Applying for Registration

To practise as an osteopath in New Zealand you must be registered with the Osteopathic Council. You must also have a current Annual Practising Certificate (APC).

Please allow a minimum of 5 - 7 working days for the Council to process a fully completed application for registration, or for your APC. Note that the fee for registration is a one-off fee, but the APC must be paid for on an annual basis. The APC year runs from 1 April to 31 March of the following year.

You may apply for registration only if:
  • You have a Master of Osteopathy, conferred by Unitec Te Whare Wananga o Wairaka; OR
  • You have passed the OCNZ qualifications assessment process; OR
  • You are registered with an equivalent Australian registration authority
 The Osteopathic Council does not, at present, recognise any other New Zealand qualification.
If you have an osteopathic qualification gained in any country other than New Zealand or Australia and are interested in working in New Zealand, you will have to apply to OCNZ for assessment of your qualifications and competence.

Trainee Scope of Practice

Registered trainee osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners who are enrolled in the prescribed qualification for the General Osteopathic Scope of Practice at Unitec. The trainee osteopath will have submitted the final draft of their thesis for marking. All other components of the required course will be completed to a satisfactory level. The Council sees that this final marking stage of the thesis and the time that it takes, should not prevent practice of the student. The student will need to be working in a group practice to ensure peer support and is required to practise within the General Osteopathic Scope of Practice and comply with all related codes and practice standards.
The period of time that a trainee osteopath can practise under this scope of practice will normally be limited to six months but may be extended at Council's discretion.
Click here for the requirements for obtaining the trainee scope of practice.
Please note:

If more than 6 months has elapsed since the completion of  the clinical  components of the qualification leading to registration and your application for an initial annual practising certificate, you may be required to demonstrate your competence to practise. Council will consider issues of recency of practice on an individual basis. Please contact the Registrar to discuss your options.

Applicants holding NZ qualifications

Applicants who have a Master of Osteopathy conferred by Unitec should complete:

Request and Consent Form - Police Vetting

You must complete a request and consent form. The information on the form is used to perform a search using the New Zealand Police electronic vetting services.

For practitioners applying from overseas they must provide a certified police report from the country of residence. The certified report must be no older than six months at the time the application for registration is submitted.

A certified copy is a copy of the original that has been certified by a solicitor or notary public. 

Please note that registration is not automatically granted. The Osteopathic Council must be confident that you are competent and fit for registration. The information you give us in your application form will assist the Council in our decision-making process.