In our annual review of its performance, we found that the GOsC had not made significant changes to its practices, processes or policies during the performance review period and the information available did not give rise to concerns about its performance. Therefore, we concluded that the GOsC has demonstrated that it continues to meet all our Standards of Good Regulation.
Guidance and Standards: conduct/competence standards reflect up-to-date practice
The GOsC published its updated Osteopathic Practise Standards (OPS) in September 2018 which come into effect on 1 September 2019. The updated standards include information and guidance on key developments in healthcare regulation, such as the duty of candour, consent and boundaries.
Education and Training: quality assurance process is proportionate/takes account of stakeholders' views
The GOsC consulted on changes to its mechanisms for assuring the quality of osteopathic education and training during the performance review period. The proposals included the removal of expiry dates for Recognised Qualifications (RQs) and a move to risk-based quality assurance of education and training, of which we were supportive. We concluded that the evidence did not indicate that the GOsC’s arrangements for quality assurance of education programmes were not proportionate or failed to meet the requirements of this Standard.
Registration: only those who meet the regulator's requirements are registered
In the period under review, the GOsC acted quickly to investigate and rectify an incorrect and/or fraudulent entry on its register in a way which protected the public. The GOsC also sought to develop guidance to address a shortcoming identified in its legislation in respect of applications for restoration, which we welcomed. We determined that as it had only considered one application for restoration, the risk arising from the absence of a formal procedure had been low.
Registration: registrants maintain the standards required to stay fit to practise
The GOsC launched a new continuing professional development (CPD) scheme for osteopaths on 1 October 2018. The new scheme requires registrants to complete 90 hours of CPD, including at least 45 hours learning with others, over a three-year period. The new scheme reinforces the requirements for registrants to work in accordance with the OPS and requires registrants to evidence learning in line with the four underpinning themes of the OPS, namely: communication and patient partnership; knowledge, skills and performance; safety and quality in practice; and professionalism.
Fitness to Practise: the regulator will determine if there is a case to answer
The GOsC introduced amended Investigating Committee Decision-Making Guidance during this performance review period. The new guidance provides clarity on the process for decision-making and includes guidance on issuing advice to registrants. The data provided to us indicates that the guidance has not significantly impacted on decision-making since its implementation.
Fitness to Practise: cases are dealt with as quickly as possible
Last year, the GOsC informed us that it was taking measures to improve its timeliness by introducing a listings protocol and an escalation policy for use when requested information was not provided within set times frames. These measures appear to have had a positive impact upon its timeliness as the GOsC’s timeliness measures against this Standard have improved this year. The GOsC has also developed Standard Case Directions which it anticipates will further improve how all parties prepare for hearings.