eLearning Certificate Course in Spinal Orthotics

The blended learning course in Spinal Orthotics in TATCOT was established in 2007 as a pilot activity. Our collaborating partners were InWEnt/German Development Cooperation and the University of Don Bosco, El Salvador. The course is intended to enrol students from Tanzania and other English speaking African countries as well as other interested countries.

In November 2010, an ISPO team evaluated all programmes for renewal of the accreditation of the centre. The ISPO education committee  eventually approved the course as a single discipline Cat II for a duration of five years until November 2015.

Entry qualifications and other requirements

To qualify for admission to the course the applicant must have a Category-II (ISPO/WHO) Diploma in Orthopaedic Technology. The course has a capacity to admit a maximum of 15 students per course. To qualify for admission to the course, the applicants must be TATCOT Alumni or have an appropriate degree in the field of Prosthetics and Orthotics from another accredited institution, practical work experience in orthopaedic technology and support from their employer.

Sex: both male and female candidates are eligible to join the course.

Language: the course language is English. Candidates must exhibit competence in spoken and written English.

In addition to these requirements, participants have to possess basic computer skills. They must be able to:

  • use the Internet
  • write an e-mail
  • compose and save a Word document

They must have regular access to a computer with:

  • CD-ROM drive
  • an updated browser version
  • Internet access at least once a week

Course description and objectives

Qualifying candidates of the course will:

  • Acquire a clear concept of responsibility of the Spinal Orthotics Technologist as stipulated in the job description.
  • Acquire adequate professional knowledge in the use of locally available materials and adapt the technology to suit social and environmental conditions.

The eLearning course in spinal orthotics has a total of 540 teaching hours. It leads to the Certificate of Spinal Orthotics Technology, which is issued by Tumaini University, KCM-College and the Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT).

The student will be guided through the eLearning based tutorial programme of the theoretical subjects.

The student will also receive a CD-ROM and a DVD with the information that is required to measure, cast, fabricate and fit different types of spinal orthoses. The DVD will show different case samples and their orthotic treatment.

Under the supervision of a mentor in the student's home workshop, he/she will learn to prescribe, measure, cast, align, fit and deliver different spinal orthoses as well as manufacturing them.

This course, which carefully integrates the theory with the practical work using an eLearning programme, is designed to give the graduate the basic information and the practical skills that will be needed when he/she takes up employment as a professional Spinal Orthotics Technologist.

Course duration and subjects

A total number of 540 hours (42 weeks) are available for tuition of the theoretical and practical subjects. At the end of the two semester course a total number of 53 hrs (2 weeks) are available for examination. The final examination includes a patient presentation for which the students are required to fabricate one spinal orthosis and present it to the Board of Examiners. The time allocated for the production is 40 hrs.

Theory Hours
Basics of elearning 21
Anatomy of the spine 58
Pathology of the Spine 58
Biomechanics of the Spine 58
Radiological Interpretation 58
Materials Technology 58
Clinics /Prescription /Goal Assessment 58
Total 369
Practical Hours
Spina Orthotics Clinical Practice 105
Total 105
Examination Hours
Theoretical Examination 12
Practical Examination 35
Total 47

Course fees

The course fee per participant amounts to 4,700.00 US $. This course fee covers the following:

  • Introductory Workshop (3 days) including accommodation, local transport
  • 7 months Online Training with tutor support, training CD-ROMs/USB Flash
  • Practical Workshop (5 Weeks) including local transport (Hotel TATCOT)
  • All materials used in the practical Workshop
  • Registration
  • Examination and Certificate
  • Carying Temporary Assignment permit (CTA)

In addition, the following costs have to be covered by the participant:

  • Vaccination certificate, if not available 50 US$ on arrival
  • Transport to Moshi for two workshops
  • Accomodation (approximately USD 40.00 per day)
  • Allowance during the practical workshop (5 Weeks, 3 days) (Depending upon organization policy)

The course fees should be paid in US$ or equivalent directly to the Bank and Account Number indicated on the letter of admission to the course. The course fees should be paid in total before the beginning of the course, or in 2 instalments by special arrangement.

Application form

Download the application form (PDF-document, 9 pages, 24KB)

Information Flyer

Download the Flyer for the eLearning Certificate Course in Spinal Orthotics (PDF-document, 5 pages, 475 KB)