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.
Ayurvedic educational organizations such as schools and online programs or courses may issue diplomas and certificates of completion or degrees but, if you are a citizen of the United States (US), there are currently no established legal requirements for Ayurvedic practitioners, providers or educational status or standards.
However, the current standard-setting organization in the US is the National Āyurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), which 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’s page that outlines this.
Ayurvedic Certification: What do you want & need?
Each of our online courses provides you with a Certificate of Completion, indicating the date that you took the course and passed the examinations. If you are considering the study of Ayurveda, you may be thinking about what you want to do with your Ayurvedic education or certificate. 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.
Ayurveda for Personal Interest: If you are new to Ayurveda, studying for personal interest, not sure if you want to practice Ayurveda clinically, but want to get your feet wet, learn a little about it and hopefully a lot more about improving health in short order, 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 students or practitioners of Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, NDs, MDs and other health care practitioners.
You could certainly take our Foundations of Ayurveda Part I course and then consider if you want to continue to Part II and beyond but it may be good to be aware that even Part I goes into great depth and may be better suited to someone interested in pursuing Ayurveda in depth, with an eye to eventually being a clinician, rather than learning how to incorporate it into your daily personal life.
There are 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. For this level of study, you likely won’t need a certificate for anything beyond personal satisfaction.
Applying our courses towards certification in one of NAMA’s Levels of Ayurveda Professionals:
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.
No matter where you live or what your goals, those four online courses provide a solid foundation to embark on a serious study of Ayurveda. If you would like to use them as part of your education towards one of NAMA’s three levels of certification, the option available is to take our courses with us and then go on to complete your requirements through an institution we’ve partnered with that not only will accept our credits as transfer credits, but that provides further education within a program that is NAMA-approved for providing education up to at least the AHC level. If you would like a list of our partner institutions, kindly contact us. Some of those institutions are NAMA approved. If you find a school or institution to which you would like to transfer our credits but that school is not on our list of partner institutions, you could provide them a list of objectives covered in our classes (you can find these under the, “Course Structure” green menu tabs on the landing pages for those courses on this website) and inquire with them if they would transfer our credits in.
NAMA PACE continuing education: If you are already a NAMA-certified professional, you may be interested in taking courses that count towards your PACE continuing education requirements to maintain your certification. Please scroll down to, “Dr. Claudia Welch. com” on the list of PACE -approved courses on the NAMA website for information on which of our courses are pre-approved. Most of them are. (Please note that NAMA may list a date associated with our online classes. That is due to a limitation of their software. You can take our online classes whenever you want). There are also some notes there on how to get approved the ones that are not pre-approved (for example, the individual lessons from Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I or II taken as stand-alone courses, or our mentorship), but you should also check with NAMA to make sure what that procedure is, with them. You may notice on our landing webpages for Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I & II, that they are worth about 50 University credits each but, on the list of PACE -approved courses on the NAMA website, they are only worth 28 PACE credits each. This is because, for any given course in a 2-year cycle, 28 credits is the maximum amount awarded by NAMA.
It might be worth noting that many students and practitioners of Ayurveda that have previously covered the objectives taught in our Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I & II courses, have found it very useful to review or be introduced to, another perspective on the foundations, that our courses offer.
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.
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.