The new CPD scheme will encourage osteopaths to get professional support from peers, strengthen the ability to learn a shared experience can offer an invaluable network of professional and personal support from each other, promote discussion and support in reflecting on and enhancing practice. For osteopaths, access to a community of colleagues who have a shared experience can offer an invaluable network of professional and personal support.
Building communities ‘The new CPD scheme encourages osteopaths to seek support from others’
Not only can communities of osteopaths adapt quickly to their members’ needs, they can also provide inexpensive CPD. Communities can encourage osteopaths to work together for the benefit of the whole profession and reduce the risks associated with working in isolation. Osteopaths who reach out to build broader networks with other osteopaths continually can enhance their practice and patient care. We know that some practitioners work largely alone, either as sole practitioners or in remote areas with little access to groups or support from peers. The new CPD scheme encourages osteopaths to seek support from others – to talk to colleagues and discuss their practice. Below, we set out some ways in which you can get together with other osteopaths in order to do this.
You could join an existing osteopathic regional group in your area. Groups have regular meetings focusing on sharing best practice and CPD events. Groups vary considerably throughout the country, ranging from small informal groups who meet in practice premises to large societies led by committees. There are more than 30 regional societies throughout the UK and Ireland. Check where your nearest group is located. If there are no groups in your area, you could think about setting one up. You need to consider your catchment area and what the gap is that you wish to fill – for example, would you like to reach the whole region, create a shared interest group, or bring together alumni from your education provider? And it’s a good idea to ask: what is the community’s common interest?
Networking now often happens online, on-demand, and can be designed to fit conveniently with your working life. So professional communities of practice don’t need to be bound to a physical location; the widening opportunities offered by the internet and online platforms means shared-interest groups can flourish, regardless of where their members live and practise. Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, offer platforms on which you can run and promote online groups inexpensively.There is an ever widening range of packages such as Go To Meeting www.gotomeeting.com and Skype www.skype.com/en/
How the GOsC can provide support
We recognise the importance of regional groups for the development of the profession, as well as the demands on osteopaths running a busy practice. To assist regional or virtual groups, the GOsC can provide support by:
- helping to inform osteopaths about meetings via the events section of the CPD website
- assisting with regional mail-shots, where GOsC resources permit
- helping to determine and assess the demand in a region.
Meeting with osteopaths across the country and understanding the concerns and challenges they face in practice is a priority for the GOsC. Staff are developing a programme of face-to-face speaking engagements relating to the new CPD scheme, which includes attending regional meetings. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
Check out our events calendar or find more information about creating and maintaining communities of practice from the Osteopathic Development Group.