Management of health and disability
Many people with a disability or long-term health condition are able to undertake osteopathic education and training, achieve a Recognised Qualification, and practise osteopathy with or without adjustments to support their practice.
We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion within osteopathy. We want to ensure that everyone, including people with a disability or health condition, can have a positive experience while training and registering to be an osteopath, regardless of their background, identity or protected characteristics.
The key point for osteopaths or students to consider is whether any health condition would impact on patient care. The Osteopathic Practice Standards set out the following obligations relevant to osteopaths who may have a health condition or disability:
D11: You must ensure that any problems with your own health do not affect your patients. You must not rely on your own assessment of the risk to patients.
1. If you know or suspect that your physical or mental health is impaired in a way that might affect the care you give to patients, you must:
- seek and follow appropriate medical advice on whether you should modify your practice and in what way
- if necessary, stop practising until your medical adviser considers you fit to practise again
- inform the GOsC.
To support individuals studying to become an osteopath, we publish guidance on the management of health and disability for students and osteopathic educational providers.
This was developed by external experts in equality and health education, after holding focus groups and interviews with staff in osteopathic educational providers.
The current guidance documents, available to download below, are revised editions.
- Students with a Disability or Health Condition: Guidance for Osteopathic Education Providers
- Guidance for Applicants and Students with a Disability or Health Condition
Details of the process undertaken to revise the documents, including a consultation, can be found in a paper presented to the Policy Advisory Committee in 2016.