Response to the General Osteopathic Council Consultations on Draft Guidance about Professional Behaviours and Fitness to Practise for Osteopathic Students and Draft Guidance for Osteopathic Educational Institutions
General comments on the guidance
We welcome the opportunity to comment on both the draft guidance about Professional Behaviours and Fitness to Practise for Osteopathic Students and the draft guidance for Osteopathic Educational Institutions. We have made some general comments which relate to both pieces of guidance and then some specific points on each piece of guidance separately with reference to the consultation questions where relevant.
We remain supportive of the General Osteopathic Council's approach to ensure public protection through the provision of guidance for students and an obligation for educational institutions to fully supervise student practice until a recognised qualification has been awarded and a student can become a registered professional.
As students are in a different position pre-registration and do not face the same penalties for misconduct in terms of being removed from the register, we would suggest that it would be helpful for the guidance to more clearly outline upfront the purpose of Fitness to Practise (FtP) for students as distinct from registrants.
We are very supportive of the addition of references to the duty of candour in the guidance for students but would suggest that this should also be in the guidance for educational institutions. More detail on why this requirement for a duty of candour is important would also be useful to ensure that the issue is taken seriously and becomes embedded into students’ practice before and after they become registrants.
We would agree that further detail may be useful on the issue of maintaining boundaries between students practising on each other and the implications of this. We would also highlight the importance of referencing the effect that breach of boundaries with patients can have on the public’s trust in health professionals at large.