§ Mr. Gale
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many trained osteopaths have been compelled to cease practising since the introduction of the provisions of the Osteopaths Act 1993; what assessment he has made of the operation of the personal and professional profile process; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Denham
[holding answer 8 May 2000]Under the provisions of the Osteopaths Act 1993, the General Osteopathic Council is responsible for the development, promotion and regulation of the profession of osteopathy. During the transitional period of registration, which ended on 8 May 2000, the Council decided to require all applicants to complete an extensive 'professional profile and portfolio' as evidence that they meet its criteria for 233W the safe, lawful and competent practice of osteopathy. In some cases the registrar may also request an interview or a test of clinical competence before making a decision.
We were not involved in the development of the 'professional profile and portfolio', but it appears to be based firmly on the principles of determining competence and could form a basis for professional lifelong learning. It is an innovative and comprehensive approach which should go a long way towards giving the public the assurance they deserve that all registered osteopaths are able to practice osteopathy safely and competently.
It is an inevitable consequence of an effective professional self-regulatory scheme that, either at its inception or subsequently, some practitioners will not meet the standard required for safe and competent practice and will either have to take remedial training or find alternative employment. From information provided by the General Osteopathic Council, of the 1,911 practitioners whose applications for registration have been decided so far only 80 have been refused.