The BAcC have spent many years pursuing some form of regulation above and beyond VSR. Why? Perhaps because there is a legitimacy attached to it that will elevate the status of the acupuncture profession to the extent that it will become easier for BAcC members to attract new patients (primarily through the NHS) and make more money (there are other reasons but this reason has to be of most importance). As time has gone by the rise in number of acupuncture practitioners who do not practise a traditional form of acupuncture has meant that even where the traditional acupuncture (profession) did get regulated (SSR, SR) the preferred option of cheaper acupuncture provision by non-traditional acupuncture practitioners (doctors, physiotherapists, nurses etc) would make it a less attractive option for BAcC members. If the financial benefits of regulation are not so great then why continue to pursue regulation beyond VSR (especially if doing so increases costs to BAcC members whilst offering little regarding more patients and extra income)?
IMO there has and always will be only two ways to promote traditional acupuncture to the benefit of both practitioner and patient. The first is through regulation. Better to be seen as equal with other therapies/therapists (professionally) then to be perceived as something alternative and perhaps inferior. The second is through the practise of acupuncture itself. Of these two the latter is more important than the former. If that is true then why have the BAcC invested so much time, money and effort in regulation (SR)? Perhaps because the attainment of SR was always perceived as the easier option, the grand prize, the jackpot. With the benefit of hindsight it has to be accepted that attaining SR is not all it’s cracked up to be. Having failed to attain SR has left the BAcC in the same position it was faced with years ago (hence the Acupuncture Awareness Week) prior to the pursuit of regulation (SSR originally). The position of how to raise the profile of the traditional acupuncture profession in the UK (and in doing so help its members make more money).
Looking at the list of members benefits (BAcC membership) I see very little that will help members attract more patients and make more money. I see a lot of sweeteners which may help some to swallow the annual membership fee more easily but that’s about it.