NZQA Review of Natural and Traditional Health and Healing qualifications and unit standards

It appears that the NZQA has pretty much completely removed a huge chunk of pseudoscience from its list of accredited qualifications.

Here is the full text of the review.

"The decision was made for NQS to exit from standard setting responsibilities in Natural and Traditional Health and Healing national qualifications and unit standards by 2007. There was extensive consultation with the sector, including providers, since 2002 and this confirmed the decision to designate the qualifications and unit standards as expiring."

This affects, acupuncture, aromatherapy, complementary therapies, Hellerwork, homeobotanical therapy, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, kinesiology, massage, and reflexology.

The unit standards and qualifications are listed as expiring, and will expire completely at the end of December 2012. Which frankly is far too long a wait for me.

This is a fantastic move by the NZQA, but I can almost guarantee that there will be another body set up by the pseudoscientists to accredit their 'qualifications' after 2012. Quite possibly this will fall on the council of elders (council of homeopaths).

I am not quite sure why massage has been lumped in with the other quals, as I love a good massage as much as anyone else. I also know that it is a valid therapy for some ailments, not to mention playing a pivotal role in foreplay. However, don't fear you can still complete a unit standard in massage through the Beauty Therapy qualification.

I will be getting in touch with the NZQA to ask some questions about their reasons for removing these quals, and I will also try to get a response from some of the institutions that are currently offering these qualifications to see what their plans are post 2012.

Watch this space.

Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue. ~Robert K. Merton, Social Theory, 1957

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more info on NZQA

I found this on another page on the site

Should providers wish to continue running quality assured courses in Natural and
Traditional Health and Healing or Health Studies, they will need to apply to their
quality assurance body to have their own locally developed qualification(s) registered
on the NZ Register of Quality Assured Qualifications. This may involve approval and
accreditation of a new non-unit standards-based course, or approval of changes to an
existing approved course.
Providers should seek advice from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in
regard to any possible funding implications associated with these changes.

I'm still planning on getting in touch with some of the institutions to see what they are going to dao after these unit standards expire.

Depressingly, I don't think

Depressingly, I don't think this means much - I've recently seen an article gushing about a new Naturopathy "Degree" (Course a boost for natural medicine I believe there are Degree level qualifications being offered for Acupuncture etc. Is there any way of embarrassing NZQA into rethinking having unit standards in nonsense? I just don't think this is going away unless there is some pressure there to have health science standards actually contain some actual science and that in topics where there is no regulation over the people practising them like Naturopathy, Homeopathy or Acupuncture (in contrast with the stringent requirements for registered health professionals such as doctors and nurses) that their education is in no way condoned nor confused with that of those who hold actual science qualifications.

Naturopathy has no Unit Standards or Qualifications in the NZQA.

I checked the article. One thing that struck me was the following quote;

Principal Phillip Cottingham said it had taken around five years to jump through all the regulatory hoops and meet the New Zealand Qualifications Authority's standards.

I checked the NZQA site but found no evidence of Naturopathy having any Unit Standards or Qualifications at all.

Possibly because naturopathy

Possibly because naturopathy is a mishmash of pretty much all sorts of stuff like nutritionism and herbalism then? I can find the 'degree' (I really hate having to call it that) on the Kiwiquals site here: but it doesn't specify which standards. It's apparently been through some "quality process" which I doubt would have looked at content.

Might be worth investigating further to see what this is all about, especially considering over in the UK these courses (where run by universities) are closing. Article on this