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Manual Osteopathy Association of Manitoba Inc.

51 Heaton Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0J4 | |


The Standards of Practice form a live and dynamic document that will evolve as changes in practice and the profession evolve. This document reflects the initial board-approved Standards of Practice adopted by the Manual Osteopathy Association of Manitoba in 2021.

Revised: February 9, 2022.


The Practice of Manual Osteopathy in Manitoba shall be guided by the following Standards of Practice:


Section A: Professionalism

1. Professional Conduct & Responsibilities

The professional member must provide the highest levels of professional osteopathic services and demonstrate excellence in practice by promoting the patient’s health and well being through responsible, compassionate and respectful conduct and protecting them from harm.

In his/her professional role the Manual Osteopathic Practitioner shall:

  1. adhere to the MOAM Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice and all other policies and procedures.

  2. conduct themselves in a manner in all settings meriting the respect of the public and other professionals.

  3. treat each patient with respect, dignity and worth, making sure that the practitioners personal beliefs and values do not affect patient care.

  4. use professional communications that adapt to the needs of the individual and in a manner that patients, colleagues and other professionals can understand.

  5. provide an environment that is safe and comfortable for the patient and meets all legal requirements for health and safety.

  6. use standard precautions to ensure professional hygienic practices and maintain a level of personal hygiene appropriate for practitioners in the therapeutic setting.

  7. wear clothing that is clean, modest, and professional.

  8. work in partnership with the patient to perform an accurate needs assessment, develop a plan of care with the patient, and update and adapt the plan as needed.

  9. respect the patient’s need for modesty and dignity by using appropriate clothing/draping to protect the patient’s physical and emotional privacy.

  10. respect the traditions and practices of other professionals and foster collegial relationships.

  11. use the MOAM logo on business cards, brochures, advertisements, and stationery, only with consent of the board of directors.

  12. act with civility and courtesy towards colleagues and coworkers.

  13. uphold the reputation of the profession and the MOAM through their conduct in person or online in any form.

  14. not act in a manner that pretends to represent the MOAM in any way unless with prior written approval by the board.

  15. refrain from criticizing colleagues in public, or in a clinical setting, in a manner which casts doubts on the colleague's professional competence. This does not apply to the critical evaluation of published works nor to expert testimony in court.

If a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner has reason to believe that a colleague is behaving in an unprofessional manner, or that his or her standard of practice falls substantially below acceptable standards, the colleague shall be approached in a helpful way. If this is not practicable, then the Manual Osteopathic Practitioner should report the behaviour to the Disciplinary Board of the MOAM, which will then consider appropriate action.

2. Abiding by-laws:

In their professional role the Manual Osteopathic Practitioner shall:

  1. refrain from any behavior that results in illegal, discriminatory, or unethical actions.

  2. accept responsibility for their own actions.

  3. obey all applicable municipal/local, provincial, and federal laws.

  4. report to the proper authorities any alleged violations of the law by other Manual Osteopathic Practitioners.

  5. maintain accurate and truthful records according to the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) by the province of Manitoba.

  6. report to the MOAM any criminal convictions regarding themselves and other Manual Osteopathic Practitioners.

  7. report to the MOAM any pending litigation and resulting resolution related to his/her professional practice.


3. Confidentiality

The Manual Osteopathic Practitioner shall respect the rights of privacy and confidentiality of patient information and safeguard all records. In their professional role the Manual Osteopathic Practitioner shall:

  1. protect the patient’s identity in social conversations, all advertisements, and any and all other manners unless requested by the patient in writing, medically necessary, or required by law in the province of Manitoba.

  2. solicit only information that is relevant to the professional patient/practitioner relationship.

  3. share pertinent information about the patient with third parties when required by law.

  4. maintain the patient files for a minimum period of 7 years after the discontinuance of treatment; if the patient is a minor when treatment is discontinued, files must be retained for 7 years after the patient reaches the age of majority.

  5. store and dispose of patient files in a secure manner, including all files held electronically.

  6. obtain prior consent from patients in order to record electronically or have an observer/student in a session.

  7. ensure the patients' anonymity when using data for training, research, or publication, unless there is written consent.

  8. not, unless required by law, divulge information about a patient unless the patient specifically authorizes the release in writing. Even under these circumstances, a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner should be aware of the necessity of preserving confidentiality as much as possible. For example, in court, a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner may request the judge or magistrate to permit the suppression of information not relevant to the matter being decided.


4. Integrity

The Manual Osteopathic Practitioner shall practice with honesty, integrity, and lawfulness in the business of osteopathic manual practice.



Section B: Competency & Practice

Manual Osteopathic Practitioners should confine themselves to clinical assessment and treatment. They must practice in those fields of Osteopathic manual practice in which they have training and which are recognized generally by the profession (as mentioned in the MOAM Code of Ethics) as being beneficial. Training refers to the accumulation of knowledge and skills attained in undergraduate and post-graduate education that is evaluated at a level of competence for osteopathic manual practice.

5. Training

Manual Osteopathic Practice diploma programs are offered at a number of private career colleges across Canada. A diploma that meets Canadian training standards requires a minimum of 2,200-hours of training, with a minimum of 1000 clinical hours. 

  1. A Manual Osteopathic Practitioner must select competent staff and must assign responsibilities compatible with staff skills and experiences.

  2. A Manual Osteopathic Practitioner must refrain from offering professional services when their personal problems or conflicts may cause harm to a patient or others.


6. Competence

  1. Minimum Acceptable Standards are defined as follows: 

    1. Assess a patient by taking a case history and by conducting a physical and clinical examination to determine areas of restriction and physical or somatic dysfunction.

    2. Recognize contra-indications to manual osteopathic treatment.

    3. Know when to refer a patient to his general practitioner or other health professionals.

    4. Plan and to carry out a suitable course of treatment.

    5. Be attentive to unrealistic expectations, and explain what can and cannot be reasonably expected.

    6. Know what to do in the case of adverse reaction to treatment

    7. Keep proper records which are accurate, comprehensive, easily understood, in accordance to PHIA and completed promptly following a consultation or treatment.

    8. Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their own health.

    9. Be aware of limitations of professional competence and to work within those.

  2. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must perform only testing and assessment services for which they are competent.

  3. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must not allow the use of assessment and or treatment techniques by unqualified persons under their supervision. Qualified persons may however perform techniques under direct supervision for the purpose of education, with the patient’s consent.

  4. A Manual Osteopathic Practitioner must not approve of or collaborate in the use of osteopathic techniques by students except when those persons are in supervised training. Written consent from the patient is required. 

  5. A Manual Osteopathic Practitioner must select competent staff and must assign responsibilities compatible with staff skills and experiences.

  6. A Manual Osteopathic Practitioner must refrain from offering professional services when their personal problems or conflicts may cause harm to a patient or others.

  7. A Manual Osteopathic Practitioner must use assessment instruments in the manner for which they were intended.

7. Continuing Education

  1. Manual Osteopaths must maintain their knowledge and practice at an acceptable level of competence. They must be compliant with the MOAM continuing education policy.

8. Communication & Consent

  1. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must obtain informed consent prior to initiating any assessment and treatment of the patient. If the patient is unable to provide informed consent, an appropriate third party or guardian must provide consent.

  2. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must protect the interests of patients who are minors or who are unable to give voluntary consent.

  3. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must provide explanations to patients prior to assessment about the nature and purposes of assessment and the specific uses of results.

  4. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must inform his or her patients at the commencement of a course of treatment of the reasonable foreseeable implications, including material risks, complications and reactions, and explain the nature and purpose of the treatment.

  5. Manual Osteopathic Practitioners must respect the wish of a patient for a second opinion and must, if practicable, help the patient obtain a competent second opinion.

9. Legislation

Manual Osteopathic Practitioners in Manitoba are accountable to the following pieces of provincial and federal legislation:

• Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)

• Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

• Manitoba Human Rights Code

• Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (CCRF)



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