AAO Update

June 2019

In May 2019, the AAO structure was amended to ensure that ALL animal osteopaths have access to the news and information regarding the profession. For months, Dustie worked with RAMP and the iO to devise a structure that gave RAMP confidence in its structure, whilst removing all barriers to entry.

For the time being, membership has been suspended, as we open our doors to all animal osteopaths from far and wide. And yes, that means international too! Next year, to ensure the AAO has funds to continue, a donation button will be added to our site for members to support our work and projects, as is seen fit by the individual.

The AAO continues to work closely with RAMP as we enter this turbulent period. It is everyone’s hope, that no matter which way the RSVC project take us, it will ultimately be for the greater good of the animals we treat.

On June 1st 2019 Eleanor Andrews replaced Dustie, who has stood down as Chair after 5 years. And in doing so, has replaced the title “Chair” with AAO Lead. It was decided that in order to make the AAO non-partisan, it also needed to relax in its structure and methods of communication and negotiation with those who support it. As such, whilst we have a “working team” to ensure core actions are undertaken, we no longer have the historic hierarchal structure that appeared to have strangled us for too long. We will now communicate mostly through facebook and the website, so please do ensure that you keep in touch. This change has been done for YOU and so it is your responsibility to keep informed in this time of change. We also recommend that you keep up to date with RAMP and the RCVS project, as this will affect AOs long term.

Osteopathic Alliance Update March 2018

The OA has had a busy start to the year firstly attending the Osteopathic Practice Standards Stakeholder Working Group meeting in January to discuss the results of the consultation and advise on the suggested amendments put forward by the profession at large.

This was closely followed by the iO Strategy workshop attended by representatives from across the profession, undergraduate and postgraduate colleges, regional societies, NCOR, GOsC, iO, individual practitioners and students.

Topics discussed and ‘workshopped’ included;

Key issues facing the profession; strategic solutions; Lifestage- becoming an osteopath and then career development; development of the profession within the world of healthcare -marketing and branding and our profession’s identity. The results will be discussed at the next iO council meeting and then filtered out through the stakeholders’ groups

The AAO is especially involved with all this activity because, as your representative, I have been nominated to be the OA Chair as well as continuing on the iO committee and also on the board of the Osteopathic Foundation.

Although we are a relatively small group our input is highly valued due to the unique position we hold as Osteopaths working alongside and within the veterinary profession.

We have necessarily developed an effective system of postgraduate and CPD courses structured at differing levels to enable us to work competently and legally within animal healthcare, mastering both the required different medical knowledge and language for communication.

There are similarities between us and osteopaths who work within Paediatrics

In light of this the Osteopathic development group (ODG) have requested that we ask the AAO members to take part in the attached Consultation on competences and accreditation for osteopaths who work with children and young people.

This is a big ask (and a big read!) but very relevant as Animal osteopaths voluntarily undertake accredited clinical practice (ACP) activities. The consultation itself doesn’t take long.

Nadine Hobson

Joint statement on the development and future of the ACP project

The Osteopathic Development Group is a collaboration of osteopathic organisations that came together to work on a range of issues, which were identified by the profession in a series of regional meetings in 2012.

The Accredited Clinical Practice project was started in order to help the public more easily find osteopaths with knowledge, skills and experience that are relevant to their needs. Whilst a range of formal post-registration osteopathic training programmes already exist, our research showed that the majority of osteopaths develop their practice in less structured ways. Our aim is to enable all osteopaths who have developed their knowledge, skills and abilities in a particular field to achieve formal recognition for their accomplishments.

We believe that recognising practitioners’ areas of clinical expertise is an important step towards meeting the public and the wider healthcare community’s expectations of modern healthcare professionals. By raising the profile and increasing the credibility of the profession amongst groups that may not previously have considered seeking osteopathic care, patient footfall will also increase for all osteopaths.

The proposed scheme is therefore about recognising expertise, not restricting practice. It will help you to be recognised, as an osteopath, for your expertise in the work you do; and for osteopaths who are less confident about their skills or experience in any particular area, to understand what areas they could usefully develop. The scheme will be voluntary, and we have carefully designed it to avoid any implication that osteopaths who are not accredited are not competent in a particular field. There will be no restriction of any osteopath’s scope of practice.

The initial proposal focuses on the osteopathic care of children as this was identified as a priority in our research. The project team has worked closely with a team of external consultants and the four UK colleges that offer formal post-registration training in the osteopathic care of children: the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy, Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy and the University College of Osteopathy (formerly BSO).

We hope you will take the time to consider the proposals carefully and we welcome your feedback. You can find the consultation online at The consultation will close on Friday 20thApril 2018.

We are also preparing for a live webinar on this project, which will be held on Monday 26th March 2018 at 7.30pm. More details about how to sign up for this will be released soon.

ACP Project Team

Liz Hayden – Osteopathic Alliance

Nicholas Woodhead – Osteopathic Alliance

Ben Katz – Institute of Osteopathy

Jemma Sager – Council of Osteopathic Educational Institutions

Steven Bettles – General Osteopathic Council

Paediatric Working Group

Kerstin Rolfe & Jemma Sager – British College of Osteopathic Medicine

Nancy Nunn, Carole Meredith & Christina Lenz – Foundation for Paediatric Osteopathy

Mark Wilson & Hilary Percival – Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy

Samantha Fennell & Andrea Rippe – University College of Osteopathy

Ben Katz

Regional Representatives – together we will support our profession

Date: January 2018

As a way to help animal osteopaths around the UK, we are looking to start regional groups, where animal osteopaths can meet to discuss current issues in veterinary medicine and build relationships with local animal professionals through the use of talks and workshops. Our aim is to increase the reach of support offered by the AAO, whilst also helping members to build relationships and their businesses.

As such, we are seeking friendly, sociable, active animal osteopaths (members of the AAO) who are you interested in the future of animal osteopathy and have the time to help the AAO to grow the profession in their home regions.

Each group will be given help and support by a member of our current committee and a small annual budget will be allocated to each group to help with the costs of workshops etc.

Our aim is to link the profession in a more coherent fashion and to help you as RAMP and its CPD requirements become a part of everyone’s reality.

If you’re interested in taking on the role of a Regional Representative, please let me know by the 24th February.

You may send in your interest after this time, but we are keen to get these roles up and running by April at the latest.

Do you have any news you’d like to share – or articles/cases of interest? Please send them in and we will share them with the rest of membership.