Professional Development

Professional development is the way health professionals continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so that they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to work safely, effectively and legally. Professional development can have different focuses which helps us deepen our understanding of subjects of special interest, or allows us to broaden our knowledge into a related field.

There is a wide scope in this area for the practitioner to develop extra skills, for example developing counselling skills or studying nutrition in more depth.

Initial Professional Development Programme (New Members Scheme)

Initial Professional Development Programme (New Members Scheme)
When a newly qualified herbalist joins the NIMH they embark upon lifelong professional development. NIMH has a specially designed programme of development and support for new members which recognises that the newly qualified herbalist has needs that are additional to those of the established practitioner.

Established in 1996 and originally called the New Members Scheme the Initial Professional Development Programme (IPDP) was set up to provide support and education to members starting out in practice. This was in response to members’ needs for training in accounting and business management. The IPDP has now developed into a complete programme of professional development.

The Initial Professional Development Programme (IPDP) has several components and is compulsory for all new members. The core elements of IPDP are:

• Induction – what it means to be a professional and a member of a professional body, and how the NIMH works
• Development – continuing professional development, building a practice and establishing an identity as a practitioner
• Support – mentoring and help with all aspects of practice and practice management

Continuing Professional Development Programme

All members of the NIMH are required to carry out Continuing Professional Development (CPD). A carefully monitored CPD scheme ensures herbalists retain high standards of safe, effective and legal practice. As the role of the modern herbalist continuously evolves to meet the requirements of the 21st Century, the CPD programme ensures that NIMH members meet this challenge in fine form. This is achieved through a wide range of learning activities that enable practitioners to develop and update their skills where most appropriate.

This includes attending NIMH conference and seminars to update their clinical skills and therapeutic knowledge and to keep abreast of new research. Special interest study groups are being introduced so members can deepen their knowledge in a specific subject area. Members are also encouraged to contribute to the development and organisation of NIMH.

International Members have full access to lecture notes of the NIMH Seminars and can communicate readily with other herbalists via a NIMH online discussion forum. There are also many opportunities for them to be involved in the organisation.

The Postgraduate Training Board

The Postgraduate Training Board (PTB) organises seminars for initial and continuing professional development as well as organising the lecture and workshop programme for NIMH’s Annual Conference. The PTB is also responsible for the management and administration of the Initial Professional Development Programme.

The Postgraduate Training Board comprises a Chair, Secretary, the Initial Professional Development Programme Coordinator, the Mentor Coordinator, and ordinary officers.  For queries to the PTB please email or
contact the NIMH head office at