The Swiss authorities have approved the curriculum for examinations leading to a nationally-recognised diploma in five complementary therapies including yoga.
The September 9 State Secretariat for Education Research and Innovation (SERI) decision was welcomed on Thursday by the Organisation of Swiss Alternative Medicine Professionals (OdA KT), which will conduct the exams for the diploma. The five therapies selected by the government for the complementary medicine diploma are yoga, ayurveda, shiatsu, craniosacral therapy and eutony. The first exams are expected to be held in 2016.
“Recognition by the state provides an important political basis for these therapies,” Christoph Q Meier, secretary general of OdA KT told swissinfo.ch. “The diploma will also improve the quality of therapy offered in Switzerland, as until now anybody could call themselves a therapist.”
Meier estimates that there are between 12-15,000 practitioners of complementary therapies in Switzerland. Applicants for the national diploma will first have to pass a series of pre-exams. However, those with recognised qualifications and at least five years of experience could be exempt from the pre-exams.
The exam is also open to foreign nationals but will only be offered in German, French and Italian. Meier said the possibility of conducting the exams in English could be explored if there is enough demand.
In April this year, ayurveda was also included for a separate national diploma in naturopathy medicine along with Chinese and European traditional medicine, as well as homeopathy. According to Meier, Switzerland has around 3,000 naturopaths.