The Osteopathic Council was established by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act). Read more about our functions as set out under the HPCA Act.

Our Role

The Osteopathic Council ensures public safety through effective regulation and monitoring of the ongoing competency of the osteopathic profession.

We do this by establishing a regulatory framework for registration that includes:

  • determining scopes of practice
  • prescribing recognised qualifications
  • developing competencies for the practice of osteopathy
  • assessing the competence of overseas practitioners
  • a system for complaints and discipline designed to protect members of the public.

We also maintain a public register of osteopaths, where members of the public are able to check whether individual osteopaths are registered and hold a practising certificate.

The Council and Osteopathic Professional Organisations

The Council is a separate organisation from professional associations for osteopaths, which exist to promote the practice of osteopathy. Although Council members may also be members of a professional association, our duty as Council members is to act in accordance with the aims, objectives and requirements of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act. Council members are appointed by the Minister to oversee the profession, they are not elected by osteopaths to represent their professional interests.

The Council and the Osteopath

The Council can consult with the osteopathic profession, and in some circumstances must do so - for example, when specifying scopes of practice and qualifications for each scope.

Our overriding consideration in making decisions, is to ensure that we comply with the principal purpose of the HPCA Act - that is, the protection of the health and safety of members of the public by providing mechanisms to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practise. We must therefore be satisfied that any requirements and standards we set or recognise will fulfil the Act's principal purpose.

The Council has determined seven scopes of practice for osteopaths.