Naturopaths address various health conditions and promote wellness using an array of natural therapies such as herbalism, homeopathy, nutrition and aromatherapy. As one, your membership in a naturopathy association is just as important as your qualifications for ensuring your success.
Gaining membership in the relevant professional body is a validation that you have met the minimum education requirements for naturopathy and are proficient at what you do. That stamp of recognition will lead to clients' confidence, trust and loyalty.
Naturopathy regulatory boards are responsible for keeping the public safe by ensuring that their members meet the educational and ethical standards which they've set. That means you have to be a registered member of a naturopathy association in Australia before you can claim to be a naturopath, or you run the risk of being tagged a fraud. The major professional associations that represent naturopaths in the country include:
- Naturopaths & Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)
- Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
- Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association (ANPA)
- Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH)
- International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT)
What Does It Take to Become a Member of These Associations?
There are two ways to register with a naturopathic organisation. You may apply as a student or as a qualified practitioner of naturopathy or Western herbal medicine.
Students of an accredited naturopathy course can join a professional association for free, and the validity of their membership will last for the duration of their studies. Once they have completed their course, they can apply for full membership. When applying for full membership, whether in the practising or non-practising registration category, an individual must present their qualifications and comply with all of the requirements of the association, including undergoing the mandatory continuing professional education.
The Best Time to Apply for Membership
Joining a professional association while you're still studying will lay the groundwork for your naturopathic studies and career. It allows you to meet and learn from industry experts, keep abreast of the best practices in naturopathy and access training seminars for members. To be eligible for membership, see to it that your course is recognised by the association you want to join.
Courses Accredited by Naturopathy Associations
Several courses offered by colleges and universities for complementary medicine are approved and accredited by the largest naturopathy associations. These include the Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy), Advanced Diploma of Health Science (Naturopathy) and Advanced Certificate in Naturopathy.
If you have completed any of these qualifications or are currently working on one, then you have fulfilled one of the major requirements for membership with a naturopathy organisation. In addition to this, you only have to secure a first aid certificate and a Working with Children Check.
Some naturopathy associations in Australia have additional requirements, depending on which membership type you're signing up for, so you may want to get in touch with them for any of your questions.