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Education and CPD

Undergraduate Chiropractic Education

Chiropractors in Europe training at ECCE-accredited chiropractic institutions undergo a minimum of 5 years education to Masters degree level or equivalent. The first three 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

Chiropractors undertake thousands of hours of undergraduate study to qualify them as experts in spinal manipulation and other treatment techniques. They also study radiology and advanced diagnostic imaging, and many chiropractors graduate with skills in skeletal radiography. Other subjects studies include clinical biomechanics, orthopaedics, neurology, paediatrics, elderly medicine and general medical diagnosis.

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 leanring.

Quality Assurance

The European Council on Chiropractic Education (www.cce-europe.com) 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 five years. Prior to full accreditation an institution may apply for candidate (for accredited) status; the maximum period an institution can hold candidate status is five years.

The ECCE is a founding member of the Councils on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI) together with the US, 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 a 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 a Dean, Dr Lise Lothe, supported by a Governing Council 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 means of 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 offer a structured learning programme for new graduates entering the chiropractic profession. To support this, the EAC organises regular GEP seminars.

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 learning alone, i.e. reading professional journals. One point is awarded for each hour of approved learning.

With the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia, Royal College of Chiropractic and Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, 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 7 SiGs: Clinical Chiropractic, Sports, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Education, Diagnostic Imaging, Research and Neurology.

From 1 January 2015, all chiropractors who are members of ECU national associations will automatically become members of the EAC. This will mean that there will no longer be a fee for membership. For those who practice/reside in a country where there isn’t a National Association 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.

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