Lifting the Invisibility Cloak

Webinar Recording

Last Thursday 14th June, the NHAA joined with the Complementary Medicine Association (CMA) and the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) to present ‘Lifting the Invisibility Cloak: a cross-association webinar on registration for naturopaths and herbalists’.  

We’d like to thank Rachel Arthur, who did an incredible job of guiding a very complex and multifaceted discussion that could have headed in wild directions without her chairing expertise! And, of course, we’d also like to thank Daniel Clare, Anne-Louise Carlton and Leah Hechtman for offering their personal and professional insights on our expert panel. 

1375 practitioners joined us live online and many more have signed up to watch the replay, which can be found HERE. As was raised several times throughout the event, the time is now to be discussing the pros, cons, ins and outs of registration for our professions, so we’d like to thank you for participating too. 

We managed to cover a lot of ground in a concentrated time period, including the following highlights: 

Leah shared her insights on the ‘unspoken code’ and ‘earning stripes’ in our professional relationships with orthodox medical practitioners. She shared her insights as a practitioner frequently working as a part of a health care teams on complex cases and how registration within an AHPRA model would likely be viewed very favourably by medical practitioners. This could lead to better outcomes and communication in shared care provision, more confidence in cross referral and improved cultural relations between the fields. As a busy and successful practitioner and strong advocate for our professions, Leah also spoke to issues of protection of job title, protection of treatments and protection of access to medicines.  

Anne-Louise shared her expertise in understanding and appreciating the concept of risk from a new perspective and how registration has the potential to substantially reduce risk within our fields by offering protection against fraudulent practitioners and those practicing irresponsibly or beyond their scope. She helped us to understand how boards and registration bodies are selected and organised within an AHPRA framework and what this might look like for our professions. She also shared important insights on issues of grandfathering qualifications, complaints frameworks and how registration might affect private health care insurance and Medicare entitlements moving forward.  

Daniel shared his experience as both a TCM practitioner (a registered profession) and naturopath (an as-yet unregistered profession), and his perspective that while registration legally enshrines codes of conduct, that our professions and associations generally already uphold these codes very strongly. He walked us through his experience of having his TCM qualification grandfathered and spoke to the practicalities of memberships and fees in addition to being able to offer access to Work Cover and NDIS clients which, in turn, has led to expanded business opportunities and fulfilling client relationships.  

The lively group discussion also looked at the different potential frameworks for registration including a self-registration model, a co-regulation model and a full statutory regulation model and how each might help us lift our professions from being unseen to being both visible and validated. 

In all, the registration conversation has truly just begun. We look forward to updating you on how the issue progresses in the weeks and months to come and we are certain that there will be many more conversations still to come. 

We also invite you to share your voice with the Associations and please take a few minutes to complete this 3-minute survey, to help us bring you the topics you’d like to see explored in more detail.

Thank you to all who attended.