Canine Diploma – Entry Criteria


Designed with YOU in mind.

Students have 24 months to complete the Canine Diploma (Modules 1-7) – offering maximum flexibility and a chance to consolidate practicum sessions.

AOI has been delivering courses (to a range of professionals) with the ESO since 2014. Our courses are open to all animal professionals who have a clinical background and fulfil criteria.

Diploma modules can be taken as standalone CPD modules by those with adequate prior experience in canine osteopathy. Prerequisites do however, apply to all who take any L2 module, as we teach in a sequential manner.

Typical delegates would hold one of the following qualifications, before attending the Diploma or any of its modules as CPD.

  1. An ESO Foundation Certificate (canine).
  2. An AOI Stage/Level One Foundation Certificate (canine).
  3. Vluggen Institute CDO graduate, who can demonstrate that they have covered all entry criteria.
  4. Certification from the Osteopathic Centre for Animals.
  5. UCO PG Certificate in Animal Osteopathy.
  6. Veterinary physiotherapy at degree level from a validated school – via AOI’s conversion course.
  7. Veterinary certification – as a vet or veterinary nurse, who can also demonstrate additional veterinary physiotherapy qualifications – via AOI’s Canine Osteopathic Conversion Course.
  8. A Certificate of Completion from AOI’s Canine Osteopathic Conversion Course, Plus Day 0 (which must be attended before the start of the M2 module).

Minimum Requirements: In order that ANY practitioner be considered for our Diploma, they must be able to confirm that they have the following academic knowledge base and can perform the following tasks on a dog (as appropriate to the course in question):

  1. Have an understanding of osteopathic concepts and philosophy and can comfortably integrate that knowledge into your case questioning, assessment process and treatment/management regime, so that it is reflected in your approach as a practitioner. 
  2. 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.
  3. Have a sound knowledge of osteopathic principles and concepts as mapped to the canine patient;
  4. Have a good understanding of common canine orthopaedic conditions.
  5. Be able to undertake a thorough osteopathic case history – to include physical, emotional and environmental factors – utilising concepts such as the osteopathic sieve.
  6. Be able to undertake an effective movement/gait analysis.
  7. Be able to write a clear and concise vet report that professional explains your findings.
  8. Undertake a thorough, effective and appropriate assessment of the canine patient– actively and passively. This must include ALL joints of the animal and their musculature in a calm, rhythmical and therapeutic manner.
  9. Consider a logical list of differential hypotheses – based on your assessment and clinical findings;
  10. Request appropriate tests by a vet if required.
  11. Conclude with a working hypothesis before the commencement of any treatment;
  12. Devise an effective treatment plan and undertake appropriate structural treatment – to include: joint specific articulation, soft tissue and stretching;
  13. Offer sound home advice and a management plan to the owner.
  14. In line with the above, Diploma Pathway (Level 2) students must be in regular clinical practice.

If you cannot undertake such a routine (competently and safely) or this process is something that you have not performed in the last 12-24 months, we highly recommend that you first [re] take Level One. If however, you feel that you have a good handle on most of the above content, but do not have an osteopathic background (or would just like the opportunity to refresh and join Day 0 for extra hands on experience ), we recommend a Canine Conversion Course (see below). 

Attending the Diploma or its modules without this baseline, is likely to lead to frustration and ineffective learning. You may also be asked to leave if your weakness is disrupting other students. See each course page for more details.

How will this really save me time and money?

Our blended learning model means that you can undertake all theoretical elements from the comfort of your own home; alongside some fundamental aspects of practice (where appropriate) – to give you chance to practice before attending class. Technique classes are then held at the practicums, which will be offered back to back, such that you can take more than one practicum at a time if you wish. Ask for more details.

Those who feel they have already studied some of the Foundation Course content, maybe able to bypass some of the content by undertaking a Canine Osteopathic Conversion Course, but criteria are clear cut and must be met in full. The conversion course will help to ensure that you understand the backbone of osteopathic principles and approaches before embarking upon the Diploma.

Whilst we appreciate that there is some overlap between other manual/physical therapies and osteopathic approaches to the animal patient, 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. 

It is also our expectation that any prospective students who applies directly to level II, does so in the knowledge that their functional anatomy is well versed and up to date. 

If you feel that you fulfil criteria and want to enrol on the Diploma, drop us a line on and we can send you an application form and answer any questions you may have. We are also happy to arrange meetings – via Skype, WhatsApp or Click Meeting for those who would prefer to talk to us about their experience and where thy might fit in. Please remember, we are here to help you, so don’t be afraid to reach. out 

The Foundation Course and Diploma combined, give you everything you need to start a career as a safe, competent, critically reflective canine practitioner. However, for the more discerning practitioner, the Advanced Diploma is an extension of the Diploma, offering an unabridged osteopathic toolkit. These advanced modules extend your veterinary and osteopathic knowledge and enhance the tests and techniques you can use to safely manage diverse clinical cases.

We would encourage anyone who wishes to work in autonomous practice, to follow the full Academic Pathway over a period of 4-5 years. This offers an excellent pathway of education, with flexibility for you to shape the practitioner you want to become. It also means you have ongoing CPD that you can use toward RAMP’s (or other Association’s) annual CPD requirements.

Please note: Diploma modules can be taken in isolation. However, students must realise that they are intended to be taken as a pathway, and as such, there maybe some reference to previous modules in the coursework. Graduates of individual modules will only be given a CPD Certificate if taken in isolation and out of sequence. Please also be aware that some modules have prerequisite modules.

Diploma in Canine Osteopathy – what is it all about?

The Diploma and its modules are intended for those with prior experience in the relevant animal pathway i.e. canine or equine. It is open to animal osteopaths and those who have completed an AOI Conversion Course.

The Diploma teaches you to expand your clinical knowledge (pathological, orthopaedic and neurological), and to teach you advanced techniques and how to broaden your osteopathic thinking. This in turn, helps you to extend your scope of practice and work in animal practice safely and competently. Qualities that both RAMP and the veterinary professional expect and value from those working in the animal domain.

Canine Diploma Modules:

Module 1: Osteopathic Concepts & Philosophies (Part II) 

Module 2: The Canine Limbs 

Module 3: The Canine Spine

Module 4: General Health Screening (GHS) & Functional Neurology

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

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

Module 7: Clinical Competence & Professional Practice

Prices and Payment Options

On each of the Diploma module pages, you will see a price. Depending on the cost of each course, flexible payments may be available. Students have the option to purchase each module as they go, but if you want to attain a Diploma (and Advanced Diploma), you must successfully complete the modules in order – as they are designed to lead neatly on from one to another, to ensure that students have a full professional skill set from which to start in animal practice.

The total price of all modules 1-7 collectively is: £3023.00* (if each module is paid in full and not through flexible payments).

*Plus VAT/VATMOSS where applicable.