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Disclosure and barring service

People who work with children and adults in certain circumstances, or who may be vulnerable, fall within the remit of the Disclosure and Barring Service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; or the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme in Scotland.

Disclosure and Barring Service

Osteopaths may be asked by their employer or health insurance providers to provide an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. The GOsC can arrange these checks on behalf of osteopaths. For support with a DBS check, please contact the Registration team at registration@osteopathy.org.uk

Members of the professional membership body, the Institute of Osteopathy (iO), can instead contact the iO for support to complete a DBS check.

Please remember, it is not necessary for all osteopaths practising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be registered with the DBS.

Osteopathy students are required to complete an enhanced DBS check as part of their application to join the Register. This means all osteopaths on the Register will have had at least one check. More information on completing your DBS check as an osteopathy student can be found on the Student Zone.

Further information about DBS is available on the Government’s website.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme in Scotland

The Scottish Government’s Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland which, as an agency of the Scottish Government, makes decisions about who should be barred from working with vulnerable groups.

Osteopaths are likely to fall within the category of 'regulated work with vulnerable groups' and so will need to apply for membership of the PVG scheme. It is an offence for an individual to seek, do or agree to do regulated work if they are barred from the scheme. It is also an offence for an employer to knowingly recruit an individual to do regulated work, who is barred from the scheme.

'Regulated work' includes paid or unpaid work. 'Vulnerable group' includes:

  • protected adults (an individual aged 16 or over who is provided with a type of care, support or welfare service);
  • a child (an individual aged under 18 years).

More information on the scheme and the application process is available on Disclosure Scotland’s website.