Course FAQs

When do student intakes happen?

Generally in January for an initial workshop in February. We do occasionally, and have in the past, done mid year intakes.

What is the course load?

We recommend allow about 10 hours/week to do the course justice.

Where are the practical trainings held?

In the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Currently canine workshop days are held at Lilydale Campus Box Hill Institute. Equine days are currently at a riding school in Berwick.

What prerequisites are there to start the Grad-Dip?

The Graduate Diploma of Animal Biomechanical Medicine is a post graduate qualification intended for practising professionals. The Industry Steering Committee overseeing the development of the course determined that the following entry competencies are essential for successful, safe completion of the course.  For more info on pathways to ABM, click here.

Entrants to the Graduate Diploma of Animal Biomechanical Medicine will need to have gained competencies equivalent to those defined by any of the qualifications of:
• Bachelor of Veterinary Science
• Bachelor of Chiropractic Science
• Master of Chiropractic
• Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy)

Course applicants must be registered to practice their original profession (Veterinary Science, Chiropractic or Osteopathy) in the geographic area in which they practice.

Applicants will need to establish a level of experience with a minimum of two years in full-time practice before entering the course in order to gain a thorough grounding in workplace conditions and variables.

A high degree of physical agility and moderate strength will be required as the course involves working in varying terrains with large and potentially dangerous animals.

Students are expected to have a command of the English language and oral and written communicative skills equivalent to Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) Level 5 to cope with the technical complexities of classroom material and the colloquialisms of the workplace.

It should be noted that there is an element of risk involved in working with some animals and therefore students will need to comprehend safety instructions given in difficult circumstances.

Why only Veterinarians, Chiropractors and Osteopaths?

The course requires that students entering the course have a very solid grounding in either animal anatomy, physiology and differential conditions (ie veterinary qualification) or a very solid grounding in biomechanics, neurology and manual manipulative therapies (ie Chiropractic or Osteopathic qualification). The course is structured so that the three groups can work together to bring their skills to a matching high level of animal biomechanical care by graduation. The course is demanding and many of these professionals struggle with to meet the requirements.

ABPA members have repeatedly considered the option of including other professionals and para professionals in this course and at this stage, have decided to continue to restrict entry to the three base qualifications. It is considered too difficult to learn everything in this course at once, even with a high level of previous education in a related field such as physiotherapy or equine science.

How can being an ABM Practitioner add value to my clients and my business?

For the human trained practitioners - Chiropractors and Osteopaths - the ability to offer care to the whole 'family' can be a compelling reason to undertake the course. Some practitioners enter the course to gain CPD points and find their niche working with high performance athletes or with a species completely different to what they first envisaged. ABM treatment is often conducted outdoors and gives the practitioner a chance to escape the four walls of the treatment room. There is great variation in the presentations and case management challenges of ABM work, providing variety, and the inability of animal patients to talk is sometimes appreciated by human practitioners!

For veterinarians - ABM offers the opportunity to develop a completely different relationship with both animal patients and clients. ABM treatment is generally well tolerated and appreciated by animal patients, and the sometimes regular visits can develop a much closer relationship than what is normal between veterinarian and patient/client. ABM can be extremely effective for management of some chronic conditions and can have a huge role in geriatric care.

ABM provides another dimension to a veterinary practice, which can be a marketing asset. ABM can be very useful from a diagnostic perspective, honing skills in localising lameness, determining where to direct diagnostic imaging, as well as providing another treatment paradigm and skills in the growing field of veterinary rehabilitation. Clients who seek ABM are often highly educated and motivated to provide the best possible care for their animal companions.

Is there another course like this available in Australia? Or the World?

No. Overseas courses are currently either Chiropractic or Osteopathic, and often follow a course outline developed in the 1990's, largely unchanged. The ABM course combines osteopathic and chiropractic assessment and treatment approaches, with a solid grounding in the medical and physical animal conditions that need to be recognised as potential cautions, contraindications and reasons for referral. This course is completely new, written by professionals working in the field. It is a challenging course to complete, but course graduates emerge with a well rounded diagnostic skill set, and a large treatment toolbox, we well as awareness of the legal and economic aspects of ABM practice - enabling them to enter this field with both confidence and competence.

What is the continuing support and education for students once graduated?

ABPA runs annual refresher conferences, as well as other continuing education events as time and opportunity arise. ABPA members communicate frequently by telephone, email and social media, enabling quick responses on tricky case questions and peer support in many situations. This is a close knit professional community - we have come from our three core professions, but we are all ABM professionals. We are at the cutting edge of a new profession - we are proud of our history of collaboration and sharing which has brought us this far. Our established practitioners (our mentors) want our newer members to thrive - sharing and support are a feature of this emerging profession.

For more questions about the course, please contact us.

To read what recent graduates say about the course, click here.

To register your interest in the course, and to be notified via email once student applications are open for the next intake, please Click here.