Canine Diploma Year Two


Designed with YOU in mind..

Our hybrid programmes offer youth chance to study from home, whilst still attending first class practicums in the UK (2024 and 2025) or Denmark (2025and 2026)

Access to year two via direct access or a conversion course

Our courses are open to most clinical professionals who can evidence that they have studied at a suitable level.

Below is the indicative content for year two, plus the routes through which professionals can join. We hope you find it useful.

Canine Year Two Indicative Content:

1: Osteopathic Concepts & Philosophies (Part II) 

2: The Canine Limbs 

3: The Canine Spine

4: Functional Neurology & Neurological Testing (including cranial

5: Balanced Ligamentous (and Tissue) Tension for the Canine Patient

6: Veterinary Approach to Canine Conditions with Osteopathic Considerations & Integration

7: Clinical Competence & Professional Practice

Practicums will run in the UK (2024 and 2025), Denmark (2024 and 2025) and Canada (TBC)

Direct Access to Year Two

Typical delegates would hold one of the following qualifications, before attending year two of the Diploma Programme without additional study (AKA a conversion course)

  1. A year one AOI Canine Diploma student (intake 2022 onward)*
  2. AOI Canine Certificate (intake 2023 onward)*
  3. A certificate of completion from year one of the AOI Diploma Programme (post-2020) – additional study may be required, as a result of changes made to the programme in 2023.
  4. An ESO Foundation Certificate (canine)*
  5. An AOI Stage/Level One Foundation Certificate (canine)*
  6. Vluggen Institute CDO graduate, who can demonstrate that they have covered all entry criteria.
  7. Certification from the Osteopathic Centre for Animals, who can demonstrate that they have covered all entry criteria*
  8. UCO PG Certificate in Animal Osteopathy, who can demonstrate that they have covered all entry criteria*

*As a result of changes to the Diploma Programme format in 2023, students may have to undertake a standalone course in General Health Screening and Neurological Evaluation. This will be evaluated upon application.

Students who want to join AOI via Recognition of Prior Learning from the above group, must be able, not only to fulfil the criteria listed below, but also demonstrate the following: 

  • A solid understanding of osteopathic concepts and philosophy and be able to integrate that knowledge into your case questioning, assessment process and treatment/management regime, so that it is reflected in your approach as a practitioner. 
  • A sound knowledge of osteopathic principles and concepts as mapped to the canine patient.

Conversion Course Access to Year Two

On occasion, non-osteopathic professionals want to join our programme via a conversion course. We allow this because year one of our Diploma Programme covers a range of fundamentals subjects that many degree level MSK canine professionals use in clinical practice.

Professionals best suited to our canine conversion course, include:

  1. Veterinary physiotherapy degree from a validated school
  2. Veterinary chiropractic degree from a validated school
  3. Student of any other animal osteopathic school
  4. Veterinary certification – such as a veterinarian, vet tech or seniour veterinary nurse, who can also demonstrate additional veterinary physiotherapy qualifications

These professionals (if successful on the conversion course), can bypass some elements of year one, to join year two.

Minimum Requirements: In order for ANY practitioner be considered for access to year two of the Diploma Programme (via our canine conversion course), they must be able to evidence that they have the following academic knowledge-base and can perform the following tasks on a dog efficiently and proficiently:

  1. Have a robust knowledge of MSK functional canine anatomy, which includes osteology, myology, functional and clinical considerations. This includes the entire axial and appendicular skeleton. A basic knowledge is not adequate.
  2. Have a good understanding of common canine orthopaedic conditions.
  3. Be able to undertake a thorough osteopathic case history – to include physical, emotional and environmental factors – utilising concepts such as the osteopathic sieve.
  4. Be able to undertake an effective movement/gait analysis.
  5. Be able to write a clear and concise vet report that professional explains your findings.
  6. Undertake a thorough, effective and appropriate assessment of the canine patient – active and passive. The MSK assessment must include ALL axial and appendicular joints of the dog and their musculature, in a calm, rhythmical and therapeutic manner.
  7. Be able to undertake a thorough and proficient General Health Screen, which must include examination of the cardiovascular and respiratory system, lymph nodes assessment, body scoring, signs of dehydration and sinus assessment.
  8. Consider a logical list of differential hypotheses – based on your assessment and clinical findings;
  9. Request appropriate tests by a vet if required.
  10. Conclude with a working hypothesis before the commencement of any treatment;
  11. Devise an effective treatment plan and undertake appropriate structural treatment – to include: joint specific articulation, soft tissue and stretching;
  12. Offer sound home advice and a management plan to the owner.

If you cannot undertake the above routine (competently and safely) or this process is something that you have not performed in the last 12-months, we would highly recommend the full Diploma. If however, you feel that you have a solid working knowledge of the above content, you can apply for the Canine Conversion Course (see below). 

In line with the above, all practitioners must be in regular clinical practice and hold suitable insurance.

Attending year two of the Canine Diploma without this baseline, is likely to lead to frustration and ineffective learning. Not to mention, possible failure, which would be an expensive mistake. You may also be asked to leave if your weakness is disrupting other students.

Whilst we appreciate that there is some overlap between other manual/physical therapies and osteopathic approaches to animal patients, there are also fundamental differences (especially at the more advanced levels of study). As such, it is important that we ensure that all those who study with us, understand these differences and practice in a way that embraces this subtle yet powerful way of assessing and treating. That means attending with a fresh and open mind, so that you are not limited by your existing comfort zone.

It is also our expectation that any prospective students who applies directly or via a conversion course to year two, does so in the knowledge that their functional anatomy is very well versed and up to date. If it evident that this is not the case you will be asked to undertake additional study (via our anatomy modules) at your own cost and in a timeframe that suits your entry to year two.

If you feel that you fulfil criteria and want to enrol onto year two, send an email to and we can send you an application form and answer any questions you have. We are also happy to arrange meetings – via Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom or phone for those who would prefer to talk to us about their qualifications and where thy might fit in.

Please remember, we are here to help you, so don’t be afraid to reach. out.