GNC Complaints and Disciplinary Procedures

The General Naturopathic Council Limited (GNC) is concerned when an allegation is made against one of our members and it is serious enough to raise doubts about the member’s overall professional competence.  When a complaint of this kind is made against a member, the GNC will consider it to see whether the facts as alleged constitute a case to answer.  If they do the matter will be investigated further. The GNC sets out the standards expected of our members in its Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The GNC’s complaints process is not intended to be punitive. It is designed to promote good practice and instil public confidence.  Anyone with a complaint about a GNC member should first try to resolve it locally. Many complaints can be resolved appropriately at that level. We realise in some circumstances you may prefer to contact the GNC straightaway rather than contact the practitioner. Complaints of improper behaviour will always merit initial investigation to see if they are well founded.

The GNC can only consider complaints about a member’s ‘fitness to practise’. To be ‘fit to practise’ a therapist must have the health and character, as well as the skills and knowledge, to work safely and effectively in their therapy.

The types of complaints that we can consider

Those where a practitioner’s ‘fitness to practise’ is brought into question by:

  • misconduct: examples of this might include, working under the influence of alcohol, having a sexual relationship with a client, abusive behaviour.
  • a lack of competence (not having the required skills and knowledge to provide appropriate care and advice)
  • a caution or conviction for an offence in the UK (or somewhere else for an offence that would be a crime if it were committed in the UK). Examples of such offences might include theft, violence, child pornography
  • physical or mental health problems that render the member unable to provide the degree of skill and knowledge that would be expected

The types of complaints we cannot consider

  • complaints against therapists who are not GNC members
  • incidents that took place more than two years ago or something the complainant became aware of more than two years ago
  • complaints about clinics or hospitals; we can only consider complaints about individuals

Making a complaint to the GNC

We ask for any complaint to be made to the GNC in writing and sent to our Secretary at the address that can be found on our website. The foundation of the complaint should be clearly set out. The complaint will be acknowledged.

For the full GNC complaints procedure, click here