Vet Acup College | FAQ’s
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Frequently Asked Questions

Course and Technical

What information do I need to provide on enrolment?

Enrolment form, Vet Registration, Vet Degree, Passport photo, evidence of practice for at least 2 years.

What pre-requisites are needed to enrol in course?

2 years or more as practicing veterinarian.

How many hours of study are required for the course?

During term times on a weekly basis – 2 hours for the online lectures, plus 5-6 hours to complete weekly quizzes, assignments and extra reading to consolidate the new knowledge.

What are the course requirements for successful certification?
  1. Attend all lectures
  2. Complete all quizzes and assignments
  3. Treat 10 clinical cases and submit a Case treatment log book for each clinical case
  4. Pass both a written and practical examination
  5. Submit two detailed case reports to be completed after the examination
How many days and what hours are the practical days in Geelong? ie. When do students need to arrive and leave?
  1. April 2020 – Workshop 1                     2 April(Arr/Registration) to 5 April,
  2. July 2020 – Workshop 2                      2 July(Arr/Registration) to 5 July,
  3. September 2020 – Workshop 3          24 Sept(Arr/Registration) to 27 Sept
  4. Lectures/practical sessions begin at 8 am and finish at 6.00 pm except the last day which finishes earlier.

Students should arrive the afternoon/evening before the workshop starts and are free to leave after the last session on the last day, or stay on for sightseeing.

*Please note that for IVAS certification the students are required to have attended all lectures and all three residential workshops.

How long does the course go for?

The course starts in January 2020 and the formal teaching finishes with the final examination in December 2020.  All other course requirements must be completed and finalised before 30th June 2021.

Are Lectures held at a regular time each week?

The lectures are on-line and become available for review one week prior to the scheduled Chat Room for that lecture.  The Chat room is open each Tuesday evening at 8.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) adjusted for summertime as required.  Timetable dates will be provided closer to the start of the course.  You will be given instructions on how to log onto the course content, Chat Room and Discussion Rooms.  You will need a computer with a good broadband internet connection and a comfortable set of headphones, a microphone and a quiet place while ‘attending’ the lectures.

Is it still possible to go away on holiday during the year and miss a few lectures?

Yes, it is possible as the lectures are recorded and accessible, therefore you can catch up when you come back, however you will need to work with your tutor to ensure you cover the material required in the assignments.  However you must attend the hands on workshops.

How soon can I start doing acupuncture after starting the course?

You will be able to use acupuncture to treat your patients after the first residential workshop, after you have learnt point location and needling techniques.

How much of the course is Equine related?

Approximately 1/3 of the course is TCM theory, for the remainder, horses make up approximately 50% of the clinical aspects and of the practical sessions in second and third workshops.  Our current course timetable is designed for the students to study both species.  Learning about dogs and horses as the models for other species broadens your scope for treating other species.

Do I have to do horse/dogs even though I don’t see them in practice? Do I have to know them for the examination?

Our current course timetable is designed for the students to study both species.  Learning about dogs and horses as the models for other species broadens your scope for treating other species.

Do we need to have both large and small animal cases?

For the case treatment logs and case reports, these reflect the animals you treat in your clinic and there are no special requirements to treat a particular species e.g. equine practitioners can submit just horse cases, small animal practitioners can submit any species they treat e.g. cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets, those in mixed practice can choose either small or large animal cases.

Why do you need the course qualification to practise acupuncture in the clinic?

Acupuncture is based on a completely different system of medicine to the normal veterinary medicine.  It is important to understand the Traditional Chinese Medicine system to be able to apply it effectively in practice.  The IVAS Certification is an objective measure of TCM knowledge, understanding and application, that shows that you are qualified to treat your patients with acupuncture.

What is the structure of the examination?

The written paper is a multiple choice paper with 150 questions and you have 4 hours to complete the examination.  Most students take between 3-4 hours.  The written examination is held in the morning then we have a lunch break and the practical examinations are held in the afternoon.  For the practical exams you are required to find 10 points on a dog and 10 points on a horse and give 2 functions of each of the points.

Where is the examination held?

The exam is held in Geelong at the Geelong Conference Centre, Geelong on 5th December 2020.

Is acupuncture painful for animals?

Acupuncture is much less painful than normal injections as the acupuncture needles are very fine, have rounded points and separate the tissue rather than cutting it.  In the hands of a skilled practitioner it is no more painful than a pin prick.

How do I get them to sit still for acupuncture?

Most veterinary acupuncturists have the client gently restrain their animal while the needles are inserted and continue to hold their animal to stop it moving until the needles are removed.  Once inserted, the needles need to remain in place for approximately 10 – 20 minutes.

Are there any contraindications for acupuncture?

There are only a few contraindications for using acupuncture, the primary one is not having either a western or TCM diagnosis.  In pregnancy there are points that are contraindicated depending on the stage of pregnancy.  Corticosteroids are known to increase the time it takes for a patient to respond to acupuncture.

How do I introduce acupuncture into the practice when my employer is sceptical about its use?

If you can treat one of the staff’s animals for a condition that you know will respond well to acupuncture such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, this is usually sufficient for your employer to take notice.  Alternatively you can video a lameness case and show him/her the changes.

How can I best introduce acupuncture for my patients when it takes so much time and my boss may not allow me to do it during work time?

While still studying acupuncture, many students will treat the animals during their lunch break, after they finish in the clinic or on their day off.  It is important for your employer to realise that you will attract new clients as well as providing an extended service to current clients.

How much do I charge for acupuncture when I first start doing it?

You need to set your fees as soon as you start treating with acupuncture.  As a guide you need to charge at least twice your normal consultation fee for the first visit which usually takes about 45-60 minutes and then at least one and a half times the normal consultation for a follow up treatment which usually takes 30-45 minutes.  However this is just a guide and you need to be able to justify the fees you set.

How long does an acupuncture consultation take?

For the initial consultation allow 45 – 60 minutes, for follow up consultations allow 30 minutes.  In the beginning, expect to be slow, with experience these times will be shorter.

What cases can acupuncture treat?

Because acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself it is possible to treat all the systems of the body.  It is particularly effective for musculoskeletal conditions, neurological disorders, back pain, IVDD, gastrointestinal disorders and reproduction.

See Clinical applications for list.

Can you combine acupuncture with western medications?

Acupuncture can be combined with western medicines. Corticosteroids are the only drugs that are known to reduce the effect of acupuncture and therefore the patient may need extra treatments and take longer to recover, if they are taking cortisone medication.

Can acupuncture be applied to any animal species?

You can treat any animal that has a nervous system with acupuncture.

I am not currently working, can I cope with course and case load?

Yes, if you have access to clinical cases.  You will need at least 10 cases to do the case treatment logs and the detailed case reports can be two of those cases .  This would be the minimum number of cases you would need to treat and record.

What level of acupuncture involvement is expected? E.g. for case studies?

You are required to make a diagnosis and treat at least 10 cases in your clinic, i.e. if you are a small animal practitioner you need only treat small animals, equine or large animal practitioners need only treat horses or large animals.

Is acupuncture expected to be the sole treatment in those cases or in conjunction with conventional medicine?

Ideally these cases are to be treated with acupuncture only.  The exception is if the animal has been taking medication or some time and this remains constant, then acupuncture can be added.  The reason for this is that you need to be able to assess the benefits of your acupuncture treatment.

When are the case treatment logs to be completed?

The case treatment logs give your tutor an indication of how well you understand and can apply the TCM concepts of diagnosis and treatment to your clinical cases. The cases must be completed as the course progresses.

It is important that you complete the case treatment logs before you commence the next term work.  This allows the tutor to check, review and comment on your learning progress.

Case treatment logs will be expected to be submitted as follows: Term 2 – 3 case treatment logs, Term 3 – 4 case treatment logs, Term 4 – 3 case treatment logs.  Once all ten cases have been completed they are compiled into a Case treatment log book which forms part of the course requirements and is submitted to IVAS when certificate is requested.

Do we need access to animals to use for cases and how many?

For the case treatment logs and case reports, these reflect the animals you treat in your clinic and there are no special requirements to treat a particular species e.g. equine practitioners can submit just horse cases, small animal practitioners can submit any species they treat e.g. cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets, those in mixed practice can choose either small or large animal cases.

I am a licensed Animal Physiotherapist, can I enrol?

The course is only open to qualified veterinarians with a minimum of two years clinical experience as there is an expected level of anatomy and veterinary medical knowledge required to undertake the course.

What cases do I need to do for the course?

You will need 3 cases in the first term to make a Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnosis and then in the second and third terms you will be required to provide case treatment logs for 10 cases and 2 case reports.  This would be the minimum number of cases you need to treat and record.

I am really only interested in the horse part as I have specialised in equine reproduction. Is there any course or option to only do horses?

It is a requirement of the IVAS Course for certification that all the lectures and practical sessions are attended and these include both dog and horses.  Unfortunately there is no option to do only horses or only small animals.  Learning about dogs and horses broadens the student’s scope for treating other species.


How do I get to the Geelong Conference Centre (GCC)?

See also


If you are flying into Melbourne, the closest airport to Geelong is Melbourne (Avalon).  From Avalon there is a SkyBus that will take you directly to Geelong Station.  See (cost approximately $20.00 one way).  You will then need to taxi from station to GCC approx. $15.00.

If you are flying into Melbourne (Tullamarine) which is the international airport, the Gull Airport Bus ( ) will take you to Geelong (cost $35.00 one way and then you will need to take a taxi from the drop off point to GCC (cost approximately $15.00).  You will need to book Gull Bus in advance as they only take “walk-ups” if there is a seat available.

If you are driving from Melbourne you need to go to Geelong central (A10) (not the Geelong By-Pass Road) and take a left into Ryrie Street (C123).   Turn left into Holt Road after Geelong High School.  You will need to take the next right into Geelong Conference Centre.  Holt Road is through a park and reserve.

Driving from Melbourne to Geelong via freeway – 65 minutes

How long does this trip take?

Driving from Avalon Airport to Geelong – 45 minutes

Driving from Tullamarine Airport to Geelong by Gull Airport Bus – 75 minutes.

Geelong City to GCC by taxi – 10 mins.

Driving from Melbourne to GCC via freeway – 75 minutes

Driving from Tullamarine to GCC ring road – 90 minutes


We recommend that you stay at GCC.  This will be arranged by the Course Administrator about one month prior to the workshops.  It is 4 star accommodation with your own ensuite and an option to share with all meals included.  It is reasonably priced at around $265.00 per day for full board (3 meals and morning and afternoon teas).  The lecture theatres and practical sessions are within the complex.  There is a pool and areas for informal discussions and relaxation.  This is a great time to meet the other students, make new friends and share ideas.

Is the place holding fee of $1,210 AUD included in the full fee figure?


Is the place holding fee of $1,210 AUD refundable?


Can I pay the fees by credit card?

All payments will be by credit card via the registration and enrollment process shown on the CVE registration page CLICK HERE

Or you can contact Bill Rae on +61 (0) 414 295 503 or email for further information.

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