Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Also known as Continuing Professional Development (CPD), CPE is about keeping yourself up to date in your chosen profession. Most professional associations require their members to complete a certain amount of CPE or CPD each year to ensure competency. This can take the form of activities such as seminars or ongoing formal study, or things like teaching, presenting and mentoring, as well as the purchase of books and journals etc. 

The NHAA requires all full members to complete documented CPE annually. This includes practitioners and non practitioners, fellows, life members, and retired members who wish to remain up-to-date.

CPE is also required as part of your application if you are joining us with qualifications more than 12 months old, and from rejoining members who have not given us CPE for more than 12 months. 

Please see below for detailed information on the NHAA CPE system. If you have any questions please contact the office, we're happy to help.

To complete your CPE, you will need: 

  • A CPE DIARYthis is where you list what CPE you have done. It's a word document, so you can either save it to your computer and type the details in or print and hand write it if you prefer 
  • A CPE GUIDE: Step by step instructions on how to fill out your CPE Diary, along with detailed lists of activities and points and information on evidence. NB: see pg 6 of the Guide for an example of a completed diary.



When first joining

Taking a break - Suspending Membership

When to send in your CPE

Points requirements

Activities & Point allocations

Evidence and Auditing

AJHNM CPE questionnaires



At the end of each financial year members list their CPE activities and points for that year on a CPE diary and send it in to the NHAA office. Activities and their point values are listed in the CPE Guide along with clear instructions on filling out the CPE Diary. Our CPE system features: 

  • A minimum total of 50 points required each year.
  • Compulsory minimum of 20 of those points devoted to herbal medicine.
  • Compulsory minimum of 12 of those points devoted to medical sciences.
  • A way to attain these minimums without additional difficulty (AJHNM CPE questionnaires).
  • Flexibility for individual areas of interest and speciality.
  • Flexibility in regards to choice of activities.


When first joining

If you join within 12 months of graduating, you do not have to supply CPE for the rest of the  year in which you join. CPE is collected on the financial year, so depending on when you completed your course you may get many or only a few months exemption. E.g. if completed in June, you get 12 months exemption, if you completed in Dec, you get only 6 months exemption.  

For all others, as you will have given us CPE with your application, your next CPE diary will be for the remainder of the membership year in which you join, pro-rata at 4 points per month (not including the month you join). E.g. if you join in November, you will be asked for 28 points at the end of the financial year, if you join in march, you will be asked for only 12.  


Taking a break - Suspending Membership 

Full members can suspend their membership for up to 12 months and not supply evidence of CPE for this period when rejoining. If you would like to suspend your membership, contact the office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

  • The CPE exemption does not apply if a member remains financial.
  • CPE must be up to date at the time you suspend.
  • Continuous repetitive suspension of membership may be queried by the examiners.
  • After 12 months, 50 CPE points (acquired within the last year) are required to rejoin.

When to send in your CPE

CPE is due at the end of each membership (financial) year, for that year. If you have the points required earlier than that, then please do send in your CPE early - this is much appreciated! Your CPE must be received within 2 months after the end of the membership year and your annual membership / TGA certificate cannot be issued until it is received. Without CPE, your membership fees will be refunded, less 25% (administrative costs), and your membership cancelled or converted to Associate membership.

Points requirements

Total Points

A total of 50 points per year (minimum) is required.

Herbal Medicine Points

As a Full member of the NHAA you are a professional herbalist, although you may practice other modalities. Therefore CPE activities involving solely herbal medicine topics should make up a large part of the NHAA CPE program.

A minimum of 20 points must be devoted solely to herbal medicine activities. Activities which are generally regarded as contributing to herbal medicine points are:

“CPE activities that directly relate to the practice of herbal medicine, the scientific research of medicinal plants, herbal medicine professional and industry issues, the historical and traditional aspects of herbal medicine, and the philosophical issues related to the practice of herbal medicine.”

Medical Science Points

As a herbalist or naturopath in the modern tradition, medical sciences are an important area of knowledge. Interaction with other health care providers such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists or dentists, requires that you maintain a certain degree of currency in the medical sciences.

A minimum of 12 points must be gained through study of medical sciences. Activities which are generally regarded as contributing to medical science points are:

“CPE activities that relate to human biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pathology, pathophysiology, symptomatology, diagnosis, internal medicine, pharmacology, surgery, epidemiology, psychology and psychiatry.”

NB: First aid courses are NOT eligible for CPE as first aid is considered a separate professional responsibility.


The remaining 18 Points may be obtained through further activities in the areas of herbal  or naturopathic medicine, medical sciences, nutritional medicine or a combination of these areas or other areas of relevance to you as a herbalist / naturopath. This allows you to pursue particular areas of interest or speciality, and be recognised for the time you have invested.

Activities which are generally regarded as contributing to other subject points are:

“CPE activities in other health care modalities or subject areas such as business development and promotion, health promotion, general health care philosophy, ethics and history.”


Activities & Point allocations

Most CPE activities and the points they are worth are covered in the CPE Guide. However, below you will find some individual activities / courses that have been submitted for CPE and the point values that have been allocated for them. If you have an activity that you think should be added, please contact the office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Individual Activities

  • Sitting the GAMSAT (Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test): 8 Points (Medical Science category)
  • Blackmores Distance Celloids Course: 10 points (Other)
  • Regular posting / interaction on a professional closed social media forum: 2 points per year. 

Evidence and Auditing

You should maintain evidence of your annual CPE for at least 12 months after submitting your CPE diary. While you are NOT required to submit the evidence with your CPE diary every year, we do a random audit of 5% of full members annually and ask them for evidence to support their most recent diary. For examples of acceptable evidence see the evidence column in the Guide.


While some evidence is very straight forward to collect (attendance certificates, receipts etc), it can be difficult to find for activities that do not generate such easily saved paperwork. Eg; Peer group meetings; Mentoring / Supervision meetings; Research / Writing hours; Free journals / books / newsletters.

A logbook can be used as evidence for these activities - they are simple to keep and reflect an accurate record. We recommend that you set up a logbook at the beginning of each year – you can use one logbook for all activities that require it, or have separate logbooks if you have an activity that you do a lot.

For a logbook to be effective evidence, it must:

  • Be a hard copy book / notebook (not electronic)
  • Use blue or black ink, no pencil
  • Have dated entries
  • Have no empty lines left unused between entries
  • Not have any liquid paper corrections (any errors must have a single line drawn through them and be initialled)
  • Include information on the activity such as subject, persons present, topics covered

You can use any book / notebook as your logbook, or print and use our logbook template below:

Download: Logbook template 

DownloadExample of a logbook page

The Board of Directors of the NHAA reserves the right to audit full members at other times to determine if they are meeting the CPE requirements.

If you are unable to meet the CPE requirements for any reason you should notify the NHAA as soon as possible. We will attempt to assist you wherever possible and reasonable.

In the event that CPE requirements are unmet or if a member does not wish to meet the requirements, options include cancellation of full membership and/or the offer of Associate membership.

AJHNM CPE questionnaires

To assist you in obtaining the required minimum points in the subject areas of herbal medicine and medical sciences, we have designed a CPE system based on our professional journal – the Australian Journal of Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine (AJHNM).

This is not compulsory. You may choose to obtain your points through other activities, however it does provide a relatively straight forward way of accumulating the necessary minimum herbal medicine and medical science points.

Even with participation in this system, it is still necessary for you to participate in other activities, as this system will only provide you with a maximum of 32 points.

How it works

At the back of each issue of the AJHNM you will find a questionnaire consisting of an average of 8 multiple choice questions. By reading that issue and completing the related questions you will obtain 5 herbal medicine points and 3 medical science points.

Completion of all 4 questionnaires for the year will allow you to obtain the minimum points for both herbal medicine and medical sciences categories. If you do not complete all the questionnaires for the year, you will need to obtain the rest of the minimum number of points through participation in other activities.

Record the points obtained for completing each questionnaire in your CPE diary. Please record the journal volume and issue number of each questionnaire completed.

NB: You do not need to send the completed questionnaires in with your CPE diary,  however do keep them for 12 months in case of a CPE audit.


Upon request to the NHAA office, a CPE Certificate stating you have completed the AJHNM-Based CPE System, detailing the points you have obtained in the two subject areas can be provided to give evidence for other CPE programs.