Core Competency Changes Approved

Posted On: November 3, 2021

The newly formed Standards Committee of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario has completed its review of the draft Core Competencies of the profession that were circulated for public consultation. The approved Core Competencies can be found on the College’s website.

Background and Consultation

On December 14, 2020, the College’s Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) which was previously responsible for the development and maintenance of Standards of Practice and Guidelines, initiated a public consultation on proposed amendments to the Core Competencies asking for feedback from stakeholders on proposed changes.

The QAC—when developing amendments to the Core Competencies—undertook a risk-based approach, specifically in their review of information related to complaints and reports, and the increase in matters referred to the College related to the inappropriate use of terms and titles by Registrants. The Committee proposed amendments to attempt to reduce the risk of future complaints and reports. The removal and modification of specific terms such as “medical” or “medicine” was intended to inject clarity for the profession surrounding the distinction between the practice of medicine and the practice of naturopathy.

The Committee received more than 100 individual submissions from various stakeholders. Both the Quality Assurance and the Standards Committee believe that the public consultation fulfilled its intended purpose of gathering information from a variety of stakeholders.

Standards Committee Review

The Standards Committee was established in the by-laws by the Council in October 2020 and first appointed in May 2021. The Council has delegated to the Committee the authority to approve any new standards and guidelines as well as approving changes to existing ones.

The Standards Committee reviewed the Core Competencies and proposed amendments, recommendations made by the QAC, as well as the consultation feedback . The final version of the Core Competencies can be found on the College’s website. Below is a summary of the amendments made by the Standards Committee:

  • Retained the use of the term medicine and medical in the Core Competencies where applicable;
  • Retained the capitalization of the term Naturopathic Doctor;
  • Amended the introduction to state: Naturopathic Doctors promote health and educate patients about illness prevention.
  • Added definitions of naturopathic diagnosis and naturopathic medicine;
  • Moved the section previously titled “Education and Learning” to be included under “Naturopathic Medical Knowledge”;
  • Added “intra-professional” to the section on collaboration;
  • Combined all indicators relating to communicating a naturopathic diagnosis to the “Communication” section
  • Added: “ensures all practice-related advertising and social media content is professional in nature and in keeping with the standards of practice of the profession” into the “Practice Management” section to address the previously noted issue of misuse of titles and terms.
  • Removed: “Manages time effectively” and “Recognizes the importance of establishing and maintaining a personal/professional life balance” from the “Practice Management” Section.

The College expresses the appreciation of both the QAC and Standards Committee to all stakeholders who contributed their time in reviewing the public consultation materials and provided the College with their comments and feedback.

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