Most osteopaths will have had a four year full time or six year mixed attendance mode training. At present there are various recognitions of post graduate training and experience in the cranial approach, your osteopath may have other letters after their osteopathic qualification.
In May 2000 the Osteopaths Act came into effect to maintain standards within the profession. The title Osteopath is protected by law, and no-one is able call themselves an osteopath unless they are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). For a number of years the profession has been working hard to achieve statutory regulation. The Osteopaths Act is welcomed as final recognition of the role which osteopathy plays within modern healthcare.
To qualify, an osteopath must study for four to five years for an undergraduate degree. This is similar to a medical degree, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine and includes more than 1,000 hours of training in osteopathic techniques. By law, osteopaths must register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). It is an offence for anyone to call themselves an osteopath if they are not registered. The British Medical Association's guidance for general practitioners states that doctors can safely refer patients to osteopaths.