types of membership
AAO offers two types of membership:
- Full practicing membership
- Student membership
Full practicing members (who wish to be listed) can be found on our Find an Osteopath) page. Student members remain unlisted until qualified. At this time, membership fees have been halted to support those struggling from the effects of COVID. This is being reviewed on a 6-monthly basis.
The AOI’s Code of Practice sets clear guidelines and expectations of all of its members and reflects the legal, ethical and professional requirements that members should meet when working in animal practice.
Membership with AAO endorses the shared values that all animal practitioners should have at the heart of their practice. This in turn empowers the AOI’s Code of Practice will help all of us to raise standards, increase public confidence and promote an industry that has animal welfare at the forefront of its objectives.
The AAO endorses best practice and education in the field of animal osteopathy and animal functional therapy for animals. It is expected that anyone calling themselves an animal osteopath (or any similar variation thereof) should be appropriately trained in the assessment and treatment of animals, and work only within their scope of practice (i.e. work only on animals you have the knowledge to professionally assess and treat). They must also hold suitable insurance, as relevant to their country if practice.
The AAO asks UK members to declare that they work only within The Veterinary Surgeon’s Act 1966 (Exemptions Order 2015) and to provide documentary evidence of their animal qualification and insurance. This requirement is for the protection of animals, the owners who reach out to us, and for the protection of the reputation of osteopaths worldwide.
For Membership you will need to be able to demonstrate the following:
- That you are in animal practice and only work within your scope of practice;
- That you work within the law, working only with veterinary referral and/or consent unless applicable;
- That you critically review your own skill set on a regular basis, updating and maintaining your knowledge via CPD and peer related activities;
- That you hold up to date animal related indemnity insurance in accordance with your practice.
- You will be asked to produce evidence of your animal qualifications and insurance, when first you join. After that, the AAO reserves the right to spotcheck any member at any time. If this happens, you will be asked to produce your current insurance documentation and examples of recent (last 12 months) CPD certificates.
It is the osteopath’s/practitioner’s responsibility to ensure that they work within the laws if their state and country. As this varies so radically around the world, the AAO is working to attain connections with international groups and associations to attain the correct data and to remain up to date for the sake of its members. However, until this project is complete the AAO stipulates that it is the practitioner’s responsibility to undertake the necessary due diligence to know right from wrong and to work accordingly. The AAO will share any updates via their blog, which can be found under the NEWS tab.
UK members should in line with the Veterinary Surgeon’s Act 1966 (Exemptions Order 2015) i.e. obtain consent to treat and/or a referral note from a vet before examining or treating an animal as a remedial case, where it is known that there is an underlying condition or pathology.
Working outside the parameters of the law – no matter where a member is based:
- is illegal and places the osteopath/practitioner at risk of prosecution and/or complaint by local regulators,
- may invalidate professional indemnity insurance, putting an osteopath/practitioner at risk of potential large financial loss should an animal be harmed, or perceived to be harmed;
- potentially compromises the reputation of the osteopath/practitioner with veterinarians, other animal paraprofessionals, insurers and owners should it become known they are working illegally and without insurance;
- potentially impacts on the standing/reputation of osteopaths/functional practitioners who work with animals amongst the public, veterinarians & animal paraprofessionals;
- is not compatible with being a full practicing member of the AAO and as such, may result in a practitioner being removed.
- The AAO aims to support any member who is reported to us. However, we will only work within our position as an Association and as such, can only offer professional guidance and mentoring.
If a UK animal osteopath (and member of the AAO) is reported to us or GOsC for having failed to comply with the law, the OPS and/or The Veterinary Surgeon’s Act 1966 (Exemptions Order 2015), the AAO will:
Put the named person’s membership on hold during the investigation period.
Remove the named person from our member’s list on “Find an Osteopath” during the investigation period.
Cancel your membership if the outcome of the investigation is such that you have been shown to have broken the law.
*Fees may be charged to any individual who requires private mentorship during an investigation.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- AAO does not keep personal data any longer than is necessary, for the purpose it was obtained.
- AAO safely stores all personal data, follows appropriate procedures, and has in place protection and security policies.
- 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.
- 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.
- The right of access, and to be informed – you can ask the AAO data controller what information, about you, is being held.
- The right to rectification – you can ask the data controller to correct any inaccurate or incomplete information.
- The right to erasure (or, right to be forgotten) – you can ask the data controller to permanently delete information about you that AAO holds.
- 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.
- The right to erasure can be refused; for legal reasons, for example.
- 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.
- Members have to be informed when the data is erased, or any reason for not erasing the data.
- 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. The right to data portability – you can ask the data controller to supply your personal data for your own purpose.
- 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.
- 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):
- The right is absolute, if data was used for marketing purposes.
- The right is not absolute if data was used for research, statistics, legitimate interests, or the performance of a legal task.
- There are other rights that are not applicable to AAO and the members.
Further information can be found here: