Like GPs and nurses, osteopaths are regulated. Because of this, patients can be confident that their osteopath is well qualified and insured, will adhere to a set of clinical standards that protect patients’ safety and dignity and, like any other health professional, recommend and apply the most appropriate course of treatment for you – which includes referring you on if appropriate.
Osteopaths are regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is against the law to call yourself an osteopath unless you are qualified and registered with the GOsC. The minimum qualification for an osteopath is completion of a four or five year degree, which includes at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice. Many osteopaths also study for masters degrees. They must then continue to update and expand their knowledge by logging a minimum of 30 hours per year of continuing professional development. GOsC can remove an osteopath from the register if they fail to maintain a strict code of professional practice. You can check whether an osteopath is registered by visiting the GOsC website.