Standards of education and training
The GOsC ensures that all osteopaths practising in the UK have been educated to the required standards.
Students of osteopathy in the UK must successfully complete a course that gives them a qualification 'recognised' by the GOsC, if they want to register and practise as an osteopath in the UK. For information about UK training courses leading to recognised qualifications see our training courses page.
What does training as an osteopath involve?
Most osteopathic training is undertaken at degree level. Osteopathic students now follow a four or five-year degree course, combining academic and clinical, ‘hands-on’, work. Qualifications generally take the form of a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in osteopathy, for example, BSc(Hons), BOst, BOstMed or MOst.
A qualification in osteopathy includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, nutrition, and biomechanics, as well as at least 1,000 hours of clinical training experience with patients.
Assuring the quality of education
Only students who meet the Osteopathic Practice Standards are able to graduate with a recognised qualification enabling them to apply for registration with the GOsC.
To help students and institutions follow the standards we have produced the following documents:
- Guidance for osteopathic pre-registration education
- The osteopathy subject benchmark statement
- Guidance on students' fitness to practise
- Guidance about managing health and disability
The GOsC scrutinises the quality of all UK osteopathy courses leading to registration, to ensure that education providers are equipping students to practise safely and competently as osteopaths. As part of that ongoing monitoring, we conduct regular reviews of each course. For further information about the review process see the website of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
The QAA Quality Code sets out the expectations that UK higher education providers must meet, for example, in relation to academic standards and the quality of learning experiences.