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Reflections from GOsC’s new Chair of Council

19 June 2024

By Jo Clift (view more by this author)
Jo Clift has been GOsC's Chair of Council since 1 April 2024.

Jo Clift explains why she applied for the role and offers some insight into the future priorities of GOsC.

Osteopathy has been an important part of my life for over thirty years, and I know how important high standards of care are to both osteopaths and patients. My intention as Chair of the regulator for osteopathy is to work closely with the profession - through dialogue and listening - and for GOsC to support our registrants,  patients and all those who use our services, as much as we can.

One of my top priorities as Chair will be to listen and learn from our registrants.  Council is very much looking forward to seeing the results of our first registrant and stakeholder perceptions survey, which we will be reflecting on together and hoping to publish this autumn. Our intention is to use the findings from the survey to inform our future direction and priorities. So thank you to all those who took the time to respond to the survey and engage with our research – your views will help us to grow and improve over the next few years.

Having also worked in central government as a senior civil servant across various roles, and with many ministers, I am fortunate to have a good understanding of regulation. In my experience, there are a couple of key aspects to running successful organisations; clarifying the purpose and objective of what the organisation wants to achieve, and focusing on how we all work together as a team. These will be two of my main guiding principles as Chair of GOsC.  

In terms of working with the profession, I was on the Council of the Institute of Osteopathy for six years, and this has provided me with valuable insight into both the opportunities and challenges for the osteopathic profession. During my time with the Institute I was able to meet several of the key stakeholders in the profession, which means that as the new Chair of GOsC I am able hit the ground running. 

I am hopeful that we will continue to hear from registrants and patients over the coming months and years, which will further support Council to ensure our strategy and the actions in our business plan are delivered and developed to meet the needs of the profession.  Registrants and members of the public are also welcome to join our Council meetings (either online or face to face) to witness first-hand how we make decisions that shape the way osteopaths are regulated. Over the coming months we will also have a presence at all the Institute of Osteopathy regional roadshows – it would be wonderful to meet and speak with osteopaths at those roadshows, or at any other events planned. 

Those of you who follow GOsC will also know that there have been quite a few changes on Council.  Two lay (non-registrant) Council members, Harry Barton and Gill Edelman and one registrant member, Sandie Ennis started on 1 April 2024.  We will also shortly be interviewing for a new Welsh lay member, and at the time of writing this, have two new registrant Council positions and four Policy and Education Committee member positions open for recruitment. Even if you have never held a position such as these before, if you believe you have valuable insight and experience, we would love to hear from you.

All of this to say, I am really looking forward to the next four years as Chair. There are exciting plans underway and I am sure that there will be challenges, but I hope that we can all have an open, respectful and productive ongoing conversation which can benefit both osteopathy as a profession, and those who are receive its treatment.

If you want to get in touch (and I would love to hear from you), my contact info is chair@osteopathy.org.uk.