As the millennium approaches, the acupuncture profession faces the pressing question of whether statutory regulation would be the best route to protect the profession and patients, not just in the present climate, but also in the future. In 1996, when the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) last discussed this issue at its annual conference, the general feeling was that effective voluntary self-registration, principally under the Council's umbrella, was the appropriate form of control at that time. What, if anything, has changed during this period? Certainly, the rush to statutory regulation which some people anticipated in the light of the Osteopaths and Chiropractors Acts has not materialised. Nonetheless, the BAcC has seen a more unified profession develop, and public support for acupuncture, as for complementary therapies as a whole, remains high. Moreover, purchasers continue to express interest in utilising complementary therapies within the NHS, (although funding for such initiatives is scant and has even, in some cases, been withdrawn). Against this backdrop, let us look at the arguments for and against statutory regulation, and see whether acupuncture is now at a point at which statutory regulation is a viable, or even necessary option.