Essentials of Veterinary Acupuncture
Hello, Sign In

Nationally accredited under the Australian Qualifications Framework at postgraduate level

About the Course

Who is it for?

11086NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine enables practitioners to develop competency in utilising Western herbal medicine and Western herbal medicine principles in the assessment, treatment and management of animals in their care. Successful completion of this course will enable you to integrate a new therapy into practice. 

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO National provider 91769). We offer nationally accredited training under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Nationally recognized training provides a standard against which courses and colleges can be assessed and assures the student that the course is of an appropriate standard and that government guidelines are met. As RTO accreditation is an ongoing activity you can be assured that the high standards of the CIVT are maintained. This training and qualification is available across Australia and internationally. 

11086NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine is orientated towards applied theory, which you can implement in your work almost immediately. You will be able to develop your confidence and competence over time with continuous case support, guidance and feedback from tutors with both simulated and active case forums and subsequently your own clinical cases.


Modules and Competencies

11086NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine consists of two parts, of which the programs - Year 1 Foundation Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine (Modules 1-4) and Year 2 Advanced Veterinary Herbal Therapeutics (Modules 5-8) are the teaching components. Completion of the 11086NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine requires the demonstration of skills and knowledge through a comprehensive assessment process throughout the duration of the course. Qualified assessors of CIVT assess each assessment. All 8 Units of Competency are core units and are required before full qualification is granted. Students are assessed continuously throughout the training.

Units of Competency

  • NAT11043006-Operate a veterinary herbal medicine dispensary

  • NAT11043007-Conduct literature review and prepare papers for publication

  • NAT11086001-Work within a veterinary Western herbal medicine framework

  • NAT11086002-Prescribe and explain veterinary Western herbal medicines

  • NAT11086003-Conduct a veterinary Western herbal medicine assessment

  • NAT11086004-Develop and implement a veterinary Western herbal medicine treatment strategy

  • NAT11086005-Monitor and evaluate the veterinary Western herbal medicine treatment


Course Delivery

As postgraduate students studying at an academic level, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in their own time and be able to practice skills in the workplace. The course is undertaken over 24 months and the theory component is delivered online with continuous support by teachers and tutors for the development of practical skills in the workplace. The modules are delivered online by qualified trainers and assessors including Dr Barbara Fougere and Dr Shelley Doxey with major input from recognised industry expert Dr Susan Wynn as well as other recognised industry expert practitioners contributing various components. The course is self-directed and supported by lecture notes, video lectures and comprehensive study guides which take the student through step by step. Trainers and assessors are assigned to each Module to support students in the completion of their activities and assignments as well as supporting them in developing skills and confidence in treating their own clinical cases by responding to cases via forum posts and email. One on one support is what makes this course unique. Your workplace is where you get to apply your knowledge and skills and manage your cases.


Program Duration

Part-time. 24 months. The expected volume of learning and study including clinical case time over the 24 months-1414 hours.


Service Quality Commitment

CIVT Management is responsible for the quality of its training and assessment services in compliance with the Standards for RTOs 2015, and for the issuance of the AQF certification documentation. Once you have commenced the training and assessment in this Course, CIVT is committed to completing the delivery of the training assessment within the agreed duration and will further negotiate the timing for completion of the training assessment if you are unable to complete the course due to illness or extenuating circumstances. We offer an Absence of Leave option and an Extension of Course Time option. It is your responsibility to alert us if you require either of these.

How to Apply

Prior to enrolling ensure you read the Enrolment Terms and Conditions and the Student Handbook so you are aware of your obligations and rights.

To apply please click on the Enrol button. You will receive an initial survey which you will need to complete and return. A scanned copy of your previous educational qualifications and photo identification (passport or driver’s licence) is also required to complete enrollment. If you have questions before enrolling, feel free to email our Student Services team:



Participants are required to demonstrate evidence of competencies through assessment processes which comprise activities and exercises based on actual and simulated cases in practice over the two year period. This involves submitting both written assessments and performing practical tasks which will be observed by an assessor via Skype, FaceTime or viewing of a video recording. Assessment tasks are assessed throughout the course with the final summative assessment occurring with the submission of a case logbook and two in-depth case studies.

Those who are assessed as meeting the requirements of a Unit of Competency will be provided with a Statement of Attainment. Those who are assessed as completing the requirements of the course and providing evidence of Competency for assessment will receive the Award 11086NAT-Graduate Diploma Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine.



Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/ or formal learning. Recognition of Prior Learning is offered to those who have pre-existing skills in Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine or Certificates. This offers an entry point for people who have completed Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine training prior to the availability to 11086NAT- Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine. These candidates need to complete an initial survey of experience and knowledge to determine if the RPL pathway is appropriate. Then they enrol in RPL for the course and begin the process of submission of evidence. This is a rigorous process. Any gaps in the mapping of skills and knowledge may need to fill by completing individual Units of Competency or elements of Competency. A portfolio of evidence towards RPL is submitted. This process can take 1 to 6 months to complete.


Course Outcomes

Skills and knowledge include the ability to:

  • Communicate Western herbal medicine and Western herbal concepts with clients, colleagues and other animal health professionals
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of veterinary Western herbal medicine knowledge for professional practice
  • Apply veterinary Western herbal medicine assessment skills in the assessment, treatment and management of animals in their care.
  • Integrate veterinary Western herbal medicine safely and effectively within the context of contemporary animal health care
  • Use critical analysis, evaluation and reflection skills to appraise traditional and evidence based veterinary Western herbal medicine practice
  • Apply veterinary Western herbal medicine techniques and strategies to solve challenging cases
  • Apply information gathering skills through sourcing, critically evaluating and integrating knowledge from a range of sources to prepare case reports and research reports suitable for publication

Study Outcomes

The course:

  • Provides practitioners with skills and knowledge to practice veterinary western Herbal Medicine competently
  • Provides practitioners with an accredited postgraduate level award based on assessment of their competence
  • Provides employees and clients with evidence of a high level of competence
  • Provides participants with previous training a potential bridge to higher postgraduate qualifications through Recognition of Prior Learning


  • 99 RACE Credits
Dr Shelley Doxey
Dr Barbara Fougere
Dr Susan Wynn

Meet the Tutors and Lecturers

Dr Shelley Doxey
Shelley graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London, UK in 2002 and has worked in small animal practice ever since. She has a keen interest in the management of chronic disease and also in geriatric care, which led her to explore the...
1 Webinar and 4 Courses
BSc BVMS (Hons) MODT BHSc (CMed) MHSc (Herb Med) Grad Dip Vet Acup Grad Dip VCHM Grad Dip VWHM CVA (IVAS) CVBM CVCP CMAVA
Dr Barbara Fougere is a 1986 graduate from Murdoch University Veterinary School Western Australia. She practices in Sydney Australia, exclusively in veterinary integrative medicine. She has served on the Australian Veterinary Association Policy...
18 Webinars and 11 Courses
DVM, DACVN, RH(AHG), CVA (certified veterinary acupuncturist) CVCH (certified veterinary Chinese herbalist)
Susan G. Wynn, DVM, DACVN is a 1987 graduate of the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship with Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington DC in 1988, a post-doctoral fellowship in viral...
2 Webinars and 5 Courses

What will you Learn

Foundations of Veterinary Phytotherapy

  • History of Western Herbal Medicine

  • Understanding the Language of Herbal Medicine

  • Herbal Resources and Research

Global Perspectives and Contemporary Issues of Veterinary Herbal Medicine 

  • Philosophy and Models of Traditional Medicine 
  • Contemporary Herbal Medicine Issues

  • Clinical perspectives

  • ...

Foundations of Veterinary Phytotherapy

  • History of Western Herbal Medicine

  • Understanding the Language of Herbal Medicine

  • Herbal Resources and Research

Global Perspectives and Contemporary Issues of Veterinary Herbal Medicine 

  • Philosophy and Models of Traditional Medicine 
  • Contemporary Herbal Medicine Issues

  • Clinical perspectives

Herbal Botany, Pharmacognosy,  Pharmacology & Manufacture

  • Medicinal Plant Identification and Classification

  • Pharmacognosy and Pharmacology

  • Manufacturing, Processing & Dispensing

Clinical Overview in Veterinary Practice

  • Herb Drug Interactions And Adverse reactions
  • Veterinary Herbal Pharmacy Management

  • Herbal Therapeutics in Practice


Advanced Veterinary Herbal Therapeutics

The focus of these modules is on the Materia Medica from a veterinary perspective and on therapeutics for veterinary conditions at an advanced level. Western herbal medicine for complaints of the major body systems are covered through examination of both traditional and evidence based Materia Medica. The Materia Medica covers the actions, indications, constituents and contraindications of herbs, enables the student to develop a working comprehension of the herbs in relation to the different body systems, and to become both competent and confident in the use of these herbs for a wide variety of disease states. A minimum of 120 herbs are covered during these modules in addition to 40 in the first 4 modules.

Veterinary Herbal Therapeutics I

  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Systems
  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Respiratory System

  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Cardiovascular System and Hematological System

Veterinary Herbal Therapeutics II

  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Skin and Coat
  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Immune System and Infectious conditions

  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Urinary System

Veterinary Herbal Therapeutics III

  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Musculoskeletal System
  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Nervous System and Ophthalmologic and Behavioural conditions

  • Herbal Therapeutics of the Endocrine and Reproductive Systems

Veterinary Herbal Therapeutics IV

  • Herbal Therapeutics for Equine Patients
  • Herbal Therapeutics for Cancer

  • Herbal Therapeutics for Allergies

Read More
Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine

Before you take the course

Below requirements are needed before you can take this course.

As this course provides vocational education and training in practical and theoretical skills relevant to the provision and integration of Western herbal medicine into veterinary clinical practice, for entry into the 11086NAT-Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine, candidates must hold either:

  • A veterinary science degree (Bachelors or DVM) or equivalent OR
  • A relevant bachelor degree or postgraduate qualifications (Graduate Certificate/Diploma or Master) together with significant relevant vocational practise OR
  • A veterinary nursing qualification (Cert IV or above) with significant experience (minimum 5 years) plus written practice support to provide cases
  • Exceptions to these will be considered on a case by case basis
  • Entrants must have access to at least 30 patients over the duration of the course
  • Have access to a video recording device such as a smartphone or webcam
  • Have access to a computer (with Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word and a web browser installed)
  • Have access to the internet
  • Have access to a herbal dispensary or herbal supplies

Recommended Entry Requirements

  • A high level of language, literacy and numeracy levels sufficient to interpret and analyse lectures, journal articles and prepare written reports and case studies.
  • An intermediate level of technology skills; sufficient to use an online classroom, download documents, upload assessments and post on forums.

LLN support requirements and eligibility to enrol in the qualification are assessed at enrolment.


For students residing in Australia ONLY, you will be required to apply for, or use a pre-existing, Unique Student Identifier (USI).

Course Testimonials

Get inspired with our student journeys.

"Since a childhood spent growing up in Central Europe among the fields and forests, I always had a close relationship with nature and always knew I wanted to become a vet. I gained my degree during the Velvet Revolution and fall of communism – an exciting and elating time in Europe. Later I had the opportunity to relocate to Australia and I went back to university to gain Australian veterinary qualifications, spent the next five years after graduation working in my first job, then bought a small animal clinic in Tasmania. When CIVT webinars started to ’pop up’ I was fortunate to listen to Dr Barbara Fougere and a few days later I enrolled in the GDVWHM course. Signing up for GDVA was for me a logical continuity in my newly re-discovered passion for herbs and natural therapies. The passion to use alternative medicine was growing and I eventually decided to sell my clinic to fully focus on facilitating the healing process in its wholeness and more natural ways."

Dr Martina McPeace

"I have always had a passion for integrative options for dogs and cats since I graduated veterinary medicine in 2007, however I did not think further studies would be an option for me due to my crazy family life. I referred countless patients who wanted more of an integrative approach and was so interested in the improvements seen. With a push from a lovely client to look into options, I found CIVT and realized pursuing my passion was an option. Western Herbal medicine seemed to call to me! I started using herbs on my own dog shortly into my studies and saw how much it changed her life which furthered my passion for Western Herbal Medicine. I have seen the benefits of herbal medicine in so many of my patients in the past 2 years and am excited to have so many other treatment options. I love the idea of treating the whole patient. In the past year I have also become certified in Veterinary Food Therapy and love using nutrition and herbs together to treat my patients. I also love that I can offer a plan to clients to help prevent imbalances in their pets down the road and prevent side effects from medications when used. My passion and excitement for herbal medicine keeps growing with all I have learned during my Graduate Diploma and I can't wait to continue to learn more!"

Dr Kaylan Elock

"I first got involved in Veterinary Herbal Medicine almost 15 years ago when I did an introductory course, followed by two years of study. I have been using herbal medicine and acupuncture alongside conventional diagnosis, medicine, and surgery both in general practice and in my own home visiting practice. The CIVT Grad Dip has allowed me to review my original training, and to expand on some areas, and has finally given me a recognised qualification. I feel that herbal vets gaining qualifications such as this will help the RCVS take integrative practice seriously, and realise that we are working in evidence based medicine, just with a larger toolkit. When I am not busy being a holistic vet I train and work my English Springer Spaniels and enjoy a swim in the sea."


Dr Vicky Payne
United Kingdom

"My journey with integrative medicine started when I was about ten years out of veterinary school. I was experiencing severe migraines and was not getting much help from my own doctor. A friend of many years, Patricia Baley was just finishing vet school and suggested I try acupuncture. And, as she had seen horses treated with acupuncture in Texas, she proposed that we study acupuncture for animals as soon as she graduated. Acupuncture changed my life! I felt better, and my TCM training resulted in a complete transformation of my small animal practice, integrating Traditional Chinese Medicine, adding chiropractic, and now Western Herbal Medicine into my regular practice. The Graduate Program at CIVT allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of herbal medicine, as well as honing my critical thinking, case management, and research skills."

Dr Liane Sperlich
United States of America

"I am absolutely delighted to have completed my graduate diploma. I can highly recommend this course to anyone who is considering it - the course content is thorough, well-structured, engaging and the staff are all exceptionally encouraging and supportive.

I co-own a small referral holistic veterinary practice in Glasgow’s Southside, with my twin sister Reagan. We opened the door to our premises in January 2020 - what a year to open our own practice! Despite the challenges of 2020, we have been shown so much love and support it has been incredible!

We have wonderful, dedicated clients and it is a privilege to help empower them to make the best health care choices for their animals. We are also very lucky to have a human herbalist working within the practice, helping us truly work in a holistic way with our clients and their animals.

I love gardening and grow many medicinal herbs, this has been a lovely way to really get to know the incredible plants on a deeper level. I also grow veggies in the garden, which I share with my partner, 3 dogs, 2 chickens and all the wonderful wildlife that regularly visit us. If anyone is ever in Glasgow, please be sure to get in touch and stop by for a cup of herbal tea!"

Dr Jordan Carnwath
United Kingdom

"When I graduated from University of Queensland in 1997 as a newly minted vet I was excited to apply everything I had learnt. For my final year thesis, I chose the subject of acupuncture. To this day, I don’t exactly know why I did that. It seemed randomly interesting at the time and it introduced me to the work of a senior Practitioner using acupuncture and attaining great results using this modality.  It sparked a small but enduring flame. As a small animal vet, I dived into the conventional western medicine camp. It sufficed for a while. I worked in practices throughout Queensland and Victoria. In 2000 I arrived in the UK in time for the Foot and Mouth outbreak. This plunged me into the large animal sphere and it was a challenging time for vets. I stayed working in the UK in mainly small animal and emergency medicine until 2004.

During my time in the UK, I started a family and finally I wanted to come back to Australia to live and work. I bought a quiet small animal practice in the outskirts of Melbourne in 2008. I was on a mission to build the practice, and I learnt a lot. However, I was frustrated with some cases that no matter what I did, conventional medicine could not resolve the issues that were presented. Most annoying of all was that I could not resolve the skin problems that presented with my newly adopted 12-month-old Golden Retriever.  

I sought other avenues and the door opened to complimentary therapies, which I found to work very well. Change was on the horizon. I decided to get formal training within the integrative therapies field and enrolled to complete the diploma in Western herbal Medicine with CIVT. I also decided to sell my successful practice in 2019 and arrived at the American Holistic Veterinary Conference in Tennessee that same year. To say, my eyes were opened wide, is an understatement. I met outstanding vets in their field all using complimentary/alternative medicine with great success. It was mind-blowing. There was no turning back from then on – the path was clear. I continued to study and then complete my Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine at the end of 2020. It has been a rewarding and challenging journey, as I had to confront old paradigms and make way for new shifts. The information I have learnt about nutrition and plant-based medicine was very in-depth and was much more than I had ever learnt while at university. Studying the course at CIVT has given me more tools in the toolkit to assist in treating diseases using herbal medications. This modality provides impressive health outcomes.

Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine is now integrated into how I practice veterinary medicine. I continue to see great results with my patients. As I write this, I am planning to open a new purpose built Holistic Veterinary Hospital in the Surf Coast Region of Victoria in 2022. In the meantime, my patient list is growing. Currently I am offering a mobile veterinary service which the community has warmly embraced. 

I am so happy to be able to offer this approach to patients and I am deeply respectful and grateful for the work of Barbara Fougere, my tutor Colin Daly and all at CIVT."

Dr Ivor Javen
BSc (Hons-1), BVS, GDVWHM

"I have a small integrative veterinary practice in the mountains of Colorado. My practice is cozy, very personal and quaint and I focus on providing personal and individualized care to all my patients. My fundamental goal is to assist animals into a state of balanced health using acupuncture, laser and other body work, herbal medicines, nutritional counseling and individualized preventative care strategies tailored to the unique needs of each patient and family. In addition to my deeply rooted passion around TCVM, I have a love for and resonance with all plant medicines. I am thrilled to have just completed the Graduate Diploma Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine course and I hope and plan to use these skills and increased knowledge to help more patients with expanded and more effective herbal medicine offerings." 

Dr Kelly Keeney
United States of America

"My interest in natural therapies started shortly after graduating from vet school when my dog, Spaz, who had IBD, taught me the power of minimally processed food. If it weren't for her, I might never have opened my mind to raw or minimally processed food, and then the other holistic modalities that followed. I am particularly interested in Western Herbs because the wild plants talk to me! I go for a walk in the woods nearby and it is truly incredible how much medicine surrounds me. The local plants that I can see, touch, smell and watch as they change through the seasons are the best medicine of all! Western herbs are the focus of my practice, I am also acupuncture certified and have acquired some knowledge of TCM herbs via osmosis. I’ve found herbs have made such a positive difference in the lives of so many animals, but most important to me now is my own dog, Kismet, who has osteosarcoma and is enjoying the best days of her life thanks in large part to herbal medicine. The Grad Dip VWHM has taught me to make more effective herbal formulas that are tailored to the individual animal, paying particular attention to the energetics of the herbs and the animal. I was using herbs before, but not in such an individualized manner. It makes me feel good to make a difference in the lives of the animals around me! I highly recommend the Grad Dip VWHM course - the breadth and depth of topics covered provide the necessary knowledge to make a powerful difference in the lives of the animals that cross our paths. I’m looking forward to next learning more about TCM herbs and homeopathy."

Dr Tonya Khan

"I am a perpetual studier, a few years after graduating as veterinarian I completed a Masters of Veterinary Studies, then a few short courses in various topics. The more I studied in conventional medicine the more frustrated I became with the hypocrisy of belittling herbal medicine with claims of insufficient evidence when a large proportion of conventional treatments have very limited or low-grade evidence behind them. I have always had an open mind and niggling curiosity about herbal medicine, so I started with just the 6 week essentials of veterinary WHM course and immediately loved everything about it - Dr Fougere's tutorial style, the immense amount of research that has clearly gone into each and every topic and how clearly presented and easy to use the information was. From there I continued on to do the certificate and then the graduate diploma which was similarly a lot of information, clearly presented with really helpful and supportive tutors. 

I still practice conventional medicine and offer western herbal medicine to interested clients. Studying the graduate diploma has helped me become a much more thorough veterinarian generally but it has really sparked a passion in herbal medicine. I am trying to make myself take a year off studying before I start browsing the CIVT course list to see what I will enroll in next."

Dr Emily Warfield

"I've been a practising vet for 30 years, throughout this time I have always felt that I could offer the animals I treated more than just conventional medicine; especially in cases that were non-responsive. I've always had an interest in complementary medicine and incorporated very basic remedies into my treatment protocols throughout my career.

In the last few years I was very fortunate to learn about CIVT and undertake the Essentials course initially, followed by my Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine. The learning journey has completely transformed the way I practice. The ability to help animals at this deeper level utilising herbal medicine has provided a significantly greater level of job and patient satisfaction. 

The quality and high standard of learning, utilising evidence based medicine when available gave me the confidence to support the complementary therapies utilised in practice; particularly when discussing cases with colleagues.

Seeing animals respond to natural treatments brings me immense joy and a desire to keep learning. This Diploma has provided the impetus to allow me to fulfil my passion in bringing a different model to Veterinary Science. I have started a new veterinary business based on providing holistic support for animals, working alongside the clients conventional veterinarian. This is an exciting new chapter in my journey in promoting animal health through holistic modalities."

Dr Jacqui Snell
New Zealand

"I graduated from veterinary school (Michigan State University) in 1997. Thereafter, I pursued an internship, then residency program in Internal Medicine. I presently work in a small animal specialty hospital SE Michigan, where my employer has been supportive of my herbal studies.
I was initially attracted to internal medicine because I loved "solving the puzzle". I gradually became aware of gaps and deficiencies in allopathic medicine, and was disillusioned with the limited options in the treatment of diseases I encountered daily (too many missing puzzle pieces!). Herbal medicine has filled some of these gaps, and I hope to keep learning more integrative medicine.
My first introduction to western herbalism was when I was having my children. My homebirth midwifery group practiced herbalism, and I experienced its efficacy first hand. It planted a seed in my mind (no pun intended) that took some years to sprout. Once my kids were a bit older, I discovered CIVT's program and online training was a perfect fit for me.
Certainly, I am fortunate and grateful simply to have the knowledge- but the Grad Dip was important to achieve in my mind not only to enrich my daily practice, but also to lend validity to my referring veterinary community and clients', an acknowledgement that I hold this training and knowledge on a par with my internal medicine specialty certification."                               

Dr Cheryl Rice
United States of America

"I developed an interest in integrative medicine before starting vet school while working for a veterinarian who did acupuncture. There was not much exposure to alternative therapies during school, but some amazing veterinarians took time to come speak to the students about alternative therapies, and I knew I wanted to learn these modalities to help my patients. I started out with acupuncture certification and then training in Chinese herbs, and loved having those options available. I added rehabilitation therapy and spinal manipulation therapy certification and was also very pleased with how much those modalities benefited my patients. Then I took a weekend short-course in Western herbal medicine and knew I had to learn more. The Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine has been a challenging and rewarding course of study. It has helped integrate my scientific, western minded side with my energetic, intuitive side. Herbs are an amazing modality and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping my patients with these natural, effective treatments."

Dr Theresa SaLee
United States of America

"I became seriously interested in integrative medicine when I herniated a disc in my back 15 years ago. Experiencing first-hand how acupuncture kept me from needing surgery, I enrolled and earned certification in veterinary acupuncture from The Chi Institute. My next step in my alternative medicine journey was studying manual therapy (Animal Normalization Therapy) and was fascinated and very impressed with the quick responses in animals when conventional medicine had failed. What drew me to this was the gentle technique and no needles, perfect for those needle shy patients or clients. As more clients were seeking my advice on herbs they purchased over the internet, I realized just how ignorant I was on this aspect of alternative medicine. My journey continued when I received an email from CIVT about their course on Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine. As Chinese herbs never resonated with me, I grabbed this opportunity. After three very intense but well worthwhile years of study, I obtained my Grad Dip VWHM. This course demonstrated firsthand the power of herbs by reversing my partner's chronic leukopenia (conventional medicine was exhausted), resolving panic anxiety in a colleague's dog, to slowing CRD in my own uncooperative 19 year old cat. Herbs are now an extra tool in my toolbox. Thank you CIVT!"

Dr Karen Neff
United States of America

"The graduate diploma is a big deal for me. Twenty years ago I began my journey into alternative medicine by getting certified in acupuncture. Since that time I have taken many acupuncture and herb courses and have been slowly integrating that knowledge into my practice. When I realized that herbal medicine could carry beyond the dead ends in western medicine and could solve many of our problems without side effects I decided I wanted to learn as much as I could about Western herbal medicine. So I signed up for the CIVT VWHM course. It was fabulous! Now at age 67 instead of being burned out  and retiring, I am energized and full of confidence to practice good quality integrative medicine. I hope  also to enlighten some of my colleagues as to the benefits of herbal medicine!"

Dr Leah Whipple
United States of America

"I became interested in Integrative Medicine shortly after graduation from veterinary school. I was doing an internship at a teaching hospital and saw that a number of patients with chronic diseases that could not be managed well with traditional medical treatment. I did a lot of self-study for a number of years before I was able to attend my first formal training course, Options for Animals Chiropractic course, in 1999. It has been an exceptional journey since then, exploring a number of treatment modalities with some exceptionally caring and talented teachers. 

I have been working with Western Herbs for a number of years but decided to take the Graduate Diploma program from CIVT as a gift to myself. I wanted to undertake a structured program from experienced teachers that would result in a credential that would have meaning to both my clients and my colleagues. The course was everything that I had hoped for and more. The didactic material provided a solid foundation in the theory and practice of Western Herbalism, and the assignments and student forums gave me a broad range of approaches to cases we see every day in practice. I'm so happy that I decided to make the commitment to take the course. My next steps are going to be a deeper dive into a few different aspects of Western Herbal medicine that I discovered during the course. I'm so thankful for the instructors and fellow students for all the help they gave me along the way."



Dr Neal Sivula
United States of America

"My journey in herbal medicine started more than 15 years ago after seeing phytotherapy in veterinary practice in France before I moved to the UK. I trained in herbal medicine through a modular certificate course in the UK shortly after. Very few vets were trained or even aware of western herbal veterinary medicine at the time. Together with some colleagues, we founded the British Association of Veterinary Herbalists. I have worked as a pure referral integrated vet for the last ten years, combining acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal medicine in rehabilitation and conventional veterinary settings. The postgraduate Western herbal medicine diploma RPL route has allowed me to gain an internationally recognised qualification. It has been a time of reflection, deepening understanding and reviewing my practice which has had a significant impact personally and professionally. I am immensely proud that I am now a member of a select group of vets worldwide who has achieved greater depth in western herbal medicine. I want to especially thank Barbara Fougere, who encouraged me to take this RPL step and kept me going when lockdown homeschooling and case log writing got a bit much."

Dr Veerle Dejonkheere
United Kingdom

"I had always cared for myself in a herbal and holistic manner and was lucky enough to work along side Veerle Dejonckheere who provided me with the inspiration and encouragement to start my veterinary herbal training.  I wanted to be able to do more for my patients and provide them with more complete care, whilst enabling their owners to be more proactive.  The course has changed my entire view of clinical practice and, although I still work in conventional veterinary medicine practices, all of my clinical work has been improved by this course.  By being able to give enough time to clients and patients and by having the luxury of getting to know them, the care that I can provide is totally different and can touch on all aspects of their life.  The course is very detailed and guides you well through the work needed to gain a deeper understanding.  My understanding and knowledge of cytokines and physiology has improved exponentially from this course.  The depth of detail given and the support from tutors is brilliant.  I am so happy to have been introduced to CIVT and all that it offers and am very proud indeed to have completed my Graduate Diploma."

Dr Clara Greenwood
United Kingdom

"My interest in herbalism began with my own health.  Seeing that I could manage my own medical conditions with plants led me to naturally apply a more holistic approach to my own pets.  After 13 years in the veterinary field I could clearly see the space where herbalism would fit.  As a veterinary technician, I was beyond ecstatic to be able to expand my knowledge base and advance my career as an herbalist.  It truly doesn't feel like work when you are following your passion."

Elyse Hoffman
United States of America

"I completed my DVM at Colorado State University in 1997.  A good friend of mine had graduated a few years before and went to work for a holistic vet who did homeopathy.  That was a little more than my linear scientific mind could handle, but I found that acupuncture made a lot of sense to me, and I completed the CSU Acupuncture course in 1998.  It opened up amazing possibilities.  There were few to no medications for arthritis in animals, so I treated a lot of OA patients with great response, including many who would have been euthanized without it.  I have felt through my career that conventional medicine is limited by trying to treat every patient as the same, rather than the individuals that they are.  And we have pet owners to consider, who come to us with a wide variety of philosophies and capabilities, meaning the gold standard may be inappropriate or out of reach.  I never quite fit in the "one size fits all" paradigm.  Over the years, I've added to my knowledge by completing the Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM) as well as courses in homotoxicology.  In 2013 I received my Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) through the IVAPM.  The Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine was the next logical step, as I had clients constantly bringing me herbs and supplements to evaluate and I didn't know what to tell them.  The program was super challenging because it required another paradigm shift and that period of discomfort where you know enough to say try this but not enough to see all the possible problems with that option.  And of course, I didn't plan on a pandemic or building a new clinic when I set out on this path.  But it all worked out and I'm so happy I did the course.  I'm able to evaluate products and I know where to go look if I don't know a particular herb.  And I've had some awesome successes with my cases, including a neurologic completely incontinent dog in diapers who is now doing so well the diapers are completely off.  So, it was absolutely worth the effort, and I would recommend the course to anyone who has a strong interest in herbs.  I have gained confidence in both my integrative skills as well as my conventional ones - I just did my first PRP injection last week."

Dr Shelley Brown
United States of America

“I soon recognized when I started as a veterinarian in conventional Western practice that there was so much more that can be done to treat animals through holistic modalities. As I learned different modalities including acupuncture, nutrition/food therapy, and canine rehabilitation therapy I saw how well patients responded to these treatments and I was inspired to pursue further training. I have always been drawn to botanical medicine and I am so grateful for CIVT in offering herbal medicine studies with fantastic teachers through an online format. I earned a Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine and most recently a second Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine. By training in the Graduate Diploma programs I feel that I can offer a diversity of therapeutic options with herbs to my patients. I am excited by the opportunity to continue learning through CIVT and developing skills in new areas.”

Dr Sally Lane
United States of America

"My love for both animals and plants developed early being part of a local nature conservation group from a young age. Most of my pocket money I earned harvesting herbs, for example Small Flowered Willowherb, Lime Flower, St Johns Wort and Hawthorn.

In Germany licensed herbal remedies are widely used in human and veterinary medicine. They were part of an integrated approach in my first job in mixed practice and to start with I focused on acupuncture and laser therapy. But moving to the United Kingdom hardly any licensed herbal veterinary products were available. For that reason I started training in veterinary herbal medicine in 2012. The course didn’t lead to a formal qualification, and I was glad that CIVT enabled me to get more structure into my herbal knowledge. They really made an effort to assess my pre-existing learning and helped me understand how to fill in existing gaps.

I live and work in rural Herfordshire (UK) and still “harvest” in our garden instead of weeding. The Mistletoe for cardio-vascular used comes from local organic orchards, where removing some Mistletoe is part of their restoration.

Some of the course work has deepened my relationship with the manufactures of the herbal tinctures I use in practice and enhanced my herbal dispensary considerably.

I enjoy that herbalism incorporates so many traditions, but I didn’t have a good understanding what the actual “Western” approach is. My knowledge especially of the non-native herbs has very much improved during the course and they combine very well with my old favourites."

Dr Iris Ege
United Kingdom

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the questions that our students asked?
Is online study right for me?

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. Online or distance learning is not for everyone. Think carefully before you enroll. To succeed in online learning and distance education you will need:

  • A commitment to study and enquiry
  • To be capable of self directed learning with our guidance and support through your course
  • Motivation to pursue your course of study
  • Access to the internet and a printer
  • A good internet service that provides a good speed for downloads
  • An enthusiasm for engaging with your tutors and peers
  • The ability to work on your own or collaborate in a team
  • The capability of an independent level of written and spoken English
  • An appointment by phone may be requested prior to course commencement- we don't want you to start if we think we can't provide the right experience for you
  • If you are not sure contact us, we can help you gain a  full understanding of our courses before applying.

What you won't need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

All our courses are available to enrol at any time.  Our courses are part time, self paced within the course timeframe, and fully online.  Sometimes there is a scheduled start date for a course, in which we accept a group intake of enrolments. This encourages a cohort of students to move through the course together, making for a more interactive learning experience.

Although some courses have live sessions available, there are no live sessions that you are required to attend for any of our courses.  Our courses are delivered online and are self paced within the course timeframe, to give you the greatest flexibility with your study. You can study anywhere, anytime that suits you. We have great learning tools such as lectures, comprehensive course notes, videos, online resources, discussion forum and continuous support from our highly qualified and experienced tutors to help you can get the most out of your course.

Please refer to our enrolment terms and conditions when seeking extra time in a course, 

If you take a "leave of absence/deferral" from a course this freezes your progress in the course.  You will have no access to the course during this time.  A request for a leave of absence/deferral can be made for up to 3 months, initially.  Longer periods of time away from the course can be reviewed after this time.  If you want to use any course resources whilst you are taking your leave of absence/deferral you will need to download the material (such as documents, course notes, reading material) beforehand.  There is no fee to take a leave of absence/deferral, however your regular payment instalments for the course will continue.

If you request an "extension" for a course, you may be given extra time in a course and still have full access to the course.  An extension can be granted for up to, or equal to, the maximal period of study for that course.  There is a fee involved in applying for an extension, this varies according to the amount of extra time requested and is found on the link provided.


This depends on the type of course you enrol in.

Our introductory or short courses require approximately 3-5 hours per week.  Our Certifications and Graduate Diplomas require approximately 5-10 hours per week.  This will vary amongst individuals, depending on the pace in which they learn.  More time may be needed each week, depending on how long an individual needs to spend on completing assignments. 

If you are a registered Veterinarian, you are eligible to enrol in any of our courses, 

If you are a Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Nurse or Animal Health Professional you may be able to apply to enrol in selected courses for Veterinarians, however you will need to go through an eligibility process first. Otherwise, you can apply for our courses for Animal Health Professionals, 

If you are a Pet Owner, you can apply for our courses designed for Pet Owners, 


Earn your own CIVT certificate of completion

The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers courses that are both challenging and rewarding. You can learn at your own pace under the tutelage of experts in their field. What you won’t need is to pay airfares, travel, hotel bills by participating in green education!

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements.

Payment Options

Choose the option that would work best for you
Pay the course by installment
$8,495.00 USD

Here are the installment details. Currencies not supported by PayPal will be converted to AUD currency.

Setup Fee: $1,495.00 USD
Upfront Payment / Initial Payment
Monthly Payment : $350.00 USD
20-month installment plan starts one month after upfront payment.
Note : Please refer to the terms and conditions for further information.

Extend your knowledge with our Webinars

Access webinars in your preferred time or join with our upcoming live webinars
Canine Atopic Dermatitis: Help, my dog is itching all the time!
Canine Atopic Dermatitis: Help, my dog is itching all the time!
Dr Shelley Doxey BVetMed (Hons), MRCVS, GDVWHM
Seizing Control: Exploring Nervines as Adjuncts in Veterinary Epilepsy Management
Seizing Control: Exploring Nervines as Adjuncts in Veterinary Epilepsy Management
Dr Barbara Fougere BSc BVMS (Hons) MODT BHSc (CMed) MHSc (Herb Med) Grad Dip Vet Acup Grad Dip VCHM Grad Dip VWHM CVA (IVAS) CVBM CVCP CMAVA
Seizing Control : Exploring Nervines as Adjuncts in Veterinary Epilepsy Management
Seizing Control : Exploring Nervines as Adjuncts in Veterinary Epilepsy Management
Dr Barbara Fougere BSc BVMS (Hons) MODT BHSc (CMed) MHSc (Herb Med) Grad Dip Vet Acup Grad Dip VCHM Grad Dip VWHM CVA (IVAS) CVBM CVCP CMAVA