Tutor teaching osteopath demonstrating cupped hands

Have you enjoyed the SCCO courses so far but would like to further integrate and embed your learning into your practice?  Then the SCCO Pathway may be just what you are looking for.

The Pathway has been developed to deepen the osteopath’s learning whilst working through the modules and support their journey to becoming a more highly trained practitioner of osteopathy within the cranial field.

The Course content of The Pathway consists of completing Modules 1-10.  This portfolio of courses has been structured to introduce Osteopathy in the cranial field at a foundation level to those who are new to this aspect of osteopathy (Module 1) and then in Module 2 to acquaint the osteopath with the teachings of Dr. W.G. Sutherland in a comprehensive overview of his ideas and work. Module 4 ( Balanced ligamentous tension ) is also an introductory level course. It is an excellent way to unify what is most familiar to you with your new skills, as you learn the techniques as taught by Sutherland for use in all the joints of the body.

Along The Pathway we then explore different aspects of this fascinating field of study in greater depth through Modules 3-10.  Each of the core Modules (5-8) has been designed to delve deeper into the five phenomena introduced in Modules 1 and 2, which characterise the “primary respiratory mechanism” identified by Sutherland.  As learning demands have changed and our understanding and experience evolved, The Pathway has been extended to include Organs and Systems (Module 3), an Introduction to Paediatric Osteopathy (Module 9) and Integrating Cranial into Practice (Module 10), allowing us to incorporate approaches from a variety of specialisations such as dental, visceral and bioenergetic practices.

Each Module can be taken as a stand alone course and gives the osteopath comprehensive grounding in the anatomy and theory of every subject before relating it functionally to the whole during the practicals. By engaging with The Pathway as a whole learning process rather than taking the modules separately, however, students have expressed a deeper appreciation and understanding of the changes taking place under their hands in daily practice. By completing The Pathway, you will have had a thorough and inclusive training in all aspects of osteopathy in the cranial field. Whilst this learning is often a life long journey, we are sure that you will find it a rewarding experience both personally and professionally.

Each osteopath completing The Pathway is required to submit 3 case studies for assessment.  This is an opportunity to help consolidate your learning process by relating what you have learned from the Modules to three of your patients, researching the relevant anatomy and physiology; applying your clinical experience and osteopathic reasoning and demonstrating how osteopathic principles underpin the changes you see whilst treating them. Learning how to research and write a case study is a skill that will help you to comply with the upcoming GOsC CPD requirements as a case study is valued as an objective piece of feedback. You will have access to a tutor to mentor you through the whole process and once you are both happy with the Case Study, it can be submitted for marking.

One of these case studies will aim to reach a standard that is publishable. This may sound a bit daunting, but you will be given plenty of support to achieve this. We are keen to start gathering case studies and ultimately to make them available as a resource for the profession. By asking for studies of publishable standard, we are simply hoping that they will be consistent in format and quality. Think of it as an opportunity to contribute to the profession – and to read some really interesting studies that others have written!

Book your Course

Book your Course

Forthcoming Pathway courses with the SCCO

Further Details

Further Details

Further information about the SCCO Pathway

SCCO post graduate courses are open to any osteopath. Individual course eligibility criteria may vary.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

The SCCO values all prior experiences of training, working with or teaching Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF) and welcome you if you are considering studying with us. To help us direct you to the most appropriate course for you, we need to understand your previous experience and training and how this has influenced your osteopathic thinking. Please give us as much information as you can about your experience on the Accreditation of Prior Learning application form. There will be an administration fee for this accreditation process.

Module 1: Foundation Course

Module 1: Foundation Course is the usual entry point when embarking on the the SCCO Pathway. However if you undertook your osteopathic training in any of the following institutions then you are exempt from this requirement and may proceed directly on to Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field:

  • British College of Ostopathic Medicine (with cranial certificate)
  • Buenos Aires Escuela Superior Fulcrum de Medicina Osteopatica
  • International Academy of Osteopathy
  • Israel Institute of Osteopathy
  • Escuela Argentina de Osteopatica
  • European School of Osteopathy
  • London School of Osteopathy
  • University College of Osteopathy (formerly BSO, with cranial certificate)

Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field

Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field is mandatory for entry onto the SCCO Pathway. In exceptional circumstances, some may apply for an exemption. To be considered you must have completed at least one OCF course with the Sutherland Cranial College. The exemption process requires you to complete an application form and make a payment of £300. For more information and to be referred, please contact the office via email. However you are considered exempt from Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field if you have taken either of the following courses:

  • Rollin Becker Institute – 5 day course (UCO Foundation)
  • Sutherland Teaching Foundation – STFC 40 hours

Module 3: Osteopathic Medicine

If you have previously taken the old Module 3 (Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, prior to September 2013) then you are exempt from taking the new Module 3 (Osteopathic Medicine: Organs and Systems) as part of your pathway. Of course we highly recommend that you do take Osteopathic Medicine when it suits you to develop your clinical skills in this treating this rewarding area.

Module 9: The First Year of Life (formerly Introduction to Paediatrics)

If you have completed the Osteopathic Centre for Children Diploma or MSc training, then you are exempt from Module 9 Introduction to Paediatrics.

Module 10: Integrating Cranial into Practice

The new one day course ‘Integrating Cranial into Practice’ is not compulsory for anyone who was registered on the old SCC Pathway before September 2013.

Pre-course resources and references: All our courses have an online precourse reading resource which is available in a hard copy by request. Further resources are being developed to help the students prepare and feel confident of the anatomy and principles taught on the course so they can focus on the tutorials and the practical aspects in a supportive environment.

Post course resources: We offer a case study assignment for modules 3-9 to help you integrate the learning from the course into your osteopathic thinking and clinical practice. Three case study assignments are required to complete the pathway.


All of our courses have extensive handouts which have many references for further exploration and self directed learning. Post course reading or resources will be available in the future via our website.

In all our courses we endeavour to help students develop:

  • Centring skills – which help with your osteopathic palpation, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Communication skills – for learning for practicals and with patients.
  • Perception – to monitor a colleague safely, develop skills to describe what you experience and the motion present
  • Knowledge – of anatomy , structure and function under your hands and how the theory relates to osteopathic principles.
  • Diagnosis – develops an understanding of patients who would benefit from the cranial approach to osteopathy and identify function and dysfunction from observation, active and passive motion and palpating the IVM of related areas.
  • Treatment – skills to engage the body’s innate self corrective ability to restore balance and health, that are directly applicable in practice
  • Reflection – self reflection and with fellow students and with tutor support, to reinforce learning before and after the course, considering the relevance to your own osteopathic practice and making appropriate action plans.

All these aspects of learning will be assessed in the following ways:

  • You will be asked to do your own self-assessment.
  • Tutors will assess you and give you daily personal feedback either confidentially in private or in the tutorial group.
  • Three case study style assignments are required to complete the pathway
    All assessment is tailored to your personal needs as an individual and reflect the practical nature of osteopathic practice.

Assignment Submission

One of the tutors on your pathway course will be your Assignment Tutor. He or she will be available to mentor you through the development of your Case Study. Once you and your tutor are happy with the Case Study it will be submitted first to a marker and then to a moderator.

The submission fee for case study assignments is £75

Three case study assignments are required to complete the SCCO pathway and become a Fellow of the College.

The SCCO magazine regularly publishes case studies for the interest and inspiration of other members, and as part of our commitment to promoting the scope of osteopathic practice to the general public as well as the osteopathic profession.

There is a lot that you can do to maximise the learning from each course, and to continue your learning journey between courses.

We recommend:

  • Keeping a learning journal
  • Exploring self directed study
  • Joining the student support scheme
  • Planning which of our courses meet you future learning needs best.

Student support

Student support is available through our mentoring scheme in regional study groups and practice visits.



What our Pathway completers have said

“…..having declined a Pathway invitation at the beginning of a module, the reward of just CPD hours did not slake my interest. A suitable case arose which was the cattle prod that stimulated the need to milk the tutors and lecturers wisdom and experience to the next level. 6 years on a proud FSCCO.”

“Some of my best learning can come from chatting with colleagues, a passing comment can really change the way I think about something.”

“The SCCO is like a big family, and courses are a great place to make new friends and meet up with old ones.”

“I was told by several people that the discipline of writing an assignment after a course was the best way to learn and I couldn’t agree more! It is hard to find the time and the discipline to sit down, trawl through books and your notes and write down your thought processes, but it is worth every second. It helped to consolidate what I learned and it developed both my thinking and clarity of thought.”

“I sometimes feel isolated in practice, and love coming on SCCO courses to meet up with like minded colleagues who share my passion for osteopathy.”