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Standards of practice

We set and monitor practice standards and provide guidance to osteopaths to ensure that patients receive quality care.

A picture of the Osteopathic Practice Standards booklet

Osteopathic Practice Standards

The Osteopathic Practice Standards set out the standards expected of osteopaths and include guidance to assist osteopaths in meeting these standards. The purpose of the standards is to ensure quality care for patients and to protect them from harm.

The Osteopathic Practice Standards are also available to download in Welsh. Mae’r Safonau Ymarfer Osteopathig ar gael yn y Gymraeg. 

If a patient or member of the public believes an osteopath has failed to meet any of the standards we set, we can provide advice and, where appropriate, guidance about making a formal complaint.

The standards are arranged under four main themes:

Communication and patient partnership

These standards focus on the nature of the therapeutic relationship between osteopath and patient, which is built on trust and confidence. Osteopaths must communicate effectively with patients in order to establish and maintain an ethical relationship.

Knowledge, skills and performance

These standards concern the relevant knowledge and skills an osteopath must have in order to function as a primary healthcare professional.

Safety and quality in practice

The aim of these standards is to ensure that osteopaths deliver high-quality, safe, ethical and effective healthcare through evaluation and considered treatment approaches, which are clearly explained to the patient.  


Osteopaths must deliver safe and ethical healthcare by interacting with professional colleagues and patients in a respectful and timely manner and these standards set out the professional behaviour required of osteopaths.

Read more on the OPS website


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