SOTe Levels of Certification & Exam Guidelines 

There are five levels of Certification in Sacro-Occipital Technic as outlined below:

Congratulations on considering furthering your SOT education by challenging an exam. These guidelines will provide you with a roadmap for your studies as well as give you an understanding of what the examiners are looking for. 

  • There are three levels of post graduate qualifications available from SOTO Europe. SOT Proficiency, Advanced SOT Proficiency and Cranial. A candidate must have been successful at SOT Proficiency before they challenge their Advanced Proficiency. Once a candidate has been successful in the Advanced qualification, they can challenge the Cranial. In addition, there are minimum hours of SOT instruction (at SOTOE seminars or seminars from other organisations within SOTO International) and years of postgraduate practice requirements at each level. For more details see the individual information provided for each level. 

  • In Europe the exams are usually run on the last weekend in September or the first weekend in October. However, this is subject to examiner availability. Check with the exam co-ordinator or VP of SOTOE for confirmation of the date for any given year. 

  • The deadline for applications is in mid May to give candidates sufficient time to study and for enough examiners to be available on the exam date. Applications after this time may be considered at the discretion of the board. There is a limited number of places available each year. 

  • SOTO Europe recommend that in the year preceding your exam you attend the modules pertinent to the exam you are challenging. Whilst this can mean repeating a seminar you have already taken it will provide the opportunity to ask any questions that have arisen during your clinical practice and study. From 1st August of the year of the exam, candidates will not contact the examiners to have questions answered. The papers will have been set and examiners cannot be seen to be giving any individual an unfair advantage. When you pass your exams, you will want the satisfaction of knowing how well you learned the material. 

  • Once all applications are in, SOTO Europe will, at the request of a candidate, organise regional workshops with one of the lead instructors. Candidates should contact the Vice President of SOTOE to request a workshop. These will likely be in May and June but the exact date will be arranged depending on instructor availability at a cost of £50 per head per workshop. This must be paid before the workshop. These workshops will give candidates the opportunity to review techniques and ask any questions they may have. It also provides the instructor the chance to guide the candidates in their studies. The instructor may also suggest a deferral to the following year if they feel a candidate will not be ready. Any recommended deferral will mean the exam fee can be carried over for one year without penalty if requested before the end of June. It is always the candidates choice as to whether they go ahead with their challenge. 

  • The format of the exam at all levels is a written portion (largely/entirely multiple choice) which must be passed before the second, practical portion of the exam. The practical exam is usually split over four rooms. Each room will have two examiners. All rooms must be passed in its own right. The pass mark for each section of the exam is 80%. All examiners must agree to the outcome of any exam. No one examiner has veto power over any other. 

SOT Proficiency

The SOT Proficiency exam is a post graduate qualification aimed at showing that an individual has a degree of mastery of the basic techniques within SOT. The material covered includes all diagnostic criteria for the categories, all protocols involved within each of the three categories and all of extremity technique. At this level the examiners are looking for an ability of the candidate to use these techniques and expect candidates to be able demonstrate the techniques competently. Usually an examiner will be the ‘patient’ in the practical exam. Accuracy of contacts, an ability to vocalise what is involved in a technique all gain marks. Candidates must be able to describe what they are doing, what any anatomical landmarks are, what equipment may be required, what indicators are being used and how to know any technique has been effectively applied. This exam is the first stage of an individual potentially progressing to instructor level. The application of techniques need to be as described in the text, not any shortcuts or adaptations used in practice. 

SOT Proficiency may be undertaken after; 

  • One year post-graduate practice 

  • 64 hours of SOT seminars. 

The seminars must be run by SOTOE or a sister organisation within SOTO International. In Europe the pertinent modules are module 1, 2 & 3 

Reading List 

  • 1984 SOT manual 

  • SOT Participant Guide (PG) 

  • Extremity Technique by Major DeJarnette (Red book) 

  • Anatomy and Physiology of SOT by Jonathan Howat 

  • Seminar handouts from modules 1 – 3 

It is highly recommended that candidates are very familiar with all of the texts on the reading list. All are available to purchase from SOTO Europe 

Please bear in mind when studying you may be asked questions about the pertinent anatomy 

Advanced SOT Proficiency 

This level of qualification is a post graduate qualification and the candidates are now expected to show a deeper understanding of the techniques involved as well as be able to accurately diagnose and apply the techniques. There may be questions presenting more complicated scenarios (e.g. mixed categories) including contraindications to treatment. Candidates are expected to understand some of the physiology involved. 

Advanced certification may be undertaken when a candidate; 

  • Holds SOT Proficiency qualification 

  • Has three years post graduate practice 

  • Completes 128 hours of SOT instruction provided by SOTOE or sister organisations within SOTO International 

Reading List 

All of the reading list for SOT proficiency 

  • CMRT by Major DeJarnette edited by Ned Heese 

  • 1979 Cranial Technique (techniques at this level: Basic I, II and III, Sacral Pussy Footing, Uncle Tom, Sacral Flexion/Extension, Cranial Uncle Tom, Antidote, RTRT, Sphenopalatine Ganglion Technique, Naso-Maxillary Technique, Fruit Jar, Cruciate Suture Technique and Headache Technique) 

  • Cranial Participant Guide (PG) 

  • SORSI Craniopathic Manual ( SOTO Australasia) 

  • All pertinent seminar notes. Modules 1-6 

Please bear in mind when studying, you may be asked questions about the relevant anatomy 

Once a candidate has Advanced SOT Proficiency, they may be invited to become part of the SOTOE teaching team if they desire. 

SOT Cranial Qualification 

This exam represents a post graduate qualification at Masters Level. Candidates are expected to show a deep understanding of the material. They should demonstrate advanced knowledge of both the theory and the application of techniques, high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation and an ability to solve complex scenarios. No longer will just learning and repeating the text be sufficient. Candidates are expected to have read around the subject. When applying any techniques accuracy will be rewarded. Inaccuracy in either physical application or description will be penalised. 

SOT Cranial Exam may be undertaken after; 

  • Holding Advanced SOT certification 

  • 5 years post-graduate clinical practice 

  • 200 hours of SOT instruction. All seminars must be provided by SOTOE or sister organisations within SOTO International and must include cranial instruction (including but not limited to Cat I Intra-orals, Sutural, TMJ, Cranial Specifics/Non Specifics, TMJ, Paediatrics) as well as all Categories, extremities and CMRT 

Reading List 

  • Advanced Reading list 

  • 1979 Cranial Manual 

  • Cranial Participant Guide 

  • International Craniopathic Manual (SOTO Australasia) 

  • All available Craniopathic manuals (check with SOTOE) 

  • All cranial seminar notes 

You will also need a good knowledge of cranial anatomy and physiology including cranial ranges of motion. 

Application Process 

To be eligible to take your exams you must be a current financial member of SOTO Europe in good standing. Exam applications are now available via the website. In order to secure your application you must pay the fee. The current fees are as follows: 

  • SOT Proficiency £150 

  • Advanced SOT Proficiency £250 

  • Cranial £350 

Candidates must also submit a synopsis of their SOT hours to confirm their eligibility. 

General Exam Guidelines 

  • Candidates are responsible for registering before the specified cut-off date (Mid May of the year of challenge) 

  • Candidates will not be allowed to sit if the fee has not been paid 

  • It is advised that all candidates arrive at the venue 15 minutes before the commencement of the exam. Late arrival may prohibit participation 

  • Candidates are expected to have a pen for the written portion of the exam 

  • All SOT equipment will be available for candidates within the practical exam room (Blocks, boards, sternal and Dutchman rolls) 

  • Cranial candidates are asked to bring a model skull with them to their practical. This must be a plain, uncoloured model 

  • Candidates are not permitted to bring any written material in to the exam room. Candidates will be asked to surrender phones, tablets and other smart devices for the duration of the exam. 

Examination Results 

  • The outcome of the exam will be given as soon as is practical after the examination. 

  • Certificates will be presented by the President at the following AGM dinner. 

Examination Resits 

  • If a candidate is unsuccessful in the written portion of the exam, they will not be permitted to attempt the practical portion. 

  • If a candidate has been successful in the written but is unsuccessful in the practical, they can resit the practical portion only within 13M of the first attempt for 50% of the original fee. After this time a candidate will need to repeat the entire exam for the usual fee. 

Appeals Procedure 

  • If any candidate feels they have grounds to appeal the outcome of their exam or feels they have been unfairly treated, they must lodge a complaint with Teresa Williams, the SOTOE Conference Organiser, within 14 days of the date of the exam 

  • This complaint will be referred to the Education Committee who will review and investigate the complaint and make a recommendation to the SOTOE Board 

  • The Board will discuss the evidence and make the final decision 

  • The SOTOE Board will respond to the candidate within 30 days of receiving the recommendation from the Education Committee. 

  • The decision of the SOTOE Board is final 

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