FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Membership

Q: How do I become an ANTA member?

Full Membership:

To be eligible for accreditation with the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) you are required to have completed a course that is recognised by ANTA. Review our recognised courses to obtain information on colleges and courses ANTA recognises for accreditation.

The Australian Natural Therapists Association is recognised by over 50 health funds and your application is an important step in becoming a member of an association at the pinnacle of the profession. It is essential your application is fully completed and all supporting documentation supplied and a checklist is provided for your convenience.

Applications for membership are reviewed and assessed by a panel of the Australian Natural Therapists Accreditation Board (ANTAB) in accordance with ANTA membership requirements (subject to change as determined by ANTA) at the time of application.

Note: If an application is incomplete, has missing information or non-certified documentation, it is not able to be processed and will be returned to the applicant.

Please note: ANTA does not recognise undergraduate courses delivered substantially by Distance/Online or External modes. Health Funds do not recognise, for provider registration purposes, any undergraduate qualifications completed substantially by Distance/Online or External mode.

Student Membership:

We invite you to apply for free Student Membership and enjoy the many benefits that go with being a Student Member of the Australian Natural Therapists Association.

The best solution for your education.

Student Membership includes the following great benefits:

  • Free access to IMGateway scientific resource for Natural Therapists
  • Free access EBSCOHost complementary research database
  • Student Bursary Award - $12,000 in bursaries awarded to Student Members each year
  • New Graduate Awards offered twice a year, which include 12 months free full membership and $200
  • Regular "The Natural Therapist" journal and eNews notifications of industry updates and information
  • Reduced membership fees for new graduates
  • Discounted practitioner insurance for new graduate practitioners
  • Free seminars and webinars
  • Membership of an association that supports statutory registration for Natural Therapists

Below are the modalities represented by ANTA within the Natural Therapies profession. Click on the modality to find out more about Natural Therapies and to view the courses ANTA recognises in that field.

Before you begin the Student Membership Application process please ensure you are completing a course that is recognised by ANTA.

Please note: ANTA does not recognise undergraduate courses delivered substantially by Distance/Online or External modes. Health Funds do not recognise, for provider registration purposes, any undergraduate qualifications completed substantially by Distance/Online or External mode.

Q: Why is it important for a Natural Therapist to be a member of an Association?

    It is important to become a member of a recognised Association to be recognised as a legitimate, qualified practitioner within the unregistered allied health industry. It is also important for practitioners who are eligible for registration with Health Funds. Without health fund recognition you will not have a provider number, and your clients will not be able to claim private health rebates. Additionally, professional indemnity insurance premiums for practitioners are significantly reduced as the risk is mitigated by the Association vetting the qualifications of the practitioner.

Q: What documents do I need to supply to prove I have completed my course studies?

  • Certified copy of Academic Transcripts
  • Certified copy of Qualification/s
  • Persons who can Certify Documents

    • Accountants and Registered Tax Agents
    • Australian Consular or Diplomat
    • Bank Managers
    • Barristers and Solicitors
    • Clerks of Courts
    • Commissioner of Affidavits
    • Commissioner for Declarations
    • Members of Parliament
    • Judges
    • Justice of the Peace
    • Police Officers
    • Postal Managers
    • Pharmacists
    Q: Do I Need to Provide ANTA with Documents if I Have had a Name Change (e.g. Marriage or Returning to Maiden Name)?

    Yes. You need to supply ANTA with a certified copy of the legal document showing your name change before it can be approved in our system. This document can be emailed to ANTA at info@anta.com.au.

    Q: How Do I Access the ANTA Member Centre?

    You must be an ANTA member to access the Member Centre. This is a full member or student member. Click here to get to the 'sign in' page.

    Q: How Do I Cancel My ANTA Membership?

    To cancel your ANTA membership you need to advise us in writing. You can send an email to info@anta.com.au and instruct us that you no longer wish to be an ANTA member. You may still receive ANTA emails until your membership has been cancelled which could take up to 48 hours. There is no refund of membership upon cancellation.

    Q: Am I Eligible for ANTA Membership?
    To be eligible for ANTA membership you need to either be enrolled in a course recognised by ANTA, or have completed an ANTA recognised course. The list of recognised courses can be viewed on our website at www.anta.com.au.

    If you are studying a course which is not currently recognised by ANTA you may want to approach the course coordinator at your college and suggest they contact us to find our how they can apply to have the course assessed by ANTA's Academic Board. If the college is successful in having the course recognised, you may apply for membership.

    Q: What is the Course Assessment Procedure?
    For a course to be approved by ANTA, the college is required to submit a request for course recognition, and if successful, it will be approved. In some extenuating circumstances, ANTA will allow an individual assessment of a graduate if they can supply all the course information, including information as to why the college was unable to do this on their own behalf.

    If there is any possibility that you can approach your college to complete ANTA's Course Assessment Form, it will help you get this process initiated, and it will be accredited for all students attending if approved. It will also be available for search on our ANTA recognised course list.

    Please be aware that ANTA does not encourage students to try to obtain recognition independently due to the stringent assessment procedure that must adhere to strict guidelines to meet industry standards as well as health fund guidelines.

    The course assessment link can be found on our website under the courses tab.

    Q: Can I Become an ANTA Member with an Overseas Qualification?
    If you have completed your training as a Natural Therapist overseas, and attained a Diploma, Advanced Diploma and/or Degree qualification you may be eligible for membership with ANTA.

    You will be required to have your qualifications evaluated for equivalency in order to become a member of ANTA

    If you click here you will be taken to another section of the ANTA website where you can get further information on The Department of Education and Vetassess. Both organisations provide information on how to have overseas qualifications assessed against the Australian Qualifications Framework for Australian equivalency. 

    Q: How Long Does it Take to Approve an ANTA Membership Application?
    The ANTA membership department allow up to 10 business days to assess an application. Upon approval of the application membership payment will be deducted from your nominated credit card (unless paid by cheque/money order), and email will be sent advising of your application approval for important information before your Member Welcome Pack will be posted to your address.

    Q: When Does My Membership Need to be Renewed?
    Memberships are to be paid annually and are to be renewed each year. All members who do not have modalities registered with AHPRA will have their membership fees due by 31st December each year. AHPRA registered members, such as Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, will have their membership fees due by 31st March each year.

    Q: Do I Get a Membership Certificate Each Year?
    No. Members will receive Membership and Accreditation certificates at the commencement of membership with ANTA. Each year members will receive a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) certificate after their membership fees have been paid.

    CPE

    Q: What is CPE?

    Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is the upgrading or acquisition of knowledge and skills in the accredited modalities that will aid the practitioner in providing their patients with a higher standard of health care.

    Q: How Do I Enter My CPE Points/Hours?

    CPE points must be updated in your ANTA Member Centre, CPE Activity section. The onus of proof is on the practitioner and practitioners must retain copies of their certificates/proof of CPE in the event of an audit.

    Q: What Happens if I Do Not Complete My CPE Points/Hours?

    CPE is a requirement of both ANTA membership and health fund recognition. If a member fails to complete their CPE in accordance with ANTA's Code of Professional Ethics that member may have their association membership suspended until they have me the requirements, and if they are also a health fund provider their provider numbers will be cancelled and rebates will not be available for clients wanting to claim.

    Q: How Should I Maintain My CPE Points/Hours?
    ANTA offers practitioners access to our Member Centre where you can log your CPE activity which can then be exported into a table for members to print and keep for their own records.

    Information required to complete CPE Activity:
    - Date the activity was carried out
    - Year the CPE is applicable for (the first two sections need to have the same year dates)
    - Details of the CPE activity completed, i.e. attended ANTA seminar in Sydney
    - Number of Applicable CPE points, i.e. 1 hour = 1 CPE point

    If a certificate was received for a CPE applicable event, the number of points able to be used will be noted on the certificate. That certificate must be kept by the practitioner in the event of an audit.

    Q: What are Accepted CPE Activities?
    Please log into the Member Centre to view the CPE Guidlines which lists examples of acceptable CPE activities. This can be found under 'CPE Activity' on the members personal details page.

    Q: Do CPR and First Aid Training Count Towards CPE Points/Hours?

    Not anymore. New guidelines were released by health funds in 2016 which removed CPR and first aid training from acceptable CPE activities. It is a requirement of ANTA membership and health funds to have current first aid training (HLTAID003 or higher) to have an active clinic and get provider recognition. This training cannot count towards CPE points/hours.

    Q: Do I Need to Maintain my CPE Points/Hours if I Take a Leave of Absence, Restricted Membership, or if I am Not Currently Working in My Modality?

    Yes. A condition of ANTA membership regardless which membership option, CPE is required to be completed each calendar year to a minimum of 20 CPE points/hours per calendar year. 

    Clinics, Health Funds and Insurance

    Q: Do I Need to Advise ANTA if I start Practising at a New Clinic or Cease Practising at a Clinic?

    Yes. If you start practising at a new clinic and you are a health fund provider you will need new provider numbers for that clinic location. This can take up to 4 weeks to receive new provider numbers from health funds. Additionally, active clinic locations can be located on the ANTA website for the general public and if we are not notified of changes, incorrect details will be showing and may cause disruptions to your business. 

    If you cease practising at a clinic, we have a contractual obligation to notify health funds to cancel your provider numbers for that clinic location. Additionally, members do not want incorrect details showing on the website and the ANTA app for a location the member is no longer practising at.

    To update clinic details please log into the ANTA member centre and complete the relevant form at the bottom of the personal details page, i.e. 'Add a New Clinic', 'Close a Clinic'.

    Q: How Do I Update My Certificate of Currency for Professional Indemnity Insurance?

    If you need to renew your Professional Indemnity insurance, you are required to contact your insurance provider. Once you have paid your insurance renewal and have received your Certificate of Currency, you are required to forward it to ANTA. You can do this via email to info@anta.com.au.

    Q: Why is My Provider Number Taking so Long to be Issued?

    ANTA may be waiting on you to supply additional information which is required before the clinic details can be sent to the health funds. Additionally, if we have received all information it can take up to 4 weeks for health funds to issue your provider numbers.

    Q: Does ANTA Recognise Online Courses for Health Fund Recognition?

    ANTA does not recognise undergraduate courses delivered substantially by Online/Distance or External modes. Health funds do not recognise, for provider registration purposes, any undergraduate qualifications completed substantially by Online/Distance or External mode.

    Q: Where Can I Find Information on Health Funds?

    If you are already an ANTA member, health fund information was included in your member welcome pack. If you wish to access the latest version of the health fund information, please log into the Member Centre where it can be accessed.

    Q: How Do I Arrange My HICAPS Terminal?

    ANTA is unable to arrange HICAPS for your clinic as HICAPS deals with the billing system of your clinic. Therefore, you are required to contact HICAPS to arrange a HICAPS terminal for your clinic. You will be required to provide HICAPS with a copy of your Medibank provider confirmation letter in order to finalise this process once you have arranged your terminal.

    Q: What is Required to be Compliant with Health Funds?

    Health funds require practitioners to have current Professional Indemnity insurance with the required minimum limit of liability for their modality and a current First Aid certificate (HLTAID003 or subsequent update, or AHPRA registration for Nurses). Health funds also require practitioners to ensure that their CPE points/hours are up-to-date according to ANTA's annual requirement, and ANTA membership fees are required to be up-to-date.

    Q: What Happens When My Provider Number is Cancelled?

    When your provider number is cancelled, it may be for a variety of reasons:

    • You have allowed your Professional Indemnity insurance to lapse;
    • You do not have sufficient Professional Indemnity insurance limit of liability for your modality;
    • You have allowed your first aid qualification to lapse;
    • You have not renewed your ANTA membership by the due date; or 
    • Your CPE points/hours have not met the requirements

    To rectify you need to identify what has caused the provider number to be cancelled and resolve the issue. The Health Fund Manager will then request to have your provider number reinstated. This process can take  up to a number of weeks.

    Q: What Happens if I Do Not Keep My First Aid and Professional Indemnity Insurance Updated?
    Provider numbers with health funds will be cancelled and cannot be reinstated until the member has provided a copy of either their correct first aid certificate or their updated Certificate of Currency. This process can take a number of weeks. If the member is not a health fund provider their active clinic listing on the internet will be removed until this has been rectified.

    Q: Why was My BUPA Provider Number Closed?
    If a member is fully compliant with insurance, first aid, membership fees and CPE hours, the most likely reason would be due to having an insufficient amount of Professional Indemnity insurance limit of liability for your modality.

    Q: Will ANTA Send All Provider Numbers Through to Members Once they are Issued?
    ANTA only receives AHM, BUPA and Medibank provider numbers. Other health fund provider numbers are as per the Health Fund List that were provided in the Member Welcome Pack and are also available within the Member Centre under Health Fund Information.

    Q: Do All Health Funds Cover Mobile Clinics?
    No. Please log into the ANTA Member Centre and go to Health Fund Information to obtain a copy of the Guidelines around Mobile Clinic Services.

    Advertising

    Q: What Advertising Options Does ANTA Offer?
    ANTA has three types of Digital advertising and one type of Print advertising. 

    • Website Classifieds
    • Employment
    • For Rent
    • For Sale
    • Notice Board
    • Website Advertising for Short Courses and Events
    • eNews Banner - direct marketing to ANTA Database
    • The Natural Therapist (TNT) journal for Print advertising

    For further information on advertising please contact the ANTA office on 1800 817 577, or marketing@anta.com.au.

    Miscellaneous

    Q: Is Bromelain Within the Scope of Practice for a Nutritionist?

    Bromelain is within the scope of practice fro a Nutritionist. Students studying nutrition are trained in its usage, and nutritional products with Bromelain are registered (AUST R) or listed (AUST L) by the TGA in Australia. Most complementary medicine practitioners will not import/recommend goods from overseas (without AUST R or AUST L) considering safety, conformity to the Australian Standard and potential legal liability in the event of a claim.

    Q: Can I Conduct Virtual Consultations?

    ANTA does not recommend conducting virtual consultations prior to a face-to-face consultation, due to the importance of being able to sense and measure the patient's demeanour and vital signs, although we do not have any concerns in regard to follow up virtual consultations for the same issue.

    Practitioners also need to be aware of their Professional Indemnity insurance liability cover, as it may vary depending on the modality and the insurance provider. General Professional Indemnity insurance policies will not cover overseas consultations, and your insurer would have the final say on the virtual consultations. You may wish to check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage.

    We recommend that ANTA practitioners undertake any virtual or overseas consultations with caution and would also like to remind you that Health Funds will not recognise virtual consultations for rebates to your clients.

    Q: Can ANTA Provide Consent Forms for Clients?
    Unfortunately, ANTA does not supply client consent forms. A practitioner can design their own form, however as these forms do not stand up in court if there is a complaint by the client, they cannot be used in that circumstance, in which case, it may be prudent to get legal advice.

    Please be aware that if you have your Professional Indemnity insurance with Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG), they offer a 30 minute no charge legal service to ANTA members. To see what AJG's Access1st program has to offer ANTA members, please visit www.access1st.com.au or email access1st@ajg.com.au.

    Q: What is A Good Dry Needling Course?
    There are various Dry Needling courses being advertised. Some are good, and some are not so good! As a guideline, ANTA recommends that a dry needling course should be approximately 72 hours duration and delivered face-to-face with supervised clinical training delivered by a qualified trainer. ANTA advertises approved Dry Needling courses on it's website.

    In recent times there have been several incidents involving dry needling where patients have suffered some serious events e.g. punctured lungs. This has resulted in Professional Indemnity insurance companies facing substantial claims/payouts. If insurance companies make substantial payouts related to dry needling this leads to higher premiums for Dry Needling insurance cover and/or insurance companies deciding not to cover dry needling unless an appropriate dry needling course is completed.

    With most dry needling courses, it is assumed that the students have previously completed a natural therapy course that includes anatomy and physiology, and that the student has the pre-requisite training to undertake dry needling at a professional level.

    All practitioners are required to practice within the scope of their training (National Code of Conduct). Practitioners must not practice outside the scope of their training and this also applies to dry needling.

    Q: Do I Need to Claim GST for my Services?

    ANTA recommends that practitioners consult with their own accountant for making this decision, as we are not legally able to advise.

    Click on this link to find more information on GST free services for Natural Therapy practitioners.

    Q: Do I Need to Keep My Client Files?
    ANTA recommends that members do not dispose of client files as the statute of limitations does not apply to clients wishing to make a claim against a practitioner. That means that a client can make a claim against a practitioner at any time in the future e.g. 7 years, 10 years, 20 years etc and client records are valuable legal documents if a claim is made. Without client records it is very difficult to provide evidence of treatments, medications, etc in the event of a claim.

    Client records can be kept electronically and/or backed up on a USB stick and do not necessarily need to be kept in hard copy.

    Q: How Do I Store My Client Files and Dispose of My Client Files Properly?
    The health profession is governed by National Privacy Principals (link provided below), and the Privacy Act. The standards for storing, maintaining, and disposing of client personal/medical information can be found within these documents.

    National Privacy Principals
     
    www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/privacy-archive/privacy-resources-archive/national-privacy-principles

    Privacy Act 1988
     
    http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/cth/consol_act/pa1988108/

    If a client has requested their file/details to be deleted, you are legally required to keep them as they are part of your business, and the possibility of the client making a claim against you in the future. You can give the client a copy if they wish, ensuring that they put the request in writing to you.

    Q: How Do I Label Products that I Make and Issue to my Patients?
    The label should show the ingredients, dosage and other relevant information including the client’s name. The label should not include any claims about the product that cannot be verified or proven.

    Q: How Should My Client's Testimonials be Advertised?
    The requirement for all advertising which includes testimonials, websites, etc is that it must be truthful, not misleading and must be able to be substantiated (i.e. evidence is available to verify claims made). This is covered in consumer law.

    Whilst patients provide testimonials with the best intentions, many make statements in their testimonials that are not always strictly correct and may not be able to be substantiated.

    If you were to use testimonials which did not comply with the law you could be exposed to investigation and penalties under consumer law.

    As a result of consumer law that requires all advertising to be truthful, not misleading and must be able to be substantiated, we do not recommend members use testimonials as client, when providing testimonials, are generally not aware of the legal requirements under consumer law.

    Q: Are There Any Laws Around Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Companies, My Practice, and My Registration as a Practitioner?
    ANTA does not ban members from participation in multi-level marketing, however, under ANTA's Code of Professional Ethics and the National Code of Conduct, the first obligation of any practitioner is to ensure they recognise and uphold their responsibilities to the patient, colleagues, the profession and society. ANTA members are required to abide by the ANTA Code of Professional Ethics and the National Code of Conduct in their state (all are available on the ANTA website). The ANTA Code of Professional Ethics requires members to ensure they safeguard clinical independence and professional integrity from third parties (i.e. multilevel marketing companies). Members must not enter into a contract with an organisation that may conflict with professional integrity, clinical independence or primary obligation to the patient. Members can enter into multi-level marketing arrangements provided they abide by the ANTA Code of Professional Ethics and the National Code of Conduct.

    You also need to be aware that recommending that clients obtain substances and medicines from international suppliers, that are not approved for distribution in Australia (TGA accredited medications), would compromise your standing as a professional as your Professional Indemnity insurance does not cover items outside Australian Regulations. (This is commonly promoted by international MLM companies to obtain drugs only approved in USA).

    Q: How Do I Report Unethical/Fraudulent Behaviour?
    Practitioners allowing other practitioners at their clinic to use their provider numbers is a major concern. Any unethical/fraudulent behaviour needs to reported using the following steps. (Please note that allegations of unethical or fraudulent behaviour are taken very seriously, and any such complaint must be conducted in a transparent format for all parties involved):

    1. Submit a written complaint detailing events which led to noticing the unethical or fraudulent behaviour to info@anta.com.au
    2. Provide details of the person/s acting unethically/fraudulently, the business, location, date, and any other evidence which can substantiate the allegation such as receipts or written correspondence
    3. Due to the serious nature of the allegation, ANTA is required to follow up the complaint directly with the accused and allow them to respond to the allegation. This means they will be provided with the official complaint and details of the person making the complaint, together with any supporting evidence
    4. You as an ANTA member acknowledge that this is a transparent process, and that your complaint and ANTA member details will be disclosed to the practitioner whom you are placing the complaint against.
    5. The Details of the complaint will be forwarded to ANTA's Executive Officer. The details of the matter will remain confidential while the investigation takes place. If you are seeking further clarification, you may contact the Executive Officer, and note that it will be actioned in a manner the Executive Officer deems appropriate.

    Q: Can I Practice Outside the Scope of My Training?
    In accordance with the National Code of Conduct which covers natural therapists and the ANTA Code of Professional Ethics, practitioners must practice within the scope of their training.

    If a practitioner is not trained in techniques/therapies, e.g. Chelation, IV Vitamin therapy or live blood analysis, they must not practice or use these techniques/therapies. Use of techniques/therapies by practitioners which are outside the scope of their training is a breach of law and carries significant penalties.

    Q: Do I Need to Renew CPR Every Year?
    The Minimum requirement is to keep the 3-yearly component of your first aid updated, e.g. HLTAID003. CPR is an annual update which is not a mandatory requirement for ANTA members.

    Professional Support

    Q: How do I find more information on starting or running my own business?

    A: ANTA has provided a Business Assist section aimed at empowering our members and visitors alike with relevant and timely business information. From the Main Menu click on More and from the drop down click on the Business Assist link.

    Q: How can I help look after the environment?

    A: For more information about a GreenClinic or GreenHome, visit the business assist section of the ANTA website or view the Greening your business document.

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