Terms & Conditions of Membership

Our Privacy Policy (GDPR)

On 25 May 2018, the 1998 Data Protection Act will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

GDPR expands on the DPA, harmonises data privacy laws across Europe, and lays down rules relating to the protection of ‘natural persons’ with regard to the processing of personal data by organisations, data controllers, and data processors.

As a data controller, the Association of Animal Osteopaths must comply with the DPA and GDPR.

  1. Members of the AAO enter into a contract when they supply details for membership purposes, and AAO collects no more data than is necessary for those purposes.
  2. AAO endeavours to keep up to date all personal data that it holds, and this is why personal information is requested for renewals as well as new members.
  3. AAO does not keep personal data any longer than is necessary, for the purpose it was obtained.
  4. AAO safely stores all personal data, follows appropriate procedures, and has in place protection and security policies.
  5. AAO does not store paper records containing personal data; once information is transferred from paper to computerised records, the original information is disposed of securely. 
  6. AAO does not share personal data with any other organisation (except for legal reasons, if so required), and has always complied with the Data Protection Act.

As an AAO member, you have certain rights.

  1. The right of access, and to be informed – you can ask the AAO data controller what information, about you, is being held.
  2. The right to rectification – you can ask the data controller to correct any inaccurate or incomplete information.
  3. The right to erasure (or, right to be forgotten) – you can ask the data controller to permanently delete information about you that AAO holds.

i.                  This right is only automatic, and will result in an obligation to destroy data, if the data was obtained as a result of consent, which has now been withdrawn, or the data is no longer required for the purpose for which it was obtained. AAO does not obtain any personal data by consent. If any member requests the right to be forgotten, and the request is granted, membership will be immediately terminated without any recourse.

ii.                The right to erasure can be refused; for legal reasons, for example.

iii.              Erasure of data does not have to mean erasure of all data; data which is unreasonably difficult to access and held in a remote archive, for example.

iv.              Members have to be informed when the data is erased, or any reason for not erasing the data.

  1. The right to restrict processing – you can ask the data controller to store only very limited data, but not process it. In this case, any current membership will be terminated without any recourse, and any membership application will be refused.
  2. The right to data portability – you can ask the data controller to supply your personal data for your own purpose.

i.                  This right is only automatic if the data was obtained as a result of consent, rather than due to any other legal basis; a membership contract, for example.

  1. The right to object – you can object to the data controller keeping and processing personal data, in the following instances (if this request is granted, any current membership will be terminated without any recourse, and any membership application will be refused):

i.                  The right is absolute, if data was used for marketing purposes.

ii.                The right is not absolute if data was used for research, statistics, legitimate interests, or the performance of a legal task.

  1. There are other rights that are not applicable to AAO and the members.

Further information can be found here:




Terms and conditions of membership

The AAO endorses best practice and education in the field of animal osteopathy. It is not a regulatory body. In the UK anyone calling themselves an animal osteopath (or similar variation) should be registered with the GOsC. This is because the title osteopath is protected by UK law and the addition of the word animal to the title, does not change the law. Therefore, anyone claiming to call themselves an animal osteopath in the UK should abide by the OPS which stipulates that one must only work within their scope of practice and in a safe and competent manner.

The title ‘osteopath’ is protected by law. It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC, which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety. The GOsC can, and will, prosecute individuals who practise as osteopaths when they are not on the GOsC Register. For information about what to do if you think someone is practising as an osteopath but is not on the Register, see our Protection of title page.” GOsC website 2014
The AAO asks full members to declare that they work within The Veterinary Surgeon’s (Exemptions) Order 2015 and to provide documentary evidence of referrals from vets on joining, and our expectation is that our members will work within the Act on every animal they treat. This requirement is for the protection of animals, for the osteopath’s own protection and for the protection of the reputation of osteopaths working with animals in general.

For Full Membership you will need to be able to demonstrate the following:

  • That you are in animal practice on a regular basis and only work within your scope of practice;
  • That you work within the law, working only with veterinary referral and/or consent;
  • That you have fulfilled 14 hours of CPD – at least 50% with others – and all must be animal related;
  • All CPD with others must be supported by certification or by signed documents from those in attendance;
  • If you include self study you must provide a critical reflection document that outlines how your study has advanced your clinical skills;
  • That you are registered with the GOsC;
  • That you hold up to date animal related insurance in accordance with your practice;

Failing to work within the Act i.e. obtain a referral from a vet before examining or treating an animal:-

  1. is illegal and puts an osteopath so doing at risk of prosecution and/or complaint to the GOsC;
  2. invalidates professional indemnity insurance, putting an osteopath at risk of potential large financial loss should an animal be harmed, or perceived to be harmed;
  3. potentially compromises the reputation of the osteopath with veterinarians, other animal paraprofessionals, insurers and owners should it become known they are working illegally and without insurance;
  4. potentially impacts on the standing/reputation of osteopaths working with animals in general amongst the public, veterinarians & animal paraprofessionals;
  5. is not compatible with being a full member of the AAO.
It is the osteopath’s responsibility to ensure that they are working within the law, the only way to assure this is for the osteopath to contact the vet directly for the referral.  It is inappropriate and bad practice to place this responsibility on the animal’s owner. Additionally, any referral from the vet if by telephone should be recorded on the animal’s notes with date/time/name of referring vet, or copies of written referral (email/fax/letter) attached to the notes, for both new clients and existing clients with a new problem or episode. Osteopathic assessment and treatment should not take place in the absence of veterinary referral.

The AAO aims to support any member who is reported to us or the GOsC. However, we will only work within our position as a special interest group and as such, can only offer professional guidance and mentoring*

If an AAO member is reported to us or the GOsC for having failed to comply with the OPS and The Veterinary Surgeon’s (Exemptions) Order 2015, the AAO may: 

  1. Put your membership on hold during the investigation period.
  2. Remove you from our member’s list during the investigation period.
  3. Cancel your membership if the outcome of the investigation is such that you lose GOsC registration.

* Fees will be charged to any individual who requires private mentorship during an investigation.