Health Sciences

Vestibular Rehabilitation

The Vestibular Rehabilitation Program consists of a six-day Basic Vestibular Rehabilitation Course and a three-day Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation. The courses are delivered by a faculty of international presenters and are only available every 2–3 years in Australia.

Basic Vestibular Rehabilitation
A Competency-Based Course
Monday 25–Saturday 30 September 2017

Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation
A Competency Renewal Course (eligible only if successfully passed the Basic course)
Sunday 24–Tuesday 26 September 2017

Professors Susan Herdman, Rick Clendaniel and a team of US and Australian Clinicians

Learn more about the faculty

ACU Physiotherapy School, North Sydney, Australia

A Competency-Based Course

Monday 25–Saturday 30 September 2017

Course Pre-requisites

It is strongly recommended that participants have experience treating people with vestibular deficits and/or have completed a previous introductory vestibular course.

Although there are no required pre-course reading materials, it is strongly recommended that participants have a working knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the vestibular system. A list of recommended textbooks is included below.

Course Registration

Course size will be limited to 80. If you feel you make the course pre-requisites, you are invited to apply for the course with a short CV and letter outlining the following :

  • Percentage of time that you currently work with Vestibular patients
  • Two years full-time experience or equivalent as a Physiotherapist
  • Copy of the completion certificate and details of the introductory vestibular courses you have completed.

Your application will be assessed by the local vestibular committee before you are accepted into the course and then asked to pay the course fees.

Course Fees

Registration, administration and tuition: TBA (approx. $2200–2500).

10% of the fee is non-refundable if cancellations made after payment.

Cancellations made after 25 August 2017 (and that cannot be filled) will be charged 80% of the fee.
The decision of the organising committee is final.

Recommended Textbooks

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation – 4th edition, Herdman, SJ and Clendaniel RA (ed.), FA Davis Publishing, Philadelphia 2015
  • Clinical Neurophysiology of the Vestibular System, Baloh R and Honrubia V, Edition 2, F.A. Davis Company 2000
  • Balance function assessment and management, Jacobson G and Shepard NS (eds), Plural, San Diego, 2nd edition 2015
  • Practical Issues in the Management of the Dizzy and Balance Disorder Patient, Shepard NT, Solomon D (eds) Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America.  June 2000

Course Structure

Six days of lecture, demonstration and laboratory sessions.

Course Description Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to identify the following:

  1. Explain in lay terms the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system.
  2. Recognise and state the clinical significance of diagnostic studies and lab data.
  3. Recognise and state the clinical significance of physical assessment and interview data obtained from medical records.
  4. Identify from the medical records the signs, symptoms and co-existing problems of the client.
  5. Recognise the significance of therapeutic regimes including medications, diet, and surgical procedures for the patient and for vestibular rehabilitation.
  6. Recognise disorders that may affect the vestibular system but are not appropriate for treatment by physical therapists
  7. Perform and give rationale for appropriate evaluation procedures.
  8. Interpret evaluation findings appropriately.
  9. Based on evaluation findings and medical records, formulate and give rationale for plan of care.
  10. Perform appropriate therapeutic procedures.
  11. Demonstrate appropriate post-therapy evaluation and discharge planning.


Three exam formats will be used in this course:

  • Practical check-off (competencies)
  • Written exam
  • Video exam

Written exam – multiple choice and true/false format.

Video exam – various video clips will be shown and you will be expected to answer certain questions or make observations on the material shown.

Evaluation Procedures

  1. Daily competency examinations – demonstration of assessment and treatment skills
  2. Video (written) examination
  3. Written examination

Required texts – none

The course will include written, video and practical examinations.

As part of the competency evaluation, all participants will be tested on their assessment skills including the following:

  • oculomotor examination with emphasis on the identification of nystagmus and canal involvement
  • balance, gait and falls risk and functional assessments
  • appropriate treatment procedures for BPPV affecting posterior, anterior and horizontal canals for both cupulolithiasis and canalithiasis, for unilateral and bilateral peripheral vestibular disorders, and for central vestibular disorders including traumatic brain injury and stroke.

Emphasis will be on utilising assessment results to develop an effective treatment plan.

Two certificates are given in this course – one for attendance and one for achievement. It is our intent that the certificate of achievement signifies that, at the time the course was given, the student demonstrated proper performance of certain skills (based on practical exams) and understood basic information (based on two written exams) related to vestibular rehabilitation. The granting of the achievement certificate in no way certifies that the student retains those skills and knowledge or applies them appropriately in the future.

A Competency Renewal Course

Sunday 24–Tuesday 26 September 2017

Course Description

This advanced level, evidence-based, three-day course was developed in response to requests for an update on treatment and assessment of people with vestibular disorders.

The course will emphasise the following:

  • assessment and treatment of cervico-genic dizziness (lecture and laboratory sessions)
  • differentiation of central eye movement signs and symptoms from peripheral vestibular eye movement signs and symptoms
  • treatment considerations for individuals with dizziness secondary to central vestibular disorders, including concussion
  • treatment of the less common presentations of BPPV (lecture and laboratory sessions)
  • dizziness and Meniere’s versus the migraine complex, SCD and other uncommon vestibular disorders
  • paediatric vestibular rehabilitation; and expectations for recovery.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course the learner will be able to:

  • Identify and treat all canal variants of BPPV, including anterior and posterior arm canalithiasis of the horizontal semicircular canal
  • Differentiate between cervicogenic and vestibular causes of dizziness
  • Treat upper cervical spine restricted mobility, weakness of the cervical spine musculature, and kinesthetic/proprioceptive deficits of the cervical spine
  • Differentiate between Migraine Associated Dizziness and Meniere’s disease, and be able to identify and describe appropriate therapeutic interventions for both
  • Discuss the vestibular disorders associated with TBI and describe appropriate treatment modifications for TBI
  • Discuss modifications of the typical adult vestibular rehabilitation techniques in the case of children with vestibular disorders
  • Identify central causes of dizziness and less common vestibular disorders.

Course Pre-requisites

It is open only to Occupational and Physiotherapists who have passed the Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency-Based Course.

Course Registration

Course size will be limited to 60.

If you feel you make the course pre-requisites, you are invited to apply for the course with a short CV and proof of passing the Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency course.

Course Fees

Registration, administration and tuition: TBA (approx. $1000–1400).

10% of the fee is non-refundable if cancellations made after payment.

Cancellations made after 24 August 2017 (and that cannot be filled) will be charged 80% of the fee.

Course Evaluation

The course will include written examinations of assessment and intervention procedures.

In addition, all participants are asked to submit in advance, one complex-case study that will be reviewed as part of the course.

As part of the submission of the case study, participants are asked to  include in the presentation the  patient history, vestibular function test results (preferably actual data) and even videos of eye movements and gait, as well as summary of medical, surgical and rehabilitation treatments. PowerPoint is the preferred format for all presentations.

Two certificates will be issued:

  1. Upon completion of the course, 21 Contact Hours will be awarded via a certificate of attendance.
  2. Upon successful completion of the written, video and practical examinations, a certificate of achievement will be awarded.

Course timetables