Level One (Certification Pathway) – Generic info.

Our Blended Learning (online plus a single practicum) format saves you time and money, and reduces the stresses associated with studying and Travel.

Designed with you in mind

Level One of our Academic Pathway is all about learning the essentials, the groundwork of the profession. This pathway will give you an opportunity to receive an excellent foundation to a career in animal functional osteopathy/therapy with highly experienced lecturers who teach the classics of osteopathy – modified to the animal patient. You will learn functional anatomy including, arthrology, osteology, myology, and movement analysis. Gait analysis, together with a thorough active and passive assessment routine. You will learn how to communicate with other professionals, write veterinary reports and appropriately request both consent and referral. Treatment-wise, you will be taught soft tissue, articulation and stretching techniques, which are suitable for many canine/equine patients. 

Ultimately, we will teach you how to work effectively with animal patients, owners and the veterinary profession. At the end of the pathway, we expect our graduates to treat happy, healthy dogs/horses safely and effectively. Examples, such as working dogs (or happy hackers) or those a little more elderly, for whom a generalised treatment would only be beneficial. We do not however, endorse that graduates of the Certification Pathway (Level One) who have no other therapeutic veterinary skills treat pathological or neurological cases, Rather, we recommend that graduates work with a more experienced practitioner or closely with a veterinary surgeon until they complete the Diploma Pathway – Compulsory modules at level two. This is for the safety of the animals you treat and also to ensure that you are in-line with regulator’s expectations, which is to work within our scope of practice

At AOI, we separate equine and canine courses for four good reasons:

  1. Not all students want to work with both large and small animals.
  2. Horses and dogs are not the same. They are exposed to very different day to day stresses and environments.
  3. Pathologically, their risks and presentations are COMPLETELY different and you cannot safely treat an animal if you’re working blind. We would never treat a human without a working hypothesis and so, it stands to reasons that we should do the same with animal patients.
  4. From a behavioural perspective, they are radically different to work with (one is a prey animal and one a predator) and appropriately communicating with your animal patients can make the world of difference to how you treat and how effective you can be.


As a result of COVID 19 and its effects on everyone, we have reviewed and adapted our educational strategy. This means that the Certification Pathway (Level One) and the Diploma/Advanced Diploma Pathways (Level Two) will be delivered (where applicable) via blended learning (online with practicums). Under the new format, students can study the online elements of the course, to suit personal commitments. Then, once ready, come to the UK for a single consolidated practicum. This radically reduces flight costs for international  students. Certification (Level One) MCP and Diploma/Advanced Pathways (Level two) are internally validated by the ESO, as is the Master Practitioner Pathway.

Why is Formal Training So Important?

Many people think that “seeing the odd canine patient is safe”. It is not! That is because it’s not what you know (or necessarily do) in animal practice that harms, it’s what you DON’T know or do. In some cases, leaving a horse untreated for 2-3 days may lead to irreversible and fatal outcomes, so if you can’t identify clinical emergencies in animals, please don’t treat them! That’s why we teach equine and canine separately and why we strongly dissuade practitioners in human practice from dabbling with animals. For one thing, this is against the OPS (if you are an osteopath), as you are not working within your scope of practice and you are misleading the general public.

Horses and dogs are NOT the same creatures. They suffer from vastly different pathologies, live very different lives and any good osteopath knows that a wide range of external and internal factors affect the health of any creature.

We teach our students how to work effectively with animal patients, the owners and veterinary professionals. This is because, not only is it a legal requirement to work within your scope of practice, but also because the commercial landscape of animal therapy is changing rapidly and is ever more complex. Corporate companies are buying out small veterinary practices and setting their own boundaries. This means that anyone wanting to work in animal therapeutics needs to have a strong and competent skill set, in order to compete for the in-house veterinary based jobs that arise.

Our Certification Pathway (Level I) commences with the exploration of functional anatomy and movement analysis at a level that is necessary for any professional animal practitioner; and, we will teach your how to integrate your thinking, such that you become holistic in your considerations from the start. This will give you a solid basis upon which to grow as a practitioner. Offering you a much better chance at competing in today’s animal market.

Courses are currently running in Canine and Equine. Feline courses are on the way in 2021.

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

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