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Governance handbook

The Governance Handbook sets out the governance structure of the GOsC, the way it operates and the procedures that must be followed.

It is designed to be a useful tool for members, bringing together these fundamental aspects of the organisation into a single document. To maintain its relevance and effectiveness, it is constantly reviewed and amended as necessary. It was last reviewed in January 2020.

The Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct (which is Annex 1 in the Governance Handbook) applies to Council members, Council Associates and anyone else acting on behalf of the GOsC who is not a member of staff, for instance external committee members, fitness to practise panellists and members of ad hoc working groups. Its purpose is to provide them with guidance on carrying out the GOsC’s statutory functions in line with currently accepted standards of public service. For more information about the Code of Conduct, see the Code of Conduct page.

Standing Orders

Standing Orders (Annex 2 of the Governance Handbook) are designed to ensure that the business of Council and committees is conducted as effectively as possible. The Standing Orders ensure that there are consistent governance processes in place and they play an essential role in defining the remit and membership of a committee.

Supporting documents

The supporting documents to the handbook (Annex 3 in the Governance Handbook) include the role of the Council, principles to underpin the work of the Council, terms of reference for committees and the Register of Interests.

Register of Interests

We aim to ensure transparency and probity in the fulfilment of our statutory functions. As part of this, we try to avoid any appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest that would undermine confidence in the regulatory process. Therefore, Council members and all those who act on behalf of the GOsC, are expected to act impartially and objectively in carrying out the GOsC’s business.

This includes a requirement to avoid situations of conflict of interest including those where there might be seen to be a conflict between the individual’s personal interests or other posts held and his/her GOsC duties.

Each Council Member, Council Associate, Committee Member and Senior Manager is required to declare other interests in the Register of Interests. The range of interests that must be declared is set out in Section 11 of the supporting documents (Annex 3 of the Governance Handbook). The Register of Interests is updated regularly as necessary and the date of the last update is included on the document.

Members of the Governance Structure and GOsC Staff are also required to declare all offers of gifts and hospitality as set out in Section 13 of the supporting document (Annex 3 of the Governance Handbook). Declarations of this kind are recorded in the Gifts and Hospitality Register which is kept under review by the Chair of the Audit Committee.

Remuneration Policy

Our remuneration policy (Governance Handbook, Annex 3, Section 10) sets out what Council Members, Council Associates, Committee Members who are not Members of Council, and fitness to practise panellists are paid for their work for the General Osteopathic Council, including what they may claim as expenses.