Continuing Education FAQ

continuing education FAQ

Continuing Education FAQ: Table of Contents

      First a Little History

      When Herbal Educational Services was founded in 1993, our primary goal was to bring herbalists and naturopathic physicians together at one event to learn from each other. Continuing education (CE) was not a central focus, but as more naturopathic doctors (NDs) became licensed in more states, it became a natural outgrowth of our conferences to include continuing education.

      Nursing and acupuncture CE were added and by the time the Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine began in 1996, CE was an integral part of Herbal Educational Services. In 2021, CE offerings were expanded to more professions than ever before with the continuing medical education (CME) approval by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

      The CE program application and administration has become more costly over the years so this year we have instituted an extra fee for those needing CE at our live online herbal conferences. Please be sure to include that in your registration to receive your certificate(s). One fee covers all certificates for one person. (There is no charge for distance-learning certificates, only for those at our live online events.)

      Naturopathic CE

      Applications are submitted each year to:

      • Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine (OBNM) — Approval recognized across most state ND associations.
      • Sonoran University (formerly SCNM) CE board — Approval for attendees at the Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine. Includes opioid/addiction hours to fulfill the annual requirement for Arizona NDs.
      • California Naturopathic Doctors Association (CNDA) — Approval for California NDs.

      Since there is some variation among state ND rules, here are some frequently asked questions about naturopathic CE:

      How can I earn ND continuing education at your 2023 events?

      Register for the event and sign up for the CE program. CE forms will be provided to all conference attendees.

      Can I earn distance-learning credits for your recordings?

      Yes! You can earn Naturopathic CE credits for our audio and video recordings.

      Does my state accept the CE you offer for NDs?

      This is by far the most frequently asked question! If you aren’t sure whether your state accepts the approved ND credits, please contact us and we will give you that information (select the “CE” option so your question goes right to the CE Coordinator). See a few more state details below:

      What about Washington State and the new ND rules there?

      Beginning in January 2021, the new rules state that Category 1 CME for Washington State NDs can be granted to any event approved by an accredited naturopathic medical school (that applies to SCNM’s approval of the Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine). Category 2 CME is granted to any event approved by other organizations including OBNM. After the events are over, the materials can still be used for distance learning in Washington State.

      You also may have heard that the rule change for Washington State NDs includes the requirement to complete an exam before certificates can be issued for any recorded content. We have an examination available for WA NDs.

      I am a naturopathic physician licensed in Arizona — how can I earn CE credits to fulfill the 3-hour opioid/addiction credit requirement?

      We have video and audio from past presentations that offer CME credits for Arizona NDs..

      What about CME for Naturopathic Doctors licensed in California?

      History: We began receiving approval from CNDA (California Naturopathic Doctors Association) for the Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine in 2018, so any recordings of that event made from 2018 to 2020 can count for California Naturopathic CME credit. We will be applying for CE through CNDA for the 2023 Southwest Conference as well.

      In 2021 and 2022, we earned approval for both conferences from the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians). That credit is accepted by CNDA. The California regulations say NDs licensed in that state can decide what presentations qualify for pharmacy credits and record that in their files. Currently, CA NDs can earn distance learning from the 2022 Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine recordings, as approved by AAFP.

      Do your naturopathic CE credits apply to naturopathic physicians in other countries?

      Yes! We have coordinated with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand naturopathic communities and here is the information:


      Canadian Naturopathic Physicians

      • Alberta: Naturopathic physicians overseen by the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta have a self-directed continuing competence program and do not require continuing education to be pre-approved.
      • British Columbia: Naturopathic physicians overseen by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia can earn Category C credits (“Other Educational Conferences, Courses or Seminars”) for our recordings and conferences.
      • Ontario: For the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, naturopathic physicians of Canada can earn Category B credits (“Self-Directed Activities”), or they can submit a credit approval request to the College to receive approval for Category A credits (“Core Activities”).
      • Manitoba: Under the Manitoba Naturopathic Association, naturopathic physicians in Canada can earn Category B hours from our conferences and recordings.
      • Saskatchewan: Naturopathic physicians overseen by the Saskatchewan Association of Naturopathic Practitioners are required to receive Council approval prior to engaging in continuing education programs.

      distance learning CE video conference

      New Zealand Naturopathic Physicians

      New Zealand naturopaths can earn Continuing Education Points (CPE points) for our conferences as they classify as attendance to a natural medicine-related seminar, conference or webinar by Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists of New Zealand, Inc.

      Australian Naturopathic Physicians

      Naturopaths do not have to be registered in Australia and therefore, do not have continuing education requirements. The Australian Register of Naturopaths and Herbalists (ARONAH) was established to provide minimum standards of education and practice for naturopathy and Western herbal medicine. ARONAH endorses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities but does not require them.

      United Kingdom Naturopathic Physicians

      Naturopaths can register in the UK, but it is not required. The General Council and Register of Naturopaths (GCRN) is the UK regulator for naturopathic practitioners and they require CPD. GCRN defines CPD as “a range of learning activities through which professionals grow and develop throughout their careers to ensure that they retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice.”


      Continuing Education for Medical Doctors, Doctors of Osteopathy and other Professionals accepting the equivalent of Category 1 CME

      What organization has issued these CME credits?

      Both of our 2022 events were approved for Prescribed Credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). They are equivalent to Category 1 CME — see statement from AAFP below.

      Are AAFP Prescribed Credits equivalent to PRA Category 1 CME for medical doctors?

      Yes! AAFP Prescribed Credits are accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ toward the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award.

      How many credits are offered this year?

      Physicians can earn up to 38.5 hours for the Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine through distance learning now that the live event has passed.

      What other health professional organizations recognize these credits?

      Here is the list from the AAFP site. Other professions may also be able to use AAFP-approved credits depending on the rules of their state board.

      • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
      • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
      • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
      • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB)
      • American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
      • American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)
      • American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM)
      • American Board of Preventative Medicine (ABPM)
      • American Board of Urology (ABU)

      Nursing Continuing Education

      How can nurses receive continuing nursing education (CEU or CNE) for your events?

      Just register for the conference(s) of your choice and download the attendance form. Follow all instructions on the form, filling it out as you attend the videos, and return it by email. A certificate will be sent by email.

      Do you offer ongoing distance learning for nurses?

      Yes! CEU or CNE (Continuing nursing education) contact hours are also offered for one of our past conferences. More details on nursing distance learning.

      Registered Dietician Continuing Education

      Can registered dieticians (RDs) receive continuing professional education (CPE) for your events?

      Yes! The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, accepts self-study materials approved by AAFP for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) activity.

      Massage Therapist Continuing Education

      Can massage therapists receive continuing education credits for your events?

      In some states, yes! If your state licensing board accepts conferences that have been approved by NCCAOM, then you can earn CE for attending. If you’re unsure of your state’s continuing education requirements, please contact us.

      Acupuncture Continuing Education

      Do you offer nationally approved acupuncture continuing education?

      Both of our 2022 conferences were approved by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for live presentation hours. We will be applying for NCCAOM approval for our 2023 conferences as well.

      How do I sign up for acupuncture CE at your live online events?

      Acupuncturists earn live event PDA CEU credits by registering for a conference, downloading the CE form, filling it out as you view the videos and submitting the form no later than 4 weeks after the end of the event. To maximize live online hours available for acupuncturists we are presenting an expanded video schedule on Friday morning at both events.

      Do I have to be a member of NCCAOM to receive acupuncture credit?

      No. Acupuncture CE attendance is submitted to NCCAOM’s site and they email the certificate from there. You do not have to be a member of NCCAOM to receive their certificates. Anyone needing acupuncture CE from any state can participate (except California — see below for details).

      Is there a separate approval process for California acupuncturists?

      Yes. California-licensed acupuncturists are an exception to the above, and may use the videos from the 2021 Southwest Conference for up to 40 distance-learning credits (California Acupuncture Board (CAB) Provider #1552). National NCCAOM credits cannot be used in California. View the recorded videos to earn up to 40 hours, and contact us to request the correct CAB attendance form. Return it to us and a certificate of attendance will be sent to you.


      CE teleconferenceOther Health Professionals

      Other professionals who can use any of the above credits are welcome to join our CE program! Our AAFP CE page lists the major professions accepting AAFP credit. If you have questions about credits for your profession, please contact us and we will help find the answers!

      In Conclusion

      Our mission is to offer the highest quality continuing education for healthcare professionals at a reasonable cost. Contact us if you have questions — we will be happy to help!