Certification, Licensing, and Registration
In the fields of natural healing, these terms have very different meanings, and it’s important to know if you need a license or registration to practice. There are no federal laws that affect natural health practices in the U.S., but state governments are often involved in regulating these practices. Below are some definitions.
Licensing is a mandatory requirement that is sometimes imposed by, and granted by state governments. While some private organizations claim to offer “licenses” to practice, beware of these, as they are often misleading claims and may not grant you any legal rights.
Certification is always a voluntary process whereby practitioners must pass a valid examination to earn a credential and demonstrate their expertise. Continuing Education and renewals are usually required to remain in good standing. Certification does not bestow any legal rights to practice and is not a substitute for state licensing, when it is required.
Registration can be either mandatory, if it is required by state governments, or voluntary, when it is offered by private organizations. Remember that any registration offered by a private group will not satisfy state requirements, so don’t be fooled!