Osteopathic Approach to the Canine Patient Level I

Dual Modality/Online Course. Designed with YOU in mind.

Everything you need to broaden your horizons, whilst saving on the cost of travel, accommodation and time away from home/work.

Last entry: November 30th 2020

By popular demand, applications are now being accepted for our next MCP/OEI Level One Cohort. We look forward to welcoming you!

This course is the fundamental building block of all our practitioner level canine programmes and aims to offer practitioners a robust baseline knowledge from which to grow as a canine therapist. Successful completion and comprehension of the content will give practitioners all they need to enter our Level II canine courses with confidence.

We run our MCP courses with 18 students at a time, but because of the online nature of the course, students are typically added within a “window” of time, so that there is some flexibility of entry, but the students still have a group with which to connect and discuss. The first MCP practicum option will typically run 7-8 months after the start date (COVID permitting) because students must first complete the 16 modules of the programme, all end of module assessments and self-directed learning activities, which are associated with the content. This must be completed before booking a practicum date. If students cannot make the first practicum option, they will be able to join the next available event. Ultimately, students have 24 months in which to complete the whole level one course, so there is plenty of wiggle room for other plans and commitments.

Practicums typically take place in April/May and September/October. The OEI Pathway students will run alongside and with the MCP students, so that if they wish to add the practicum to their pathway of learning, they may do so, if there is space.

Our new online course and its creation.

This programme of modules has taken us over a thousand hours to create, because online teaching has very different demands and expectations to that of face to face learning. Everything has to be logged clearly and precisely and videos have to be slower and highly specific to ensure that a student who is watching online at home, can see clearly how to palpate an area of anatomy or stretch a particular limb. Furthermore, as a result of COVID limitations, we have had to work remotely with an international team of lecturers to produce video footage and presentations for the course. They have worked tirelessly in Finland, New Zealand and the UK to make this happen. We are indebted to them all for their commitment.

What does this mean for you?

COVID has redesigned how we travel and move about (for the time being at least). So, the AOI decided that if everyone else could use online classrooms, so could we. In developing the online model we also realised the plus side to online programmes from the students perspective and research backed up our theory. Having the programme online means that students can study from the comfort of their own home, no matter in which country they live. This saves an enormous amount of time and money, because you won’t need multiple days away from home, accommodation for each weekend and costs associated with travel. In addition, you don’t need to take vast amounts of time off work or worry about child care etc. All these issues have repeatedly come up for us over the years, so we know they are limiting factors for many students. But… not anymore! This new format means that our international students (especially), will save thousands of pounds compared with our old model, so we hope that overall, this concept will be favourable.

We’re offering the programme in two different formats, so that those who want to achieve full certification to practice can still visit the UK (and possibly locations abroad) to attend a 3-4 day long (back to back) workshop in palpation, practical assessment, treatment and evaluation. But, if some students or discerning owners just want to learn online, they can do that too. We do advise however, that the OEI Pathway is really only intended for those with a firm handle on canine therapeutics; whose hands are already fine tuned to palpation and assessment or for those who just want to learn the content for personal use. That is because, years of teaching has taught us, that even the finest vet, works differently to an osteopathic practitioner and lacks the degree of palpation necessary for successful treatment outcomes. As a result, we ask that you think carefully before you purchase and if possible, attend the full Masterclass Pathway, which is ultimately the same programme that we have taught now for over 6 years, here in the UK.

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The two format options for this course:

  1. Masterclass Pathway (MCP) – This is the equivalent to our Professional Level I (Stage I) course that we have run for the last 6 years, in association with the ESO. It includes 16 online modules, access to our online community to communicate with fellow students, 6 webinar sessions with Dustie and Eleanor for consolidation and clarity, PLUS 3 (or 4) days of practical clinic here in the South of England. See below for more details. Private tuition is also available upon request (fees apply). The MCP is the programme best suited to human osteopaths or physiotherapists, chiropractors and vets (with a therapeutic background). It is also suitable for professionally trained canine bodywork therapists (such as those qualified to a high standard with EquineEnergy – Caninology) – although non-registered practitioners are all considered on a case by case basis, when we evaluate both qualifications and experience. 
  2. Online Enhanced Interaction (OEI) Pathway – This is the MCP pathway without the inclusion of the practical sessions. It is best suited to those who already have nicely tuned hands and experience in a therapeutic field with canine patients, such as animal physiotherapists, animal chiropractors and some veterinarians (who have experience in the manual therapeutic arena). It is not suitable for those outside these professions. It would also make an excellent revision tool or a refresher for a past practitioners of canine manual therapy who would like to move directly into Level II without attending the MCP practicum. However, such students will be asked to attend a Refresher Practicum, the day before the commencement of any level II course. Students who wish to use the OEIP for this purpose will need to show evidence of their practical experience before being considered for this pathway option and they will be expected to achieve an overall pass on all modules of the Level I pathway before being considered for any Level II courses. OEIP contents includes 16 online modules, 6 webinar sessions with Dustie and Eleanor for consolidation and clarity, plus access to our online community to communicate with fellow students.
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Language: The course is taught in English (UK) so it is essential that all international students be proficient in all aspects of the English language, both spoken and written. Without this level of understanding, students will not only struggle with the module presentations, but also find practical clinics and assessments extremely demanding – if not impossible. The AOI will not be held responsible for any language challenges that arise at any point throughout this course. It is your responsibility to know your level of language competency and apply accordingly.

3-4 day Practical Clinics

To attend one of our practical events, you must first have successfully completed all aspects of the online programme. This ensures that your knowledge base is appropriate for the clinic setting.

For those on the Masterclass Pathway, face to face practicum clinics will take place 2-3 times a year (depending on student numbers. Taking place during the finer weather months for student comfort and the reduced risks of travel disruption. These will be run from a suitable facility within Dorset/ Hampshire area. Any other locations will be discussed with each cohort, because it will depend on the geographical locations of our students. If for example, we receive an overwhelming interest from students in the North of the UK, we will happily arrange to run a practical clinic in a more suitable location. International clinics however, will be considered where groups of 12 or more students are studying in any given country. Additional fees may apply if this occurs, due to the need for the teaching team to travel outside the UK. Where numbers do not warrant the lecturers coming to your home country/region, students will be required to attend practical clinics in the Dorset/Hampshire region of the UK, and at present, this is typical.

Practicum events will be run for 3-4 consecutive days at a time, to reduce the expense of travel and accommodation for students and staff. The format of which will be as follows:

  • Day 0: This day will be requested of those who join us with minimal therapeutic experience, who we feel will benefit from additional hands on time or do not fulfil typical criteria of a registered professional (vet (without therapeutic experience), osteopath, physiotherapists or chiropractor). Attendance of Day 0 is at the discretion of the AOI and if you are asked to attend, it will be part of the qualifying criteria.
  • Day 1: Forelimb, hindlimb and spinal palpation, active and passive assessment, and gait assessment;
  • Day 2: Application of soft tissue, stretching and articulation techniques to the spine and limbs;
  • Day 3: Teaching/demo clinic to enhance understanding. Osteopathic case discussion. Practical student assessment and vivas.

Please note: Day 0 has not been accounted for in any costings applied to this course. As such, students will be asked to pay for this in addition to all other expenses. Also, as AOI cannot guarantee that practical clinics will ever be run outside the UK, please assume that you will need to travel to this location for the practical sessions, in order to complete the full Masterclass Pathway. Furthermore, the AOI cannot be held responsible for any restrictions placed on travel, inside or outside the UK (as happened with COVID 19). If this happens, we will run practical clinics as quickly as we can, as soon as restrictions are lifted and we can ensure the safely of our staff and students. Refunds will not be given to students who sign up with any other assumptions.

Fees & Payment Options – click below

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A variety of assessments will be used on the Masterclass Pathway, to ensure that all types of learner have a chance to shine. Both formative and summative assessments will be included to actively ensure that students fully engage along the way, and to offer graduates a final certificate that they can be proud to own. Please note: we have years of experience with students who struggle with assessments. So, if you’re one of those people, rest assured, we will support you as much as we can, to help you succeed.

PLEASE NOTE: Without exception: For students enrolled on the Masterclass Pathway, all modules must be studied and passed (70% pass mark) in order of sequence, because each piece of knowledge builds upon the next. The same would apply for any OEIP student who thinks that they will want to upgrade and attend the practical sessions.

Awards: Those who successfully complete the Masterclass Pathway will be awarded a unique AOI/ESO Certificate (Osteopathic Approach to the Canine Patient – Level I). Students of the OEI pathway will achieve a AOI Certificate of Attendance, which will clearly stipulate that you have not been practically assessed.

The aim of the course is to offer practitioners a robust baseline knowledge from which to grow as a canine therapist. Successful completion and comprehension of the content will give practitioners all they need to enter our Level II canine courses with confidence.

Can I use the title Osteopath (or the word Osteopathy/Osteopathic) within my marketing, once I graduate from the Masterclass Pathway?

In a nutshell, it depends. If you are joining us, as a registered UK osteopath, then yes, you can use the term osteopath or osteopathy within your marketing. However, at this time, whilst regulation in this field remains a grey area, the AOI recommends that those thinking to practice in the UK, follow the guidelines given by the General Osteopathic Council. This being, that one cannot use the word “Osteopathy, Osteopathic or Osteopath” in the UK, unless they are a registered human osteopath. This is to ensure that no misunderstanding occurs in public domain. As such, if your aim is to have the “title” Osteopath, Osteopathic or Osteopathy” within your marketing, we would urge you to check with local regulations before you apply. The AOI cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from regulatory limitations. If this issue is of importance to you, please ensure that you are signed up to our mailing list, so that updates can be shared with you as soon as we know more. At this time, AOI recommends the term Canine Therapeutic Practitioner (CTP) for those who do not have a registered osteopathic background and work within the UK. If you wish to apply to RAMP, you can inform them that your studies have been in the osteopathic field, as they do not enforce the need for preparatory human training, so long as you fulfil criteria in other ways.

All delegates should provide evidence of insurance, which allows them to study/work on/with animals before the practicum. It is the student’s responsibility to speak to their current insurance company about their intentions to ensure they can acquire insurance for the practical elements of the course. AOI will not be held responsible for a lack of research in this area before commencement of the pathway and no refunds will be given as a result of insufficient due diligence.

COVID and International Students: We are happy to take national and international students onto our MCP but please do NOT book flights or hotels until the Director of Education has sent course confirmation to you about dates, location and UK border control expectations.

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Our pathway courses are internally validated by the European School of Osteopathy. For more information on the ESO, go to: https://www.eso.ac.uk