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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join your organisation?

The Australian Naturopathic Council is a group of organisations that are working together and comprises of ARONAH, NHAA, CMA, and Endeavour College of Natural Health. Each organisation has signed a document (a memorandum of understanding) which outlines what we all agree to as a group.

So, as such we don’t have a membership for individuals. If you want to support what we do as a council, then we suggest you join one of the associations mentioned above (NHAA or CMA). If you are a member of those associations already, you can also choose to join ARONAH as well.

Each organisation has membership information on their websites

https://www.nhaa.org.au/join-us

https://cma.asn.au/join-the-cma/

http://www.aronah.org/join-aronah/

Is this a governing or regulatory body for Naturopaths

No, ANC is not a governing or regulating body. It’s a formal mechanism for education bodies, associations and accreditation bodies, etc. to meet formally and share issues, successes and strategies with the aim of supporting the profession more effectively. It is ‘formal’ in comparison the ad hoc collaborations between organisations in recent years when we have been faced with challenges to the profession. The ANC is a coordinating council and as such is represented by organisations with a shared vision for the advancement of naturopathy in Australia. All members agree that statutory registration of naturopathy is beneficial for the profession and as such will work together to achieve that outcome.

How is this different to ARONAH?

ARONAH is a group formed with the main purpose of seeking registration for the profession of naturopath. As part of this work, ARONAH has developed education standards and ethical guidelines that are used across Australia and the Asia Pacific region. ARONAH is a member of the ANC to help facilitate communication, and share resources and expertise between the other organisations who have chosen to work together to advance the profession. ARONAH has many government and industry contacts which are very valuable to the ANC.

How is this different to my association?

Your chosen naturopathic association purpose is to represent you and be an advocate for you as a naturopath. The Australian Naturopathic Council is a group that comprises the two associations who represent naturopaths in Australia, (CMA, and NHAA) and who are also a part of the World Naturopathic Federation.

The aim of the ANC is to facilitate communication, and share resources between the organisations who have chosen to work together to advance the profession. This includes the above two associations. The ANC is a broader council which will provide a bridge between associations, educational organisations, and regulatory bodies.

Why isn’t my association part of the ANC?

Membership of the ANC is based on membership of the World Naturopathic Federation. The WNF provide strict criteria for membership such as member organisations being committed to registration for the profession, and member organisations supporting the highest level of education available in the country. Any association or education institution who is a member of the WNF would be welcome to apply to join the ANC.

Has anything like this been done elsewhere in the world?

Yes the ANC it is very similar to the Naturopathic Coordinating Council in the US and the Canadian NCC in that country. The NCC and CNCC have been responsible for pushing the naturopathic profession to new heights in those countries, and hopefully the ANC can help do the same here!

Why do we need yet another association?

It’s not an association but a formal mechanism for education bodies, associations and accreditation bodies to meet formally and share issues, successes and strategies with the aim of supporting the profession more effectively.

The NHAA/CMA/ARONAH has forgotten about herbalists again

We’ve heard from our members that herbalists need their own voice and we are urgently looking for motivated herbalists to begin the process of establishing a WHMCA. If this is something you would like to be involved with then please contact your relevant association who is part of the ANC.

Why aren’t herbalists included in this one?

Most of our naturopathic members are herbalists too and so Western Herbal Medicine (WHM) is included in the work of the ANC. For example when we are campaigning for Private Health Insurance rebates we have ensured that WHM is part of the government review. However, we’ve heard from our herbalist members that they don’t necessarily want naturopaths speaking for them. WHM may need their own council to advocate for their unique characteristics. So we are calling for expressions of interest from herbalists who would like to help establish a WHM council. If you are interested, then please contact your relevant association who is part of the ANC.

Why didn’t a WHM council get set up at the same time?

The members of the ANC are all members of the WNF and had a clear criterion with which to form the council. Because there’s no herbalists-only equivalent of the WNF, any council for herbalists will have to be built from the ground up and take into account the unique characteristics of the herbalist profession. The good news is, now that the ANC have gone through this process, we can help WHM practitioners to establish their own council more easily. We’re looking for passionate, motivated herbalists to get things started ASAP. If you are interested, then please contact your relevant association who is part of the ANC.

I see you all talking about the WNF frequently. What is it and why is it so important?

The WNF is the World Naturopathic Federation. It is an organisation for the promotion of the naturopathic profession on a world scale, and is part of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO (and by default the WNF and ANC) require professional representation to only include organisations that have a specific and core focus on the profession they are representing – in our case, naturopathy.  In addition, the WHO/WNF criteria requires member organisations be committed to registration for the profession and support the highest level of education available in the particular country they reside. This further rules out some larger “natural medicine” associations in Australia. The ANC criteria does not preclude discussions between ANC and other organisations not included within its membership.

Why can’t nutritionists/homeopaths/Western Herbalists/other “natural therapists” be included in the ANC?

It is important to focus on one profession with one organisation.  Nutritionists, homeopaths, and Western herbalists are their own profession in their own right and have unique needs and characteristics. It is important that they are represented in their own council on their own terms.

There is a common misconception that “natural therapist” is a profession that is the same as a naturopath. Naturopathy is a defined system of medicine, whereas a natural therapist is not. A natural therapist is a grouping of individual professions, with varied skills, and chosen therapeutic modalities. Thus the ANC would never be able to represent “natural therapists” as it is too broad a term.