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Education and CPD

Education Update:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 impacts, not all events advertised on the ECU website may be taking place. Delegates please contact the CPD event provider if you wish to cancel your attendance or to check if the CPD event is still taking place.

Undergraduate Chiropractic Education

Chiropractors in Europe training at ECCE-accredited chiropractic institutions undergo between 4 and 6 years of education leading to a minimum of the MChiro degree level or higher. In some European countries a post-graduate programme is also required for independent practice.

The first years of education are similar in content to that of medical students, with emphasis on core basic sciences of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. At the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Zurich, chiropractic students study alongside their medical counterparts.

There are just over 3000 students studying chiropractic in Europe at nine educational centres that fulfil the accreditation criteria.

Chiropractors undertake thousands of hours of undergraduate study to qualify as healthcare professionals specialised in spinal care. To excel in spinal healthcare warrants extensive knowledge of chiropractic techniques such as spinal manipulation, rehabilitation exercises and myofascial treatments. Alongside this, chiropractors are well trained in clinical biomechanics, orthopaedics, neurology, physiology, anatomy, pathophysiology, medical diagnosis, radiology and advanced diagnostic imaging.

Before graduation, undergraduate chiropractors spend a minimum of one year working in outpatient clinics, either on campus or elsewhere. They also spend time observing other health professionals in hospitals and other healthcare environments.

Chiropractors graduating with Masters degrees must complete an advanced level thesis. By learning research skills, students are encouraged to engage in further study and lifelong learning.

Quality Assurance

The European Council on Chiropractic Education website can be reached at The ECCE is an international autonomous organisation established by the chiropractic profession in Europe to accredit and re-accredit institutions providing undergraduate chiropractic education and training. The principal goal of the ECCE is to assure the quality of chiropractic undergraduate education and training against a set of educational Standards.

The Standards are intended for use by chiropractic institutions, both in the public university and private sectors, predominately (but not exclusively) in Europe, as part of institutional self-evaluation, by the ECCE for external review of institutions and by international committees and bodies involved in the recognition and accreditation of chiropractic institutions worldwide.

Once an institution has demonstrated that it is in substantial compliance with the Standards and has graduated its first cohort of students, the institution is accredited for up to eight years.

The ECCE is a member of the Councils on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI) together with the Canadian and Australasian Councils on Chiropractic Education (CCEs). It is the only external quality assurance agency for chiropractic education and training in Europe that is a member of CCEI and recognised by the chiropractic profession and other CCEs world-wide, and that adheres to the CCEI International Chiropractic Accreditation Standards.

The ECCE is an affiliate member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and adheres to the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

The ECCE Standards can be downloaded here.

European Academy of Chiropractic

The European Academy of Chiropractic (EAC) is the sub-committee of the ECU concerned with the promotion and facilitation of continuing professional development (CPD), including Graduate Education Programmes (GEP). It was established in 2007 with the express aim of improving access to lifelong learning for chiropractors in all ECU member national associations.

The EAC is led by the chair, Igor Dijkers, supported by an Executive Team whose role it is to direct the EAC and ensure that its aims and objectives are satisfied.

The EAC promotes an effective transition between chiropractic graduates and professional chiropractors by formulating a structured Graduate Education Programme. By working with established stakeholders, the aim of the EAC GEP programme is to ensure that all national chiropractic associations have the basic framework they can build on to offer a structured learning programme for new graduates entering the chiropractic profession.

The EAC also accredits CPD activities by awarding points for attendance. Its aim is to ensure that all chiropractors within the ECU complete a minimum of 30 hours of CPD activity each year. This may be in the form of structured learning, i.e. attending conferences and seminars, or online learning via different platforms such as GEN-C . One point is awarded for each hour of approved learning.

With its partners Chiropractic Australia, Royal College of Chiropractors and the Chiropractic Knowledge Hub the EAC co-owns the online, open access journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapies. This high-quality, peer-reviewed journal is the second-largest journal of its type in the world and features research articles, commentaries and debate articles.

For those with interests in particular areas of chiropractic practice, the EAC has developed a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These help chiropractors to share knowledge with chiropractors who have common interests and to share best practice in chiropractic specialities. There are 5 SIGs: Clinical, Sports, Paediatrics, Neurology and Research.

From 1 January 2015, all chiropractors who are members of ECU national associations are automatically members of the EAC. This means that there is no longer an additional fee for membership specific to the EAC. For those who practice/reside in a country where the National Association is not a member nation of the ECU they may apply to the ECU to become an individual member.

Members of the EAC may apply to become Fellows of the Academy. Fellowships are awarded by the EAC Court of Electors upon consideration of applications sent to the Registrar. Fellows must display evidence of advanced professional learning to Masters level or equivalent.