Who Can Apply for Level I Equine?

Osteopathic approaches to the equine patient- Level one

Due to ongoing changes in the political landscape of animal manual medicine in the UK and Europe, AOI has open its doors to non-osteopaths for a number of years now. This is because (whilst osteopathy and its philosophies are firmly embedded into our teaching strategy), animal health and welfare is at the heart of what we do and that is best supported by well trained practitioners with the right educational background.

Legally, we also know that animal practitioners who are not veterinary surgeons do not have the right to work autonomously without veterinary referral (in the UK at least). This means that manual medicine for humans is a very different profession to that with animals. Animal practitioners need to be good communicators, team players and have the diagnostic skill set to a) do no harm and b) know when to refer back to the vet.We have also seen enough evidence to know that an empathic vet and other professional therapists can make excellent animal practitioners  As such, this course is open to those who have a veterinary or professional therapeutic background (such as vets, veterinary nurses, osteopaths, physiotherapists, advanced equine bodywork/sports-therapists etc.). It is also suitable for final year students, from any of the regulated disciplines (who may start a course with us as soon as they complete their penultimate year.

In line with the above statement, students who wish to apply for the Online Enhanced Interaction Pathway or the Masterclass Pathway and aren’t currently registered with a regulating governing body (such as GOsC, GCC, HCPC or RCVS) will be asked to undertake a short interview, so that we can ascertain your past qualifications and experience and map it against our academic entry criteria. This is because we want to make sure that those who apply, are likely to succeed with the right amount of time, effort and commitment. The flip side of this process also ensures that people who apply, aren’t better suited to Level II.

Each case will be considered individually and where applicable, students will be asked to attend an extra day of practical at the start of the UK clinic event. This will happen if we believe that a student is likely to struggle with the practical contents of the course and potentially be unsuccessful in the completion of their certification.

Day zero (which is what we call this extra day) is typically recommended for students who have little or no hands-on therapeutic experience with horses, or because osteopathic assessment and treatment is new to the practitioner. EOCC (equine osteopathic conversion course) students are also requested to attend day zero.  

We recommend that anyone who applies for this course be wholly comfortable around horses, have some experience handing them safely and competently, and enough clinical competence to understand the professional commitment to which they are entering.

Below, you will see the key criteria which is used to help us determine if a student is suitable for this course or not. If you come from one of the named professions, then it is likely that you will get accepted on our programme; places permitting. However, if you come from a slightly different therapeutic background, please complete the contact form below and we will answer your request individually.

Please note: this is a demanding professional course. It can be challenging for those completely new to the field of animal medicine, and it does require that you undertake a fair degree of reading and home study. You will also be asked to work in groups at times, so flexibility is necessary, as you may not live in the same timezones as your colleagues.

Who may apply for this course? 

Regulated Professionals:

  • Osteopaths;
  • Physiotherapists;
  • Chiropractors;
  • Animal practitioners from one of the above disciplines, who wish to study osteopathic approaches to equine patients;
  • Veterinary Surgeons;
  • Veterinary Nurses.

Students of osteopathy, physiotherapy or chiropractic, who have completed their penultimate year of study and feel confident and comfortable about the additional time commitment.

Other professionals who generally manage well, but will be reviewed on a case by case basis:

  • Fully qualified equine bodywork or equine sports & rehabilitation therapists, who are likely to manage the academic demands of the course;
  • Those with an equine science degree who also have sound experience with either their own horses and/or through a daily working setting.  
It is generally observed, that those who have studied at HE level 6 or above, find the course more manageable, because we do encourage autonomous student learning and activities such as case research, which the student must feel comfortable with.  

Do you already perform many of the assessments and techniques taught in Level I programme, (but are not an osteopath and do not meet the full Level II criteria?) If so, have you considered completing the equine osteopathic conversion course (EOCC) instead of the whole of the level I pathway?