B. Knowledge, skills and performance

B1. You must have and be able to apply sufficient and appropriate knowledge and skills to support your work as an osteopath.

  1. These should include:
    1. an understanding of osteopathic philosophy, principles and concepts of health, illness and disease and the ability to apply this knowledge critically, in the care of patients
    2. a knowledge of human structure and function sufficient to inform appropriate care
    3. a knowledge of pathophysiological processes sufficient to inform clinical judgement and to identify where patients may require additional or alternative investigation or treatment from another healthcare professional
    4. an understanding of the psychological and social influences on health, sufficient to inform clinical decision-making and patient care
    5. an awareness of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry and the ability to critically evaluate scientific information and data to inform osteopathic care
    6. an understanding of the principles of biomechanics sufficient to apply osteopathic treatment safely and effectively
    7. well-developed palpatory skills
    8. an understanding of the characteristics of the normal and abnormal functioning of different body tissues and systems to inform the interpretation of clinical findings
    9. the ability to determine changes in health and function by the appropriate use of observation, palpation, motion and clinical evaluation
    10. problem-solving and thinking skills in order to inform and guide the interpretation of clinical and other data and to justify clinical reasoning and decision-making
    11. the ability to protect yourself physically and psychologically during interactions with patients to maintain your own health
    12. the ability to critically appraise your own osteopathic practice. For example, this could be achieved through:
      1. self-reflection
      2. feedback from patients
      3. feedback from colleagues
      4. case analysis or clinical audit.

B2. You must recognise and work within the limits of your training and competence.

  1. You should use your professional judgement to assess whether you have the training, skills and competence to treat a patient, seeking advice where necessary.
  2. If not, you should consider:
    1. seeking advice or assistance from an appropriate source to support your care for the patient
    2. working with other osteopaths and healthcare professionals to secure the most appropriate care for your patient
    3. referring the patient to another osteopath or appropriately qualified healthcare professional.
  3. Working within your competence also applies if you work within the fields of education and research.

B3. You must keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.

  1. To achieve this, you should:
    1. be professionally engaged, undertaking professional development activities and complying with GOsC requirements regarding continuing professional development
    2. keep up to date with factors relevant to your practice, including:
      1. GOsC guidance
      2. legal requirements or changes to the law in relation to your practice, for example, in relation to data storage (see standard C3), health and safety in the workplace (see standard C5) and equality issues (see standard D6)
      3. research and other relevant developments in healthcare.