Accreditation FAQs

Commonly held misbeliefs about accreditation in homeopathy education are numerous. ACHENA answers frequently asked questions about the process of accreditation and its role in the educational pathway to professional practice.

Interested students ask:

What is the current pathway for homeopathic education in preparation for professional practice in North America?

1) Research thoroughly, interview individual schools to locate and choose the school program that best fits your personal needs.

2) Decide whether or not to also prepare for eligibility to sit for the CCH certification exam, offered by the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) by graduating from an ACHENA accredited school.

3) Join a national professional organization, such as the North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH), and/or your state/regional professional organization to bolster your foundational diploma(s) and/or certification in homeopathic education after attending school. The North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH) credentials professional members, for instance, who meet rigorous requirements for registration, in exchange for many benefits of interest to working professionals.

What is the benefit to a student of attending an accredited school?

School accreditation satisfies the concern, caveat emptor, buyer beware, for both students and parents looking for a career as a homeopathic practitioner. Many students of homeopathy have experienced the closing of the unaccredited school they were enrolled in before they had completed their course and clinical studies, causing needless costs of time and money to seek out other venues for completion. Attending an accredited school ensures financial protections to students should their program close unexpectedly. Schools may also hold a state/province-issued license with other legal protections for students or faculty.

Many educational delivery options are covered in ACHENA accredited schools. Schools are free to offer their own signature educational delivery systems such as classroom-based and/or a variety of distance learning settings.

What is the difference between designations granted by homeopathic organizations (i.e. CCH, RSHom(NA), DHANP, DHt)?

The following two organizations represent professional homeopaths, one naturopaths and one physicians:

  • The Council on Homeopathic Certification, grants the CCH, Certification in Classical Homeopathy, to professional homeopaths. An accredited certification for applicants who meet eligibility requirements for examination in community established standards and competencies in homeopathic education and clinical training, with re-certification requirements.
  • North American Society of Homeopaths grants the RSHom(NA), Registered with the Society of Homeopaths (North America), to professional homeopaths. A credential for professional homeopaths who meet eligibility requirements for member registrations, in exchange for many benefits of interest to working professionals.
  •  The Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians, grants the DHANP, Diplomat of Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians, to licensed naturopaths.
  • The American Board of Homeotherapeutics, grants the DHt, Diplomat of Homeoptherapeutics, to licensed physicians.

Can I still become board certified in homeopathy if I attend an unaccredited school?

All students of homeopathy have a pathway to graduate from an accredited or candidate school/program and be eligible for Board Certification through the CHC. ACHENA accredited and candidate schools have the ability to accept transfer students and offer advanced placement for previous homeopathic training. This allows students the freedom to study homeopathy at any school they choose, then finish up their training at an accredited school and be eligible for CHC Board Certification. Contact ACHENA schools and programs directly to learn about their individual transfer and advanced placement policies and if you are a candidate for transfer or advanced placement.

Unaccredited schools ask:

What is the benefit of accreditation for a school interested in accreditation?

The accreditation process helps a school assess its long-term viability, academically and financially, by meeting educational standards and competencies in the training of professional homeopaths (Standards for Homeopathic Education and Competencies). The accreditation process reviews the totality of a school’s administrative and educational framework, both qualitatively and quantitatively. This endeavor helps ensure public checks and balances of quality assurance and the growth of homeopathic education.

What are the “costs” of becoming an accredited school?

ACHENA has done its due diligence to offer equitable accreditation fees. As of July 2020, the approximate total ACHENA fees from start to finish is $4500. Based on the current tuition trends for homeopathy education, this amount is typically a fraction of a single student’s tuition over the time it takes to train them. The cost of accreditation is, therefore, a reasonable percentage of the total annual school budget. Our fees are bench-marked against comparable accreditation agencies and remain significantly lower than similar fields of professional education.

Is school accreditation mandatory? Are unaccredited schools forced to become accredited?

The simple answer is no, seeking accreditation is completely voluntary. ACHENA fully supports academic freedom and understands how the unique profession and practice of homeopathic medicine lends to many variations of educational pace and delivery. While homeopathic educational standards have been identified by the community and articulated through ACHENA accreditation, we recognize that not all homeopathic schools and programs are poised to be accredited. Many unaccredited homeopathic training programs exist which provide quality education and experience. Schools that opt out of accreditation can still support their students’ pathway toward Board Certification by encouraging students to transfer into an accredited program after completing their studies with the unaccredited school.

How does ACHENA handle Conflicts of Interest?

ACHENA has strong conflict of interest policies in place that are strictly implemented and measured against best practices. Read more about the ACHENA Conflict of Interest Policies here.

Deliberations and Decisions

Public Representation

ACHENA’s public comment process is designed to support and include all stakeholders (schools, students, practitioners, and the public). You are invited to review and provide input to ACHENA about accreditation standards, policies, procedures and processes. ACHENA welcomes input during current public comment and deliberation periods from all stakeholders: homeopathic students, accredited and candidate schools and program educators and administrators, homeopathic practitioners and the public. ACHENA Accredited and Candidate Schools and Programs will be given a reasonable amount of time to come into compliance with any changes in standards, procedures or policies that are implemented.

Current Opportunity for Public Comment

Standards and Competencies: January 3, 2022 – February 18, 2022

This is an important communication to the North American homeopathy community for the formal review of our shared STANDARDS FOR HOMEOPATHIC EDUCATION AND COMPETENCIES FOR THE PROFESSIONAL HOMEOPATHIC PRACTICE IN NORTH AMERICA (S&C). The purpose of this formal process is to update the previous 2013 edition of the document.

A Public Comment Period affording all interested parties an opportunity to share their comments on proposed updates to the S&C document begins on January 3, 2022 and ends at midnight on February 18, 2022.  Directions for submitting comments are outlined below.

The S&C is a critical document that guides the professional homeopathy community in North America. To remain current, the S&C document should be updated every 7-10 years. This document guides and supports accreditation and certification used to inform the development of high quality, professional homeopaths through establishing and agreeing upon minimum requirements for education and the assessment of readiness to practice. Since the publication of the 2013 edition of the S&C, formal and informal evidence has emerged of minor omissions and some significant professional changes that require a quality assurance review. A steering committee made up of representatives from CHC, ACHENA, NASH and HNA has prepared the terms of reference and outlined the process and phases of the review to take place.

The phases of the project are as follows:

Phase One: (Oct-Dec 2020)

  • Steering committee establishment
  • Call for broad stakeholder input and communication to the community that the review is in process

Phase Two: (Jan-Dec 2021)

  • The revision process begins
  • Identification of gaps. Working groups prepare granular changes to the three areas under review
  • Liaison with subject matter experts and stakeholders
  • Identify the gaps between clinical practice and the current version of the document
  • Revisions are drafted by core committee members after consultation with stakeholder experts

Phase Three: (Jan 3-Mar 15 2022)

  • Public Comment Invitation and the gathering of community comments – Jan – Feb 18, 2022
  • Consensus established on amended document and implementation: Late February 2022
  • Editing and Publication: Feb – Mar, 2022

Implementation: (Mar 2022 and beyond)

  • Integration of updated standards and competencies by national organizations and the field
  • Broad public review and acceptance of changes

Directions for Submitting Comments 

Updated S&C Document – for Public Review

S&C Final 2013

METHOD 1: Download the document titled Updated S&C Document – for Public Review.  Insert your comments directly into the document using the “track changes” function. Save the file on your computer.

METHOD 2: In your own new document, identify the specific pages and line numbers of the section of the Updated S&C Document for which you are proposing revisions and then describe your comment or proposed revision.

Send the file with your comments, suggestions or amendments to publiccomment@achena.org prior to midnight on February 18thIf you have questions about this communication or how to submit a comment, please email executive-director@achena.org

Please note: On the document titled Updated S&C Document – for Public Review

  • Any changes to the original 2013 text can be identified by a red vertical line on the left side of the page.
  • Some changes are in red text but many have been integrated into the document to make for easier reading.
  • The comments made by individuals represents either the person to suggest the change/amendment or the last person to edit the documents
  • There are some formatting issues to attend to from pages 15-20 that will be amended in the final draft
  • Some sections have been entirely rewritten, for example, the case management section
  • There are some brand new inserts, for example, the preamble
  • There are new sections especially relating to the social determinants of health, basic medical science and digital literacy
  • These three changes aside, the document is mostly an edited version of the previous 2013 review
  • There have been some challenges working with the original text. You are welcome to comment on any inconsistencies in the use of acronyms, language, terminology or any other amendment.

We are a broad profession. This document is a live, working document. Differences in opinions and perspectives aside, when making your comments and amendments please keep in mind the broader perspective providing an improved, usable and pragmatic structure for the CHC and ACHENA to conduct their work in the certification of practitioners and the accreditation of schools. All of your comments and perspectives are appreciated and will be given consideration.

ACHENA Accreditation Standards: December 13, 2021 – January 14, 2022

The Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA) is inviting public comment on proposed revisions to ACHENA Accreditation Standards 1, 3-7 and 9-14. These standards outline the community-agreed upon policies, practices, and benchmarks that guide accredited schools in their work educating students to become professional Classical Homeopaths, and fully prepare students for board certification under the Council for Homeopathic Certification.

Practitioners, schools, homeopathic organizations, and the general public are welcome and encouraged to comment. The public comment period will begin on December 13, 2021 and continue through midnight Pacific Time on January 14, 2022.  Comments received after midnight Pacific Time on January 14, 2022 will not be considered.

Important Notes:

  • Standard 2 – Legal Organization, was updated in February, 2021 and there are no proposed revisions to Standard 2 at this time.
  • A separate public comment period for Standard 8 – Program of Study, will be forthcoming in 2022.

To access the proposed revised standards and learn how to submit comments, please click on this link. 2021 ACHENA Standards Public Comment Form and Submission Instructions

Past Public Deliberations

Project NameLink to Final DocumentComment Dates (open/close)Link to Comments
Review and Revision Standard 2 ACHENA Eligibility and Accreditation Manual- Legal Organization2021 ACHENA Eligibility Accreditation Manual Feb 11, 20212020 DecemberExplanation of Revision of Standard:Review and Revision of Standard 2 February 2021
Review and Revision Standard 12 for 2017 Accreditation ManualACHENA Eligibility and Accreditation Manual (Nov, 2017)2017 September – October Explanation of Revision of Standard:
Review and Revision Standard 12 for Accreditation Manual (Oct 2017)
ACHENA Eligibility and Accreditation Manual (2017)ACHENA Eligibility and Accreditation Manual (Nov, 2017)2017 October Summary of Public Comments and Deliberations:
Review and Revision Standard 12 for 2017 Accreditation Manual
ACHENA Eligibility and Accreditation Manual (2015)ACHENA Accreditation Manual (Sep 2015)2015 SeptemberSummary of Public Comments and Deliberations:
Distance Learning Only Programs 2015
Distance Learning Only ProgramsDistance Learning Standards 20152015 October -December,Summary of Public Comments and Deliberations:
Distance Learning Only Programs 2015
Standards for Homeopathic Education and CompetenciesStandards for Homeopathic Education and Competencies2013 September Summary of Public Comments and Deliberations:
Standards for Homeopathic Education and Competencies 2013
Accreditation Standards for the Doctoral Degree in HomeopathyAccreditation Standards for the Doctoral Degree in Homeopathy (Feb, 2014)2013 November- DecemberSummary of Public Comments and Deliberations:
Doctoral Degree 2014
ACHENA Eligibility and Accreditation Manual (2012)ACHENA Accreditation Manual (Sep, 2012)2012 SeptemberSummary of Public Comments and Deliberations:
ACHENA Accreditation Manual 2012

Homeopathic Associations

Inconsistent standards of training contribute to inconsistent standards of practice. Professional growth and viability depend on continued efforts to communicate systematic standards of excellence in training and practice. Professional accountability to homeopathic associations, schools, students, practitioners, their clientele and the public consists of articulating and building consensus among unifying and diverse organizations, schools and practitioners.

The following associations work to promote systematic standards of excellence in homeopathic training and practice.

Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC)
The CHC is a nationally recognized certification organization, accredited by the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE). The council upholds established and statistically validated, minimum standards in homeopathic education and practice. It implements a post-graduate certification examination to grant a Certification in Classical Homeopathy (CCH) to professional homeopathic practitioners that have graduated from ACHENA accredited schools. A professional certification is renewed annually and includes a continuing professional development requirement. Numerous ACHENA approved continuing professional development courses are accepted by the CHC for annual certificate renewal. The CHC is not an organization that has members with voting rights but consists of an examination board of qualified professionals.

The North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH)
NASH is a membership registry for professional homeopaths that “demonstrate knowledge and ability to practice classical homeopathy to a professional standard.” NASH accepts homeopathic practitioner and school members, in exchange for voting rights and membership representation. Practitioners and schools, with or without accredited certification by the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) and with or without formal accreditation by the Accreditation Commission of Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA), are eligible to join. Voting members help shape NASH advocacy work towards “the highest level of excellence in homeopathic practice while enhancing the role of the profession as an integral part of health care delivery.” NASH vows to protect practitioner members through a legal defense fund and educate the public about the safety and efficacy of homeopathy. NASH members receive an annually published professional journal, The American Homeopath.

The following associations work toward public awareness of the accessibility and acceptability of homeopathy as a safe, viable and sustaining system of whole person medicine.

National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)
Since, 1974, the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH) is a public awareness clearinghouse for consumer and practitioner education that collectively promotes access to homeopathy as a safe, effective and affordable system of medicine for the health consumer. They play a role in the continuing education of practitioners, in the dissemination of accurate information to legislators, the media and public at large.

Homeopathic Action Alliance (HAA)
As its host association, National Center for Homeopathy (NCH), explains: the Homeopathic Action Alliance (HAA) leadership below meets monthly to provide a more unified structure to various homeopathic issues in the community and communicates around a variety of issues of common interest.

The HAA includes the following members:

    1. American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH)
    2. Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (AVH)
    3. Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA)
    4. American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP)
    5. Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC)
    6. Free and Healthy Children International (FHCi)
    7. Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP)
    8. Homeopathic Nurses Association (HNA)
    9. Homeopaths Without Borders (HWB)
    10. North American Network of Homeopathic Educators (NANHE)
    11. North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH)
    12. National Center for Homeopathy (NCH)

Americans for Homeopathy Choice
Americans for Homeopathy Choice is a nonprofit advocacy organization of homeopathic consumers, practitioners and associations who are dedicated to safeguarding the freedom to choose homeopathic remedies for all Americans who want to maintain freedom of choice in health care decisions. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing new guidelines for regulating homeopathic remedies which would give the FDA the power to ban entire categories of homeopathic products now available to the public. The FDA already has ample authority (under what is called Compliance Policy Guide 400.400 which currently governs homeopathic remedies) to regulate homeopathic products, a key reason why this association is resisting the FDA’s withdrawal of its proposed permanent ban.

ACHENA Memberships

I. The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), now called Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH), is a coalition of 18 national organizations that promote collaborative education, clinical care research and policy development in the field of integrative medicine. They advocate for the whole person, team-based, patient/person-centered health care. ACHENA and the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) are representative members for the profession of classical homeopathy. ACIH includes colleges and schools, accrediting agencies, certification and testing organizations from five distinct licensed integrative healthcare professions, which all have a recognized accrediting agency. Our representative membership is recognized as an “emerging profession” to advocate for the professional acceptance of homeopathy as a whole healing system, among the public and integrative healthcare members.

II. ACHENA is a member of The Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors(ASPA). ASPA provides a collaborative forum and a collective voice for over 60 U.S. accrediting agencies that assess the quality of specialized and professional higher education programs and schools. ASPA is the only unified, national voice that supports the importance of specialized and professional accreditation. Accrediting agencies like ACHENA operate to ensure that students in postsecondary educational programs receive an education consistent with standards for advanced practice in each of their respective fields. ASPA advances the knowledge, skills, best practices, and ethical commitments of accreditors, and promotes the value of accreditation as a means of enhancing educational excellence for the good of the public. It represents issues of educational quality facing institutions of higher education, governments, students, and the public. Visit the ASPA website for public education resources on the process of accreditation.

CPD Newsletters:

Coming Soon!

ACHENA’s current short-term projects include:

  1. Improved procedures for schools granting advanced placement to students with prior learning
  2. Updated resources for member schools
  3. Expanding pool of qualified peer reviewers

Support ACHENA

Please partner with ACHENA and give generously to help homeopathic education prosper and continue to grow stronger. Your tax-deductible donation supports our mission to improve the quality of homeopathic education programs and improve consumer protection.




Resources

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Thank you for supporting ACHENA by getting involved!

Please partner with ACHENA and give generously to help homeopathic education prosper and continue to grow stronger. Your tax-deductible donation supports our mission to improve the quality of homeopathic education programs and improve consumer protection.

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