The College is seeing a significant increase in the number of complaints about naturopaths using unauthorized or restricted titles. The majority of these relate to how Members promote themselves on their websites and social media channels, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

We would like to remind you that as per the Standard of Practice for Restricted Titles, Members of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) are expected to use the restricted titles Naturopath or Naturopathic Doctor in English or Naturopathe or Docteur(e) en naturopathie in French or use the abbreviation ND in English or DN in French.

When using a protected title, members of the Inactive class must clearly indicate they are not registered in a class that allows patient care or supervising the profession and must identify as follows:

  • ND (Inactive)
  • Naturopathic Doctor (Inactive)
  • DN (Inactive)
  • Docteur en naturopathie (Inactive).

 

CONO Members are legally entitled to use the title of “Dr.” provided they include the appropriate designation immediately following their name. Members may use only the titles and abbreviations of titles listed in the Registration Regulation.

A Member may choose to use other credentials which they are legally permitted to use.

In accordance with the Medicine Act, 1991, the titles “osteopath”, “physician” and “surgeon”, as well as any variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language, are reserved for members of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).  Furthermore, no person other than a member of the CPSO shall hold themselves out as a person who is qualified to practise medicine.

This means that naturopaths using the title "Naturopathic Physician" or advertising their "medical practice" may be contravening the Medicine Act and standards of practice for the profession, and may be investigated by CONO and/or CPSO.

The requirement to self-identify as Inactive is required regardless of whether the member uses the doctor title.

We encourage all Members to review the Medicine Act, 1991, the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, the CONO Professional Misconduct Regulation and the Standards of Practice for Advertising and for Restricted Titles, and take reasonable steps to ensure that all promotional and office materials (signage, letterhead, email signatures, business cards, etc.) are in compliance with the legislation governing the profession.

Our website also includes two infographics with advertising do’s and don’ts to help clarify what is, and is not, acceptable on Member websites.