Accreditation Subcommittee



Annual Report Article on Accreditation Project
By Daniel Seitz, JD, EdD

This past July, NAMA embarked on one of our most important projects to date: the creation of an
accrediting process for Ayurvedic medical programs. As many of you know, accreditation is a widely
used approval process for higher education programs in the U.S., including clinical programs in a wide
variety of medical and healthcare professions. Basically, accrediting agencies establish curriculum and
other standards for education in a professional or academic field, and then determine whether
individual schools meet the standards. In short, the job of accreditors is to ensure high quality education
and training.

Why is accreditation important for the Ayurvedic profession? Apart from ensuring that students receive
a quality education that enables them to be effective practitioners, accreditation is essential to our
profession’s credibility. Every recognized, licensed medical and healthcare field in the U.S.—whether
conventional medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, dentistry, nutrition or chiropractic—has a well-
established accreditation process. Without one for Ayurvedic medicine, our long-range goal of
professional licensure would be impossible to achieve, and acceptance of our field by the general public
would be impeded. Moreover, accreditation can help open doors, whether for health insurance
coverage for Ayurvedic services or new opportunities for Ayurvedic practitioners to work in
conventional clinical setting.


NAMA decided to undertake this project at this time for three reasons:

  • We already have in place well-established educational standards for three levels of
    practice—Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Doctor—that will serve
    nicely as a basis for our accreditation process, and have just recently developed standards for
    two additional levels: Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist and Panchakarma Technician;
  • We have already developed (or are currently developing) a certification process for individual
    professionals that corresponds to these educational levels; and
  • We have the organizational resources to accomplish this foundational work for our field.
    Although NAMA is spearheading this project, we are committed to working with the entire Ayurvedic
    community to create an accreditation process that reflects our shared needs and aspirations. As we
    develop draft standards and policies, we will share them with the community and ask for feedback. We are committed to a transparent process.

We have appointed a knowledgeable group of Ayurvedic educators and practitioners to assist in
developing accreditation standards and policies: Kathleen Savita Brownfield, CEO at the Mount
Madonna Institute; Gerard Buffo, AP, MD, former dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda; Dhaval Dhru,
AP, MD, chair of the Department of Ayurvedic Sciences at Bastyr University and NAMA board president;
Erin Kreeger, PhD, dean of education at the Ayurvedic Institute; and Alakananda Ma, AD, MD, faculty
member and academic dean at the Alandi Ashram School of Ayurveda and NAMA board member.
Assisting and guiding the accreditation working group are NAMA executive director, Hilary Garivaltis, AP,
and Daniel Seitz, JD, EdD, an expert in higher education accreditation and a professional facilitator.



This is an exciting time for NAMA. Please review the proposed documents for the new Accreditation division. 


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