We invite your feedback

Response due date is 30 January 2020.

You can find out more about the Council's consultation below before reading the "Proposed Policy on Publication and Naming of osteopaths subject to and order or direction"  and then please give us your feedback by doing the survey here:

Issuing a naming policy

Changes to the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 that came into effect in April 2019 means that the Council is required to develop, consult on and publish a naming policy for osteopaths following an order or direction under the Act by mid-April 2020. The Council has developed the attached draft policy and seeks your opinion on the proposed policy by 30 January 2020. The relevant sections of the Act are attached to the proposed policy as appendix 2.


Under the Act the Council is required to consult and take into account any comments received from:

  • osteopaths registered with the Council
  • the Privacy Commissioner
  • the Director-General of Health
  • the Health and Disability Commissioner.

Publication order and naming policy

Under section 157 of the Act the Council may publish in any publication a notice setting out:

  • the effect of any order or direction it has made
  • a summary of any finding it has made
  • the name of the osteopath.

An order or a direction

An order is a decision made by the Council about a osteopath that the Act describes as an order. Under section 156A of the Act an order must:

  • be in writing
  • state the reasons why it was made
  • state clearly the osteopath’s right to appeal to the District Court against the order
  • be signed by the Registrar of the authority.

Orders are made under different parts of the Act (registration, health, competence and conduct).
Although some provisions use the word “order”, or “direction” not all functions that are ordered are “orders” or “directions” under the Act. An example is section 67A(2) of the Act where the Council may “order” a osteopath to undergo a specified medical examination. However, this can only proceed with the consent of the osteopath, there has been no finding and it cannot be appealed to the District Court.

Orders are also described in section 157 as having an effect and a finding. The Council’s proposed policy is therefore confined to orders that may be the subject of an appeal under section 106 of the Act.
Some orders result in a osteopaths’ practising certificate or registration being suspended. Others result in conditions being included in a osteopath’s scope of practice that are recorded on the public register. Other orders may not result in conditions being included such as requiring a osteopath to undertake a competence programme.

The purpose of the naming policy

Although the purpose of the policy is to:

  • enhance public confidence in the osteopathic profession and the Council’s disciplinary procedures by providing transparency about their decision-making processes
  • ensure the osteopath whose conduct has not met expected standards may be named when it is in the public interest to do so and
  • improve the safety and quality of health care.

The publication of orders is not limited to those made under the disciplinary process and the proposed policy therefore includes orders made under the health, competence and general provisions.

The content of the policy

The policy must set out
  • The class or classes of osteopaths in respect of which the naming policy applies
  • The circumstances in which a osteopath may be named
  • The general principles that will guide the Council’s naming decisions
  • The criteria that the Council must apply when making a naming decision
  • The requirement to have regard to the consequences for the osteopath of being named, including the likely harm to the osteopath’s reputation
  • The procedures the Council must follow when making a naming decision
  • The information the Council may disclose when naming a osteopath
  • The means by which the osteopath is named.
What general principles will guide the Council’s decisions to publish an order?

Under section 157G a naming policy must be consistent with:

  • the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003
  • the information privacy principles in section 6 of the Privacy Act 1993; and
  • the general law (including natural justice rights).
Naming policy to be available on the Internet

The naming policy must be available on the website.

Naming policies in force

The naming policy comes into force on the day after the date of issue.

Review of policy

The Council must review the policy within three years after the policy comes into force and then every three years after that. The same consultation will apply.


The Osteopathic Council is introducing a Code of Conduct to ensure it is setting appropriate standards of ethical conduct for osteopaths to protect the health and safety of health consumers. The Council is required to set standards of ethical conduct to be observed by osteopaths under section 118 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

The Code is a set of standards set by the Council in consultation with the profession, the public and other stakeholders that describes the behaviour and conduct that osteopaths are expected to uphold. It provides guidance on appropriate behaviour and can be used by health consumers, osteopaths, employers and other health practitioners to evaluate the conduct of osteopaths.

Osteopaths must be able to be held accountable for their practice by health consumers, employers, the Health and Disability Commissioner, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and other agencies as well as the Osteopathic Council. Some conduct that falls below a standard expected of an osteopath may be managed through the remedial competence review process rather than by a disciplinary process.

Professional codes

Standards of ethical conduct for professionals are usually contained in codes developed by regulators or professional associations. Codes fall into three broad categories: codes of ethics, codes of conduct and codes of practice.

Code of ethics

A Code of Ethics was developed by the Osteopathic Council in 2009. This code was intended to provide a common standard for all osteopaths to follow and a benchmark for the public on the standard of practice they can expect from an osteopath. Since the development of this Code there have been changes in the expectations of health consumers and Tribunal decisions across all professions about professional behaviour that means the Council is required to provide more guidance on the behaviour and conduct of the profession, particularly in the area of professional boundaries. The Code of Conduct will replace the current Code of Ethics.

Codes of conduct

Codes of conduct have been developed by regulators to provide guidance to the public and to practitioners to assist in determining professional misconduct. These documents prescribe minimum standards of behaviour for the profession and contain authoritative statements that are legally enforceable. They may also contain some aspirational statements and ideal value statements, but these are not intended to have any legal effect.

Development of a new draft code of conduct

In 2018 the development of a Code of Conduct was the focus of the three regional conferences held in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. At that conference there was general support for adopting the Code of Conduct that had been developed for osteopaths, with some changes that reflect osteopathic practice.

The Council has developed a draft Code of Conduct and seeks your opinion on the proposed policy by 30 January 2020.   Please send your feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here to view the draft Code of Conduct.

Consultation Questions

1. Do you agree with the standards and principles set out in the draft Code of Conduct? If not what other standards or principles do you think should apply?

2. Are there any other suggestions you would like to make to improve this Code of Conduct?

Over the last two years ACC has been working with an expert reference group on an evidence-based review on acupuncture modalities. The full evidence-based review commissioned from the University of South Australia, Consensus Document from the expert reference group and a 1 page description of the project are attached.

We are seeking feedback from clinical professions regarding how and when they use acupuncture modalities.  These include both needling and adjunct/allied treatments (eg. Moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha, Tuina) to gain an understanding of how these are used in New Zealand to supplement our findings from the literature.

Any feedback or questions can be send through to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The questions are:

  1. Are there any comments you have, or questions you would like to ask about the Evidence Based Review?
  2. What is your current referral practise on recommending acupuncture to patients? When would you recommend it?
  3. How do you see acupuncture as a treatment modality within the health system?
  4. What is your occupation and clinical discipline?
  5. If you or your practise deliver acupuncture services, what range of conditions do you deliver it for? What does treatment success look like to you? When would you conclude treatment?
  6. When would you consider acupuncture as an option against other treatments you provide?
  7. What value do you see in acupuncture vs other treatment modalities you provide?

Attachment 1 - To be uploaded

Attachment 2

Attachment 3