There are three recognized methods of public/private sector credentialing: licensure, certification and registration. While licensure and registration are related to governmental regulation, certification originates within the profession itself.
Certification is a form of professional self-regulation that establishes criteria for education and skills considered to be the minimum for competence. Traditionally, licensure equates to authority to practice; certification equates to peer recognition of the knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated by the achievement of standards identified by the profession. It is not an equivalent to licensure, nor legality to practice, though in some situations certification has become a credential used as a requirement for legal practice, insurance reimbursement, or eligibility for malpractice insurance.
The CHC certification provides a multi-disciplinary credential for the homeopathic professional. Certification is open to homeopaths residing in the US and Canada. CHC certification is a peer evaluation of a practitioner’s demonstrated skill in classical homeopathy. It is not licensure. There is no legal right to practice or licensure in homeopathy granted, implied, or inferred by CHC certification. All certificants must sign a statement assuring that they will not misconstrue their certification by the CHC as licensure.
Like other Complementary And Alternative (CAM) modalities that do not pose threat of harm, homeopathy by itself is very unlikely to become licensed. Licensure exists to protect the public from harm; the criteria for licensure (somewhat variable by state) include:
- the unregulated practice can clearly harm health, safety, welfare of public, with potential for harm which is easily recognizable, not remote or dependent upon tenuous argument
- the public needs and can reasonably be expected to benefit from assurance of initial and continuing professional ability of the proposed licensed profession
- the public cannot be effectively protected by any other means in a more cost beneficial manner, as licensure is costly to establish / maintain
Licensure of homeopaths is unlikely and certification is the strongest option to establish a credentialing standard for homeopaths.