Anyone found using a protected title without being a member of the College – that includes “Naturopath”, “Naturopathic Doctor”, a variation or abbreviation (ND), or an equivalent in another language – is considered to be an unauthorized practitioner engaged in unauthorized practice.
Without being registered with the College, it is illegal for someone to hold themselves out to be qualified to practice naturopathy and/or to perform any of the controlled acts that are authorized to members of the College. That’s true no matter their education, experience or memberships with other regulatory bodies in Ontario or other jurisdictions.
Practising without authorization also applies to non-members who use a protected designation in any forum, including any instance in an email signature; social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter; business-related identification such as business cards, letterhead or signage; and any directories or blogs on any publication or website.
The College of Naturopaths of Ontario can issue a cease and desist letter to illegal practitioners, who could face a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offense and up to $50,000 for subsequent offenses. Individuals not registered with the College who are holding themselves out as an ND will also be listed on the Unauthorized Practitioner Register on the College’s website.
If a person who was issued a cease and desist letter subsequently applies for registration, the College can:
- review the letter and previous conduct at the time of application; and
- refer the applicant to the Registration Committee to determine whether the application is suitable for registration.