Insurance Concerns

Don't get caught - beware online only courses

Whilst all practitioners have benefited from the use of online courses for CPD and enhanced learning, it is important to realise that some insurance companies will not cover you for practical techniques that have no (or minimal) live components to develop and assess your learning. Most practitioners would understand this, but there is an increasing number of practitioners trying to take shortcuts to training and this has become a real concern to those of us who know only too well that you cannot learn osteopathic assessment and technique online. 

Blended learning (which teaches theory online and practicals face-to-face) can certainly allow for greater flexibility and is a really excellent way of learning if you are an international student. But courses that are taught solely online – or with minimal hands-on (face-to-face) practical should be approached with caution and carefully evaluated. 

"We would look to avoid any osteopathy related qualification (human or animal) that was conducted online. If we had an Osteopath who was qualified in Human Osteopathy and they had completed an online Animal Osteopathy course, this would not meet our underwriting criteria as we would always expect a course of this risk level to include practical work under supervision, assessed case studies, A&P, written and practical assessments." July 2021

Balens Limited

If you are looking to study animal osteopathy as a new career, AAO would recommend that you look carefully at the prerequisites, the indicative content, the methods of teaching that are used, and the support mechanisms the school has in place. 

Check that the provider offers you live support, solid theoretical knowledge and face-to-face practical classes with your peers, so you can learn from each other and your lecturers. There should be proper practical assessments (in person), so you can be sure that whatever you have been taught and assessed to do on animals is safe and correct, and there should be some case-based learning to contextualise your knowledge, supported by written exams to evaluate your progress. Without a robust education in animal osteopathy, not only may you struggle to get insurance, you may also be at risk of hurting an animal. 

Unless you are already highly experienced practitioner, merely seeking to enhance your knowledge base, please be careful of the courses you choose and be sure to contact your insurance companies in advance, if you are learning new techniques which do not fall under your current scope of practice.