Dry Needling

Important: The College uses the following definition when discussing dry needling. The regulations explained below apply to all approaches, including acupuncture.

Dry needling is a broad term that refers to a treatment technique that uses solid filament needles to puncture the skin for therapeutic purposes. It includes a range of approaches, such as acupuncture, trigger point dry needling, intramuscular stimulation, or similar treatments used by numerous healthcare professionals.

– The Safe Practice of Dry Needling in Alberta. Health Quality Council of Alberta, 2014

Full registrants who wish to use dry needling within the physical therapy scope of practice must first apply to the College.

March 10, 2020 Board of Directors Policy Decisions


A registrant may apply to use dry needling within their physical therapy practice if they:

  • Are a full registrant in BC, and
  • Have at least two years of physical therapy practice experience (experience as an interim physical therapist and experience outside of Canada count), and a minimum of 3900 practice hours, and
  • Successfully completed one of the following programs:
    • Acupuncture Canada Certification in Dry Needling – Dry Needling Level 1 and Level 2
    • Acupuncture Canada Certification, Level 1
    • Acupuncture the Art and the Science (Manitoba): A Comprehensive Introduction to Acupuncture: the Art and the Science
    • *Evidence in Motion Functional Dry Needling Weekend Intensives – Functional Dry Needling Level 1, Dry Needling: Clinical Integration, Functional Dry Needling Level 2 (3-day version of each course)
    • Foundations Health Education Modern Dry Needling ANIMS (formerly ANIMS-1)
    • McMaster University – Contemporary Medical Acupuncture
    • *On Point Physiotherapy – On Point Needling- Comprehensive Dry Needling
    • OPPQ Puncture Physiothérapique avec Aiguilles Sèches: Cours de Base
    • Smart Seminars Certification in Biomedical Dry Needling
    • UBC Gunn IMS (Certification) Course
    • Uplands Physiotherapy Clinic – Dry Needling Canada Courses Level 1 and 2

*Course certificates dated on or after August 1, 2023 will be accepted. Courses taken before this date will not be accepted.

  • NOTE:
    • Until the College confirms that a registrant may use dry needling/acupuncture in their physical therapy practice, they must not do so. Please discuss with the course provider how to fulfill a requirement to log needling practice in between courses
    • Registrants may take a course before they complete the 2-year/3900 practice hour requirement if permitted by the course provider. However, the College strongly encourages registrants to consider acquiring at least the minimum experience (and mature clinical reasoning skills) before taking a course.
    • The College recommends registrants not to take a course too far in advance of being able to use the knowledge and skills in their practice.

Application Process

  1. Complete and sign (electronic signatures are accepted) the application form
  2. Send the application form and a copy of your program certificate to the College at dryneedling@cptbc.org
  3. Processing an application may take 3-5 business days once both documents have been received
  4. You will be notified by email and ‘dry needling’ will be visible as an additional skill on your record on the public directory

Questions About Dry Needling?

For further information on dry needling, please contact dryneedling@cptbc.org.