WHAT IS THE RCHM?


The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine exists:

  • To provide information to members of the public seeking a properly qualified practitioner who is bound by Codes of Ethics and Good Practice and who has full professional insurance.
  • To assist in setting the criteria for the practice and teaching of Chinese Herbal Medicine within the UK.
  • To work with the governments of Britain and Europe towards the regulation of practitioners and the control of the quality of herbs sold in the UK.
  • To protect the rights of the qualified practitioner to have access to the herbs needed to treat patients.
  • To work with consumer and patient organisations to ensure the safety of the public.
  • To work with the suppliers of Chinese herbs to ensure the authenticity and quality of the herbs available.
  • To provide assistance and information to the media regarding Chinese Herbal Medicine.
 

The Register is a member of the European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA), an umbrella organisation which represents the Western, Chinese (and other Oriental) and Ayurvedic traditions.

The EHTPA has done a huge amount of work over recent years in preparation for the statutory regulation of herbal medicine in the UK, including the drawing up of curricula and establishing an Accreditation Board to accredit herbal medicine courses which have met the appropriate standards. Working groups on statutory regulation of herbal medicine and acupuncture reported to the Department of Health in 2003, and in 2006 a Joint Working Group was set up by the Department in order to pave the way for a joint statutory body to cover regulation of acupuncture, herbal medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Government announced on 16th February 2011 that herbalists, including practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine, will be regulated by the Health Professions Council from April 2012.

These changes in the regulation of the profession are being accompanied by changes in medicines law to give the public further protection and ensure access to safe, high quality herbal medicines to practitioners registered by the future statutory body. The RCHM has been intimately involved in all these processes.