Studying & CPD - How to make your animal studies count

AAO members tend to ask us three main questions about CPD and postgraduate courses in animal osteopathy:

  1. How can we utilise the hours spent on animal osteopathic studies for GOsC CPD hours?
  2. What sort of courses can we use for CPD hours?
  3. Is attending a range of unaccredited courses in animal studies adequate to work as an animal osteopath?

 Here’s what we suggest…

  1. How can we utilise the hours spent on animal osteopathic studies for GOsC CPD hours?

The GOsC does not, as a matter of course, accept hours spent in animal training for CPD hours. However, with careful consideration, one can easily offer a reflective explanation as to how training as an animal osteopath supports and benefits human practice.

Examples of skills that can be enhanced through animal studies:

  • Improved patient communications.
  • Improvement of one’s communication skills with other professionals
  • Attunement of palpation skills.
  • Review of comparative biomechanics, anatomy, physiology etc.
  • Rehabilitation considerations
  • Review of pathological processes
  • Networking with other professionals
  • Managing difficult patients or patients who have just lost a loved one.
  • Reflective practice and critical analysis of one’s skill set.

In the case of horse related courses, one can create an overlap between horse and rider and thus a relevance to human osteopathic education. Discussing body positioning, understanding of rider biomechanics changes in anatomical function and so on could do this.

If you are a small animal osteopath, you may need to think more carefully about the fit between the two. There are fewer connections between small animal training and the benefit to human practice, but it is not insurmountable.

If you are someone who needs to consider every hour of CPD training, we encourage you to think carefully before you book on a course. Once you’ve spent the money, you can’t go back and it’s an expensive mistake to make if you have limited resources. It’s also worth considering what role the human plays in the event you’re thinking of attending, (such as with horse and rider). What will you take away that will help to improve your practice and relationships with your patients?

The fact is, there needs to be a legitimate reason for the overlap between animal and human courses. So do use common sense when filling out your CPD form and think carefully about what you need to enhance your animal practice.

  1. What sort of courses can we use for CPD hours?

To fulfill the CPD hours we ask of you as a member, you just need to show us that you have attended or studied a topic pertaining to animal osteopathy (or other appropriately linked animal related treatment – such as massage, electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, kinesio-taping), animal healthcare or training. You can also use talks you have attended by veterinary practices, horse trainers etc.

  1. Which courses can I study to work as an animal osteopath in the UK?

At this time, any osteopath working in the UK who has undertaken a suitable course in animal osteopathy, can perform animal osteopathy. Osteopaths interested in animal osteopathy can now partake in several courses to ensure a level of competence and professional standards are met to work in the world of animal healthcare.

At this time there are three options available in the UK:

  • Animal Osteopathy International, internally validated by the European School of Osteopathy. AOI offers pathways in both canine and equine. They also offer dual modality courses for their international audience.
  • MSc with the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, which offers an osteopathic pathway.
  • P.G Cert.Animal Osteopathy. Validated by University College of Osteopathy. Linked to the Osteopathic Centre for Animals.

AAO would like to remind members that continued education is a vital part of professional practice; not only for the individual, but also to the profession. Being a good osteopath (human or animal) means understanding the need for regular analysis of your capabilities and up-skilling where necessary.

Can members use the AAO logo on their own marketing? 

At this time the current AAO logo is for Association use only and is not permitted for use by members. This is because displaying the AAO logo indicates some form of quality assurance and endorsement process on behalf of the Society, which currently we do not have.

With that in mind, if you have inadvertently placed the AAO logo on your marketing material or website, we ask politely that it be removed.

When a member’s logo is introduced, we will be sure to let you know.