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Developing our proposed new CPD scheme

Our proposed new continuing professional development (CPD) scheme for osteopaths is the result of a comprehensive programme of work involving the profession through consultations, meetings and research. 

BSO studentsWe have been working closely with four regional osteopathic Pathfinder groups in different parts of the UK, and with educational institutions, postgraduate CPD providers and the Institute of Osteopathy. Representatives of the profession have been involved in focus groups, discussions and the development, testing and writing up of case studies to provide examples of how the scheme might work in different contexts.

We also undertook a day-long patient focus group to test our emerging thinking with members of the public. Read the report of this event.

For details of the proposals, see the Proposed new CPD scheme page. You can find information about our current CPD scheme on the Standards for continuing professional development page.

We held a public consultation on the proposed new CPD scheme between February and May 2015 and the report on the findings Analysis of consultation data on a new scheme of CPD for osteopaths was published in October 2015. 

The proposed new scheme grew out of earlier work on revalidation and a review of our existing CPD scheme.


In 2007, the Government policy paper Trust, Assurance and Safety: The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century set out the expectation that all healthcare regulators will give patients assurance of healthcare professionals’ continuing fitness to practise, over and above the assurance provided by the requirement to undertake CPD. The process of assuring practitioners’ continuing fitness to practise was referred to as ‘revalidation’.

We consulted on a draft revalidation scheme in early 2009, and published a summary of the consultation findings in December 2009.

A summary poster, Developing a revalidation model for osteopaths, outlines the background to, and the development of, the revalidation scheme.

We appointed independent consultants KPMG to carry out research that would help develop the revalidation scheme:

We conducted a pilot of the revalidation scheme from September 2011 to October 2012.

KPMG was commissioned to produce an independent evaluation of the pilot and we published its reports in 2013:

The evaluation concluded that the piloted revalidation scheme offered benefits for both osteopaths and patients, but was complex and required an excessive time commitment.

Reviewing the current CPD scheme

In 2012 we also reviewed our Existing CPD scheme. Feedback from osteopaths and other stakeholders, which was summarised in a report, highlighted some limitations of the scheme.

In the same year, the Professional Standards Authority (the body overseeing all health professional regulators in the UK) published a report which stressed the need for the principles of ‘right-touch regulation’ to inform work on assuring continuing fitness to practise.

Over time, and by working closely with osteopaths, including the Pathfinder groups, and patients, we recognised that a single continuing fitness to practise process based on our existing CPD scheme would be better for osteopaths and patients than separate revalidation and CPD schemes.