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Standardisation for osteopathy services in Europe

The CEN (Comité Européen de Normalisation) or European Committee for Standardisation, provides a platform for the development of European standards and other technical documents in relation to various kinds of products, materials, services and processes. It has been involved in the standardisation of products including electronics, toys and various other products and services.

In recent years, demand has grown for the standardisation of healthcare services.

Osteopathy is an independent healthcare profession which is currently regulated in Malta, as it is in the UK, Finland, Iceland, Denmark and France. In the UK, for example, an estimated 30,000 people consult an osteopath every working day.

However, although osteopathy is a widespread profession in Europe, there are no consistent standards of education, training and practice within EU member states. National member organisations of the European committee for standardisation, which include the Malta Competition and Consumers Affairs Authority (MCCAA), have now agreed to create a project committee to develop a European standard for osteopathic healthcare, including requirements on service provision, minimum competences and training, and a code of ethics.

The standard should be finalised and published in 2015.

The MCCAA has appointed local osteopath Robert Grech as technical expert to contribute on a voluntary basis for the development of this standard.

Such a standard aims to protect the public through effective regulation and high standards of treatment. Mr Grech has been involved in the drafting of the standard which is in its final stages, following a meeting in Vienna earlier this month.

For further information about CEN, visit www.cen.eu. One may also contact the MCCAA at standards@mccaa.org.mt.

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