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Standards of education and training

The GOsC ensures that all osteopaths practising in the UK have been educated to the required standards.

Two osteopathy students
Recognised qualifications

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, and may be delivered full-time or part-time. Typical full-time programmes take four years, with part-time programmes taking longer. 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 (OPS) are able to graduate with a recognised qualification enabling them to apply for registration with the GOsC.

To help students and education providers demonstrate that they meet the OPS we have published Graduate Outcomes and Standards for Education and Training. This document is also available to read in Welsh: Deilliannau i Raddedigion a Safonau ar gyfer Addysg a Hyfforddiant.

The Graduate Outcomes are designed to help students demonstrate that they meet the OPS before they graduate. The Standards for Education and Training set clear requirements as to the resources, culture and environment within which osteopathic education providers should deliver their education and training programmes.

Find out more about the outcomes and standards.

The following documents are also available for students and education providers:

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 Mott MacDonald Interim Handbook.


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Want to become an osteopath?

If you are interested in training as an osteopath go to our pages Becoming an osteopath and Training courses.

Information for education providers

If you are a provider of osteopathy courses or an organisation that wishes to offer osteopathy qualifications recognised by the GOsC, you can find further information about the standards required for training courses in our Training and registration section.