The aim of the Professional Mapping Committee is to examine regulatory and education infrastructure and policy frameworks that impact development of naturopathic medicine around the world. This case study includes a global survey, followed up by further examination of 15 countries which involves document collection of organizational policy from regulators, professional naturopathic associations and education providers, and participant interviews.

All health professions are shaped by policy, regulation and education and numerous inter-related formal and informal infrastructures and frameworks that have the potential to advance or limit development and variation of practice. In well-developed professions considerable work has been committed to the identification, codification and application of frameworks and infrastructure in the context of these profession. This work has not been previously undertaken in naturopathy and there remains extraordinary variability in naturopathic practice, education and regulation globally.

World Health Organization (WHO) has established minimum benchmarks for training in naturopathy, although also acknowledges that these do not reflect the reality of (usually more comprehensive) naturopathic education and practice. Little research has focused on naturopathy in terms of its discrete knowledge base; education standards; professional research outputs; and the degree to which education levels, curriculum content and regulatory frameworks are an influencing force compared with similar regulated health professions.

This project involves naturopathic education and professional association members of World Naturopathic Federation from across the globe. Seven countries from four WHO world regions are represented:

Western Pacific: Chair of the Professional Mapping Committee Jill Dunn (NZ representative to WNF and committee member of Naturopaths and Medical Herbalists of New Zealand) is leading this project as part of PhD study through University of Technology Sydney (UTS); Dr Jon Wardle (Director of the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine and Maurice Blackmore Chair of Naturopathic Medicine, Southern Cross University, Australia), and Dr Amie Steel (Post-doctoral Research Fellow UTS, Deputy Chair of the Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists, Australia).

Europe: Dominick Léaud-Zachoval (Director of Education, Aesculape School of Naturopathy, France) and Tina Hausser (Spain).

North America: Dr Nicholas deGroot (Dean of the Canadian College of Natural Medicine, Canada), Dr Iva Lloyd (WNF President).

South-East Asia: Dr Karki (Chairman of the Institute of Natural Medicine, Nepal).