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Regulation of Naturopaths & Western Herblists in Australia

The NHAA has supported a form of statutory registration for Naturopaths and Herbalists since the 1920s. This is because registration ensures minimum practitioner education standards and provides protection of title. Protection of title means that only those who are qualified can practice under the title of ‘naturopath’ or ‘herbalist’. Importantly, professional registration protects the public from untrained or poorly trained practitioners claiming to be something they are not.

Registration provides many benefits to the public, including:

  • A readily accessible and publicly available register of accredited practitioners
  • Assurance that practitioners are suitably qualified to practice
  • Easier access to an independent complaints process
  • Improved communication between health professions

Registration also benefits the practitioners within the profession itself, (naturopaths and herbalists), including:

  • Ability to communicate more readily with other healthcare professions
  • Ability for other healthcare practitioners to find a registered practitioner who they can be confident has the required training and ethical standards so they can refer their patients without fear of taking on a vicarious legal libability. Assured continuing access to herbal medicines and other tools of trade
  • Increased community confidence in the professions and its practitioners, with the ability for the public or prospective patients to check whether a practitioner is registered or find a registered practitioner who they can consult with
  • NHAA views registration as integral to the continuation and development of a sustainable and valued profession. Right now, we are closer than we’ve ever been to advancing the cause of registration.