Capabilities for osteopathic practice

When do the Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2019) take effect?

The new Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2019) (the 2019 capabilities) take effect on 1 December 2019.

They have been published since 19 June 2019 to allow for a smooth transition from the existing Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2009) to the new 2019 capabilities.

What are the capabilities used for?

The Osteopathy Board of Australia (the Board) expects all osteopaths to understand and apply the capabilities in their practice.

The capabilities outline the attributes, knowledge and skills all osteopaths should show to practise safely and ethically.

The capabilities apply to osteopaths working across all practice settings, including research, education, management and other roles not involving direct contact with clients.

The capabilities replace the Capabilities for osteopathic practice (2009) published in January 2009, under the auspices of the then Osteopaths Registration Board of NSW and adopted by the Board at the commencement of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Scheme) in 2010. The 2019 capabilities have been developed after preliminary consultations in 2016, workshops with curriculum experts and a public consultation in 2018.

The 2019 capabilities specifically acknowledge the need for osteopaths to enhance their individual and institutional knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies needed to deliver optimal health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, families and communities.

The 2019 capabilities are organised into seven integrated core roles: osteopath, professional and ethical practitioner, communicator, critical reflective practitioner and lifelong learner, educator and health promotor, collaborative practitioner, and leader and manager. Each of the seven practice capabilities are described at three levels: role definition, key capabilities and enabling component.

How can I apply the capabilities to my practice?

Safe and competent osteopathic practice can be shown through the use, reflection and application of the capabilities in all fields of osteopathy practice.

They can be used:

  • in the development of osteopathy curricula for entry-level programs of study by education institutions
  • to assess osteopathy student and new graduate performance
  • to assess osteopaths educated overseas seeking registration in Australia
  • to assess osteopaths returning to work after breaks in service
  • as part of professional conduct matters, and
  • to communicate to consumers, employers, insurance companies and other stakeholders the level of competence expected of osteopaths.

Resources for osteopaths

The resources below are designed to help you to easily understand and apply the capabilities to your osteopathy practice.

Page reviewed 6/11/2019