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.
Please note: To assist all those participating in our remote hearings, which we have been holding since the beginning of July 2020, we have produced an Interim Remote Hearings Protocol, and a practice note on questioning witnesses. The purpose of the guidance is to make the remote hearing process accessible to all parties and ensure that hearings run as smoothly as possible. It will also ensure that our approach to remote and blended hearings (where some attend in person at the GOsC’s hearing rooms while others attend by video conference) is more fully understood which will enhance the transparency of our procedures.
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 PCC 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.
If the PCC decides 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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