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Performance Review - GCC 2019/20

09 Oct 2020
  • 2020
  • Performance Reviews

Key facts & figures:

regulates chiropractors in the UK
3,356 professionals on its register
Initial registration fee is £750; annual retention is £800; and there is a reduced fee of £100 for those who register as non-practising

Standards of good regulation met:

Total standards met:

17 out of 18

General standards:

4 out of 5

Guidance & Standards:

2 out of 2

Education & Training:

2 out of 2


4 out of 4

Fitness to Practise:

5 out of 5


In our annual review of performance, we did not see sufficient evidence that the GCC systematically considers the equality and diversity implications of its initiatives and therefore concluded that it had not met Standard 3. The information available in relation to the other Standards did not give rise to concerns about the GCC’s performance. Therefore, we concluded that the GCC has met 17 of our 18 Standards of Good Regulation.

General Standards: processes do not impose inappropriate barriers or otherwise disadvantage people with protected characteristics

The GCC told us that it collects registrants’ equality information upon registration and we saw that it reports on the diversity of the register. We did not, however, see an example of how the GCC uses the data about the individuals on its register to consider whether there was evidence of its processes having differing effects on people with protected characteristics. We have also not seen evidence of a completed Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) and we saw limited evidence of the GCC’s considerations of whether an EIA is necessary, or how equality implications were considered in practice.

General Standards: the regulator addresses concerns identified about it and considers the implications for it of findings of public inquiries and other relevant reports

Following an inquest in November 2019, the GCC was asked by the Coroner to consider chiropractors being given mandatory first aid training and a requirement for pre-treatment imaging. The GCC acted by issuing a bulletin to registrants about expectations in relation to first aid training and it has started a review of how imaging is used within chiropractic, with input from a range of experts.

Guidance and Standards: up-to-date Standards for registrants are kept under review

In this review period the GCC made an amendment to the part of its Code which relates to ensuring that advertising is legal, honest and truthful. The amendment included adding reference to the Advertising Standards Agency and became effective from October 2019. This reflected learning from the GCC’s handling of complaints about advertising.

Registration: the risk of non-registrants using protected titles is managed

Last year, the GCC did not meet our Standard relating to illegal practice due to a backlog of cases that had accumulated since 2015. We have seen that the GCC appears to have made good progress in addressing this backlog this year and has improved the transparency of its reporting in this regard, so the Standard is now met.

Fitness to Practise: the regulator's process for examining and investigating cases is fair, proportionate, deals with cases as quickly as is consistent with a fair resolution of the case

The GCC introduced new decision-making guidance for its Investigating Committee in October 2019, which includes threshold criteria for determining unacceptable professional conduct. This is a significant change to the GCC process, which aims to create more consistency and transparency in the decisions of the Investigating Committee.


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