As part of the GCC's quality assurance programme, education providers are required to submit annual monitoring reports for each of their chiropractic degree programmes that were delivered in the last academic year. This helps the GCC ensure that approved chiropractic degree programmes continue to meet the criteria set out in its education standards.
The Education Committee also meets annually with approved education providers as part of its annual monitoring programme.
Following virtual meetings with staff and students at our education providers and two Education Committee members, the annual monitoring returns were reviewed at the Education Committee meeting in March 2022.
In general, all providers continued to be affected by the pandemic to varying degrees during the 2020-21 academic year. All providers attempted to find a ‘new normal’ emerging from the pandemic, predominantly arriving at a hybrid model of delivery, with theory content continuing online, while practical/clinical skills modules returned to in-person delivery where allowed.
All providers reported a variety of innovative teaching, learning and assessment techniques that had been developed to support students. Many of these will be retained going forward and can be regarded as a positive outcome of the pandemic.
The Education Committee was satisfied that all currently approved programmes continue to meet the GCC’s standards and commend the commitment, effort and endurance of both staff and students during such unprecedented times.
A new format was adopted for annual monitoring whereby two Education Committee members met virtually with each education institution, thereby allowing for more engaging and in depth conversation and the committee subsequently agreed that the format would be used for the forthcoming year, with members rotated.
In general, all institutions reported similar experiences with regard to the many challenges faced as a result of the pandemic. Providers also highlighted the opportunities the pandemic presented, including the move to more online learning and tele-health opportunities and were now moving to considering which changes might continue to be a feature of programmes in the future.
The Education Committee reviewed the annual monitoring returns received from education institutions at its meeting in April 2020 and discussed the feedback to be given to the providers. The Committee had planned to meet with providers and students, however as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, this had to be cancelled. The November 2020 Education Committee agenda therefore included an invitation to students to meet with the Committee.
The Committee noted good practice in the areas of engagement with other healthcare professionals; engagement with the UK Research Excellence Framework; equality and diversity reporting; patient involvement and engagement; reflective practice modules and mechanisms for student feedback.
The Committee welcomed the opportunity to speak with programme leads and recognises the challenges they face in a changing higher education environment.
Issues explored included:
the increased use of new technology to enhance programme delivery
staff recruitment (a very important and current concern)
the involvement of patients in education - an area that the General Chiropractic Council will be exploring further as part of its programme of research.
All acknowledged the need for chiropractic to be more integrated with other healthcare disciplines and the fact that there was limited public awareness of the profession. Again, this is something that the General Chiropractic Council is focusing on with the professional associations and the Royal College of Chiropractors.
The General Chiropractic Council also has a commitment to developing its engagement strategy with students, so that we can be more responsive and they have greater awareness of our work. In line with this commitment, the Education Committee hosted its July meeting at the AECC University College; and senior members of our team will also be visiting the colleges and meeting students in the months to come.
The current providers of GCC – approved degree programmes were invited to attend the Education Committee meeting that took place in March 2018. Representatives from AECC University College, the McTimoney College of Chiropractic and the University of South Wales met with the Committee both individually and collectively.
During the individual discussions, providers gave their comments on the newly developed GCC quality assurance processes and the Committee looked at how each provider addressed the GCC’s recommendations from previous years. The joint discussion with all providers centred on the research into the perceptions of the preparedness of chiropractic graduates for practice that had been carried out on behalf of the GCC in 2017. Education providers agreed that the research highlighted some interesting trends in regards to areas of perceived preparedness.
The Education Committee was satisfied that all currently approved programmes continue to meet the GCC’s standards.
Representatives from each of the educational institutions were invited to attend the Education Committee meeting that took place in April 2017. At this meeting, discussions were held between the education providers and the Committee both separately and collectively. Topics such as student recruitment challenges; the potential impact of the UK leaving the EU; student feedback; and patient engagement in teaching and learning were discussed. From these discussions, the providers were able to share best practice and the Education Committee was satisfied that all of the programmes that are currently recognised continue to meet our standards.
From September 2017, education providers will be following our new annual monitoring and self-assessment arrangements that can be found in our guide for providers of chiropractic degrees.