Osteopaths trained outside Australia

Rules and regulations for osteopaths trained outside Australia. Registration process, skills assessment and legal considerations for overseas-trained osteopaths.

Practising osteopathy in Australia

In order to practice osteopathy in Australia, overseas-qualified osteopaths must apply for and be successfully registered with the Osteopathy Board of Australia, the regulatory body for osteopaths in Australia.

You must also be eligible to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs, Department governs overseas visa applications, including skills assessments and assessing authorities, as you may also need to apply for a visa issued by Immigration and Citizenship.

Osteopathy is on the Skilled Occupation List, which is used for 457 (Temporary Work Skilled Visa), 189 (Skilled Independent Visa), 489 (Skilled Regional Provisional Visa) and 485 (Graduate Temporary Visa) visa applications.

Note: An application for a visa is separate from an application for entry via the Skilled Occupation List – a successful application in one does not automatically guarantee success in the other.

The Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council (AOAC) is an independent organisation to assess and accredit osteopathic education programs leading to eligibility for registration as an osteopath in Australia, as well as assessing the suitability of overseas-qualified osteopaths to practice in Australia.

New Zealand osteopaths

New Zealand osteopaths who hold current registration and an Annual Practising Certificate can apply for registration as an osteopath in Australia under the Commonwealth Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMR 1997).

Other overseas-trained osteopaths

The Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council (AOAC) assesses all other overseas-trained osteopaths and reviews their skills and qualifications. 

Assessment process

The AOAC conducts initial desktop assessments and advises candidates whether they are eligible to be assessed by the Osteopathy Board of Australia via a standard pathway or competent authority pathway. Depending on your eligibility pathway, your steps towards assessment may include:

  • Written paperwork assessment
  • Written exam
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Practical clinical exam
  • Open-book exam
  • Supervised practice under provisional registration for a minimum of six months
  • Apply for general registration to practice as an osteopath in Australia

For more information, read the Osteopathy Board of Australia's Pathways and Application Process for Overseas-Trained Osteopaths and the AOAC Guide for Qualification and Skills Assessment.