Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners
Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners

Frequently Asked Questions 


In this section, you will find the answers to many commonly asked questions. If you have anything more specific, please contact us directly on


As the newest initiative for this sector over the last 60 years, introducing voluntary registration has started a process of transition.


This is probably the largest change to directly affect the practice of musculoskeletal treatments for animals, as separate from the provision for human patients, since the original Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order in 1962.


The musculoskeletal practice sector is not used to this form of self-regulation and we recognise that there will be uncertainties in the process and its implementation.

We hope that RAMP will be accepted quickly, and rapidly reach full take-up.


Because we expect that RAMP will have far-reaching effects on the industry, we understand that there will be natural concerns about how this will affect individual practitioners, training courses, owners and others in the industry.
Below, we answer some of the more prominent questions.


Does RAMP prevent people from working with animals?


No. That is not our aim, and we do not have the power to prevent anyone working.


The European Convention on Human Rights states that “workers have the right to move freely and work anywhere in the EU, without discrimination on grounds of nationality, subject to exceptions to preserve public policy, security and health”. This currently applies to all workers in the UK, both employed and self-employed.


We expect that RAMP will help to raise the standards of practitioners to those that Veterinary Surgeons and owners will recognise and feel reassured by. We would expect that as a result, everyone concerned will emerge from the current confusions created by the wide variety of qualifications and the lack of clear distinctions between them, and the result will be a coherent high standard of care from practitioners.


We anticipate that Veterinary Surgeons will then feel more confident in the quality of work provided and more interested to use the relevant benefits of musculoskeletal treatments for their patients. It is likely that they will become more willing to refer to practitioners listed on the RAMP register and therefore, in the end, more animals will get good musculoskeletal treatments.


For those practitioners not eligible to be listed on RAMP immediately, who already have training that does not reach the standards set by RAMP, there are various options:

1. To take a conversion course.

RAMP does not propose to create conversion courses, provide them or assess them. We will however, be pleased to sign-post such courses for people who may wish to take them if providers lay them on.


2. To apply for the RPEL route.

The assessment of Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning is a process used in many educational settings to help people make best use of their previous relevant experience. We will provide an Application Form and Information Sheets.


For those currently enrolled on a training course, it will be important:

1. To check with their course and ascertain how the curriculum fits with the standard set by RAMP and discuss with the course management their plans for adjustments affecting the current cohort.


2. To consider their previous relevant experience and prepare for the RPEL Application to support their training when they apply for registration with RAMP.


3. To gain extra experiences that will bring their CV closer to the RPEL standards so that they are as best prepared at graduation to apply to RAMP.


Does RAMP prevent training courses from operating?


No. That is not our aim, nor do we have any powers to inspect or intervene. However we anticipate that many providers will ask for their courses to be assessed for conformity to the standards.



Training providers are independent commercial or charitable concerns, subject to relevant laws and to normal market pressures.


We do hope that the standard we have set will provide:

1. A national guideline that owners and professionals can rely on.

With a single industry-appropriate target for training course outcomes, course designers can align their provision to be recognisable and reassuring to Veterinary Surgeons and consequently therefore to students.


2. A useful point of reference to create conversion courses.

Following suitable comparative evaluation work, new courses will address a need as practitioners respond to industry movements to realign with RAMP standards.


We therefore hope that the training establishments will check whether their courses meet our standard, and make suitable adjustments to their curriculum, clinical practice and assessment methods.


Does RAMP replace any professional associations for animal practitioners?


No. That is not our aim, nor will we provide the benefits of professional associations.


Professional associations are independent commercial or charitable concerns, subject to relevant laws and to normal market pressures.


We do hope that RAMP will provide a beneficial service to musculoskeletal practitioners by clearing the path for owners and vets to make use of musculoskeletal treatments more often.


Does RAMP change animal owner's rights and responsibilities?


No. That is not our aim, nor do we have any powers with regard to owners.


Owners rights and responsibilities are governed in the main by the Animal Welfare Act 2006.


We do hope that owners will gain reassurance from the clarification of what has until now been a confusing situation. In turn, we expect that they will find it easier to seek appropriate musculoskeletal treatments for their animals, secure in the knowledge that all those listed on the RAMP register are properly professional to a standard that vets find appropriate.


Does RAMP act as a regulator of musculoskeletal practitioners?


No. That is not our aim, nor do we have any powers to regulate practitioners.


However we do have the power to accept or decline applications to the register and will not therefore list practitioners who do not meet the standards.


The treatment of animals can only be done with the permission of the registered Veterinary Surgeon under the Veterinary Surgery (Exemptions) Order 2015.


We do hope that musculoskeletal practitioners will accept that it is in the interests of the animals and owners that the standards set by RAMP are recognisable and acceptable to Veterinary Surgeons, so that they feel confident to refer safely.


Does RAMP help animal health and welfare?


Yes, that certainly is our aim.


Only Veterinary Surgeons have the power to decide on what treatments their patients receive. However, it is the aim of RAMP to make the standards of musculoskeletal practice clearer and more understandable for both Veterinary Surgeons and owners, and to make them easier to use in every-day practice.


This, in time, will result in:

1. more clarity on the benefits of musculoskeletal treatments for animals

2. more animals receiving high-quality musculoskeletal treatments

3. more teamwork between musculoskeletal practitioners and Veterinary Surgeons

4. more effective musculoskeletal treatments being provided

5. more owners following advice given by musculoskeletal practitioners

6. more musculoskeletal treatments being accepted by animal insurance policies

7. more standardisation of courses and qualifications between training providers

8. more students being attracted to a recognised professional sector

9. more use of non-medical musculoskeletal treatments by owners – eg to make elderly patients more comfortable, to improve the performance of animal athletes and to improve the physical development of younger animals


What does RAMP Provide?

RAMP will provide a publically accessible Register of scrutinised and audited practitioners whom the public and veterinary professions can be assured are well trained, insured and meet strict standards of proficiency and professional conduct.



Who are the RAMP Council?

Founder members who now make up the Council are:

President - Sonya Nightingale MCSP ACPAT Cat A
Vice President and PR - Dr Vav Simon DC AMC MUCA FRCC
Quality and Education - Dustie Louisa Houchin MBA PGCHE BSc(Hons) OstDipAO 
Communication and Diversity - Kim Sheader MCSP HCPC ACPAT Cat A
CPD and Education - Elea Andrews MOstDO PGCHE DipAO
Large animal Veterinary advisor - Andrew Harrison BVSc CertEP CertVA MRCVS 
Small animal Veterinary advisor - Mark Lowrie MA VetMB MVM DipECVN MRCVS 
Layperson representing the public and digital communications - Dave Simon BSc MPhil MSc


The Secretary is Sharon Morgan.


You can find out more about their terms of office and the Council structure in RAMPs Constitution here.

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