The purpose of this Code is to provide a set of standards for the ethical and professional behaviour expected of Registered Naturopaths and Registered Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists (henceforth referred to as Naturopaths) towards consumers, society and the profession. All Naturopaths registered by the Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists of New Zealand (Inc.) (NMHNZ/the Society) are required to adhere to this Code and to be accountable to the Society should their conduct be considered to breach any provisions of the Code. While mandatory language has restricted use throughout this Code, it is expected that naturopaths will adhere to these standards.
Treating health consumers, families and colleagues with respect enables relationships that support health consumers’ health and well-being. This means behaving in a way that values the worth, dignity and uniqueness of the individual. It is a fundamental requirement of professional naturopathic relationships and ethical conduct.
Naturopaths need to establish trusting relationships with health consumers to effectively provide care that involves using personal information, emotional and physical support, and touch. Health consumers need to be able to trust naturopaths to be: safe and competent, not to harm them, and to protect them from harm. They need to trust naturopaths to work in the interests of their health and well-being. Naturopaths must be trustworthy and maintain the public’s trust in the naturopathy profession.
Partnership occurs when health consumers are given sufficient information, in a manner they can understand, to make an informed choice about their care and treatment and are fully involved in their care and treatment. Their independence, views and preferences are valued. Naturopaths must be aware of the potential for a power imbalance between themselves and the health consumer, especially when that health consumer has limited knowledge or may be in some way vulnerable.
Being honest, acting consistently and honouring commitments to deliver safe and competent care is the basis of health consumers’ trust in naturopaths. Integrity means consistently acting according to values and principles and being accountable and responsible for our actions. As health professionals, naturopaths are personally accountable for their practice, and must be able to justify their decisions.
The quality of naturopathic practice and science depends on the competence, values and the environment in which Registered Naturopaths work. Best practice flourishes when honesty, self-evaluation, constructive criticism and communication are valued, and where adherence to the highest professional standards and ethics prevails.
This Code is not intended to cover every situation and it is anticipated that members will adapt the fundamental principles to the particular circumstances of their work. It is expected that members will adhere to ethical requirements placed on them by legislation, regulations, advisory committees, professional bodies and their employer.
Naturopathy is not currently regulated under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCAA). However, NMHNZ concurs with the purpose of the Act and encourages its professional members to meet safety standards.
NMHNZ operates a voluntary registration system that registers naturopaths who meet specified academic criteria and sets standards for education and ongoing professional development.
This Code will be used by the NMHNZ as a standard by which a Naturopath’s conduct is measured.
A failure by a Naturopath to comply with this Code may result in, as appropriate:
The Registered Naturopath in potential breach has a right to be heard and can appeal regarding a decision.