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.

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.

Past Public Deliberations

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

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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