4. Communities of Practice

This project has develop a range of practical support services for local, regional and special interest osteopathic groups which will ease the burden of organisation, increase the number of osteopaths making use of the networks and create stronger community hubs of osteopathic learning and practice across the UK.

Why are communities of practice relevant to me as an osteopath?

Not only do local and regional groups provide inexpensive CPD for osteopaths and can adapt quickly to their members’ needs, they also encourage osteopaths to work together for the benefit of the whole profession and reduce the risks associated with working in isolation. It can be very fulfilling to give something back to your local professional community by speaking at a local group, and such events provide fantastic networking opportunities.

Why are communities of practice important for the development of the profession?

The network of around 30 local osteopathic groups across the UK provides an invaluable local source of training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) which is mandatory for osteopaths. They are usually run on a voluntary basis, but those that contribute their time and energy to provide this service often find it difficult to promote the events that they offer to other osteopaths and struggle with administrating a sustainable community. This project was designed to reduce the administrative burden, ensuring the long-term sustainability of this valuable network by providing a number of resources asked for by local, regional and specialist group representatives.

How can I get involved?

Become a member of your local group or society, attend meetings and contribute by helping to run events. Consider offering your services as a speaker at society events. If there is no society in your local area, speak to the project team (see below) about setting one up.

To support, establish, maintain and develop thriving local osteopathic groups, the Osteopathic Development Group has published the Communities of Practice – a guide to setting up and sustaining a vibrant peer group . Developed in collaboration and consultation with the regional societies, the guide also outlines the support services members of the Osteopathic Development Group can provide local groups, including PR and local media support, contact directories, promotion of events, presenters and workshops.

For more information, both the General Osteopathic Council and Institute of Osteopathy also have dedicated communities of practice pages.

Project team

The project team includes representatives from the Institute of Osteopathy


As this is a live resource we would welcome any suggestions for expanding and improving the guide. Please email your ideas and contributions to Katie Griffiths: katie@iosteopathy.org