Skip to main content

The Code Conversation is now finished.

We want to also take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to get involved in the Code Conversation (the process that led to the creation of a draft of a new Code).

Council considered the draft Code, now called the Code of Professional Practice and we will be launching the Code Consultation on 22 July 2024. We will be writing to all registrants with details on the 22 July, however if you are not a registrant and interested in taking part in the consultation, you can join our Code Consultation mailing list to be informed when the Code Consultation goes live.

In the meantime we have produced two reports that illustrate what we learned during the Code Conversation:

A summary of the Code Conversation; and The independent report into the three registrant events produced for us by Community Research.
Summary of the Code Conversation        The Code Conversation - feedback from the registrant engagement events

What is the Code?

The GCC Code encompasses both a standard of proficiency and standards of conduct and practice for chiropractors. Ultimately, by publishing standards that chiropractors must meet, patients can be confident that they will receive quality care in their chiropractic treatment. The Code sets out the standards of conduct, performance and ethics and the standards of proficiency. It is integral to ensuring high quality professional practice and sets out for patients the quality of care they are entitled to receive from chiropractors. For chiropractors the standards are the benchmarks of professional conduct and practice.

Why we are doing this review now

We last consulted on our Code in 2015, with the Code coming into effect in 2016. Since then, the profession has evolved in response to changing patient expectations, and developments in wider healthcare. Reviews are essential so that we can ensure that the Code is relevant to current practice, continues to deliver effective public protection and confidence, and is understood by those who use it

The purpose of the review is to:

  • make any necessary updates to the current standards that reflect changes to practice or changing patient expectations;
  • ensure that the current standards are fit for purpose; and
  • ensure that the standards reflect the current context within which registrants practise.

More information on our decision to review the Code is available on the Code Scoping Review page.

Timeline of the Code Conversation

January 2024

We published the results of our Code Scoping Review and announced our intentions to review the Code.

The current model of outline principles with a series of statements was felt to be the right model for the Code, but the scoping review recommended articulating the core values that chiropractors and patients hold. It was felt that the current principles should be retained, but should be reframed as the means of actioning the core values.

There were also two new principles proposed:

  • Workplace behaviours around others (protecting chiropractors and colleagues from harm)
  • Clinical safety (safeguarding and incident prevention in the clinic, rather than safety of treatment which is covered elsewhere)

February 2024

In February we asked registrants to help us understand the values that they felt should underpin the Code (survey now closed, link provided for context).

We received responses from 59 chiropractors and, while there undoubtedly some variance, the top four responses were:

  • Patient-centred care (80% of responses ranked it within their top 4 values)
  • Honesty, integrity and transparency (77% in top 4)
  • Safety and Quality (59% in top 4, 77% in top 5)
  • Professionalism (58% in top 4, 71% in top 5)

These values, alongside the outline list of principles were taken to the March Council meeting for consideration.

March 2024

At the beginning of March Nick Jones wrote a blog posing some “food for thought” for the profession. 

The blog was intentionally provocative, covering questions and concerns that are regularly raised by patients, chiropractors and other health practitioners with the GCC. The intention was to obtain a wider range of views than we normally receive that could inform the discussion and development of the New Code. The responses successfully delivered that, however we recognise (with hindsight) that the blog unsettled some within the profession, who were concerned it could signal the final direction of the Code, and we apologise for the anxiety this caused.

On 20 March Council agreed to the proposed Values and Principles, giving the go ahead to start developing the standards.

The Principles of the new Code
  • Put the interests of patients first
  • Ensure safety and quality in clinical practice*
  • Act with honesty and integrity and maintain the highest standards of professional and personal conduct
  • Provide a good standard of clinical care and professional practice
  • Establish and maintain clear professional boundaries
  • Obtain valid consent for all aspects of patient care
  • Communicate professionally, properly and effectively
  • Foster collaborative health care, effective professional relationships and supportive workplace practice*
  • Maintain, develop and work within your professional knowledge and skills
  • Maintain and protect patient information

*New standard for 2024

April 2024

During April we will be analysing the responses to the March blog, alongside responses to other research (particularly patient research) we have carried out in the past and (where available) academic research.

We will be holding a discussion with Council members, we are inviting the four Professional Associations to meet with us and then, on May 1, we will hold two online facilitated discussions with registrants.

Following those meetings we will analyse the outcomes of those conversations and the research and discuss it with registrants at a further "in person" event at the GCC in London on 15 May.

Details of how to join the Registrant events were sent in the April edition of the GCC newsletter.

All this research and discussion will inform the development of the statements within the draft Code.

In preparation for the two webinars on May 1 we have published a briefing document that follows our analysis of the responses to the March blog. The document explains:

  • the concerns and themes that led to each of the questions in the blog;
  • what we learned from the responses;
  • and how our thinking has evolved in response.

Here is the presentation that was used to set the scene at the events:

June 2024

The draft code, alongside the outcomes of our research and a proposed approach for the formal consultation was taken to the Council Meeting on June 19 for consideration.

Council agreed with the proposed draft code, now called The Code of Professional Practice, being published for consultation.

The Code Consultation will run from 22 July 2024 until 27 September 2024.

All registrants and stakeholders wiull be invited to take part, however if you are not already someone we communicate with regularly, and would like to be added to the mailing list, please join our Code Consultation mailing list to be informed when the Code Consultation goes live.

The Code Scoping Review

Find out More