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Protecting the title 'osteopath'

The title 'osteopath' is protected by law. It is against the law for anyone to call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the GOsC, which sets and promotes high standards of competency, conduct and safety.

We can, and do, prosecute individuals who practise as osteopaths when they are not on the GOsC Register. Our Protecting the osteopathic title enforcement policy sets out how and when we will take action against unregistered individuals who call themselves osteopaths.

Letting us know

If you think someone is calling themselves an osteopath when they are not registered with us, you can let us know by contacting our Regulation Department, by email on regulation@osteopathy.org.uk; by telephone on 020 7357 6655 x224 or 249; or by post to:

Regulation Department
General Osteopathic Council
Osteopathy House
176 Tower Bridge Road

In order to investigate, we would normally need some evidence, such as a brochure, leaflet, business card, advertisement, invoice, website address, entry in a directory or a photograph of misleading signage. It will help if you can send us any evidence you may have.

What we do

When we receive information that someone is calling themselves an osteopath without being registered with us, we will write to the person concerned, explain the law and inform them that they should not use the title 'osteopath'. They are asked to confirm that they will no longer use the title. In the majority of cases, this is successful in stopping the offending behaviour.

While we always write first with a 'cease and desist' letter, if an unregistered practitioner continues to hold themselves out as an osteopath, we will go on to consider a prosecution against them. Those prosecuted and found guilty will not only receive a conviction but could also be liable for a fine and court costs.