About the RCHM

Covid Updates

Established in 1987, the RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine) is a professional organisation with over 300 members. We work to uphold standards of excellence in Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) and its allied practices in the UK, with our areas of focus being:


Educational standards

The RCHM helps ensure excellence in the practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) by making it a requirement of membership that practitioners have a degree-level qualification in CHM from a UK institution independently accredited by the EHTPA (European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association) or an equivalent qualification verified in an interview with members of the RCHM Council; for more details, see Training in CHM. The RCHM also helps set the criteria for the practice and teaching of CHM in the UK. Members are also required to undertake regular CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training to ensure that their skills and knowledge are kept up to date. Most of our members are also qualified acupuncturists, allowing them to practice Chinese Medicine using CHM alongside a variety of other treatment methods. Students of the Northern College of Acupuncture and the White Crane Academy of Chinese Herbal Medicine are entitled to free student membership.

Safeguardings

Public safety is of paramount importance to the RCHM. We help protect patients by offering them access to an online register of highly qualified practitioners, all of whom are bound by strict professional standards, and who have full professional insurance. We also run an Approved Suppliers Scheme that offers practitioners a means of sourcing herbs from companies that have been audited to check that they adhere to stringent quality standards, and comply with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) restrictions.

Ethics

The RCHM has always condemned the illegal trade in endangered animals and plant species, and its members are subject to strict rules that prohibit the use of any such material in their practice. In addition, our members take their responsibility to their patients extremely seriously, and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Practice.

Information

Although as an organisation we focus primarily on facilitating the work of members, practitioners and those looking to join the profession, the RCHM also works to offer both the public and members of the media with reliable information about Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) and its allied practices (including acupuncture), and its context within the wider system of Chinese Medicine (CM). This includes always offering a rapid response, when we feel one is necessary, to the latest media reports about CHM or related matters; for more details, see For Journalists. The RCHM also has its own Chinese Herb Garden at the Botanic Gardens in Bristol that plays a vital role in helping educate undergraduates, qualified practitioners and the general public about the use and conservation of herbs in the context of CM.

Legal recognition

The RCHM continues to campaign for the statutory regulation of practitioners of Chinese Herbal Medicine in the UK (regulation is currently voluntary), as well as for the right of practitioners to have continued and easy access to safe and high-quality herbs. We do this by working with the British government and its European equivalents, as well as with the EHTPA (European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association), an affiliate organisation that acts as an umbrella for different herbal traditions.