One of the main benefits to the public from regulating health professions, like naturopaths, is that it provides patients with assurance that their practitioner is competent and qualified because their regulatory body – the College – has registered them to practice. It confirms that the practitioner has met the basic requirements to provide safe, competent and ethical care.
The College of Naturopaths of Ontario is aware that a number of individuals who are not Members of the College are using the designation DNM or the title Doctor of Natural Medicine. All Ontarians should know that a person who is using either of these titles is not a regulated health professional. As a result, you do not have the same protection available to you as when you see a Naturopath, Naturopathic Doctor or ND who is registered by the College to practice in Ontario.
The College’s Public Register includes the profiles of every naturopath registered to practice in the province as well as information about their practice. This includes:
• their registration type and status;
• whether there are any limitations, suspensions or other sanctions on their file;
• whether they have met the requirements to provide certain additional services; and
• many other details about the naturopath’s practice.
In addition, the Unauthorized Practitioner Register lists individuals who are not registered with the College yet hold themselves out to be naturopaths.
The College takes the position that individuals who use the designation DNM or the title Doctor of Natural Medicine are breaching the Naturopathy Act, 2007, which says:
“8. (1) No person other than a member shall us the title “naturopath”, or a variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language.”
The Registration Regulation sets out in section 3 the titles and abbreviations a Member may use. These include “Naturopath”, “Naturopathic Doctor”, “ND” among others.