For some time we have had concerns on the teaching of what are termed ‘osteopathic’ techniques to non-osteopaths, leading to the use of the term by non-registrants, inferring to the public that these individuals are fully-qualified, registered osteopaths.
While it has always been our position that our profession is not defined by the techniques we employ, many of which are utilised by other professions, it is important that we defend the use of the term ‘osteopathic’, and the reputational value of our protected title, for use exclusively by osteopaths only. We have made several discreet approaches to those providing courses to non-osteopaths to strongly recommend that this distinction be made, and that anyone who is not an osteopath should not advertise to patients that they are using osteopathic techniques.
In addition, and following some extensive research by one of our members of the legal position, we have also been liaising with the regulator on this issue to highlight where we have concerns.
We are delighted that the GOsC has responded to state that it will consider any concerns raised on the misuse of the term ‘osteopathic’ where it may be interpreted to infer registration.
Matthew Redford, Chief Executive of the GOsC, explained the regulator’s position: “As with any Section 32 case it depends on the nature of the situation and the features of the case, so if there are concerns about individuals who were not registered and who you felt were breaching s32, then you would be able to raise those specific and clear concerns with the Regulation team and consideration would be given to the particular details of the situation.”
We will continue to maintain a watching brief on this issue and raise concerns with the regulator as we see fit.
* Section 32 states: A person who (whether expressly or by implication) describes himself as an osteopath, osteopathic practitioner, osteopathic physician, osteopathist, osteotherapist, or any other kind of osteopath, is guilty of an offence unless he is a registered osteopath.