Maintaining the Osteopath Title and It’s Cost

I’ve been an Osteopath since 2007. Osteopathy is still not really fully understood by the public. I think there’s uncertainty about who to visit when help is needed for musculo-skeletal pain and rehabilitation. I’m hoping this blog helps to bring peace of mind when considering visiting an Osteopath.

Osteopath treating the lumbar spine
Linda Green Registered Mark 6388

Since 1993 the title Osteopath has been legally protected. We need to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and every year I need to send them £570 for the privilege. I also need to have a high level of Professional Indemnity insurance – this year it cost me £420.

Here's my Registration Mark and number

Continued Professional Development

In order to maintain our registration we need to complete a certain amount of hours of continued professional development (CPD) which has to adhere to the various Standards set by the GOSC. Over a 3 year period we need to complete 90 hours, 45 of which need to be learning with others; it can be a fairly isolated profession for many of us. We need to show our yearly hours when registering every year.

Standards of CPD must include:

A – Communication and patient partnership

B –Knowledge Skills & Performance

C - Safety & Quality in Practice

D – Professionalism

Additionally, we also need to do one objective activity over the 3 year period, which may include patient feedback, case discussion, a clinical audit or peer observation. At the end of the 3 year period our CPD undergoes a Peer Review by a colleague.

If you’re interested in learning more detail, head on to https://www.osteopathy.org.uk/standards/osteopathic-practice/

Being an Osteopath involves a lot of admin, but we’re used to that! Not only do we need to keep our CPD records, but we also need to maintain detailed patient notes that adhere to certain standards and the data protection act. 

Love to Learn banner which is colourful

I Love to Learn

I’ve just tallied up my totals and for this year. Learning with others is 24 hours, and on my own is 30 hours, so I’m well ahead for this year. I didn't count up everything, either!

As the majority of us are self employed, we have to fund our own CPD. We gain no help there. I’ve spent tens of thousands on my education over the years to help me do the best job I can in helping you. Thankfully, I enjoy it but all these costs have to be reflected in our fees, which I’m still learning to be better at.

De-registering

Many practitioners have decided to leave the register, especially when the GOsC upgraded our CPD to the 3 year cycle just a few years ago. De-registered practitioners can work in exactly the same way, it’s cheaper, there's no red tape and there is no requirement to do CPD. They just can’t all themselves an 'Osteopath'.

Anyone can say that they can perform ‘osteopathic’ techniques. It used to annoy me that this word wasn't protected, and still does a little. But the fact that people are using it as a marketing tool just shows how important our hands-on skills are. I have considered leaving the register in the past but not any more. It’s too important to me. I've worked very hard, for years, to maintain the title. I think it adds a sense of authority due to the knowledge required to keep it.

Still Unsure?

I hope this blog gives peace of mind to anyone out there who were maybe on the fence about attending me or any other Osteopath. We have a high level of rich knowledge of anatomy and physiology, a deep understanding of the workings of the body and we are heavily regulated.

I’m also a proud JEMS® Practitioner and Pilates Teacher – each also requiring a level of CPD completion to maintain the titles. So, although I do the hands-on side, I will always give you exercises to do too.

A side note to the exercise rehab I offer

Exercises and movement are always tried and testing by you, the patient, to make sure they are suitable. I supervise and guide you through the moves and we figure out together which ones are best. I then offer you to record me doing them on your phone for your reference – much better than a sheet of exercises that are fairly non-specific to you, as the individual you are.

Linda guiding patient through rehab exercises