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Our Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) hears all complaints that relate to professional incompetence, unacceptable professional conduct and criminal convictions. 

The minimum number of members on the Committee will be 3 of which at least one must be a lay person and one a registered osteopath. An experienced barrister or solicitor sits with the committee to advise them on legal matters, but is not involved in any decision-making. The PCC Practice Note: Preparing for PCC Hearings provides guidance for those who need to prepare for a hearing. It explains important statutory time limits and requirements of the PCC.

For more information about what happens at a hearing visit our Attending a hearing page.

PCC decisions and sanctions

If your complaint is upheld, the PCC decides what action to take against the osteopath and what sanctions to apply. The PPC can:

  • give the osteopath an admonishment which is recorded on their file and can be taken into account if a later complaint is made about them
  • impose conditions on how the osteopath works for a set period of time (for example, that they must develop particular areas of their practice and demonstrate that they meet the required standards of practice)
  • suspend the osteopath from the Register for a fixed period of time: the osteopath will not be able to practise as an osteopath during this period and may have to complete more training before being allowed to practise again
  • remove the osteopath from the Register, so that they will no longer be able to practise as an osteopath.


The PCC is guided in its decision making  about the procedure to be followed and the  sanction to apply by the Hearings and Sanctions Guidance.

The Hearings and Sanctions guidance has been designed to ensure that parties to a hearing will be clear about the procedure and approach that will be taken by the PCC during the hearing and when imposing a sanction. The guidance is therefore separated into two sections: the procedure that is followed at a hearing, and the framework within which the PCC will make decisions about sanctions.

The Hearings and Sanctions Guidance applies to all new cases heard after 31 January 2018. Where a case is part heard as at 31 January 2018, the Indicative Sanctions Guidance (third edition) will apply.

If the PCC has decided to impose a Conditions of Practice Order, guidance in the document Conditions of Practice Guidance will help it formulate the conditions the osteopath must meet. The Guidance for the Professional Conduct Committee on Drafting Determinations helps to ensure the quality and consistency of the committee's decision-making.


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Related Documents

  1. Fitness to Practise Annual Report 2016-17 PDF 591kb - 22 December 2017