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- Regulation of complementary therapists
Regulation of complementary therapists
Some complementary therapists are required to be registered and accredited, but most are unregistered.
Learn more about:
- Registered health practitioners
- Unregistered health practitioners
- Naturopaths and Western herbalists
Registered health practitioners
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and 15 National Boards regulate certain types of health practitioners, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, physiotherapists and Chinese medicine practitioners (including acupuncturists).
Health practitioners must meet certain standards before they can be registered and accredited with a National Board. This helps ensure that only trained and competent health professionals practise within these professions. It is unlawful for a person to pretend to be a registered health practitioner. If you have concerns about the performance or conduct of a registered health practitioner, you can contact AHPRA.
Unregistered health practitioners
Some health practitioners are not legally required to be registered with a National Board. They are known as unregistered health practitioners or general health service providers. They may join a professional association that sets minimum standards, but membership is voluntary. In NSW, unregistered health practitioners are required to follow a Code of Conduct, which must be displayed in the premises. If you have an issue with an unregistered practitioner, talk to them first. If you’re not satisfied, you can lodge a complaint.
Because they are not regulated in the same way as doctors, nurses and other registered health practitioners, standards of care may differ from one complementary therapist to another.
The following complementary therapy providers that are not registered with AHPRA have set up their own regulatory bodies:
Naturopaths and Western herbalists
Most naturopaths and herbalists are members of the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH). This is a self-governing body that sets minimum standards of practice for both professions.
The Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) represents homeopaths who are qualified to practise in line with government standards. The AROH outlines the necessary professional standards for registered homeopaths, who must meet continuing education requirements each year.
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Dr David Joske, Clinical Haematologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and PathWest, Chairman and Founder Solaris Cancer Care Foundation, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The University of Western Australia, WA; Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA); Dr Robert Blum, Clinical Director, Cancer Services, Bendigo Health, NSW; Sally Brooks, Senior Pharmacist, Medicines Information, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Suzanne Grant, Senior Research Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Prof Danforn Lim, Adjunct Professor and Advisory Board Member, NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and Adjunct Professor, UTS, NSW; Christina Line, Statewide Services Senior Coordinator, Cancer Council WA; Jen McKenzie, Physiotherapist (Lymphoedema) and ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist, The McKenzie Clinic, QLD; Simone Noelker, Wellness Centre and Pastoral Care Manager, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Nirzari Pandit, General Practitioner, RACGP Specific Interests Integrative Medicine Group, NSW; Georgie Pearson, Consumer; Cris Pirone, Counsellor, Cancer Council SA; Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko, Specialist General Practitioner, and UNSW Research Fellow, NSW; Kirsty Trebilcock, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA.
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