. Proof of Attendance to one CCA symposium (12 hours CCE) every two years.
  2. 12 additional hours CCE accredited acupuncture training.
  3. The DABCA credential must be renewed every 2 years by December 31st, in order to maintain active DABCA status.

Download Recertification Application

ABCA Diplomate Recertification Application

Fee Payment

ABCA Diplomate Recertification Fee $150
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