College Regulations

(1.1) Regulations of the Northern College of Acupuncture

It is essential that the College maintains high academic, ethical and professional standards so that graduating students are able to move smoothly and confidently into practice. These regulations have therefore been drawn up to assist and protect the students and staff of the Northern College of Acupuncture. It is the spirit and intention behind the rules that is important and the vast majority of students will not even have to think about complying with them since sensible behaviour will come automatically.

Students are required to meet the following conditions and requirements:

(1.2) Attitude of Students

We promote an ethos of unconditional positive regard towards others.  We therefore expect all our students to treat fellow students and staff with the same respect that they would expect to receive.

(1.3) For students on practitioner training programmes

Our ethos of unconditional positive regard towards others includes all patients and clients.

(1.3.1) Acupuncture Practice

Students on the Acupuncture courses may only engage in the practice of acupuncture under the direct supervision of College staff on College premises, until they have successfully competed the course.1

By accepting a place on the acupuncture course at the College students agree that during their time in the College clinic, they will comply with the Codes of Professional Conduct and Safe Practice of the British Acupuncture Council, together with the College’s additional requirements as detailed in the Acupuncture Clinic Handbook. 

1 Unless an exception to this regulation has been agreed in writing with the student (e.g. to allow practise of a limited form of acupuncture already being practised before enrolling on the course)

(1.3.2) Nutritional Therapy Practice

Students on the MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice who are already practitioners and members of a recognised professional body, and who are giving nutritional advice to clients in their own practice, must ensure that they have personal indemnity insurance which covers this, and must provide a copy of their insurance to the College.

By accepting a place on the nutritional therapy course at the College students agree that during their time in the College clinic they will comply with the Code of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and Safe Practice of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council and the Professional Practice Handbook of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, together with the College’s additional requirements as detailed in the Nutritional Therapy Clinic Handbook. 

(1.3.3) Herbal Practice

Students on the herbs course may not prescribe Chinese herbal medicines to their own patients until they have successfully completed the course and been awarded the College Diploma, MSc or Postgraduate Diploma in Chinese Herbal Medicine.

By accepting a place on the herbs course at the College students agree that during their time in the College clinic they will comply with the Codes of Ethics and Practice of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, together with the College’s additional requirements as detailed in the Herbs Clinic Handbook. 

(1.4) Working with Fellow Students, Patients and Clients

Many of our courses include a clinical component, and all students are required to work with patients of both genders in clinic as part of the learning experience.

Similarly, most of our courses involve hands-on practice of skills and techniques, and other practical work. All students are required to work with other students of both genders in these classes as part of their learning.

In accepting a place at the College students on the acupuncture courses consent to participate in practical classes such as practice of point location, practice of clinical skills such as needling, cupping, moxibustion, palpation and massage, and practice of interviewing and basic counselling skills. Students on the nutritional therapy course consent to participate in practical classes such as biometrics, dietary evaluation, and practice of interviewing and basic counselling skills. 

Participation includes taking the role of practitioner and the role of receiver of treatment. Consent may include (dependent on the course):

  • Consent to treatment/consultation/demnstration from a member of staff or another student
  • Role play and experiential groups
  • Practice of clinical work and point location (which may include partial undressing and intimate touch)
  • Limited disclosure of personal information (students are always free to choose how much personal information they disclose)

Exceptions are allowed when  (a) the student has completed a "limitations of participation" form following discussion with the Registrar and Course Director (the form will specify what activities the student is able and unable to participate in) or (b) on an occasional basis when the student has a temporary health issue or other concern and chooses to opt out by informing the tutor at the start of the session (this will be noted by the tutor; repeat occurrences will require a meeting with the Registrar and Course Director to complete the "limitations of participation" form).  The form is available on the College's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

Students are responsible for bringing to the attention of the College any disability, health issue, cultural sensitivity or other matter which may affect their ability to participate in practical classes, so that appropriate adjustments can be made in line with the student’s needs and so that a "limitations of participation" meeting can be arranged at which a "limitations of participation" form can be completed. Such matters must be brought to the College’s attention at the point of accepting a place on a course, or as soon as the student becomes aware of a new concern. The College will always endeavour to support students and will make reasonable adjustments within the parameters of fitness to practise. 

(1.5) Fees

Students are required to pay the appropriate fees by the due dates. Details of fees for specific courses are given in the course fee sheets.  Fees for individual modules are given in the module fee sheet. Fees for individual modules are given in the module fee sheets.

Students on some courses are offered the chance to pay tuition fees by nine monthly instalments. Where this is the case, the instalments must be paid by direct debit. Any cancellations or changes to direct debits or failure to set up direct debit instructions in time for the first payment will be subject to a £20 administration charge.

(1.5.1) Invoices and Fees Statement

Students are issued with an invoice for fees due for the coming year at the start of each academic year.

Fee statements are issued at least twice yearly which, where applicable, will include a breakdown of direct debit payments. This statement is appropriate for tax purposes in the UK.

(1.5.2) Fee Increases

For students who began their studies before 2016, fees for the first year are published in the fee sheets. For subsequent years, fees are normally increased in line with inflation, but in exceptional circumstances the College reserves the right to make a further increase to cover any necessary changes to the course.

For students who begin their studies in 2016 and thereafter, the College has published fixed fees for each year of their course. The College is committed to honouring these fees as detailed in the published fee sheets, unless the national inflation rate (CPI) exceeds 5% or is less than 1%, in which case the College reserves the right to vary the fees. 

(1.5.3) Acceptable Methods of Fee Payment

On practitioner training programmes which offer the option to pay fees by nine monthly instalments, students who choose this option must pay the instalments by direct debit. Any student who is unable or unwilling to pay by direct debit must pay the full annual course fee at the start of the academic year.

For online courses, enrolment fees must be paid at least four weeks before the start of the academic year and module fees must be paid at least four weeks before the start of the module.

Acceptable payment methods for specific fees are shown in the table below with the preferred option indicated by a double check mark:

  Direct Debit BACS transfer Cash Cheque Card (Debit or credit) Paypal (via NCA website)
9 monthly fee instalments ü  û  û  û  û  û
Course enrolment fees  û üü ü ü ü ü
Module fees for online MScs  û üü  û ü ü ü
CPD seminars  û ü ü ü ü ü
Administration charges (e.g. changes to clinic days)  û üü ü ü ü ü
Fee arrears  û üü ü ü ü  û
Advance payment of annual course fee  û üü ü ü ü û 

 

Apart from the monthly fee instalments and seminar fees our preferred method of payment is BACS transfer.

Should a payment of fee arrears, or a monthly instalment, or an advance payment of full annual course fees be made by Paypal, the College will pass on the Paypal charges to the student.

 

(1.5.4) Fees for Clinic Days

Fees for students’ scheduled clinic days are included in the overall course fees. However, there are circumstances when additional days may be required:

  • As a requirement of the examiners in cases of referral due to fails in certain modules.
  • If a student fails to attend a clinic day, and notice is not given to the College by 9:00 am on the day, and there are no mitigating circumstances, then the student is required to pay an additional fee for a clinic day to attend on another day.
  • The full attendance requirement of 100% must normally be completed by the end of June for each clinical module, unless otherwise agreed in advance by the College. If a student is unable to complete by the end of June without prior agreement, the College will make alternative arrangements on a case by case basis and reserves the right to charge the full fee for a clinic day or days arranged on this basis.

The fee for additional clinic days is £50 per day.

Once clinic days are scheduled, students are expected to commit to the scheduled dates. Any changes to a clinic day(s) after scheduled dates have been released will be subject to a £10 administration charge on each occasion a change is requested. The clinic days administration charge does not apply to any student who is disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010 and whose disability directly results in them needing to change scheduled clinic dates. Also, the charge does not apply to any student who has a chronic illness, evidenced by a note from a medical practitioner, that is unpredictable and that directly results in them needing to change scheduled clinic dates.

(1.5.5) Fees for Resits, Resubmissions and Repeated Years

Re-sit fees for examinations are £50.

An additional fee of £50 is payable when a resubmission of an MSc dissertation is required.

When for any reason a student repeats modules, or an entire year of a course, the charge is 50% of the applicable module fee(s) charged for the cohort the student is joining.

(1.5.6) Fees for students entering by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Students entering the BSc or PGDip/taught part of an MSc by RPL are charged the applicable fees for the cohort the student is joining.

When a student enters the dissertation stage of an MSc course by RPL, in addition to the normal dissertation fee for the cohort they are joining there are also two instalments of University registration fees to pay. The full cost of these registration fees is partially subsidised by the College because of the importance we attach to encouraging research, and so the amount payable by students is one and a half times the enrolment fee payable by online MSc students in the year in question. The first instalment is the enrolment fee plus half the dissertation fee, payable before embarking on the dissertation. The second instalment is half the enrolment fee plus half the dissertation fee, which is paid after ethics approval for the research proposal.

(1.5.7) Late Payment of Fees Payable to NCA

In cases of late payment of fees an administration charge of £20 will be charged for each month in arrears.

In occasional and exceptional circumstances students can apply for extra time to pay a fee instalment. Students are expected to contact the Finance Manager well in advance if they have any difficulty with payment by the due date.  Requests for exemption from any administration charges will only be considered in exceptional and temporary circumstances. Exemption from administration charges can be granted if:

  1. the student informs the Finance Manager of the circumstances before the first fee instalment is due; and
  2. a written agreement on payment of the fee arrears is agreed with the Finance Manager having considered the circumstances. Evidence of the circumstances and of their temporary nature may be required. The final decision will be made by the Finance Manager following a consultation with the Course Director.

Appeals must be in writing to the Resources Committee.

Students may not graduate or progress to the next year of the course until all outstanding fees are paid.

College fees are not refundable, except in cases of visa refusal and advance payment (see below).

(1.5.8) Fees for Applications for Extensions

There is an administration charge of £20 for applications for extensions to the total study time for a course, e.g. extensions to submission dates for MSc dissertations.

(1.5.9) Advance Payment of Fees

Students on practitioner training programmes are offered the option of paying fees in 9 instalments spread over the academic year. When some or all fee instalments are paid in advance (e.g. in cases of payment in one lump sum at the start of the year), instalments which have not yet fallen due are refundable to the student, or in the case of a loan to the lender.

(1.5.10) Refund of Fees in Case of Visa Refusal

Overseas students from outside the EEA require a visa in order to study in the UK when this requires attendance in College. At present the College is unable to accept applications from overseas students from outside the EEA for practitioner training programmes. Should this be possible in future, the following regulation will apply: If an applicant has already made a fee payment and the applicant’s visa application is subsequently refused, the College will refund all fees paid except for an administration fee of £100.

(1.5.11) Fees for Students Returning to Study or Spreading Modules over Two Years

When a student:

  • is permitted to take a year or more out from their studies (suspension of studies/intercalation), OR
  • is permitted to spread modules normally taken in one year over two years

the fees payable are those appropriate to the cohort with which the student will be studying.  

Students returning within five years will normally be required to pay fees from the point at which they left the course. Students who return after more than five years will normally be required to begin the course again and pay all current fees from the start.

Students who have to repeat a year or specific modules as a result of extenuating circumstances will not normally be charged fees for the repeat year or modules, apart from any inflationary increase.

(1.5.12) Withdrawal

If for any reason a student withdraws from the College there will be no refund of fees, except when fees have been paid in advance of the due date. 

(1.1.6) Library Regulations

3.11.6 Students are required to comply in full with the library regulations published in the library section of the Student Programme Handbook.   Students will not be allowed to progress to the next year of the course or to graduate if they have library fines outstanding or library books overdue for return.

(1.1.7) Treatment in the Clinic

All students are recommended to receive acupuncture, herbal treatment and/or nutritional advice during their course, partly as an effective way of maintaining their health and partly to gain experience of the patient’s perspective.

However, acupuncture students cannot receive treatment in the College’s acupuncture teaching clinic, but they can receive treatment in the herbs or nutritional therapy clinic.  Herbs students cannot receive treatment in the College’s herbs teaching clinic, but they can receive treatment in the acupuncture or nutritional therapy clinics.

Nutritional therapy course students are encouraged to have a consultation with fellow students, but are given clear guidance on deciding how much personal information they choose to disclose.  They can also receive treatment in the acupuncture and herbs clinics.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that there are no real or perceived conflicts of interest or confidentiality issues arising between students and students, and students and staff (who are involved in the assessment of students).  The only exception to this is the provision of one or two treatments for occasional acute conditions, where these do not involve taking a full case history. No ongoing treatment is permitted.

The full policy on treatment of students by staff and treatment of students and staff in the teaching clinic is in Appendix A of the College Handbook.

(1.1.8) College Recording of Teaching Sessions

The College may on occasion make audio or video recordings of teaching sessions for use by College students and staff for educational purposes.  Except with consent, video recordings will only show students from a distance.  In accepting a place at the College, students consent to participate in such recordings.

(1.1.9) Student Recording of Teaching Sessions

Students who need to do so can make audio recordings (not video) of teaching sessions with prior permission from the College.  However, such recordings remain the intellectual property of the tutor or of the College, as appropriate, and students may not share them with anyone except for fellow students and staff of the College, and the recordings must be destroyed by the start of the next academic year.  Permission must be obtained by emailing the Registrar () and is not granted until the receipt of a reply expressly giving consent.

Teaching sessions do not include clinic sessions.

Students who have received this permission must make sure they switch their recording device off during breaks or at any time the tutor or other students so request, for example when personal information may be about to be shared. 

Students who have received this permission to record video conferences must announce at the start of the session that they are a making a recording and have College permission to do so.

(1.1.10) Conduct

The following rules are to make students aware of the type of conduct that is detrimental to the College.

• You must not bring alcohol or recreational drugs onto College premises nor must you be in an intoxicated or drugged condition.

• There must be no betting or gambling.

• You must not engage in any form of horseplay or disorderly conduct.

• You must not smoke, eat or drink anywhere other than authorised places.

• You must not post upon College premises and signs, notices or posters without specific College approval.  Neither must you distribute any publications or similar matter without approval.

(1.1.11) Security

The College and its employees, guests, students and patients have the right to protect their property.  The following rules have been established to help achieve this.

Unauthorised possession of the College’s, or any other student’s, College staff member’s, or patient/client’s property is forbidden.

You must not remain on or enter College premises outside working hours unless permission has been obtained.

No meetings may be held on College premises without permission.

The College reserves the right to examine any parcel taken from its premises, to inspect lockers, cupboards, desks etc. and to search people leaving the College.

(1.1.12) Personal Matters

There are a number of items affecting students personally that need to be covered.

If you change your name, address, email address or telephone number you must notify the College immediately.

The College accepts no responsibility for private correspondence sent to its address.

The College accepts no liability for loss or damage to any personal property brought onto its premises.

The College disclaims all liability for the loss or damage to any private vehicles brought onto its property.

The use of College telephones for private calls is restricted to cases of genuine emergency.