In our annual review of 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.
General Standards: processes do not impose inappropriate barriers or otherwise disadvantage people with protected characteristics
The GOsC has a dedicated webpage on equality and diversity which outlines its commitment to ensuring that all its activities provide equal opportunity. It provides support to assist individuals who may have dyslexia or other needs to ensure that its Continuing Professional Development scheme is accessible to all. GOsC panel and staff members are required to undertake regular training on bias and equality and diversity. Processes are in place to make reasonable adjustments for witnesses and registrants who participate in its fitness to practise process.
Education and Training: maintains and reviews standards for education and training
The GOsC has commenced a review of its Guidance for Osteopathic Pre-Registration Education in the light of the introduction of the revised Osteopathic Practice Standards, guidance on the duty of candour and professional boundaries, and changes to the quality assurance process for recognised qualifications.
Registration: maintains and publishes an accurate register
The GOsC acted quickly to investigate and rectify a register entry which failed to display the restriction imposed upon a registrant. It investigated the reasons for the error and introduced a series of additional checks to further assure the accuracy of the register.
Fitness to Practise: anyone is able to raise a concern about a registrant
The GOsC commissioned an independent audit of its initial stages of its fitness to practise process during this performance review period. Following findings that the adequacy of written reasons provided in decisions made by could be improved, the GOsC introduced specialist training on drafting decisions. It is producing consolidated Guidance for Screeners in response to the audit findings.
Fitness to Practise: seeks interim orders where appropriate
In October 2018, the GOsC introduced an amended process for assessing risk, involving a new risk assessment form and a review at a senior level of all cases deemed high risk. Weekly case reviews are completed in cases identified as high risk and all risk assessments are reviewed every two months.
Fitness to Practise: all decisions made are proportionate, consistent and fair
In one appeal to the High Court by a registrant against a decision of the Professional Conduct Committee Panel, the Judge was critical of the Panel’s approach to questioning the registrant, which the Judge deemed was unfair and rendered the proceedings unfair. In response to the judgment, the GOsC conducted training on the management and questioning of witnesses and developed a practice note on questioning in hearings. We were satisfied that the GOsC took reasonable action to address the concerns raised within the judgment.