Functional Osteopathy for the Canine Patient

Level One

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.

The 2021 cohort windows is now open.

Interested? Contact us for an application form:

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.

Because of the online nature of the first section of this course, students are added to the cohort on an as and when basis, until we reach capacity. Students do however, still have a group with which to connect, debate and discuss. The first MCP practicum option will typically run around 8 months after the start date (COVID permitting) because students must first complete the 16 modules of the programme (including on-demand webinars), all written, assessments, case studies and self-directed learning activities 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 the Spring and Autumn. The OEI and OEI Plus 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 have the option to do so, if there is space.

Online format plus practicum

COVID has redesigned how we travel and move around the globe. As such, AOI developed an online model of their highly successful programme to ensure that students could continue to study from the comfort of their own home (at least for the theoretical and self directed aspects of the course). 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 students won’t be required to have multiple days off work, pay for accommodation each weekend, pay out repeatedly on flights and trains or worry so much about childcare. All these issues have come up repeatedly over the years, so we know they have been limiting factors for many students. That is no longer the case! Our new format means that our students), save hundreds, if not thousands, compared with the old model of delivery, so we know that overall, this concept will be preferable.

We offering the programme in two main 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 workshop in palpation, practical assessment, treatment and evaluation. But, if students want to learn online first and then book and pay for the practicum later, they can do that too. Please note: the final summative assessments take place the day after the practicum, so please accommodate for this in your plans.

Who can apply? Click on the image below to find out more.

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The three 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 7 years, in association with the ESO. It includes 16 online modules, access to our online community to communicate with fellow students, 6 on -demand webinars, live drop-in student sessions, live student support throughout the course, PLUS 3 (or 4) days of practical clinic here in the UK. 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 Equinology Inc. via their Caninology pathway). Other practitioners are all considered on a case by case basis, when we evaluate both qualifications and experience. See “who can apply” for more details.
  2. Online Enhanced Interaction (OEI) Pathway PLUS practicum – This option is brand new for those who are concerned about COVID and spending a lot of money on travelling when the world is so hard to navigate. We are allowing students who would ideally like to attend the MCP in full, to join as an OEI pathway student, with the full intention of joining a practicum once travel is made easier. Students should explain on their application form, that whilst they wish only to purchase the OEI Pathway in the first instance, they fully intend to purchase and attend a practicum session within 24 months of their start date (extensions will be given if marked COVID travel restrictions remain). Students who sign up for this option, will need to undertake the same assessments as MCP students, so as to remain parallel to the cohort. This option means that students will be invoiced £1399 (plus local tax where applicable), to start the programme (flexible payments available – fees apply) and then again when booking the practicum. 
  3. Online Enhanced Interaction (OEI) Pathway This is the MCP pathway without the inclusion of the practical sessions. It is only suitable as a revision tool for those who already work osteopathically with canine patients and want to move directly into Level II but haven’t studied for a long time.. Please note however, that students of this option will be asked to attend a refresher day of practical before the commencement of any level II module. This ensures that all students start level two from a similar place. Students who wish to use the OEIP for this purpose, will need to show evidence of prior qualification and practical experience and they will be expected to pass all end of module tests before being considered for Level Two. The OEI Pathway contents includes 16 online modules, 6 on-demand webinars, live drop-in sessions and access to our online community to communicate with fellow OEI, OEIP and MCP students. Live student support also included.

Dates for practical clinics (for those on our Masterclass Pathway or the OEI Plus Pathway) will be discussed with each cohort, because international clinics may be considered where groups of <12 students study in any given country. Where numbers do not warrant a practicum outside the UK, students will be required to attend a 3-4 day practicum within the UK. These will be run as a block of practical study, to reduce the expense of travel and accommodation for students. Please note that the assessments are timetabled for the day after the practicum, so please accommodate for that in your plans. As AOI cannot guarantee (at this time) that practical clinics will be run outside the UK, please assume that you will need to travel for the practical sessions, in order to complete the full Masterclass Pathway. If you are very keen to have us run a local event, please write to us with your proposal.

Course Content – Click on the image below to find out more.

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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. Students whose first language is not English should be able to demonstrate fluency in spoken and written English equivalent to an IELTS overall score of 7.0.

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.

Practicum events will be run for 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 any student who does not come from an osteopathic background (although osteopathic practitioners may attend if they wish). 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 viva – mocks.
  • Assessment day: Final Assessments (timetabled sessions).

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 on the image below to find out more.

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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 Two Diploma and Advanced Diploma 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.

For more information about our canine (and human) location, please click on the above image.

Our pathway courses are validated by the European School of Osteopathy. For more information on the ESO, go to: