Planning for peer observation

Managing Editor of the osteopath magazine, Clare Conley, explores the resources available to plan and carry out peer observation.

In the new CPD scheme that will start in autumn 2018, you’ll need to carry out at least one objective activity and demonstrate how this has influenced your CPD and improved your practice. The scheme enables you to build on and enhance your current CPD. You may find that you’re already doing some – or even all – of the new required elements in your current CPD activities. You’ll find an overview of the new scheme, resources and FAQs

An objective activity involves getting objective feedback on your practice – this can be an osteopath or another healthcare professional, or from patients. The following are four examples of objective activities, but remember that you can choose any CPD activities that fulfil the criteria:

  • Peer observation
  • Patient feedback
  • Clinical audit
  • Case-based discussion

What other benefits can you get from carrying out objective activities?

1. You can start incorporating an objective activity into your current CPD cycle to make the transition into the new CPD scheme easier.

2. By carrying out an activity that involves peer review, you may identify a suitable peer to carry out your Peer Discussion Review (PDR) with at the end of your three-year cycle. (See:
Some osteopaths are already choosing to identify a suitable peer at an early stage, so that they can build up a good relationship with them by speaking regularly and using this as an opportunity to reflect on CPD on an ongoing basis.

Resources to use for peer observation
Peer observation involves being observed in practice by a peer. This might be an osteopath, or it could be another healthcare professional. It’s usually a two-way process, with colleagues observing each other to provide feedback on practice. Both participants can then reflect on the exercise and the feedback to identify opportunities for further learning and professional development. You’ll find a number of resources about peer observation and giving and receiving constructive feedback including:

  • Preparing for peer observation – short checklists to help you prepare, conduct,
    reflect and record on the peer observation.
  •  A practical peer observation workbook that you can download and fill in for your CPD folder. The workbook includes:-a short overview of the new CPD scheme
    – details on how carrying out peer observation is likely to relate to more than one theme of the Osteopathic Practice Standards (OPS)
    – guidance on how to prepare and carry out a peer observation
    – resources to help you prepare for giving and receiving constructive feedback –remember that this research and learning could also count towards your CPD
    – details of how to reflect and record the peer observation activity, with two examples of templates that you could use to record the observation
    – an example of a CPD reflection form to help reflect on learning activities and keep as evidence in your CPD portfolio

Share learning tips with other osteopaths

Have you carried out peer observations or any other objective activities? Share any tips or helpful resources with other osteopaths
by emailing