What training & regulation do osteopaths have?
All osteopaths in the UK are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC).Osteopaths are required to renew their registration each year with the GOsC and they provide registrants with an annual license to practise. As part of this process, the GOsC checks that osteopaths have current professional indemnity insurance, remain in good health and of good character, and have met mandatory continuing professional development requirements. The General Osteopathic Council have two useful leaflets that can be downloaded here if you need further information on what to expect.
Protection of title
The title ‘Osteopath’ is protected by law. It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC, which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety. The GOsC can, and will, prosecute individuals who practise as osteopaths when they are not on the GOsC register.
The British Medical Association guidance for GPs states that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths, which is promising progress, and we hope that over the next couple of years there will be a move towards more widespread funding for osteopathy and acupuncture on the NHS.