The Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO), founded in 1999, is a voluntary, not-for-profit, professional association. The OAO promotes the practice of osteopathy, establishes and maintains standards for safe and effective treatment, and, organizes continuing professional development courses to advance the knowledge of osteopathy in the province of Ontario. The OAO published a Code of Ethics for its members in 2013.
The objectives of the OAO are:
- to promote the practice of osteopathy in the Province of Ontario;
- to develop, establish and maintain standards for the safe, effective and ethical practice of osteopathy by members in Ontario, consistent with the public interest;
- to seek support in Ontario for the enactment of legislation by government to regulate osteopathy by non-physician practitioners of osteopathy in Ontario, under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or otherwise;
- to make representation and submissions to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council, the Government of Ontario and others for the enactment of such legislation;
- to represent and advocate the position of the members in Ontario, consistent with the public interest in safe, effective and ethical osteopathic health care, before administrative tribunals, health institutions, other professional associations, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, regulatory colleges, the provincial and federal governments and to the public;
- to provide continuing educational programs in order to advance the knowledge of osteopathy in Ontario; and,
- to promote the common interest and activities of the members in Ontario.
In 2013, the OAO reviewed and revised the OAO 2012-2020 Strategic Plan which contained our Guiding Principles, Vision and Mission in addition to our Objectives, Short Term (1 to 2 years), Medium Term (3 to 5 years) and Long Term (5 years +) Goals. In 2013, an Action Plan was also developoed. The 2013 revised document is available in the Members Section of this website.
Our Vision: Direction – Leadership – Excellence in Practice
Our Mission: The Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO) is committed to fostering the practice and professional advancement of osteopathy in Ontario.
The OAO’s major activities include:
An advocacy body that promotes the goals of our members (Osteopathic Manual Practitioners) in Ontario
An educational resource for the public, health care professional associations, governments and the insurance industry
A support organization for our members (Osteopathic Manual Practitioners) as well as students of osteopathic manual therapy and individuals who have an interest in our work.
A provincial voice for Osteopathic Manual Practitioners
A professional practice organization
The provider of entry-to-practise standards, ethics, and competency documentation
Consultants on osteopathy curriculum and entry-to-practise standards
Plans to Regulate Osteopathy in Ontario
There is currently no statutory regulation for the manual practice of osteopathy in Ontario by a non-physician. The OAO is working on a submission to government requesting the self-regulation of osteopathy in Ontario and to recognize Osteopathic Manual Practitioners as well as osteopathic physicians. Individual scopes of practice for regulated health professionals may include modalities of osteopathic treatment or may allow the integration of certain modalities into a regulated health profession’s scope of practice, as determined by the health regulatory college.
In Ontario, the title “osteopath” is a protected title. Pursuant to section 9 of the Medicine Act, 1991, only a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) can hold him or herself out as a person who is qualified to practice in Ontario as an osteopath, and only a member of the CPSO can use the title “osteopath” or a variation of the title.
Please note that the education and training required to become an osteopath (osteopathic physician) is not available in Canada. The required education is only available in the United States from an osteopathic medical college/school. For more information please contact the American Osteopathic Association or the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.