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Education and Regulation

A Naturopathic Doctor has a minimum of 7 years post-secondary education. See below for more information on the training, programs and regulations of a Naturopathic Doctor in Canada.

Education and training

Like a conventional doctor, dentist, or chiropractor, the naturopathic doctor first completes an undergraduate degree at university. The naturopathic student then enters into a four-year, full-time accredited naturopathic medical program. Training includes basic, medical, and clinical science; diagnostics; naturopathic principles and therapeutics; and extensive clinical experience under the supervision of qualified naturopathic doctors. Graduates receive the title “N.D.” or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

Accredited programs

The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is the only government-recognized accrediting body for naturopathic medical schools in Canada and the United States. The CNME has accredited the following naturopathic medical programs:

  • The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (New Westminster, British Columbia)
  • The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto, Ontario)
  • The National College of Natural Medicine (Portland, Oregon)
  • Bastyr University (Seattle, Washington)
  • The University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (Scottsdale, Arizona)
  • The National University of Health Sciences Naturopathic Program (Lombard, Illinois)
  • The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education has granted candidacy status to the naturopathic program at the Universidad del Turabo School of Health Sciences (Puerto Rico)

Upon successful completion of any accredited program, a naturopathic doctor is eligible to sit for NPLEX and take provincial or state board examinations to obtain licensure.

Correspondence programs

To become a qualified ND you must graduate from a CNME-accredited naturopathic medical program. Individuals completing correspondence programs are not recognized by any of the provincial/territorial/state regulatory authorities and do not qualify for licensure or membership with the national/ provincial/territorial/state naturopathic associations in Canada or the United States.

Qualified naturopathic doctors

A qualified naturopathic doctor is one who has completed a four-year, full-time program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Following the completion of an accredited program, NDs must write and pass standardized North American board exams known as the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for regulation/licensing.

Regulation in provinces and Territories

Many NDs in Canada who are practicing in an unregulated province choose to maintain an out-of-province registration in a regulated province. To find out if a naturopathic doctor is qualified, either check with the naturopathic regulatory board of your province or contact the CAND.

Ontario
On July 1, 2015 the Naturopathy Act was proclaimed permitting NDs to prescribe, dispense, compound or sell “drugs” and access laboratory tests as designated by regulation. Upon Proclamation of the new Act, the Transition Council of the College of Naturopaths became the College of Naturopaths of Ontario and regulates the profession. You’ll find more information at OAND.org.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Despite the fact there are only four NDs practicing on “the Rock” they do have an association. Regulation is a vision for the future. In the meantime they are very busy and hoping that new graduates will see the benefit of moving to a province desperately in need of naturopathic medical services.

North West Territories

The NWTAND is actively working with the government on the Proposed Naturopathic Profession Regulation under the Health and Social Services Professions Act.