An Australian chiropractor will have completed five years of training at a university on an approved and accredited degree course. This five years may consist of a five-year Bachelor of Chiropractic, or it may consist of a three-year Bachelor degree followed by a two-year post-graduate Masters degree. It is also possible to practise in Australia if a chiropractor has completed an programme of study overseas that has been accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education Australasia (CCEA), whose role it is to assess the quality of chiropractic education and training in this country, as well as to evaluate the knowledge and skills of chiropractors trained outside of Australia and New Zealand who apply to practise here.
At present, four Australian universities offer chiropractic degree programmes: RMIT University (VIC); Macquarie University (NSW); Murdoch University (WA); and Central Queensland University (QLD).
Chiropractic training has at its heart practitioners being taught to assess and diagnose spinal and musculoskeletal problems, and learning therapeutic approaches to these problems. Practitioners are instructed in the key elements of chiropractic diagnostic and manipulative skills, such as spinal adjustments and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation. This specialised training takes place alongside studies in anatomy, neuroanatomy, physiology, microbiology, histology and pathology. As the culmination of their chiropractic studies, student practitioners in the final years of their training also undertake the practical treatment and care of patients under the supervision of a registered practitioner.
A further essential focus of chiropractic training is that practitioners are taught to assess and manage patients from a wellness perspective, meaning that chiropractic training also focuses on understanding the ways in which patient lifestyle (e.g. exercise, posture, diet, etc.) can have an effect on well-being.
Chiropractic Board of Australia – Accreditation