Naturopaths Regulation Research Project (NRR Project). E-bulletin number 4

The NRR Project is a joint initiative of the Australian Naturopathic Council (ANC) of which the NHAA is a proud member. The ANC has initiated this project to research the risks, the benefits and the regulatory requirements for the naturopathy profession, including herbal medicine. The research will inform the preparation of a submission from ANC member organisations to State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments to seek national registration of naturopaths under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health professions (NRAS).

We are so grateful for the hard work of everyone involved, including our President David Casteleijn, Director Jenny Care, and our passionate members Sophia Gerontakos and Amie Steel.

The NHAA is proud to work alongside such passionate researchers, associations and industry groups. Our profession is stronger when we work together with a common goal.

Latest Update: August 2022

We are pleased to report that many components of the research have been completed and drafting of the final report is well underway. The report is to include at least 10 chapters that closely follow the original 2005 Lin Report in aim, scope, and methodology.

Seven chapters have been drafted by various research partners, presenting overviews of the literature and/or results of surveys on:

  • consumers of naturopathy services
  • the naturopathy workforce
  • the benefits of naturopathy
  • the institutional recognition of naturopaths and naturopathy
  • the representative arrangements for the naturopathy profession
  • the laws and regulations that apply to naturopaths and naturopathic practice
  • the education programs and providers for entry to practise as a naturopath.

The chapter on the benefits of naturopathy will include a new component – a bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature on the benefits of naturopathy. The aim of this component is to give governments and other stakeholders a clearer view of the breadth, scope and scale of the scientific literature on the benefits of naturopathic practice. Emeritus Professor Stephen Myers from Southern Cross University and Emeritus Professor Alan Bensoussan from Western Sydney University have kindly agreed to lead this component of the research.

The final chapter of the report will be an assessment of the profession of naturopathy against the criteria for regulatory assessment set out in guidelines issued by state, territory and Commonwealth governments. Here is a link to these government guidelines: Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) information on regulatory assessment criteria and process for adding new professions to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the health professions – 2019.

As we move to finalise the research report, we have boosted our capacity with the recruitment of Jenny Care as research assistant. Many of you will know Jenny – she is a naturopath and is currently completing her PhD at University of Technology Sydney and an NHAA Director. She brings a wealth of skills and experience in naturopathy, research, and regulation, most recently contributing to a research project for the World Health Organization on global literature on health practitioner regulation.

We expect to have an Executive Summary of the report available at the Australian launch of the World Naturopathic Federation’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) which will be held in Canberra on 23 November 2022. Following the HTA launch we will make the Executive Summary available to our members and we anticipate publishing the full report early in 2023 and formally submitting it to governments, along with a submission seeking statutory registration for the naturopathic profession.