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The Institute has, for many years, been able to award Honorary Associate status to ‘any person who has in its opinion contributed notably to the advancement of Medical Herbalism or the promotion of the Objects’. Our Objects are ‘to promote and encourage the study and practice… of the art and science of Medical Herbalism’, so we have awarded Associate status to a number of the members of our wider herbal community over the years.

Following feedback from some of our Members, we have been exploring ways that we can strengthen that connection with those who may not be registered Members, but who have a huge amount to contribute to the Institute, our work, and our Members. As a result, we are thrilled to be updating the Associate status and we will shortly be announcing that those working in and around herbalism will be able to become an Associate of the Institute.

This is an important step to build a deeper, wider community within the Institute, and to bring new knowledge and understanding to our community. However, it does not change what it means to be a Member of the Institute. We are very proud of our high professional standards, and becoming an Associate is not a mark of competency in clinical practice – only our registered Members and Fellows have met our entry standards, and they will continue to be the practitioners we promote to the public. Associates do not have voting rights, and are not considered ‘Members’ in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, and this will not change with this update.

Expanding the route to become an Associate is about diversifying the Institute, not diluting it, and having been initiated from feedback from our Members, we are confident that it will benefit all of our existing Members.

How does Associate membership fit into our existing categories?