Osteopaths Registered Overseas


In order to work as an osteopath in New Zealand, you must have your qualifications verified by the Osteopathic Council.(Please note that the only qualifications accepted by the Council at this time are those from the specified institutions listed at the bottom of this page). Once this has been successfully completed you can apply for registration with the Council. After gaining registration you will need to apply for an annual practising certificate (APC).
Before granting you registration the Council must be satisfied that you:

  • Have a qualification recognised by the Council; and
  • Are fit for registration (this covers such things as whether you have any criminal convictions, mental or physical health issues or professional conduct issues, and can communicate effectively in the English language, etc); and
  • Are competent to practice.

Your first step is to have your qualification(s) verified.. You can download an application form here. When you have the required documents gathered, post them along with your completed application form and payment to: 

The Registrar, Osteopathic Council New Zealand, P O Box 9644, Wellington 6141

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NZ REGISTRATION

When you have been assessed by the Council as having recognised qualifications you can apply for registration. This is an additional once only cost of $690.00 (including goods and services tax). Once registered in New Zealand, the registration lasts until the practitioner is struck off (for disciplinary reasons) or requests that their name is removed from the register. Please download the registration application and payment forms here.

Registration, by itself, does not allow a practitioner to lawfully practise. In addition to registration, an Annual Practising Certificate is needed each year (1 Apr - 31 Mar). Please note the APC runs from 1 April to 31 March. The same fee applies if you apply for an APC between these dates. See APC below.

The maximum amount of time allowed between completing the registration process and practise in New Zealand is three years, although we do not suggest that you leave it this long as you may be required to do additional CPD in New Zealand before a practising certificate will be issued. We suggest that you start gathering up the documents you need well before the date on which you want to start work as it can take some weeks to obtain these. In particular, we are advised that the UK Police Criminal Conviction Clearance certificate can take up to 8 weeks to obtain.

As original documents need to be sighted, it is not possible to apply for registration by email.


Prior to commencing practice you will also need to apply for an annual practising certificate, and again, there is an extra charge, and an application form . If all documentation is correct, then this process should take no more than five - seven working days. Your APC will have the "Preceptorship" condition on the scope of practice. Please click here to read more about this condition.

As stated above, if there is a delay between gaining registration and applying for a practising certificate, practitioners will be required to show their previous twelve months Compulsory Professional Development/Education (from their home country).

Summary of Requirements

The process is:

  1. Apply to OCNZ to have your qualifications and competence assessed and verified.
  2. OCNZ will inform you of your eligibility to apply for registration.
  3. Apply for registration. You should allow 2 - 4 weeks for this. (It will often be much quicker than this but this will depend on the Registrar's workload at the time and whether you have provided all the required documentation).
  4. Once registered, apply for a work permit.  NZ Immigration Service advises that this can take up to 15 working days although it is often much quicker.  Because immigration policies change reasonably frequently, you should check with NZIS to ensure you have up-to-date information. The NZ Immigration Service Website is www.immigration.govt.nz
  5. Apply for an Annual Practising Certificate. If all documentation is correct,  this process should take no more than five - seven working days.

Schedule of Qualifying Overseas Qualifications

In order to be considered for the OCNZ registration you must have one or more qualifications from an institution listed below.



British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy

From 9 May 2000

British College of Osteopathic Medicine From 9 May 2000
British School of Osteopathy From 9 May 2000
College of Osteopaths From 8 May 2001
European School of Osteopathy From 9 May 2000
Leeds Metropolitan University From 1 September 2007
London College of Osteopathic Medicine From 9 May 2000
London School of Osteopathy From 9 May 2000
Oxford Brookes University From 1 October 2003
Surrey Institute of Osteopathic Medicine From 1 January 2003
Swansea University From 15 December 2001

Note: Australian registered osteopaths may seek registration in New Zealand under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement.




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