The Canadian Federation of Osteopaths represents nine provincial associations and one territory across Canada, which are in the process of establishing the manual practice of osteopathy as a regulated profession, on behalf of their members, who are educated in the manual practice of osteopathy.
In Canada, the non-physician practice of osteopathy is practiced in almost all of the provinces/territories. For more information, and to verify the membership of each provincial/territorial association, please access the provincial association websites below.
The title “Osteopath” is protected and controlled, in some provinces/territories, by the respective medical regulatory college for physicians and surgeons. U.S. trained osteopathic physicians are not affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths. There are no osteopathic medical colleges in Canada.
Canadian Federation of Osteopaths
Founded in 2003, the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths (CFO) is a national association for Osteopaths*. Its membership base consists of established provincial associations. Individual osteopathic practitioners are not individually members of the CFO, their voices and interests are represented by the respective provincial body.
In turn the CFO is a member of the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA), a world wide alliance of national governing bodies and associations that have come together with the common goal of osteopathic unity and high quality osteopathic healthcare.
The OIA advances the philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine and osteopathy worldwide (oialliance.org).
*Osteopath: Internationally, the term Osteopath is applied to manual osteopathy, while the medical stream uses Osteopathic Physician..
Members of the CFO
In Alberta, the Health Professions Act protects the titles “Osteopath” and “Osteopathic practitioner”. This means that only licensed, medically trained, Osteopathic Physicians graduating from American universities can use them. For this reason non-physician Osteopaths graduating from Colleges outside America use the title “Osteopathic manual therapist” if they want to work in Alberta.
The AAOMT is a first step in the organization and regulation of manual osteopathic practice by osteopathic manual therapists in Alberta. It agrees with and meets the Osteopathic International Alliance and World Health Organization in both the definitions of an Osteopath and an Osteopathic Physician and the minimum educational requirements for both. In order to support both these organizations and further Osteopathy in Canada, the AAOMT will be taking all the steps necessary to get Osteopathic manual therapists recognized and protected, both nationally and provincially.
Alberta Association of Osteopathic Manual Therapist TM
OsteopathyBC (OBC) was incorporated under the Societies Act of the Province of British Columbia as the Society for the Promotion of Manual Practice Osteopathy (SPMPO) in 2005. It has been a member of the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA) since 2008.
The Purposes of the Society are:
- To promote, represent, demonstrate and inform the public of Osteopathy and the role it plays in health care in British Columbia
- To clarify any confusion which exists between Osteopathic Practitioners and Osteopathic Physicians.
- To ensure that the best quality of manual practice osteopathy is provided to the people of B.C. from Osteopathic Practitioners with high standards of training and expertise.
- To provide a code of conduct, in order to protect the public and demonstrate the society members’ commitment to establish and promote manual practice osteopathy in B.C.
- To provide an organization to represent osteopathy, which is consistent with other parts of Canada, and the rest of the world, in order that patients, practitioners and the general public can benefit from clear and consistently available information and access to osteopathy.
- To represent and promote osteopathy to governmental, legislative and healthcare bodies. To liaise with other osteopathic organizations in Canada and worldwide
In B.C., non physician osteopaths, known throughout the rest of the world as simply ‘osteopaths’ use the title “Osteopathic Practitioner” to differentiate themselves from American trained osteopathic physicians who were legally granted exclusive use of the title ‘osteopath” in June 2009. Both streams of osteopathy are currently practiced in B.C. For more information about OsteopathyBC please see our website www.osteopathybc.ca
The Manitoba Association of Osteopathic Manual Therapists (MAOMT) is a voluntary, not for profit, professional association that was established in 2016 by a group Osteopathic Manual Practitioners.
The purpose of the MAOMT is:
- to uphold important standards of practice for safe, ethical and effective manual osteopathic treatment in Manitoba
- be a resource to the general public regarding the practice of Osteopathy
- and organize continuing education programs to advance the knowledge of Osteopathy in the province
The practice of (non-medical) manual osteopathy is not currently recognized as a regulated health profession in Manitoba. Regulated health care professions have a defined scope of practice under professional-specific Acts, and there is no law that defines a scope of practice for osteopathy in this province.
The MAOMT is a proud member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths as we recognize the importance of national standards and policies in the continued organization and development of this profession in Manitoba.
The Nova Scotia Association of Osteopaths (NSAO), is a professional association established in 2006 to provide a unified voice for Osteopathic Manual Practitioners.
In 2011 The New Medical Act (Bill 55) was passed, it states in section 22(A)(31): no person shall use the title Doctor of Osteopathy or abbreviations or derivations thereof or the title Osteopathic Physician A link to Nova Scotia Health Legislation can be found at.
The NSAO Board of Directors has initiated contact with both The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS), past and current provincial governments and is working diligently towards the eventual goal of provincial regulation of Osteopathic Manual Practice for its members.
PO Box 8671
The Association of Osteopaths of New Brunswick (AONB) Incorporated in New Brunswick under the Companies Act #616834, 28th January 2005, with a working board of Directors.
The AONB mission is to:
- Promote and encourage the advancement and practice of osteopathy in New Brunswick
- Insure that its members posses the academic knowledge to practice osteopathy
- Serve as an educational conduit for continued learning for its members
- Support the Osteopaths in their practice and to inform and protect the public
- Engage in collaboration with Osteopathic Associations in Canada and abroad
- Work in close collaboration with Insurance Companies in view to ensure the development of osteopathy in New Brunswick
The Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OAO) is a voluntary, not for profit, professional association which:
- Promotes the practice of osteopathy
- Establishes and maintains standards for safe, effective and ethical treatment
- Organizes continuing professional development programs to advance the knowledge of osteopathy in the province of Ontario
The OAO is a partner member of the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA).
Formed in 1999, the OAO’s mission is: Committed to fostering the practice and professional advancement of osteopathy in Ontario. The OAO Board of Directors has developed a strategic plan to guide their actions and outcomes for their desired state. The OAO is working to develop the necessary documentation to secure the enactment of legislation to regulate Osteopathic Manual Practitioners, under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, or other legislation in Ontario.
There are eight standing committees of the Board – Executive, Education, Educational Institutions review, Membership, Professional Practice and Conduct, Public Relations, Research and, Standards.
The OAO has developed a 64-item entry-level competencies profile and is currently in the process of developing performance indicators and learning objectives as part of the competencies project.
With 1700 members, Osteopathy Quebec, created in 2012 and located in Montreal, is the largest association of osteopaths in Quebec and Canada. Its mission is to validate the training of osteopaths, offer services to its members, and inform and protect the population of Quebec.
Osteopathy Quebec has also created a “Competency reference framework for the practice of the osteopathic profession in Quebec”: an official document that presents the profession in a rigorous, realistic and complete manner and that also constitutes a valuable reference to support osteopaths in their practice.
In the province of Quebec, an important step towards the full legal recognition of the osteopathic profession has just been taken, says Osteopathy Quebec with enthusiasm.
In June 2022, the Office des professions du Québec (OPQ) published its “Avis sur l’opportunité de constituer un ordre professionnel des ostéopathes”. In this Avis, the Office deems it appropriate to recommend to the Minister responsible for the application of professional laws the creation of a distinct order for osteopaths. To date, a working group has been selected by the OPQ and is currently working on the creation of a distinct order for osteopaths.
Osteopathy Quebec is also a member of the OIA (Osteopathic International Alliance) and the EFO (European Federation of Osteopaths).
In Saskatchewan, the title Osteopath is no longer protected by the Health Professions Act. This means that anyone can claim to be an osteopath or osteopathic manual practitioner.
To ensure public safety and maintain high profession standards, the Saskatchewan Association of Osteopaths/Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (SAO), was formed in 2013. The SAO is also a member of the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths to ensure that national standards and policies are observed.
The SAO provides education to the public about osteopathy and assures public safety by providing a list of qualified members. Members must demonstrate accountability and adhere to a code of conduct, standard of ethical practice. Their training and qualifications must also meet or exceed the WHO benchmark guidelines, as outlined in the WHO benchmark for osteopathic training (2010).
The SAO is a first step in the organization and regulation of osteopathic manual therapists in Saskatchewan.
In order to further this profession in Canada, the SAO will be taking all the steps necessary to have osteopathic manual therapy recognized and protected both nationally and provincially.
The Yukon Osteopathic Association (YOA) is a voluntary, not-for-profit, professional association established in 2018. We are proud to be the first association in the country to represent Osteopathy within a territory. The YOA is the first step in the organization and regulation of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners in the Yukon and aims to:
- Ensure safe, effective, and ethical treatment to all residents of the Yukon
- Educate the public about osteopathic treatment as well as further the development of practitioners by maintaining a standard of continuing education for membership
- Establish and maintain standards for professional practice for its members through high standards of admission