General Health Screening (GHS) & Functional Neurology – Level Two Module 4

Part of the Diploma Pathway

Our dual modality course in GHS and Functional neurology is a vital competent of any practitioner’s toolkit. This is because many neurological and pathological conditions present with MSK symptoms and unless you’ve been trained to know the difference, it isn’t difficult to inadvertently do harm; if only through a lack of immediate referral. This more challenging area of differential “diagnosis” is one of the main reasons that human therapists should not “dabble” in animal treatment and why at AOI, we insist that all students who wish to set up in practice as a sole practitioner, should first successfully complete this aspect of training.

This page contains of lot of information. All of which you MUST read if you are serious about applying. This shortcut list is just for ease, for those seeking quick answers to key questions:

  • The module covers the theory and practical associated with general health screening and functional neurology;
  • It is a Level Two module and makes up part of the Certified Pathway that is internal validated by the ESO;
  • Those who attend, must undertake module 1, 2, and 3;
  • The course is open to osteopaths and non-osteopaths with the necessary skills and qualifications;
  • This course includes an extensive online element, which includes theoretical and practical lectures. It also includes a high quality 1.5 day practicum in the UK;
  • You must complete ALL aspects successfully to be given a completion certificate;
  • There will be assessments and assignments – theory and practical;
  • You will need to come to the UK for the practicum;
  • It costs £575.00 plus VAT or VATMOSS where applicable for extensive online content (both theoretical and practical), assessments, assignments and 1.5 days of high quality practical plus a certificate upon completion for successful candidates. Flexible payment options are available

As a result of COVID 19 and its effects on everyone, we have reviewed our educational strategy. This means that the Level II pathway, will be delivered online and (where applicable) via dual modality (with practicums).  Under the new format, students may apply to one module at a time or they can study the online elements of all compulsory elements and then come to the UK for one consolidated practicum, which would run over 2 weeks plus two days with two weekends in between for respite and revision. This radically reduces flight costs for international  students.

What is dual modality?

Dual modality is simply a term used to describe a course that has two forms of delivery: Online and face to face practicums.

Who can apply for Module 4?

This module is for any AOI level I (or past equivalent) graduate or experienced canine osteopaths. It is also open to physiotherapists/chiropractors and veterinary/animal therapy professionals, who fulfil all level II entry criteria. In addition, all applicants must have successfully completed Modules 1-3 of this pathway. A conversion course is available for those wishing to enter level II modules directly, but have not followed the AOI’s level one programme. Please click HERE for more information. Proof of prior experience and education is essential (without exception). All delegates should provide evidence of insurance, which allows them to study/work on/with animals.

Prerequisites to Module 4

Students can undertake this module as part of the Compulsory Level II Pathway which leads to a Diploma in Osteopathic Approach to the Canine Patient. As such, the prerequisite to this course is to have successfully completed the Level I Pathway (or have evidenced that you are already of Level I standard) and that you have completed Module 1, 2 and 3 at Level II. This is because each module leads neatly on from one to the another encouraging autonomous thinking, criticality and a self reflective mind. All of which are important in the clinical setting. We also reiterate at this stage of learning, that any student who attends this course, must have maintained their anatomical knowledge. This is to ensure accuracy of technique and thus, safety of all those you treat. If you cannot recall your canine anatomy easily, we would urge you to do so in advance of this module.

AOI will not be held responsible for costs incurred as a result of student naïveté. As a professional we expect you to do all the necessary research BEFORE booking any dual modality course – especially if you are coming into the UK as an international visitor.

To attend, you are expected to already have: 

  1. A dependable understanding of canine musculoskeletal anatomy and biomechanical knowledge of the canine model;
  2. A solid and well versed  canine musculoskeletal and neurological assessment process;
  3. Ability to competently apply soft tissue, stretching and articulation techniques to the canine patient;
  4. Safe and confident handling with a range of of canine models in a therapeutic manner;
  5. A thorough understanding of osteopathic concepts and an ability to think in an integrated fashion, which encompasses the whole dog;
Indicative content– online and via a live practicum
  • Why carry out general health and neurological screening of the canine patient
  • Signs of systemic ill health; 
  • What to look for in the systems of the dog;
  • How to system check a canine patient, as relates to clinical practice
  • How to safely undertake a General Health Screen
  • Functional neurology of the canine (understand the central and peripheral neurological systems of the dog)
  • Understand how to localise a neurological lesion
  • Carry out neurological testing on a canine patient – how to apply effective testing and know what to look out for.
  • Cranial nerve testing in the canine model
  • Interpreting your results
  • Common canine neurological conditions
  • How to incorporate general health and neurological screening into your clinical practice
  • High practical content with demonstrations and practical

Total number of study hours (extensive taught online content (practical and theoretical), 1.5 x practical days, assessments, assignments and self-directed learning and practice):  54 hours
Price:  £575.00 plus VAT or VATMOSS where applicable

When is this Module 4 likely to be released?

Module 4 is due to be released 3rd September 2021. If you wish to apply please email us on for an application form. 

Module structure, online format and internet requirements:

This course will be delivered online, via our platform AND via a face to face teaching practicum in the UK – unless student numbers dictate otherwise. Students will also be made a part of the online community via Facebook where Facebook LIVE drop-ins will take place for questions.

Because this module will be partly delivered online, students must be able to ensure internet connectivity. AOI will not be held responsible for internet failure or that of poor signal, so if you lose connectivity, you will only be able to watch the replay of any live events. 

For our generic AOI group page click HERE

Awards for Module 4

Those who successfully complete this module will be awarded a digital AOI Certificate of Completion. Students who go on to complete ALL compulsory modules of Level II successfully, will be issued with a Diploma in Functional Osteopathy for the Canine Patient validated by European School of Osteopathy. Please check your local state and country regulations regarding the use of the term Osteopath, because certain countries reserve rights to this title for human osteopaths only.

Practical session requirements:

Students must have the capacity to come to the UK for the practical sessions and assessments. Without this, no certification will be issued. As such, student require both the time and financial resources to attend the UK based practicum within 24 months of module commencement. Diploma Pathway students will be given first refusal on practical dates (these are students who are paying for the full Diploma over 12 months). Please, note that if you pay a module at a time, you may not get the dates of your choice if the course is busy, because limited numbers per practical event do apply. As such, if dates are vital to your plans and you want to take the Diploma, we would encourage you to sign up for the full Diploma circuit from day one. Especially for international students who want to book the practicums for all diploma modules in one visit.

Students are also responsible for the necessary acquisition of any visas that they need to enter the UK and we urge all students to visit the UK government website BEFORE booking on this module, to make yourself fully aware of any additional costs, travel restrictions, COVID testing requirements or quarantine periods that may be enforced as a result of your travel to the UK. We also suggest that you acquire suitable travel insurance to suit your needs.

Please note: The course does not cover the cost of travel, food outside the days of practicum or accommodation. It includes refreshments on each day of the practicum and a light lunch on the one full day (if you have serious food allergies, we would ask that you bring your own food/drinks with you to ensure your absolute safety). Dietary requirements and catering will be discussed with delegates once accepted on the course. Please dress appropriately and brings layers and an all weather coat if you are not used to the cooler (wetter) British weather.

Online component

  • Introduction to the module and its content;
  • Why carry our general health and neurological screening of the canine patient;
  • Signs of systemic ill health, 
  • What to look for in the systems of the dog
  • How to system check a dog as relates to clinical practice
  • How to safely apply a general health screen
  • Functional neurology of the canine (Understand the central and peripheral neurological systems of the dog)
  • Understand how to localise a lesion
  • Carry out neurological testing on your canine patient – how to apply effective testing and what to look for
  • Cranial nerve testing in the canine model
  • Interpreting your results
  • Common canine neurological conditions
  • How to incorporate General health and neurological screening into your clinical practice

1.5 day practical component (must be taken once you have successfully completed the theory element of the course, online.

  • Introduction to the practicum, your teachers and other module delegates;
  • General discussion about the course content and a chance to discuss any queries;
  • How to system check a dog as relates to clinical practice;
  • How to safely undertake a general health screen;
  • Carry out neurological testing on your canine patient – how to apply effective testing and know what to look out for;
  • Cranial nerve testing in the canine model;
  • Interpreting your findings and results;
  • How to incorporate general health and neurological screening into your clinical practice;
  • General Q&A to wrap up the practicum.

Application notice:

If you apply for this module in the Level II Pathway, informing us that you are up to the required standard and it is clear from your grades, theoretical knowledge and/or technical skills indicate that you are not, we will require that you  put your Level II learning on hold and undertake the appropriate Level I or II modules before continuing. This is simply to guide the student accordingly, so successful completion is more likely. No refunds will be made for the modules that you have or are completing at the time. As such, please ensure that you apply for the right level and do not “up-sell” yourself, to bypass Level I. Doing so could be costly and is not professional. We will always do our very best to support your journey, but we do expect all applicants to be open and honest about their level of competence.

Location of the practicum:

Dorset/Hampshire region (New Forest District) UK. There is a chance that if student numbers in any given country exceed 18, that we will consider sending the teaching team out, instead of bringing the students to us. BUT this must never be assumed at the start of a cohort, as we cannot know, until we confirm student numbers (which can vary year on year) if this is possible. If this option becomes available in any given country, you will be informed. Please do not keep asking us.

Bookings for Practicums

AOI cannot be held responsible for any losses made as a result of accommodation, transportation or flight bookings (or any associated costs – such as visas). As such, we recommend that bookings are only made, where a full refund option is available or where you, the student, is willing to uphold any lost fees/charges. We also recommend that you take out suitable insurance for the duration of your visit to cover all eventualities. This is because we are living in exceptional times where (sadly) nothing can be guaranteed. Further information about travel can be found below.

International Students and English Requirements

We are happy to take national and international students but all students MUST be proficient in all aspects of the English language (both written and spoken), so as to ensure that you can make the most of the course and its contents. The AOI will not be held responsible for any language challenges that arise and no refunds will be made on these grounds.

Important information: Practical cancellations

Please note that minimum numbers will be required in order to run the practical session for this module in the UK. That being 6 students. If minimum numbers are not met, AOI reserves the right to cancel the event (within 30 days of the expected date) but will reschedule the event. If for any reason, AOI has to cancel the course within 14 days, (due to extreme circumstances – such as COVID – or a failure on the behalf of our third-party facilities), you will be issued with a new date for the practicum event as soon as the AOI can reschedule it. As a result of the uncertainty that we all currently face, we do not advise that you book any accommodation, flights or travel arrangements in advance without acquiring full cancellation options. AOI will not be held responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such pre-booking because we firmly recommend that you only do so with appropriate insurance or cancellation cover in place.

Dog Models: 

Although we can try to locate canine models for students, we actively encouraged delegates from the UK to bring a well-behaved dog with them, to maximise the learning experience. Dogs must be happy and healthy, and comfortable being handled, whilst in the same room as other dogs and people. All dogs should have their own public liability insurance in case of accidents and must be able to sit quietly when sitting through the theoretical sections of the day. If you cannot bring a dog with you, please ensure this is mentioned at the time of application.

Please note:

Dogs that attend this module MUST be fit and healthy in all ways, and they must be of excellent temperament. As a rule, we will only ever let a dog model for one session per day i.e. morning or afternoon. This is because neurological testing work is not appropriate as a whole day activity. This means that you will need to consider where your dog will stay when they are not being worked upon. We run this module in the cooler months, so popping them back in your car will be an option and regular breaks will be given.

If you would like to apply for this course, please email us on to demonstrate an interest, so we can stay in touch and let you know when the course goes live. We look forward to having you onboard!