Osteopathy Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary
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2021/22 annual summary

Osteopathy in 2021/22


3,147 osteopaths

  • Up 6.6% from 2020/21
  • 0.4% of all registered health practitioners

0.6% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

54.3% female; 45.7% male


Age: <25 4.2%, 25-34 41.2%, 35-44 28.8%, 45-54 15.2%, 55-64 6.6%, 65-74 3.5%, >75 0.6%



41 notifications lodged with Ahpra about

33 osteopaths

  • 68 notifications about 51 osteopaths madeAustralia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 1.6% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 36.6% Patient, relative or member of the public, 9.8% Employer, 9.8% Other practitioner, 4.9% Board initiated, 4.9% Health complaints entity, 34.1% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 26.8% Breach of non-offence provision - National Law, 19.5% Boundary violation, 9.8% Clinical care, 9.8% Offence against other law, 2.4% Behaviour, 2.4% Communication, 29.3% Other

4 immediate actions taken

6 mandatory notifications received

  • 1 about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 32 notifications closed, 15.6% conditions imposed on registration, 12.5% cautioned or reprimanded, 6.3% registration cancelled, 3.1% retained by a health complaints entity, 62.5% no further action


12 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

15 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 3 for conduct
  • 1 for performance
  • 3 for prohibited practitioner/student
  • 8 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

6 criminal offence complaints made

  • 4 about title protection
  • 1 about practice protection
  • 1 about advertising breaches

4 closed

Referred to an adjudication body

2 matters decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel


1 appeal lodged

From the Chair

Issues this year

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect the way we work as a Board, with all Osteopathy Board of Australia and stakeholder meetings held online.

I attended regular Think Tank virtual meetings of osteopathy stakeholders from across Australia and was able to share updates and be in touch with the issues of access to education programs and healthcare during the pandemic.

Communication with osteopathy students and registrants continued through newsletters and on social media.  

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

The Board continued to contact registrants directly via newsletters and email with information about the impact of COVID-19 and the regulatory response for osteopaths, including extensions of regulatory requirements.


The revised Osteopathic accreditation standards (2021), developed by the Australian Osteopathic Accreditation Council, came into effect on 30 July 2021.

I met online every two months with the Chair and CEO of the Australian Osteopathic Accreditation Council.

The Board released the cross-profession
Supervised practice framework.

Stakeholder engagement


The Osteopathy Think Tank is organised by the association Osteopathy Australia, and is focused on education and workforce issues and information sharing. The Board and Ahpra have provided demographic data.

As Chair, I presented information on regulation and Board requirements for registration to final-year students in the osteopathy programs via online presentations.


Regular meetings with the Osteopathy Council of New Zealand took place, and also with our UK counterparts, the General Osteopathic Council. These meetings provided valuable information-sharing on current and emerging issues, and a chance to debrief about responses to COVID-19 and the effects on the regulation of osteopathy.

I continue as a member of the Public Relations Committee of the Osteopathic International Alliance, which includes organising International Osteopathic Healthcare Week, celebrated in April 2022.

Other news

We farewelled two community members, Ms Judith Dikstein and Mr Joshua Hatten, who have made a valuable contribution and commitment to regulation during their time on the Board. Ms Dikstein was an inaugural member of another National Board in 2009, and has been a member of the Osteopathy Board of Australia since 2013.

We welcomed two new Board members, community member Ms Robyn Davis and practitioner member Dr Rebecca Malon, and have a vacancy for another community member.

Newer members are yet to meet all their colleagues face to face but the work of regulation continued smoothly during the year through virtual meetings.

Dr Nikole Grbin

Page reviewed 9/11/2023