The General Chiropractic Council protects the public by ensuring high standards in the practice of chiropractic.
We do this by setting and regulating professional standards not only for qualified chiropractors but also for undergraduate chiropractic education and training.
Everyone calling themselves a chiropractor in the UK must be registered with us. To successfully register, an individual must satisfy the educational requirements for registration and be fit to practise. This means having the skills, knowledge, good health and character to practise safely and effectively.
The education standards define, through learning outcomes, the broad content required of chiropractic degree programmes and the areas against which individuals will be assessed in order to graduate from the degree. The standards also set out criteria for the institution offering the degree programme.
The General Chiropractic Council’s Code sits at the heart of the education standards, ensuring that students are well-placed to meet the vital requirements upon graduation.
How we assure the quality of chiropractic education
Implementation and transition to the new standards for existing providers
Our previous Education Standards (2017) are still valid for existing courses.
Our approved programme providers will design and develop their curricula in line with our new standards. We have begun working with each provider of GCC-approved qualifications to understand at what pace providers will adapt their existing qualifications or develop new qualifications to meet the new Education Standards.
We expect most providers will work towards admitting students to approved qualifications that meet the standards from the 2024/25 academic year. Some providers may, in consultation with the GCC, agree on a later start date. We are working with each of our education providers to agree a transition plan and timeline, involving our team of Education Visitors.
Providers of currently approved qualifications have two options in adapting their existing qualifications or developing new qualifications to meet the Education Standards:
- Adapt an existing approved qualification and seek approval (as a course change) to a timescale agreed with the GCC
- ‘Teach out’ an existing approved qualification to a timescale agreed with us, alongside developing, seeking approval for and recruiting to a ‘new’ qualification
Education Standards Review 2022
In 2021, the GCC carried out a scoping exercise to ensure that the educational standards (last reviewed in 2017) were still fit for purpose. This exercise concluded that the existing standards were broadly appropriate with the key exception that the needs of patients were under-represented. Following this conclusion, the Education Committee decided a full review of the Education Standards and Quality Assurance Handbook would take place in 2022.
The draft standards were subject to an online public consultation between July and September 2022.
- GCC response to consultation on proposed new Education Standards December 2022
- Frequently Asked Questions July 2022
- Communication and Engagement Plan May 2022
- Education Standards Domains Framework March 2022
Studying to become a chiropractor
Find out about how and where you can study to become a chiropractorFind out More
Guidance for students
Information and guidance for students studying chiropracticFind out More
Information for Education Providers
This page provides information for current and future education providers.Find out More
Programme quality assurance
Find out how we assure the quality of undergraduate chiropractic education and trainingFind out More