AOI is a community, not an organisation that writes educational courses. We care about the animals we treat, the students we teach and the planet we all share.
We believe in offering the best quality education at a price students can afford, and we do this by avoiding unnecessary processes that add very little to the student experience, and we don’t waste money on expenses, such as fancy offices in costly cities, Instead we focus on educational material and support mechanisms that help our students to grow as people and practitioners. We help them to feel part of something bigger than themselves, so that they can go on to become first class graduates.
In line with this inclusive approach, we support our international audience through the use of online theoretical content and the transcription of all our lectures, so that students can translate them into the local language for ease of learning. We have also consolidated our practicums to reduce, not only our carbon footprint, but also the cost to our students.
From a wider perspective, AOI works in collaboration with other outstanding educators around the world. People who share our values and go above and beyond for the students they serve. Moreover, AOI partners with individuals whose work supports and promotes animal charities and projects internationally.
Executive Head & Programme Leader
Dustie Houchin has been an osteopath since 1998 and has made osteopathy her life. She has been an ambassador of animal osteopathy for over 20 years and today, focuses on creating high quality courses at manageable prices, so that practitioners can achieve the right level of training without having to thrust themselves into a lifetime of debt. Additionally, as the Executive Head and Programme Director of Animal Osteopathy International, the past Programme Leader Animal Osteopathy at the ESO, (where she wrote the first ever MSc Animal Osteopathy for an Osteopathic Institute) and a ghost writer for the first direct access animal osteopathic course in France, Dustie has plenty of experience in course development and the management thereof.
Alongside her day job, Dustie also works for the GOsC as an Assessor and Reviewer and regularly lecturers at the Vienna School of Osteopathy (Wiener Schule für Osteopathie) and ASOMI, Turin, Italy for Swansea University.
She has worked as an osteopath for animals since 2001, prior to which she was lucky enough to attend courses with the late Anthony Pusey, where her passion began. As a lecturer, Dustie has always focused on the more functional links between ill-health and the outward facing body. This has made her a very compassionate and patient osteopath and it is this skill that she brings to her teaching. Dustie is a Director for the Association of Animal Osteopaths and a founding council member of RAMP.
Director of Education
Eleanor Andrews is an academic and clinician. She is also an international lecturer of human and animal osteopathy with an extensive equine background. She is the current President of RAMP, where her work strives for the regulation of Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists in animal practice, and she wholeheartedly believes in the encouragement of high quality education and practice standards in the animal domain. From 2014 to 2018, Eleanor was the lead lecturer on the MSc Animal Osteopathy, PG Cert and PG Diploma courses at the ESO and today, sits as the Director of Education for the AOI.
Eleanor is also a Director of the Association of Animal Osteopaths and she continues to lecture for the ESO. As a lecturer, Eleanor’s knowledge is extensive. Her research and mapping of osteopathic models and concepts for the animal patient, is second to none and her students are lucky enough to gain from her knowledge base, in a way that in rare in the industry.
Quality Assurance Manager
Melanie Coutinho qualified from the British School of Osteopathy in 1987 and alongside running successful private practices, has been involved in Osteopathic education, at different osteopathic institutions since then. She has held roles of classroom lecturer, clinical tutor through to Clinic Director, Course Director and Principal. Her examining experience ranges from being a Final Clinical Competence examiner and Moderator, to having been an External Examiner for three UK Universities. Her experience is not only in overseeing academic assessments, but also more significantly, in the provision and quality management of Osteopathic degrees Worldwide. Melanie has been a Board member of the Osteopathic European Academic Network (OsEAN) and works with International osteopathic institutions helping develop their provision.
Melanie is passionately committed to the continual development of high quality osteopathic programmes that enhance the reputation of the Profession, and her work with the College of Osteopaths, the University College of Osteopathy – UCO (formally British School of Osteopathy), the European School of Osteopathy, the British College of Osteopathic Medicine the London College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Surrey Institute of Osteopathic Medicine (SIOM at Nescot) and a number of international osteopathic schools/colleges all reflect her passion and breadth of experience in undergraduate, postgraduate and programme management aspects.
Besides the development of numerous Osteopathic degrees (from BSc to MSc levels) and working with eight UK Universities, Melanie points to two significant achievements in her career: first the rapid restructuring of the programme at the John Wernham College of Classical Osteopathy, which facilitated the establishment of the Surrey Institute of Osteopathic Medicine (SIOM), and acquisition of their RQ status. This saved the school from imminent closure and secured the aspirations of those and future students at SIOM. Melanie was the first Programme Director of SIOM and not only led it to be the first UK provider to successfully undertake the GOsC/QAA joint review but also established SIOM’s first foray into international collaboration; secondly in 2009 Melanie and her team established the Irish College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM), in Dublin. ICOM was the first and still is the only, college in Ireland to successfully offer a its own BSc (Hons.) degree validated by the University of Chester.
Melanie developed and co-wrote ‘The Standards in Osteopathic Training and Education’, for the voluntary regulator in Ireland – The Osteopathic Council of Ireland (OCI), these are currently used to ensure professional expectations are met. She continues to work with International Osteopathic schools who have sought her advice on programme design and quality assurance of provision, including schools from Sweden, Belgium, Cyprus, and Italy.
Accounts & Administration Manager
Wil Ames is AOI’s Accounts & Administration Manager, running day to day financial and administration processes for the organisation. Wil has worked with the AOI team for over 15 years in clinical and academic businesses and has an extensive knowledge of osteopathic business. In addition to his work with the AOI, Wil works for Dashwoods Accountancy firm (as a semi-senior Accountant) and also cares for several independent clients.
The AOI has always aimed to have a range of lectures, so as to add shape and colour to the student experience. Resultantly, AOI has an extensive team of internal and external lectures, from the osteopathic, animal behaviour and veterinary fraternities, all of whom are outstanding practitioners in their own field.
If you are interested in joining AOI in any capacity, please get in touch. We are always keen to support new talent. Practitioners who wish to teach and want to do so in a nurturing environment.