We take into consideration what was published in 2010 by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a document called “The Benchmarks for training in osteopathy“.
Osteopathy experts distinguish two types of osteopathic training in function of prior training and clinical experience of trainees.
Type I training programmes are aimed at those who have no prior medical or other health-care training or experience. They are designed to produce osteopathic practitioners who are qualified to practise as primary-contact and primary-care practitioners, independently or as members of a health-care team. This type of programme consists of a minimum of two years of full-time study
(or its equivalent) of no fewer than 4200 hours, including no less than 1000 hours of supervised clinical training.
A typical Type I programme would take 4200 hours, including at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice and training. Osteopathic skills and physical examination training must be delivered via direct contact. Other academic curricular content may be delivered by various staff and in various training formats. Training may be full-time, part-time or a combination of the two.
Type II training programmes are aimed at those with medical or other healthcare training (western medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, osteopathy, etc) who wish to become recognized osteopathic practitioners. The learning outcomes should be comparable to those of a Type I programme.
Adaptation of Type I to Type II programmes
The Type II programme is designed to enable other health-care professionals to become qualified osteopathic practitioners. The syllabus and curriculum for Type II programmes will vary depending upon the prior health-care training and clinical experience of each individual student. Graduates of Type II programmes must demonstrate the same competencies of osteopathy as graduates of Type I programmes. This programme typically has a duration of 1000 hours, to be adapted depending on the individual’s prior training and knowledge.
The Type I programme can be adapted to a Type II programme which is designed to enable other health-care professionals to obtain additional qualification as an osteopathic practitioner. Accordingly, the duration and syllabus of the Type II programme will depend on prior education and experience, and will vary from student to student. However, the duration should be no fewer than 2000 hours, including no fewer than 1000 hours of supervised clinical training or its equivalent.
In some cases, the development of a Type II programme may be a temporary step pending the development of Type I programmes in osteopathy, in countries where osteopathy is not yet regulated and/or a university program is not yet available. This is the case in Canada and all Canadian provinces so far.