Education Standards

OSTCAN requires that its member associations uphold a membership requirement that includes a minimum 4 years of osteopathic education. This education must total a minimum of 4200 hours, and include a minimum of 1000 hours in Supervised Clinical Practice & Training meeting the Type 1 standard as outlined by the World Health Organization Benchmarks for training in Osteopathy.

Why Type 1?

OSTCAN promotes the Type 1 guidelines because they are;

  • clearly DEFINED in the W.H.O. document, an international recognized and accepted organization
  • This enables the education to be MEASURED by independent third-party education auditors and;
  • Ensure total TRANSPARENCY in education and affiliation paving the way to safer practitioners and better outcomes for patients.

Whenever Type 2 programs are recognized in addition to Type 1, it is imperative that graduates of Type 2 programs demonstrate the same competencies of osteopathy as graduates of Type 1 programs, the primary W.H.O. standard. Type 2 programs are typically a temporary steap pending the development of Type 1 programs in osteopathy (see W.H.O. Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy, page 7 and 10)..

UK Model

In the UK, for example, Type 1 style programs are the only education recognized by the General Osteopathic Council, with the exception of one Type 2 program exclusively for those with superior health care training, like physicians (see the UK Subject Benchmark Statement – Osteopathy, page 6). Osteopathy is not an “add-on” to other health modalities, like massage therapy.. Osteopathy is a profession unto itself. Comprehensive osteopathic education results in practitioners who are equipped with a thorough understanding of osteopathic principles & practice, and extensive clinical competency to deliver safe & effective treatments to patients.


The Osteopathic European Academic Network vision for the future also aims to adhere to the Type 1 WHO guidelines. The Type 2 alternative is only recommended as an offering for physicians or Physiotherapists.

Why is Type 1 important in Education Standards? Read Considerations in the Regulation of Osteopathy in Canada

Professional Standards

OSTCAN requires that its member associations uphold a membership requirement that includes the following criteria for professional standards

  • Meet the OSTCAN Education Standards criteria
  • Hold valid professional malpractice and liability coverage (recommended 5 million in coverage) for the province in which they practice
  • Adhere to the OSTCAN Standards of Practice
  • Adhere to the Bylaws of the provincial association of which they are a professional member
  • Comply to the laws of the province in which they practice
  • Satisfy the annual Continuing Education requirements of provincial association of which they are a professional member
  • Satisfy all required re-certification of Safety, Ethics & Red Flags training and continuing education
  • Hold a CLEAR negative Vulnerable Sector Screening Police Check
  • Attend regular Fraud Prevention Education
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