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We want to identify and develop future governance leaders within the profession

5 October 2021

By Matthew Redford (view more by this author)
Matthew is GOsC's Chief Executive and Registrar.

The GOsC recently ran an online recruitment event for osteopaths considering applying for current or future governance roles. Here Matthew provides an overview of what was covered on the day and shares some tips for anyone wishing to apply

Osteopaths have told us that one of the main barriers to applying for a role on a committee is knowing where to start, or how to identify their transferrable skills. So when we were developing the content for the online recruitment event which we held on 14 September 2021, both GOsC Human Resources Manager, Amanda Chadwick, and I, were keen to focus on providing osteopaths with the skills, knowledge and tools that would allow them to make their best possible applications for any future roles, whether these were at the GOsC or elsewhere.

We were looking for an interactive session where we could hear directly from osteopaths about what barriers they have faced when making an application. This meant we could offer advice and suggestions to help overcome those challenges. I’m delighted to report that the osteopaths who attended were very engaged and willing to share their thoughts and experiences which truly enhanced the event. We had prepared a hints and tips sheet in advance, but this also meant we had the opportunity to address the specific concerns that attendees raised.

Also supporting the event was Caroline Guy, osteopath member of Council, who shared her personal experience of applying for GOsC committees and Council positions. Caroline said: ‘I look at an application and if there are five competencies, that means there are five examples they are looking for from me. Look for these examples as your first step, you’ve really got to stand outside the box of osteopathy when you are coming into governance.  Think about everything you do in your life aside from osteopathy and use those examples. Remember, this isn’t about treating patients, it’s about safeguarding patients which is very different'.

Having two members of Council, including the Chair, attend the online event and interact with attendees helps demonstrate the commitment that runs through the GOsC to encouraging osteopaths to apply for our committee roles.

We want to identify and develop future governance leaders within the profession. And we want to support osteopaths to make their best possible application. At the event, we discussed how osteopaths are likely to have many of the skills needed for committee roles but applicants needed to show how these skills were relevant for the role. So, for example, an osteopath who is involved with their local osteopathic regional group and who organises speakers to attend CPD events, is likely to have transferrable skills around leadership and communication. So my advice is to take some time to think about what you might bring to the role and what skills and experience you have.

Another barrier is how to complete the application form to demonstrate your skills and competency using clear examples. We discussed using an approach known as ‘the STAR model’ which helps applicants structure their responses around four areas:

  • Situation – describe the situation when you carried out the relevant activities that demonstrate the competency.
  • Task – describe what was required of you by clarifying the task you needed to undertake to meet the objectives.
  • Action – describe what action/s you took.
  • Result/Reflection – highlight the results achieved from your actions and reflect on why the outcome of your actions were successful.

We had some very positive feedback from osteopaths who attended the event, here are some of the key messages they took from the event:

  • You don’t need to have a legal background to sit on a GOsC committee or Council.
  • People shouldn't be afraid to apply for GOsC roles regardless of their experience.
  • Anyone can apply for the role at any stage of their career.
  • Look thoroughly at the STAR criteria.
  • Read the application form and make sure your answers are targeted to the questions being asked.
  • Make sure you have done your research and have thought through the challenges and opportunities the role might have.
  • During an interview, don’t be afraid to ask the panel if you have answered the question fully.

Here at GOsC we currently have two recruitment opportunities for osteopaths, there is one vacancy on our Investigating Committee and we are looking for two Council Associates. Find out more and apply now.