The Institute’s Foundation Course is designed to develop the practitioner’s knowledge and understanding of Classical Osteopathic philosophies, principles, concepts and technical skills - as formulated over a hundred years ago by AT Still and then further interpreted by JM Littlejohn.

This course will explore the classical belief that a body is a vital living organism with a normal tendency towards self-healing, elimination and health and that the development of disease depends on any factors which lower the vital force or vitalising processes of the patient. The concept that the osteopathic lesion can therefore only be addressed through physiological processes is examined. In addition, the applied anatomy and physiology of the body, along with Fryette’s and Littlejohn’s osteopathic centres and biomechanical models of the effects of gravity on the spine are reviewed. Students are shown how to apply this approach in practice with the ‘whole body’ treatment routine practiced by classical osteopaths to co-ordinate the structural and functional activities of the body.

Successful completion of this course provides eligibility for clinical training and development at the London Clinic of Classical Osteopathy in North London and subsequent progression onto the more advanced Applied Course – the successful completion of which results in a Diploma in Classical Osteopathy.

Completion of the foundation course leads to eligibility for associate membership with the ICO and progression onto the Applied Clinic module of the pathway.

COURSE DATES 2019/2020

Seminar 1
Location: Dorking
Dates: 12th-15th September 2019
Seminar 2
Location: Dorking
Dates: 7th-10th November 2019
Seminar 3
Location: Dorking
Dates: 9th-12th January 2020
Seminar 4
Location: Dorking
Dates: 12th-15th March 2020
Seminar 5
Location: Dorking
Dates: 7th-10th May 2020


Download course prospectus

An application form for 2019/2020 can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF


I always felt that that the promise of osteopathy was unfulfilled by my undergraduate training. The result was a pale imitation of osteopathy with a very limited scope of practice, totally unlike that of the early osteopaths. Decades of post graduate, technique based, courses didn’t help very much. Thankfully the ICO Foundation Course started filling in the gaps, leading to a significantly enhanced scope of practice. The difference was that it first enhanced my understanding of osteopathic principles, so that I could not just recite them, but actually utilise them! I think more osteopathically, so I act more osteopathically. If you would like to provide osteopathic healthcare, I highly recommend the ICO courses.

Andrew Pallas ND DO MRN

Thank you each and all at the institute. I really enjoyed this foundation course and the presentations at weekend. I am looking forward to advancing my learning and to the Diploma course.

Darren Conroy

I did the foundation course as I had graduated from the BSO with a variety of techniques and clinical learning, but I felt I was missing both a coherent rationale for treatment and an understanding of what makes osteopathy different from other manual therapies.  The course gives you a great understanding of osteopathy as a properly holistic system and starts to allow you to direct your treatment beyond purely musculoskeletal conditions.  
I really enjoyed the course and learning the body adjustment and the classical approach of gentle but effective techniques that have really enabled me to develop as an osteopath.

Sue M, London