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Neither in Europe nor worldwide is there any consistent regulation of osteopathy. There is country specific progress when it comes to the recognition of the profession. Umbrella organisations around the world strive to achieve consistent standardized recognition of osteopathy


European Federation of Osteopaths (EFO)

On an European level, the European Federation of Osteopaths acts as representative for 16 European professional associations. Additionally, it has been tasked as spokesperson representing the European osteopaths in front of the EU-Commission and the European Parliament. EFO has this role as member of the Conseil Européen des Professions libéral (CEPLIS), the association of independent professions.

Forum for Osteopathic Regulation in Europe (FORE)

FORE, counting 14 members states sees itself as organisation acting in the interest of the patients by developing quality standards pertaining to behaviour, competencies and training of osteopaths. The following documents have been published:

Comité Européen de Normalisation (CEN)

The European Committee for Standardization is currently developing a European Standard for Osteopathy in collaboration with FORE. This document is planned to be concluded by 2014.

Osteopathic European Academic Network (OsEAN)

The Osteopathic European Academic Network unites 31 mainly European osteopathic training facilities with the overall goal of standardizing training and obtaining a university degree accreditation for each of the schools.


Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA)

The worldwide umbrella organisation representing all osteopathic associations (unions, schools, registers) is called the Osteopathic International Alliance and counts more than 60 members.

World Osteopathic Health Organisation (WOHO) und World Health Organisation (WHO):

In collaboration with WOHO, the department for traditional medicine at WHO has published a document entitled „Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy“ in 2010, which recommends minimum standards for osteopathic training and practice. The WHO document describes osteopathy as an independent profession working independently and without referral by a doctor.
Further cooperation between OIA and WHO is currently being planned.


State regulation as independent profession in Belgium, Finland, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Malta and Switzerland.
Practicing a part of complementary medicine in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany.
Practice restricted to MDs in Latvia and the Russian Federation.
State regulation in preparation in Ireland, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, and Spain.
No state regulation in Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus.
Postgraduate programmes for health professionals in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and Spain. Some schools offer degree programmes: in Belgium (MSc), Germany (BSc, MSc) United Kingdom (MSc), Italy (BSc), and Austria (MSc).
First Cycle Programmes (after A-levels, IB etc.) in Belgium, Germany, Finland, France, the UK, Italy, Switzerland. Some of them with academic degree programmes: in Germany (BSc), Finland (BSc), the UK (BSc), and Italy (BSc).


State regulation as independent profession in the USA, New Zealand and Australia.
No state regulation
in Canada.