The General Council and Register of Naturopaths (GCRN) is concerned to facilitate and encourage the education and training of Naturopaths in accordance with its declared aims and philosophy. The GCRN seeks to ensure that the qualification to practice awarded by a course of training will meet the professional and academic standards set by the Council.
Any existing course or new programme that wishes to be recognised as an accredited award by the GCRN must be subject to scrutiny and regular monitoring as established by the Council. At a time of increasing accountability both within Higher Education and Professional Training the GCRN must be in a position to satisfy itself that its accredited awards reflect a consistent and high standard of professional competency underpinned by appropriate theoretical knowledge.
To achieve accreditation from the GCRN, Colleges and training organisations will be expected to engage in an exercise to enable the Council to judge the level and relevance of any course that wishes to be accepted and recognised by the GCRN. The process of preparing proposals for initial accreditation or seeking continued recognition should be seen as a mutually supportive professional endeavour that is about establishing and maintaining the highest ideals of the profession.
The guidelines set out the processes and procedures that need to be satisfied in order that the GCRN can consider a course for initial or continued accreditation. The document should be self explanatory in terms of what is required by the GCRN but further discussions with specific members of the Council can be requested in order to provided further clarification of the requirements. The task should not be viewed as intrusive but rather as creating a partnership between the training institutions and the Professional Body representing the Naturopaths.
In order to be able to satisfy itself that a course can be accredited, or to ensure continued recognition by the GCRN, it will be necessary for the College to provide course documentation and allow a visiting team to inspect the facilities and resources as well as meeting with students and tutors.
The costs of accreditation incurred by the Register are met by the applicant. This approach to accreditation is in line with recent developments within Higher Education and many Registering Bodies.
As indicated above the undertaking should be in the spirit of collaboration not confrontation. There should be an opportunity for a free and professional exchange between people charged with the responsibility for the training of Naturopaths and the Registering Body. Colleges wishing to apply for accreditation should in the first place write to the Secretary of the Register with brief details of the course, and requesting a copy of the guidelines.