Brexit and osteopathy

There has been a long and mutually respected level of engagement between the UK and mainland European osteopathic communities and educational institutions. We have been able to strengthen these links in the last few years as the iO was asked to provide advisory and executive support to the European Federation of Osteopaths – now merged with the Forum for Osteopathic Regulation in Europe as the European Federation and Forum for Osteopathy (EFFO).

Despite the departure of the UK from the European Union, we know that there is a desire from both sides that this level of engagement and recognition continue. With the publication on the 23 December 2020 of the final deal, the iO is now able to start evaluating the situation and assessing what, if any, remedial moves we need to consider.

The situation is an evolving one and further detailed negotiations will need to take place between the UK government, EU authorities, and governing bodies. The iO is now undertaking an impact assessment to understand the key issues in key areas such as:

  • The movement and right to work of osteopaths across UK/EU borders
  • The recognition of qualifications across borders – specifically in relation to UK-attained osteopathic degrees
  • Registration across UK/EU borders
  • Impact on UK educational institutions providing osteopathic degrees to EU students.

This initial report should help us to understand the immediate to medium-term effects of the break, and provide focus for our long term efforts to secure the future of UK osteopathy on the international scene. Hanna Tómasdóttir, President of the EFFO, provided the following statement:

“The UK leaving the European Union will very probably impact on a variety of issues around osteopathic education and right to work, we just don’t know to what degree and how yet, as the trading deal was only finalised in the last week of December 2020. However, be assured that Brexit does not impact the acknowledged standards of your osteopathy education and the acceptance of UK osteopaths within the European profession. The Institute of Osteopathy is a member body of the European Federation & Forum for Osteopathy (EFFO) and are highly respected members in our global community. The EFFO will continue to work with our UK colleagues at the iO to clarify how you can continue to work in mainland Europe, and how colleagues across Europe can work as part of the UK community.”

The iO will continue to represent UK osteopathy on the international stage in both the EFFO and the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA).