The Charity Commission began a consultation on 13 March 2017 on how it should approach registering organisations that promote complementary and alternative medicines ('CAMs'). The consultation is part of a review of how the Charity Commission decides whether organisations that use or promote CAMs are charities.
The Commission emphasised that it neither supports nor opposes CAMs and that the registration of a CAMs organisation does not equate to an endorsement of the therapies. Rather, registration of a charity requires a legal test in which the Commission considers a range of factors, including whether an organisation's purposes benefit the public and whether any potential harm may outweigh these benefits.
The Commission explained that it must rely on evidence to be certain that there is a public benefit, and the consultation will focus on the nature of the evidence it should require of organisations pursuing or promoting CAMs that apply to register as charities. For instance, the regulator has asked how it should consider conflicting or inconsistent evidence as to whether a certain therapy is effective. The Commission will also consider whether a distinction should be made between organisations promoting complementary versus alternative therapies.
The consultation document is available here runs until 20 May 2017.