Name of Profession: Osteopathy

Name of the Association: ACMA Association

Address: 1375 av. Normandie, Mascouche, QC, J7L 0A3, Canada


e-mail address:

Telephone: 1-888-393-9394

Contact person: (Name and Title): Dr. Sylvain Desforges, president

Number of staff employed: 12

Does your association have a board of directors? Yes

If yes, please provide us with a listing of your board of directors: Dr Sylvain Desforges, president; Natalie Crevier, treasury; and Sophie Desforges, secretary


Mandate of Association #

The profession’s leadership has shown that it will distinguish between the public interest and the profession’s self-interest and in self-regulating will flavor the former over the latter. #


1. How long has the Association been in operation? since 2008

2. What is the mandate of the Association? ACMA Association is committed to a multifaceted mandate that encompasses representation, promotion, and protection within the sphere of osteopathy across Canada.

Our primary objective is to represent and advocate for our extensive membership base, which includes hundreds of osteopaths nationwide. We endeavor to provide a unified voice for our members, championing their interests and facilitating communication among the osteopathic community and with other stakeholders in the healthcare sector.

ACMA is also dedicated to the advancement and promotion of osteopathy as a vital and respected discipline within the health and wellness landscape. Through various initiatives, we work tirelessly to raise awareness, educate, and foster a deeper understanding of osteopathy, its benefits, and its role in holistic health care among both healthcare professionals and the public.

Furthermore, our mission extends to safeguarding public welfare. We do this by ensuring the highest level of competence among our members and fostering an unwavering commitment to an impeccable code of ethics. ACMA maintains rigorous standards of practice and continuing education requirements, and we employ a robust process of peer review and accountability measures to ensure these standards are upheld.

In conclusion, ACMA’s mandate is to serve as a beacon of professionalism and integrity within the osteopathic community, to foster the growth and recognition of the profession, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public by maintaining the highest standards of osteopathic practice across Canada.

3. Does the association have a complaints and disciplinary procedure? Yes.

ACMA Association maintains a comprehensive complaints and disciplinary procedure that is designed to uphold the integrity of the profession and protect the public’s interest. This procedure aligns with our commitment to promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and ethics among our members.

Our complaints process is accessible, transparent, and fair. It allows any member of the public or the profession to lodge a complaint against a member of ACMA if they believe there has been a breach of our professional standards or code of ethics. Each complaint is taken very seriously and is thoroughly investigated by our professional conduct committee, which is comprised of experienced members of the profession.

In the event that a complaint is substantiated, the disciplinary procedure is then invoked. This involves a formal hearing before a disciplinary committee. This committee has the power to impose a range of sanctions, depending on the severity and nature of the misconduct, ranging from advice and admonition to suspension or expulsion from the association.

We continuously review and refine our complaints and disciplinary procedures to ensure they reflect best practices and effectively serve the interests of both the public and our members. This commitment to accountability and professionalism is a cornerstone of our association’s mandate.

4. If yes, how long has this procedure been in place? How effective has it been? Please provide details: Our complaints and disciplinary procedure has been in place since 2018, providing a structured and effective system for addressing concerns and complaints for nearly five years.

The procedure’s effectiveness can be gauged from the relatively low number of formal complaints received, given our extensive membership base. Since its inception, we have received a total of four complaints from the public. These complaints have been thoroughly investigated according to our established procedures, demonstrating our commitment to transparency and accountability.

Furthermore, there have been two police investigations involving our members. One of these investigations was ultimately abandoned, while the other is still ongoing. It’s important to note that these investigations, while serious, are exceptions rather than the norm, and they do not reflect the overall conduct of our membership.

To date, there have been no instances necessitating the extreme measures of striking off members or imposing fines, indicating that our members consistently maintain a high level of professional conduct and adhere to our code of ethics. This is a testament to both the professional integrity of our members and the effectiveness of our ongoing efforts to promote and enforce high standards of practice within our association.

Overall, while the number of formal complaints and investigations is relatively small, we treat each case with the utmost seriousness. Our commitment to maintaining this procedure underscores our dedication to ensuring public trust and confidence in our profession.

5. Are disciplinary actions/outcomes made available to the public? ACMA upholds a commitment to transparency and accountability in our practice. We believe that it is essential for the public to have access to information about disciplinary actions or outcomes resulting from our complaints procedure. This aligns with our mandate to protect public interest and maintain trust in the osteopathic profession. Therefore, we ensure that disciplinary actions or outcomes are made available to the public, following the completion of due process and while respecting all necessary privacy considerations.

6. If yes, in what forum? Disciplinary actions or outcomes are published on our official website, which serves as a primary forum for sharing such information. The ‘Protection’ section of our website ( specifically hosts this information, providing a transparent record of disciplinary outcomes.

In line with our dedication to accessibility and transparency, we strive to ensure that this information is easy to locate and understand. It’s important to us that the public has the means to make informed decisions about their healthcare providers, and sharing this information in a public forum is a key part of that commitment.

Body of Knowledge #

The members of this profession must call upon a distinctive, systematic body of knowledge in assessing, treating or serving their patients/clients. The core activities performed by members of this profession must be discernible as a clear and integrated whole and must be broadly accepted as such within the profession. #


7. Please describe the core body of knowledge of the profession: At ACMA Association, the core body of knowledge of our profession is founded upon rigorous and comprehensive training in osteopathy. Our members possess a deep understanding of the principles and practices of osteopathy, which includes a unique, holistic approach to healthcare that emphasizes the integral relationship between the structure and function of the body.

The body of knowledge our osteopaths draw upon encompasses a wide range of areas, including but not limited to: in-depth anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, biomechanics, neurology, radiology, nutrition, exercise science, and clinical methods. This comprehensive training provides a foundation for osteopaths to assess, diagnose, and treat a wide variety of conditions, with a focus on musculoskeletal issues.

Our osteopaths are equipped with a distinctive, systematic approach to patient care. They are trained to use a variety of manual techniques, such as soft tissue manipulation, articulation, and craniosacral therapy, amongst others, to promote the body’s natural healing process. Moreover, they are also trained to provide personalized healthcare advice, focusing on elements like posture, exercise, and nutrition, to further facilitate patient wellbeing.

The competence of our members aligns with the standards established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other nationally and internationally recognized organizations. As an association, we take immense pride in the fact that our members embody the highest level of professionalism and skill in their field, which is a testament to their rigorous and comprehensive training.

Therefore, the core body of knowledge of osteopathy as practiced by ACMA members is a distinctive, integrated, and widely accepted paradigm within the healthcare profession. It provides a solid framework for our osteopaths to deliver safe, effective, and patient-centered care.

8. What professional titles and designations do you recommend be restricted to members of your profession? We recommend that the professional titles “Manual Osteopath” and “Osteopath” be exclusively restricted to members of our profession who have completed the requisite training and are in good standing with ACMA Association.

The title “Manual Osteopath” signifies a professional who has undergone rigorous education and training in manual osteopathy, which involves using a hands-on approach to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, particularly those related to the musculoskeletal system.

Similarly, the title “Osteopath” designates an individual who has achieved comprehensive training in osteopathy, a holistic healthcare approach that emphasizes the integral relationship between the structure and function of the body.

These titles reflect the distinctive, systematic body of knowledge and the unique skills required in our profession. Hence, it is crucial to restrict the use of these titles to qualified practitioners to maintain the integrity of the profession, protect the public, and ensure that patients receive safe, effective, and professional care. This recommendation is also in line with provincial regulations where applicable.

9. Does the professional association set standards of practice for diagnostic/treatment modalities and services based on the identified body of knowledge? ACMA Association sets and maintains high standards of practice for diagnostic and treatment modalities based on the identified body of knowledge within the field of osteopathy. These standards are designed to ensure that all of our members provide safe, effective, and evidence-based care to their patients.

Our standards of practice cover a broad range of areas including clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, manual techniques, patient communication, record keeping, and ethical conduct. They are grounded in the core principles of osteopathy and reflect the unique, holistic approach that our profession takes towards patient care.

We also set requirements for continuing professional development to ensure our members stay abreast of the latest research, techniques, and best practices in the field. This continuous learning further enhances the quality of care provided by our members and ensures the body of knowledge within our profession continues to evolve.

All members of ACMA are expected to adhere to these standards of practice. Compliance is monitored through a combination of peer review processes, audits, and feedback mechanisms to ensure that our members uphold the highest level of professional conduct and clinical excellence. By setting and enforcing these standards, we aim to ensure the integrity of our profession, protect the public, and deliver the highest quality of osteopathic care.

10. If yes, please explain and provide a copy of the standards of practice and ethical guidelines: ACMA Association has comprehensive standards of practice and ethical guidelines that each member is expected to uphold. These guidelines are designed to ensure a high standard of care, professionalism, and integrity within our profession. They cover a wide range of areas, including clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, patient communication, record keeping, and ethical conduct. You can access the complete document at: 

11. How does the association ensure that these standards are enforced? ACMA employs multiple strategies to enforce adherence to our standards of practice and ethical guidelines.

Firstly, we have a mandatory entrance exam for all prospective members. This examination tests the candidate’s understanding of our Code of Ethics and the Complaint Process, among other relevant areas. A minimum score of 60% is required to pass this examination, ensuring that only those with a solid understanding of our standards and ethical guidelines become members.

Additionally, like all professional orders and boards in Canada, we rely on a robust complaint process to help enforce our standards. This process allows any member of the public to lodge a complaint if they believe a member has violated our professional standards or Code of Ethics. Each complaint is thoroughly investigated by our professional conduct committee, and disciplinary action is taken if necessary. You can find more information about our complaint process here:

This combination of preventative measures (entrance exam) and reactive measures (complaint process) ensures a comprehensive approach to enforcing our standards and maintaining the integrity of our profession.


Educational Requirements For Entry Into Practice #

To enter the practice of the profession, the practitioner must successfully complete a post secondary program offered by a recognized educational institution. The educational program must be available in Canada. #

12. What academic/vocational/technical education/training, post-graduate and continuing education/training is required by the association for membership? For membership with the Association of Canadian Manual Osteopaths (ACMA), we adhere to the educational benchmarks established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2010 document, “The Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy.” This document sets forth rigorous standards for the education and training of osteopaths, which our association has adopted to ensure our members possess the highest level of expertise and competence.

To be considered for membership, an applicant must have completed a comprehensive program of osteopathy. This Type II program, as defined by the WHO, should take into consideration the applicant’s prior education and experience. The duration of the program must be no fewer than 2000 hours, which includes no fewer than 1000 hours of supervised clinical training or its equivalent. This intensive training prepares our members to deliver effective osteopathic care.

In Canada, and all its provinces, where osteopathy is not yet regulated or where a university program is not yet available, the development of a Type II program may serve as a temporary measure. This ensures that aspiring osteopaths in Canada receive the necessary training and experience to practice safely and effectively.

Furthermore, ACMA requires all members to engage in a continuous learning process after their initial qualification. Each member must participate in a continuing education program and accumulate at least 30 hours of continuing education related to the practice of osteopathy every two years. This requirement ensures that our members stay up-to-date with the latest research, techniques, and best practices in osteopathy, thereby enabling them to provide the highest standard of care to their patients.

13. What colleges/schools are accepted and recognized as accredited schools for members joining your association? ACMA Association recognizes a number of esteemed colleges and schools that provide accredited programs in osteopathy. These institutions uphold the high academic and clinical training standards required for our members. The full list of these recognized institutions can be found on our official website:

14.How do you confirm that these schools meet educational requirements? ACMA Association employs a rigorous process to confirm that these accredited schools meet our defined educational requirements.

Primarily, we conduct a thorough examination of each institution’s syllabus. This allows us to ensure that the courses offered align with the benchmarks established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for training in osteopathy. We confirm that their curriculum covers the necessary areas of knowledge and skills, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and manual techniques, among others.

Secondly, we review the information provided on the institution’s website. We confirm details about the program’s duration, faculty qualifications, clinical training provisions, and the overall educational approach. This helps us ascertain the quality and comprehensiveness of the program.

Finally, we inspect student transcripts from these institutions. This enables us to verify the depth and breadth of the education provided and to ensure that the students have met the necessary academic and clinical training requirements.

Through this diligent validation process, we ensure that the education provided by these accredited schools meets our high standards, thereby equipping our members with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide excellent osteopathic care.


Sufficiency of Supervision #

A significant number of members of the profession have the quality of their performance monitored effectively; either by supervisors in regulated institutions, by supervisors who are themselves regulated professionals or by regulated professionals who assign this profession’s services. #


15. Are practitioners of the profession directly or indirectly supervised in the performance of their duties and responsibilities by other regulated practitioners or administrators of regulated institutions? No

Explain: Explanation: Osteopaths, in their professional capacity, work independently, as they are extensively trained and accredited to practice autonomously. They are not typically under the direct or indirect supervision of other regulated practitioners or administrators of regulated institutions when performing their duties. Instead, they adhere to the high standards and guidelines set forth by  ACMA Association. Members of ACMA are held accountable for their practice through a rigorous process of continuous professional development and periodic peer-review assessments, which ensure that the quality of their performance is effectively monitored and maintained at the highest level.

16.Which particular tasks/services, if any, are subject to a greater or lesser degree of supervision? Please explain how and why this supervisory relationship is no longer appropriate or adequate?

Explanation: As explained above, osteopaths operate autonomously in the delivery of their services, hence there is no hierarchical supervision in place. This is because they are extensively trained and qualified to deliver a high standard of care independently. The independence of osteopaths in their practice does not signify the absence of quality assurance or a disregard for standards of practice. On the contrary, our association ensures the maintenance of professional standards and the quality of osteopathic services by enforcing a system of self-regulation that involves continuous professional development and periodic peer-review assessments. These processes are designed to uphold and enhance the standards of osteopathic practice, and they have been found to be appropriate and adequate for the purpose they serve. Therefore, there’s no supervisory relationship that is no longer appropriate or adequate.

17. Does the association or licensing body maintain a Quality Assurance Program to monitor the performance and quality levels of active members? Yes
If yes, please provide details. ACMA Association maintains a robust Quality Assurance Program designed to monitor and ensure the performance and quality levels of all active members. This program is anchored on a two-pronged approach: Initial application requirements and mandatory continuing education.

  1. Initial Application Requirements: Each prospective member is required to fulfill the following steps:
    • Complete the application form, which allows us to gather necessary details about the applicant’s qualifications and experience.
    • Secure mandatory malpractice insurance to ensure patient protection.
    • Submit relevant documents such as diplomas, transcripts, identification card, and proof of malpractice insurance to verify their credentials and qualifications.
    • Send membership payment to formalize their commitment to joining ACMA.
    • Complete an online profile to facilitate easy communication and information sharing within the association.
    • Complete the admission exam, which tests their understanding of our Code of Ethics and the Complaint Process, among other relevant areas.
    • Join our Facebook Group to ensure they stay updated with the latest news and developments within ACMA.
  2. Mandatory Continuing Education: After gaining membership, each member is required to complete mandatory continuing education. This requirement ensures that our members stay current with the latest research, techniques, and best practices in the field of osteopathy. It also fosters a culture of lifelong learning and continuous professional development among our members.

By ensuring the fulfillment of these steps and continually monitoring our members’ adherence to our Quality Assurance Program, we uphold the integrity of our profession, promote high standards of practice, and ensure the delivery of quality osteopathic care to the public.


Risk of Harm #

A substantial risk of potential physical, emotional or mental harm to individual patients/clients arises in the practice of the profession. #


18. Does the association require its members to carry liability insurance coverage? Yes
If yes, what is the amount of coverage that is required? ACMA Association requires all its members to carry professional liability insurance. This requirement is part of our commitment to protect both our members and the public.

Specifically, we require each member to hold a minimum coverage amount of 1 million dollars per claim, with an aggregate limit of 3 million dollars. This means that the insurance should cover up to 1 million dollars for any single claim, with a total limit of 3 million dollars for all claims within the policy period.

This requirement ensures that our members are adequately protected against potential claims, providing peace of mind to both our practitioners and their patients. This level of insurance coverage also aligns with the industry standards for healthcare practitioners, reflecting our commitment to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards in the field of osteopathy.


Membership Information #


19. Please provide us with a complete list of all members. Is the listing available by internet access? If yes, please provide the URL address: Our Association of Canadian Manual Osteopaths (ACMA) maintains a comprehensive and up-to-date online directory of all our members, ensuring transparency and ease of access for the public and other stakeholders. This directory can be accessed at any time via our official website through the following link:

This online listing allows anyone to verify the membership status of an osteopath, providing assurance about the practitioner’s standing with our association and their adherence to our standards of practice and code of ethics.

20. How often is your member listing updated? We take the accuracy and currency of our member listing very seriously. Therefore, we update our online member directory daily. This ensures that the information available reflects the most current membership status, including any new members, renewals, and changes in standing. This daily update process allows us to maintain an accurate and reliable resource for the verification of our members’ professional standing.

21. Please provide any additional comments or information about your professional association and its members that you feel may be relevant to our review: ACMA Association is proud to represent a group of highly skilled and committed professionals who have undergone rigorous training in osteopathy. Our members’ dedication to their patients and their profession is the cornerstone of our association’s reputation.

We would also like to highlight that many of our members possess additional qualifications in the health field. Those who have completed their osteopathy training and also hold a master’s or doctorate degree in a health-related discipline such as Medicine (MD), Chiropractic, or Physiotherapy, are granted membership to our prestigious affiliate, The College of Canadian Osteopaths. This selective association represents a community of practitioners who bring a diverse range of skills and expertise to their osteopathic practice.

You can verify the membership status of these highly-qualified osteopaths through the College of Canadian Osteopaths’ website:

The dual membership to both ACMA and The College of Canadian Osteopaths underscores the commitment of these members to the highest standards of professional conduct and patient care. We believe this level of dedication and professionalism amongst our members is a testament to the quality of service patients can expect when they consult an osteopath associated with ACMA.


Along with the completed questionnaire, please also provide us with: #

Copies of corporation and government registry approval documents for your association:
Copies of your association’s liability insurance documentation
A listing of the association’s board of directors (if applicable): 

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