Qualifying as a naturopath or Western herbalist in Australia

The removal of Advanced Diplomas of naturopathy and Western herbal medicine from the health training package was announced in July 2014 by the Community Services and Health Industries Skills Council. These Advanced diplomas were formally ceased on December 31st, 2018.

This was not out of the blue. In fact, the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, of which there is a whole-of-government requirement to adopt, has listed naturopaths and herbalists as Skill Level 1 professions requiring a Bachelor level qualification or higher since 1997.

So as of now, the minimum level of training to become a naturopath or Western herbalist in Australia is a bachelor’s degree.

Currently there are three educational providers of these qualifications

Every now and then other qualifications do the rounds of social media and the like, purporting to offer qualifications in naturopathy in Australia. They may be worded slightly differently in order to imply but not explicitly offer naturopathic and western herbal medicine training. It is important for future students to be aware of this.

Whenever deciding on a course of study two questions should be asked:

  1. Is the training body recognised by the Australian government (as part of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency – TEQSA)?
  2. Is the qualification the minimum level of education required to enter the profession upon completion?

At this time, the 3 educational providers above are the only ones that a future student can answer yes to both.

** as at January 2023 Southern Cross University is the only university in Australia to be accredited under the Trans-Tasman Education Standards for naturopathy.