'Unregistered healthcare practitioners'
Homoeopaths, like many complementary medical practitioners are designated 'unregistered healthcare practitioners'.
An unregistered healthcare practitioner is a practitioner who is not required to be registered under legislation or who provides health services that are unrelated to their registration. Examples include homoeopaths, naturopaths, psychotherapists and therapeutic masseurs.
State and Federal Governments prefer for the homoeopathic profession (and many other complementary therapies) to be self-regulated (unlike medical practitioners & chiropractors, who are regulated by law). For homoeopaths, the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (ARoH) provides the self-regulatory body the government requires. Regulatory bodies set educational standards according to Government guidelines and impose a Code of Conduct on their registrants.
By joint agreement most state governments have introduced a Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners, which practitioners in the respective states need to display in their clinic. The legislation and code of conduct can be accessed at these links for different states:
Australian Register of Homoeopaths (ARoH)
In 1999 an independent national registration board was established for homoeopaths who meet government-endorsed standards. At the time, Federal Government reports recommended that there should be effective and accountable structures to ensure that complementary medicine practitioners are appropriately qualified and work within appropriate standards of ethical and professional behaviour to safeguard consumers. In consequence, the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (ARoH) was founded as the national register and self-regulation body for homoeopaths. It replaced the registration role of the various homoeopathic associations throughout Australia.
ARoH sets the standards for professional registration of practitioners of homoeopathy in Australia by monitoring compliance with the National Competency Standards for Homoeopathy (NCSH). These Standards have been endorsed by the Federal Government and define the minimum knowledge and skills required to qualify homoeopaths for entry to the homoeopathic profession.
ARoH registration is a requirement for Professional membership of the Australian Homoeopathic Association (AHA) under the AHA's Constitution. It requires that practitioners are qualified to the educational national standard, have on-going professional indemnity and public liability insurance, hold a current first aid certificate, undergo regular practitioner development and abide by the register's Code of Conduct and Standards of Practice.
The majority of Australia’s Health Funds accept ARoH registration for the purposes of health insurance rebates on ancillary benefit tables. ARoH provides regular monthly updates to the health funds to ensure that all registered practitioner clinic details are current.
ARoH's main function is that of a regulatory body. It is not a service provider supporting homoeopaths' needs, rather it acts as the collective ‘public watchdog’, protecting the public from under-qualified practitioners who claim they are fully trained, professional homoeopaths.