EROP Guidelines

EROP guidelines for Core Competencies and Practice Standards in Osteopathic Medicine

The EROP-Declaration for Osteopathic Medicine (2009) sets a standard about the concepts  and core principles of modern Osteopathic medicine integrated in standard medical care and the general health care systems in Europe. This frame work is a broadly accepted basis for the evidence informed and patient centred view of Osteopathic Medicine.

Core competencies and Osteopathic Practice Standards complement the EROP Declaration. They play a central role in the requirements for osteopathic training and the achievement and retention of registration in EROP (European Register for osteopathic Physicians)

Core Competencies and Practice standards in Osteopathic Medicine:

This guidelines are based on:

  • the 2500 years old tradition of medical education in Europe
  • the international code of Medical Ethics
  • the “7 core competencies” of the AOA (American Osteopathic Association)
  • the mission and vision of OIA (Osteopathic international Alliance)
  • the practice standards of GEOSC (General Osteopathic council)
  • the knowledge and experience of all EROP members.

In the educational process you can standardise its contents and the outcomes of Osteopathic education. EROP has already set up the minimum standards for Osteopathic education, which is part of our bylaws. The goal of this declaration is to define Core competencies and Practice standards for European Osteopathic physicians.

Osteopathic Physician in the EROP Declaration:

“A fully licensed medical doctor with or without a medical specialty.Additional postgraduate academic and professional training in OM leading to the granting of a diploma.

The acquisition of diagnostic and therapeutic skills for OM requires an educational training program of at least 700 hours within a minimum time period of 4 years.

The educational standard in OM requires knowledge and skills in all three osteopathic areas, the parietal, the visceral and the cranio-sacral systems.

The osteopathic physician completes and broadens the standard medicine in the context of an integrated patient care. He emphasizes both an evidence informed and patient centred medicine.”

Osteopathic definition of the WOHO (World Osteopathic Health Organisaiton):

Osteopathy is an established recognized system of healthcare which relies on manual contact for diagnosis and treatment. It respects the relationship of body, mind and spirit in health and disease; it lays emphasis on the structural and functional integrity of the body and the body's intrinsic tendency for self-healing. Osteopathic treatment is viewed as a facilitative influence to encourage this self regulatory process.


The purpose of EROP is to break down the WOHO-frame work to a European standard in osteopathic medical care. One way would be defining more details in the Osteopathic education and broadening the EROP-list of core topics in educational programs. More details and more topics do not necessarily create a more competent Osteopathic physician. The more important part is to look for core competencies and the outcome of education.

Core Competencies and Practice standards (EROP)
  1. Medical professionalism and complementary medicine
    2. Principles and scientific basis of Osteopathic Medicine
    3. Personal qualities and skills
    4. Clinical practice
    5. Patient partnership
    6. Practice-Based Learning
    7. Systems-Based Practice

One goal of these core competencies and practice standards is to clarify the community and difference between Osteopaths and Osteopathic Physicians. Fully licensed Osteopathic physicians have a specific integrated approach to patients. This is due to the medical and osteopathic background of education. Osteopathic physicians are primarily physicians and secondly Osteopaths.

Another goal of these guidelines is to clarify, that Osteopathic medicine is a philosophy, science and art.  It is not just a manual technique which is part of traditional manual medicine training in Europe.

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