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Osteopathic Practice Standards

About the updated standards

The draft updated Osteopathic Practice Standards set out on the following pages are based upon a review of the current Osteopathic Practice Standards, which began in 2016. The existing standards stay in force until the end of August 2019.

We held a consultation on the updated standards from 1 August to – 31 October 2017. All the comments we have received are being taken into consideration before we publish the updated Osteopathic Practice Standards in 2018. There is further information about the consultation in our video.

You can follow our progress in finalising the updated standards in the timeline below or in the papers for forthcoming Council and Policy Advisory Committee meetings.

January 2016 to May 2016

Initial call for evidence to develop/improve the Osteopathic Practice Standards before consultation begins in 2017.

August 2017 to October 2017

Consultation on the draft revised standards.

November 2017 to January 2018

Feedback evaluated and considered with the help of the Stakeholder Reference Group.

January 2018 to March 2018

Development of a consultation response and analysis report.

March 2018

Policy Advisory Committee to consider the analysis report and any changes to the standards.

May 2018

Final version of the revised standards will be reported to Council for approval.

Summer 2018

Publication of the revised Osteopathic Practice Standards. The standards must be published for a year before officially coming into effect.

September 2019

The revised Osteopathic Practice Standards fully come into effect.


In January 2016 we launched a call for evidence inviting osteopaths, patients and the public to comment on the existing standards for osteopaths and to share their experiences of using them in practice. Using the responses we received, as well as incorporating best practice in healthcare and changes in the law, we developed the draft updated osteopathic practice standards that you can read on the following pages.

The revisions were also informed by the Stakeholder Reference Group, which included the Council of Osteopathic Educational Institutions, the National Council for Osteopathic Research, the Osteopathic Alliance, the Institute of Osteopathy and patients.

The purpose of updating the standards is to ensure they are clear and that they support osteopaths to continue to deliver high quality care for their patients.

Consultation areas

We welcomed comments on all areas of the proposed revised Osteopathic Practice Standards, but we were particularly interested in views on the following areas:

  1. combining the standard of proficiency, Code of Practice and four themes of the Osteopathic Practice Standards
  2. clarity around the duty of candour, consent, boundaries, notes and modesty and understanding the ‘why’ of standards
  3. osteopathic principles and philosophy
  4. the role of osteopathy in public health and in relation to other health professionals
  5. the content of the standards and guidance
  6. period of implementation.