Osteopathy in Europe

The creation of osteopathy as an autonomous primary care profession.

This project, to be led and paid for


YES vote for European Standard for osteopaths

National member organisations of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) have voted in favour of creating a Project Committee to develop a European Standard for services of osteopaths. CEN is the recognised authority within Europe for standardisation.

Across Europe, standards of osteopathic care vary, and this has created a need for greater patient protection through effective regulation and high standards of treatment. Despite regulatory mechanisms existing in Finland, France, Iceland, Malta, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, along with interest shown by governments in Belgium, Ireland and Portugal, it is unlikely that osteopathy will be regulated Europe-wide in the foreseeable future. For this reason, the GOsC, along with our European colleagues, voted to jointly fund the development of a European Standard for services of osteopaths to protect patients and members of the profession.

Although the European Standard cannot override national legislation, such as the Osteopaths Act, it will provide a benchmark of care that patients should expect from osteopaths in those countries currently without any regulatory mechanisms. It will also provide a valuable protection for osteopaths facing opposition in their country from other professional lobbies which oppose by members of the Forum for Osteopathic Regulation in Europe ( and the European Federation of Osteopaths (, will start in early 2012 and will last up to three years at an estimated cost of 12,000 Euros per year.