Certification Requirements

A duly qualified and licensed naturopathic physician may be approved to practice hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy in the Province by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia by the recommendation of the Quality Assurance (QA) Committee upon successful completion of all three of the following parts.

(1) Education

The physician standard of primary training in hyperbaric medicine is a 40 hour course approved by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society.  Registrants may take the following courses to satisfy the training requirements for this certification:

– “Fundamentals of Hyperbaric Medicine”, provided by the Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit of Simon Fraser University.

Standard Examination of Qualifications

The written and oral examination in hyperbaric medicine must be completed to the approval of the Committee.


The safe administration of high-dose inhaled oxygen at pressure is to be practiced as full life-support of a critical life function. Hyperbaric qualified physicians must examine each patient for fitness for therapy, assess medical contraindications, inform the patient or their agent of the risks of the therapy, as well as the benefits, and obtain consent for therapy. A physician supervising HBO therapy shall remain in the facility during the patient’s first treatment, and shall be available within five minutes during the treatment of any patient in the facility. Any hyperbaric treatment supervised by a physician shall only proceed while a reliable communications link is established with the chamber operator. Barotrauma and emergency procedures may require medical consultation or evacuation to critical care facilities.

(2) Facilities

The facility housing a hyperbaric oxygen chamber shall meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes for healthcare facilities NFPA 99, and all applicable sections of Chapter 19 codes for hyperbaric installations. Fire and electrical inspection and approval by local authorities is mandatory. The hyperbaric chamber must meet Lloyd’s standards for Pressure Vessels for Human Occupancy. It must be fit for use, properly installed to manufacturer’s specifications, commissioned by qualified personnel, and maintained to the specifications of the manufacturer.

The Committee must inspect any hyperbaric facility it may approve for adherence to safety codes and practices, and shall inspect logs and records for proper practices, informed consent, maintenance and credentials of personnel.

(3) Examination of Qualifications

A provincial written and practical examination in hyperbaric medicine must be successfully completed to the approval of the Committee. A grade of 75% must be attained in both the practical and the written exam. The results WILL NOT be averaged together.


A hyperbaric physician must be re-certified by the Committee every three years. This shall include re-examination by the Committee and review of approved continuing education.


Any facility approved by the Committee must be re-certified every three years. This may include a site inspection of the chamber, its housing, records of conformation to the standards set by the Committee, clinical records of the practice of hyperbaric medicine, and credentials of personnel administering hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

In addition to the completion of these requirements, it is expected of a naturopathic physician to adhere to common standards of practice of hyperbaric therapy. The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Operations Committee 1999 Report recommends these guidelines.

Primary approved therapies

The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society has, since 1977, published a list of approved indications for appropriate use of hyperbaric oxygen in medicine. These have scientific and mechanistic validity based on high quality controlled clinical trials, and are an important guideline to practitioners and third party reimbursement agencies.

Ancillary therapies

Other conditions may be treated if approved by the Board upon institutional review by the QA Committee. Review shall consist of evidence of safety and risk analysis effectiveness, recommended protocols and standards of care. Non-UHMS approved conditions are to be evaluated by the Scope of Practice and QA committees. An institutional review of safety and effectiveness, protocols and standards of care is needed for each condition to be approved.

  • To apply for certification in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, please contact the College

Co-requisites for Certification:

In order to apply for and maintain certification in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, naturopathic physicians must hold and maintain: