In April this year, I was appointed as a registrant council member to the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). However, most people may be unaware who the GOsC are and what this appointment means. The GOsC are one of nine healthcare regulators in the UK and they are responsible for regulating osteopaths. Other regulators include the General Medical Council and General Dental Council who have similar responsibilities for doctors and dentists. By law, osteopaths must be registered with the GOsC to lawfully practise in the UK. To be eligible for registration, osteopaths must demonstrate that they have a recognised qualification in osteopathy from an approved provider, have adequate professional indemnity insurance and be in good health mentally and physically. They must also evidence a minimum of 90 hours training covering specified topics every 3 years. The primary objectives of the GOsC are:
Protecting, promoting and maintaining the health, safety and well-being of the public.
Promoting and maintaining public confidence in the profession of osteopathy.
Promoting and maintaining proper professional standards and conduct for members of that profession.
To achieve these objectives, the GOsC keeps the register of all osteopaths permitted to practise in the UK. It works with the public and the osteopathic profession to promote patient safety by developing and maintaining the standards of osteopathic care. It helps patients with concerns or complaints about osteopaths and has the power to remove osteopaths from the register if necessary. The GOsC also assures the quality of osteopathic education by working with educational institutions and periodically evaluating their courses.