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Acupuncture and the CSP PLI scheme

From 1 July 2016 the use of acupuncture for fertility-related treatments will not be covered by the CSP's Professional Liability Indemnity (PLI) scheme. The following frequently-asked questions explain this change and will support you to take any appropriate measures to ensure you are fully indemnified for your practice.

Do I need indemnity for my work as a physiotherapist?

Yes. Since July 2014 the HCPC has required mandatory indemnity as a condition of your continued HCPC registration as a practicing physiotherapist.

What is the CSP PLI scheme?

The main CSP PLI scheme is a group indemnity scheme for the benefit of the majority of CSP members. It provides a medical malpractice, professional indemnity and public liability insurance scheme for an individual’s physiotherapy work. It has a number of terms, conditions and exclusions in place.

Why is there a change to the PLI scheme for the use of acupuncture for fertility-related treatments?

The CSP continually reviews areas of risk in respect of the practice of physiotherapy. It specifically identifies the areas that, should they arise as a claim against the scheme, may result in an increase in the cost of the annual indemnity premium to the CSP.

The CSP needs to strike a balance between accepting that risk and identifying ways to keep the premium affordable. It has been identified that the significant claims in the area of obstetrics and gynaecology, in general, may lead to an unacceptable risk exposure to the PLI scheme.

The CSP has decided that the use of acupuncture for fertility treatment by members will not be covered by the terms of the main PLI scheme, and there will be an exclusion clause for new and/or further treatments delivered after 1 July 2016.

What happens after 1 July 2016?

The CSP PLI scheme will not cover claims arising from new or ongoing treatments of acupuncture to treat fertility issues delivered on or after 1 July 2016.

You will need to make separate indemnity provision for the treatment of these patients from this date, or stop treating them with acupuncture for fertility problems as you will be uninsured.

Which CSP members are affected?

All members practicing using acupuncture to treat fertility as part of physiotherapy practice.

Is acupuncture still in the scope of physiotherapy practice?

Yes. Acupuncture is a modality that physiotherapists may wish to use if they identify the evidence for its use is suitable for a specific patient and their condition: and they are carrying this treatment out as a physiotherapist.

The Society has not made a decision about whether the use of acupuncture for fertility related treatments is within the scope of physiotherapy practice as that is for the individual member to decide. (Further information on scope of practice can be found at

Will acupuncture used for treatment of fertility delivered before 1 July 2016 be covered by the CSP PLI scheme?

Yes. This is because the exclusion of acupuncture used for fertility problems for new or ongoing treatments from the main PLI scheme does not take effect until 1 July 2016.

What if I want to offer acupuncture as part of my non-physiotherapy related work, for example, as an Acupuncturist?

You will not be covered by the CSP PLI scheme. This is because the CSP PLI scheme only
covers activities within the scope of physiotherapy practice, subject to policy terms and

You should make alternative arrangements for your insurance for your non–
physiotherapy work.

Do I need to join AACP?

No. CSP recognized Professional Networks may offer additional support to physiotherapists such as access to CPD activities, and a range of member benefits including increased limits of PLI cover.

Membership of a professional network does not provide exclusive evidence of the ability to provide a reasonable standard of care in acupuncture.

Existing ro potential members of AACP should be aware that the AACP top up insurance will also not cover fertility acupuncture after 1 July 2016.

I am a member of AACP. What should I do now?

Please contact AACP directly. We understand that AACP are considering negotiating a separate indemnity scheme for its members who wish to practice acupuncture for fertility issues as part of physiotherapy practice.

AACP will provide you with details and any costs of the separate insurance policy when they have it.

I am not a member of AACP. What should I do now?

You may choose to join AACP and then consider purchasing any separate fertility insurance they may provide as a benefit of membership.

Alternatively, you may choose to source your own individual insurance for fertility acupuncture from any insurance provider operating in the medical malpractice market.

You may choose to stop offering acupuncture for fertility if you decide you do not want to pay for the separate insurance you need to practice the modality.

What is the difference between ‘top-up’ and ‘separate’ and ‘concurrent’ insurance?

A ‘top-up’ insurance usually refers to additional limit of insurance that is only activated when the limits of the main underpinning scheme have been reached, and covers the same risks as the main scheme.

A ‘separate’ insurance covers different risks/circumstances to those covered by another scheme. A ‘concurrent’ insurance is where an individual has bought two polices that cover the same risks and/or circumstances.

The CSP does not recommend any CSP member has any form of concurrent insurance for any of their insured physiotherapy activities.

Why do I need to know this?

Most insurance policies have a clause whereby they will not provide cover if it is found that an alternative source of indemnity is provided, for example by the existence of a concurrent policy covering the same risks.

In effect, by having concurrent polices for the same risks you may have inadvertently invalidated all of your policies and you may be uninsured for your entire work.

AACP offer a ‘top-up’ policy as part of your AACP membership, however this will also exclude the use of acupuncture for fertility related treatments and therefore you will still need a ‘separate’ insurance policy for using acupuncture for fertility related treatments from 1 July 2016.

Where can I find further information?

Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP)

The CSP Insurance brokers:

Graybrook Insurance Brokers Ltd
8 Chandlers Way
South Woodham Ferrers
Essex. CM3 5TB


The information provided in this document is not exhaustive and does not in any way alter the terms and conditions of the Medical Professional Liability or Public Liability policies forming part of the CSP’s PLI insurance programme.

In the event of any conflict the terms and conditions of these policies will take precedence over this summary document.

Members are strongly advised to read the CSP’s PLI policy details including the wording of the proposed exclusion, which is available on the member’s website or from the brokers on

The CSP or their brokers cannot be responsible for insurance covers arranged elsewhere by members, who should ensure such policies are adequate and appropriate for their professional requirements.


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