AOI Certificate & Diploma in Canine Functional Osteopathy

Canine Functional Osteopathic Practitioners use thorough evaluation and manual techniques that help animals to regain their vitality, supporting the whole health model of animal care. This is achieved through a thorough analysis of any anatomical, pathological, and environmental factors that may be affecting the animal’s wellbeing. A care-plan is then constructed specifically for the individual, which sometimes includes the involvement of other practitioners and/or the animal’s veterinarian. 

Consequently, the main aim of our Academic Pathway is to teach existing practitioners how to fully evaluate the canine patient (from an osteopathic perspective), taking nothing for granted and using the power of analysis and investigation to identify the root cause of imbalance within the canine body. You will be taught when to treat, when not to treat, and how to treat each case. And you will be taught how to engage with other veterinary professionals for the betterment of your patients. 

I’d like to study with AOI. What Options Do I have?

From January 2024, we start enrolling for the next UK Certificate and Diploma Programmes.

The Certificate Programme is a year-long course, that has eight days of practical workshops, split into two practical events. In addition, it has all the online benefits of AOI’s hybrid academic programmes.

The Diploma Programme is a two-year course with 17 days of practical workshops – four events run over two years. Plus, a wealth of online content and live support to ensure student success.

It means that we are in a place to allow students to take year one and year two separately if they wish. However, applicants must realise that to become an Animal Osteopath or a Functional Practitioner”, one would still want to complete the whole Diploma.

Is the Certificate Programme enough to start an osteopathic practice?

The answer is “it depends”. 

If one has an underlying osteopathic skill set and a qualification in human osteopathy, then the osteopath could certainly see animal patients as long as they worked within their scope of practice (i.e., treated only what they have learned to treat, with techniques taught. But for people with no prior osteopathic training, we would recommend the Diploma. Why? At the end of the Certificate Programme, the student has a fabulous foundation from which to build a career in osteopathy, but they do not have a complete osteopathic toolkit. 

This is because osteopathic palpation, assessment and grasping an understanding of the concepts (in such a way that you can fully embrace osteopathic philosophy) takes time. That’s why we stand by our belief that osteopathic techniques cannot be taught effectively online. You need hands-on assistance and training.

Indirect techniques such as Balanced Ligamentous Tension, Fascial Unwinding and Cranial Osteopathy take hundreds of hours to perfect. That’s why the Certificate Programme has grown from a three-day practicum in 2020 (during the pandemic) to eight days in 2023. 

As experienced educators, we aim to give you the best chance to succeed; to do that, we need to spend more time with you face-to-face. So, that is what we have decided to do. Only then can we be sure that we have given you the practical time necessary to practice osteopathy with the support of people who really care about your work. 

What is included in the Certificate Programme?

The Certificate Programme is ultimately year one of the Diploma Programme. It creates a foundation for your osteopathic career. By the end of the year, you will be able to undertake a thorough assessment (verbal, active and passive). You will also be able to effectively apply a range of techniques to offer a General Osteopathic Treatment. Additionally, you will (from 2023) be able to undertake General Health Screening tests and a Neurological Evaluation to ensure that you are absolutely sure which cases are safe to treat osteopathically and which should instantly be referred to a Vet. This is not a concern to those trained as a veterinarian, but for those who are not, this is vital to the animal’s safety. For more specific information, as for a prospectus today. 

What is included in the Diploma Programme?

Our two-year Diploma Programme is like no other. Taught on a first-class online platform (with webinar presentations, hundreds of hours of evergreen video, live discussions, and a real-time community), the Diploma Programme is as close as you can get to a real-life experience in the comfort of your home. 

To support the online learning component and to make sure you are clinically safe to assess and treat, the Diploma Programme includes 17 days of face-to-face practical workshops spread across year one and year two. 

You have a friendly online community to reach out to every day (if you wish). You also have a Student Support Manager to help you along the way. You will be guided in your learning via online quizzes and student activities, and over the two years, you will learn everything you need to start a safe and competent career in osteopathy for dogs. 

You will also learn many soft skills along the way. Skills that will help you in life, no matter what you do. All of these will help you excel as an individual and practitioner. For more information, ask for a prospectus. 

The programme requires personal and financial investment, but it is one of the best courses of study available worldwide in this field. Taught by highly experienced osteopaths, vets, and animal behaviourists, our graduates open their own schools, write for magazines, work at top international locations, and teach around the world, so if that’s the qualification you want, you’ve come to the right place! 

The programme has been engineered for part-time learning and equates to 1200 hours of total learning. This means apportioning 10-15 hours a week to your studies – depending on your previous experience and knowledge base.

Successful completion and comprehension of the content will give practitioners all they need to practice with confidence, and it will also provide you with a competitive edge in today’s busy “therapeutic” market. 

Year one offers practitioners new to canine osteopathy a robust knowledge base to move into year two. With the theoretical element being taught online and two consolidated four-day practicums.

Year two offers an opportunity to consolidate year one’s learning whilst enhancing the practitioner’s assessment skills and range of techniques. This gives each student a solid foundation in functional osteopathy so that they can assess and treat a wide range of maladies safely and competently. The theoretical element of year two is taught online and three consolidated practicums to ensure clinical competence can be achieved.

We accept no more than 12 students per canine practicum. We accept students on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Blended (Hybrid) Learning Creates More Flexibility

Having the theoretical element of the programme online means that students can study from the comfort of their own homes, no matter in which country they live. This saves enormous time and money because you won’t need multiple days/weekends away from home. Not to mention the costs associated with frequent travel. It is also excellent for students to be able to study the majority of the time when it suits them. There are live events that we ask you to attend, but they are run circa once every 4-6 weeks, so you have lots of time to plan. But the rest of the time, you can study whenever works for you!

English Language Requirements

The whole Diploma is taught in English (UK), so it is essential that all international students be fully proficient in all aspects of the English language, both spoken and written. We produce digital transcriptions for the online course component so that you can translate them if you wish, but these are supplementary. As such, all students must be fluent in the English language. The AOI will not be held responsible for any language challenges that arise throughout the course if you apply with less than the IELTS (overall score of 6.5) or equivalent qualification.

I’d like more information about AOI’s training and animal osteopathy.

If you like small group education and support that makes you feel like a valued student, AOI is the right educational community for you. If you would like more information about us and our courses, click on the prospectus link below, and fill in the form to sign up for our info-emails.

We look forward to having you with us and helping you become the best osteopathic practitioner you can be.

A Question of Titles

This information is to ensure that all prospective students are clear about the laws and regulations linked to the title osteopath. Please read it carefully.

If you join us as a registered UK osteopath, you can use the term osteopath or osteopathy in your marketing. However, at this time, whilst regulation in this field is changing day by day, the AOI recommends that those thinking to practice in the UK follow the guidelines given by the General Osteopathic Council. This is because practitioners 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 the public domain. As such, if your aim is to have the “title” Osteopath, Osteopathic or Osteopathy” within your marketing, we urge you to check with local (and State) regulations before you apply. The AOI cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from regulatory limitations. At this time, AOI recommends the amended term Canine Functional Bodyworker (CFB) 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.

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