Public Comment: English Language Proficiency Requirements for ACAHM-Accredited Programs and Institutions [04 November 2021]

At a meeting held on 29 October 2021, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (ACAHM or Commission) met to discuss the complex issues related to English language proficiency requirements under accreditation criterion 5.02 and decided to standardize English proficiency prerequisites for all programs. Moving forward, all students must score a 61 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or equivalent assessment to be admitted to an ACAHM-accredited/pre-accredited program or institution. Please note that this is a minimum standard and programs and institutions may elect to require a higher threshold.

The Commission’s decision is responsive to a review requested in July 2021 by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (CCAHM). Before and following CCAHM’s request, the Commission has been actively engaged on this topic including significant staff research, development of comprehensive accreditation standards, and convening of a diverse working group focused on ACAHM-accreditable programs delivered in Mandarin and/or Korean languages.

Historically, ACAHM-accredited programs required different English proficiency minimum thresholds. The Commission is hopeful that adoption of a single English proficiency requirement applicable to all ACAHM-accreditable programs will help eliminate confusion among its stakeholders and communities of interest. This new threshold score will also allow institutions and programs to consider a greater pool of candidates and could ultimately lead to a greater number of practitioners of acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Before making any substantive changes to its Comprehensive Standards and Criteria, it is the Commission’s long-standing practice to provide notice to all relevant stakeholders and constituencies of proposed changes; give the interested parties adequate opportunity to comment on the proposed changes; and use the input received to help inform final decisions.

This call for public comment is open through Monday, 6 December 2021.


The proposed revision may be viewed or downloaded through the following link:

Stakeholders may provide comments online through the following link:

You may also submit comments via email to with the subject line: Criterion 5.02 Public Comment.

All comments will be reviewed by the Commission in accordance with ACAHM policy and further actions by the Commission will be announced on the ACAHM website.

Thank you for taking the time to provide your valuable feedback.