Natural Health Science Foundation (NHSF) Product Accreditation

Product Accreditation

To acheive the goal to assist informed choice, it is essential that consumers, health profesionals and the media are able to identify natural health products with specific evidence.

Over the past 2 years the Foundation has worked with many stakeholders to develop a transparent, robust and independent review process of natural health products. The agreed process is described below.

Equivalence and Quality Principles for Herbal Medicines White Paper

This was first published in 2017 to describe the NHSF’s principles concerning herbal medicine quality and equivalence. This is the basis upon which a product can be described as essentially the same from a quality, efficacy and safety point of view as the specific product used in a clinical trial.

Product Accreditation – how it works

This is an overview of the process and how it is managed.

Product Accreditation – governance

This describes the independence and transparency of the process.

Product Accreditation – flowchart

This is a short summary of the sequence of the accreditation process.

Assessment Checklist QUALITY and EQUIVALENCE (Herbal Medicines)

The first step is for the product to be demonstrated as equivalent (“essentially the same”) as the product used in a clinical trial.

Assessment Checklist EFFICACY

Having established that the product on the market is equivalent to that used in a clinical trial, the clinical trial is assessed to see if the evidence demonstrated in the clinical trial supports a health benefit.

The NHSF is now processing the first applications.


Successful completion of these courses will allow students to understand the quality and evidence issues around natural health products. Any health professionals completing this course, and maintaining their knowledge every year, will be entitled to be accredited as “Specific Evidence – Certified” by the NHSF and will be placed on a database and promoted to the broader community around the world.

Professional Accreditation

To assist consumers, media and health professionals understand that evidence for natural health products is product specific, the NHSF is developing courses to explain why this is so and what it means for them. These courses will be available from mid 2020. The NHSF will provide certification for health professionals that have completed the relevant course. The goal of this certification is to assist consumers find health professionals that can guide their choice of product based on specific evidence.