Ayurvedic Certification & Licensure: What do you want & need?
If you are considering the study of Ayurveda, you may be thinking about what you want to do with your Ayurvedic education. For example: incorporate it into your life for personal reasons, incorporate it into a yoga practice, counsel people on lifestyle and diet issues or go for full clinical training. Each one of these goals would be best served by varying courses of action. And there is also the question of what is legal where you are.
Laws & Standard Requirements
Laws differ, not only from country to country, but often between states, provinces, or other localities. We are unable to provide information about the laws where you reside. Laws and regulations change or are updated frequently, and we are unable to keep current on that information. Each of us needs to educate ourselves about the laws that apply in our own location, and determine if and how Āyurveda can be practiced legally and safely there.
If you are a citizen of the United States (US), there are currently no established legal requirements for Ayurvedic practitioner or provider status. The same is true for Ayurvedic education. However, the current standard-setting organization in the US is the National Āyurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). NAMA is, to our understanding, the only organization in the US that provides certification for an Ayurvedic professional that is widely recognized within the Ayurvedic community.
NAMA has designated, and set requirements for, three levels of Āyurvedic professionals, in order of increasing educational requirements and scope of practice: Āyurvedic Health Counselor (AHC), Āyurvedic Practitioner (AP), and Āyurvedic Doctor (AD).
When considering which path to take to meet the requirements for a NAMA professional level, it is important to first know what each level signifies. In particular, you should be aware of the difference in scope of practice for each level. For more information about the NAMA defined professional levels, educational requirements, or NAMA requirements, please consult NAMA.
Ayurvedic educational organizations such as schools and online programs or courses may issue diplomas and certificates of completion or degrees, but do not offer legitimate certification as an Ayurvedic professional. In the US, professional certification is provided by NAMA.
Our Certificates: Each of our online courses provides you with a Certificate of Completion, indicating the date that you took the course and passed the examinations.
NAMA certification through our courses: Dr. Welch’s courses fulfill partial requirements for NAMA certification, depending on the course and what studies you have already completed. For example, if you are already a NAMA-certified professional, most of our courses qualify for PACE credits–which are continuing education credits you need to maintain your professional certification. Please refer to the NAMA website for more information on NAMA credits available for the courses we and others offer. Or you can feel free to contact us to ask us which of our courses qualify for NAMA PACE credits.
Ayurveda for Personal Interest: If you are new to Ayurveda, studying for personal interest and want to start reaping benefits sooner than later, you might be interested in our Women’s Health & Hormones Part I: Hormonal Balance & Stagnation online course, which provides insights for the general public as well as Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, NDs, and MDs.
There are also many programs throughout the country–nay, the world!– that focus on short programs that are designed to help students understand the basics of Ayurveda and how to incorporate them into our lives.
Ayurveda for Clinical Interest:
If you are either new to Ayurveda or interested in pursuing it in depth, or you are already an Ayurvedic professional and would like to review or hear another perspective on the foundations, our intensive Foundations I & II online courses, co-taught by Dr. Claudia Welch and Dr. Robert Svoboda, go into great depth in the foundational principles of Ayurveda. While it is possible to complete each course in two very intensive weeks, it is probably impossible to really fully understand and integrate the information in that time frame. You will have access to each course (Foundations I or II) for one year and we recommend multiple viewings of the videos and readings of the homework. We find most people need the full year for each course. There are even options to extend your access to each course beyond a year if need be. More detailed Information about the courses is available in the FAQs for Foundations I & II on our website.
No matter where you live or what your goals, our Foundations of Ayurveda I and II online courses provide a solid foundation to embark on a serious study of Ayurveda.
If you are already an Ayurvedic professional with a strong foundation in theoretical and clinical principles of Ayurveda and would like to go deeper into women’s health, after completing Women’s Health & Hormones Part I: Hormonal Balance & Stagnation online course, we recommend our Women’s Health & Hormones Part II: Srotorodha & The 6 Therapeutic Principles online course.
Whether or not these courses can help you legally practice Ayurveda or get the accreditation that you need requires the following additional context:
While it is natural to incorporate what we learn into our lives and to want to share it with others, it is important to have a sufficient knowledge of Ayurveda through education and training– to at least what the National Āyurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) in the US calls the, “Āyurvedic Health Counselor” (AHC) level, before providing Ayurvedic health counseling. While our Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I & II are intensive, in-depth courses on the fundamental principles of Ayurveda, if you are interested in working clinically or offering consultations, it is important to study Ayurveda in greater depth than achieved through our Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I & II and Women’s Health & Hormones Parts I & II alone.
If you would like to use our Foundations of Ayurveda online courses as part of your education towards certification in the US, the option available is to take our Foundations courses and then go on to complete your requirements through an institution we’ve partnered with that will accept our credits as transfer credits. If you would like a list of these partner institutions, kindly contact us.
We are aware it can be daunting to figure out what you need to study, how you might be able to do it in a way that works for you within your local regulations, and that inspires you. You can join programs or institutions that already have all the programs, credits and classes that you would need for NAMA certification (we are not one of those programs) or you can choose some courses and credits from one source (like ours) and some from another (like from our partner institutions). Whichever way you choose, you are a pioneer charting a course for your life and education. Maybe it entails picking up your life and moving somewhere or maybe you do part of it from your living room. It can be courageous and fun to figure out what combination of online or in-person programs, which country (countries) you may want to study in and what direction appeals to you.
Once you have a solid theoretical background, we highly recommend in-person clinical training under the supervision of experienced physicians of Ayurveda. Vaidyagrama, one of our partner institutions can provide that. Just contact us if you would like to know more about that.
If you feel you need a bit more guidance, either in your studies or in thinking about which direction to take your studies, you could have a discussion with one of our tutors. To help us help you, when signing up for a private session, kindly let us know your goals and about your situation (i.e. ability to relocate for full time studies, or ability to travel for intensive weekends/weeks), your background, where you live, any information about why and how you want to study Ayurveda, and any known plans for how you will use your studies. This will facilitate the private discussion and help us to offer effective, tailored ideas to support your journey in Āyurveda.
We wish you all success.