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Training and registering

GOsC is responsible for setting and maintaining standards for osteopathic education and training. We do this by upholding the Osteopathic Practice Standards and the Graduate Outcomes and Standards for Education and Training. We also work together with osteopathic education providers to ensure they deliver high quality education and training, and safe, good quality osteopathic care for patients.

Information on training and registering is also available in Welsh: Hyfforddi a chofrestru

Two osteopath students 

Recognised qualifications

Osteopathic education in the UK is delivered to degree level – either bachelors, or masters level (levels 6 or 7). Courses are typically delivered over four years full time, or four to six years part-time, and include academic and clinical training. All current education providers have a dedicated osteopathic clinic for patients.

Osteopathy courses offered by educations providers in the UK must be recognised by the GOsC. Only graduates with a ‘recognised qualification’ can apply to the GOsC for registration so they can practise as an osteopath in the UK.

Graduate Outcomes and Standards for Education and Training

All graduates with osteopathic ‘recognised qualifications must meet the Osteopathic Practice Standards. The Graduate Outcomes are designed to help students demonstrate that they meet the Osteopathic Practice Standards 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 Graduate Outcomes and Standards for Education and Training. 

Quality assuring osteopathic education

The GOsC employs a range of mechanisms to ensure that only graduates meeting the Osteopathic Practice Standards are awarded a recognised qualification. These include:

  • Regular visits
  • Monitoring of the education providers’ annual reports (this involves external sources of feedback from patients, students and staff and reports from external examiners)
  • Mandatory reporting on key changes in the provision of each education provider (including changes to curricula, assessment, key staff changes etc)
  • Mechanisms for sharing and sustaining good practice
  • Ongoing dialogue between GOsC and osteopathic education providers
  • Monitoring of conditions or requirements
  • Management of concerns

The GOsC also has extensive powers, set out in legislation, to inspect and to require information from institutions. 

Our Quality Assurance handbook explains in detail how we quality assure osteopathic education and training, including:

  • The roles and responsibilities within quality assurance
  • The quality assurance process
  • Details of initial recognition, renewal and monitoring visits
  • The annual reporting process

Read our Quality Assurance handbook.

Use the menu on the left to discover more about becoming an osteopath or registering to practise in the UK.

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