How is it regulated?
General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) >
The GOsC was formed as the result of the Osteopaths Act of 1993 to protect the public by regulating the profession and monitoring standards. It has a similar function to the General Medical Council (GMC) in this regard. The title 'osteopath' is protected and it is illegal to practice osteopathy in the UK without being registered with the GOsC. It maintains and publishes a register of osteopaths which is easily accessed by the public, either by telephone or the internet.
The GOsC monitors educational standards by inspecting schools and awarding Recognised Qualification (RQ) status. The London School of Osteopathy was the first fully part-time school to have been so recognised.
British Osteopathic Association (BOA) >
The BOA is an association that supports osteopaths. It holds a similar position to the British Medical Association (BMA). Historically, it is the oldest osteopathic body in the UK. It was formed by American trained osteopaths in 1903 and only recognised American trained osteopaths until the London College of Osteopathic Medicine was formed just after the war to provide an osteopathic training for doctors. In 1997, in the wake of the Osteopaths' Act, the BOA invited all the other bodies that carried out association affairs to merger talks. The Osteopathic Association of Great Britain (OAGB), in fact the only osteopathic organisation to be purely association, and the Guild of Osteopaths, agreed to a merger and they adopted the title of the BOA. The BOA is open to membership to all registered osteopaths. Students of osteopathic schools are welcome to apply for membership of the BOA at heavily discounted rates. The BOA publishes Osteopathy Today, a newsletter, and the British Osteopathic Journal, a research publication for osteopaths.