Chiropractic Students

What links do I have with the GCC while I am a student?

As your future regulator, we very much welcome any comments, concerns or queries that you may have about working as a chiropractor in the UK. You can contact us at any time by emailing us at [email protected] . Whilst you are a chiropractic student, your main relationship will be with your education provider. Their chiropractic degree programmes have to be recognised by us and we keep in touch with them through our annual monitoring process. We also update the education providers about anything which arises that might be of interest to them and we expect them to tell us about any major changes or issues which they experience.


Professionalism in Action

We have produced a guidance document for students which gives information about the standards of professional and personal behaviour that we expect of those training to become a chiropractor. 

We hope this guidance is helpful during your training.

It is important for students that from day one of your training, you make sure your practice meets the standards we set out in the Code.

We are always interested in hearing what you think about our work and in making improvements. If you have any comments about this document, please email us at the above address.

What does being professional mean?

Patients need chiropractors they can trust. As a student you must:

  • make the care of your patient your first concern
  • be honest and trustworthy
  • work within the limits of your knowledge and skills
  • have good working relationships with patients and colleagues
  • respect confidentiality
  • communicate effectively
  • be open when things go wrong
  • report concerns about safety
  • keep records of your work with patients.       


What is meant by professional boundaries?

This means using your position of trust responsibly so that patients feel confident that they are in safe hands, that you are acting in their best interests and providing the best possible care.

Being able to develop and maintain good professional relationships is a vital part of learning how to become a chiropractor.

Any breach of professional boundaries may call your fitness to practise into question.  This may affect your ability to continue studying.


What does student fitness to practise mean?

It is professionalism in action.  In your training to become a chiropractor, you have certain responsibilities. You will need to show that both your personal and professional conduct is of the high standards expected.

We expect you to:

  • behave professionally
  • take responsibility for your own health and well being
  • deliver safe and competent care.


Student fitness to practise includes assessing your:

  • clinical and academic work
  • professional behaviour
  • health so you can practise safely.


In very serious circumstances, your conduct may affect your chances of:

  • completing your education
  • gaining your final qualification
  • and being able to register with us.

If you fall below the standard expected in any of these areas, your university or college may consider whether you are fit to practise. Misconduct may affect your ability to complete your course.

Where to find more information and support

Both the General Chiropractic Council and your education provider are keen to help you develop your professionalism during your training. Your university or college will help you learn about professionalism throughout your course.

If you have a problem with meeting the expected standards that are beyond your control (such as a disability or other extenuating circumstances) you should speak to your education provider in the first instance. 

You may also want to confide in your personal tutor or student counsellor to make sure you get the right support and guidance to help you continue your education.

The Professionalism in Action guidance can be found here.


Chiropractic Students and Disability

A person is a disabled person (someone who has the protected characteristic of disability under the Equality Act 2010) if they have a physical and/or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. There is no need for a person to have a medically diagnosed cause for their impairment – what matters is the effect of the impairment not the cause.

You can find out more about what counts as a disability here -

By law, education providers must take all reasonable steps to make adjustments to accommodate disabled students. This means they have to help someone meet the standards that are set for the programme. It does not mean that they have to vary the level of attainment required for entry to their course or for successful completion of it. There will be some occasions when an education provider decides that the provision of reasonable support, aids and adjustments will be insufficient to enable an applicant to demonstrate achievement of the competence standard for entry to the profession.

If you want to find out more about higher education institution’s duties under the Equality Act 2010 then visit

As well as the support which education providers are able to offer by making reasonable adjustments, individuals who have:

·         a learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia or ADHD)

·         a mental health condition (e.g. anxiety or depression)

·         a physical disability (e.g. partially-sighted or use crutches)

·         a long term illness (e.g. cancer, chronic heart disease, HIV)

may also be eligible for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) – see


What happens once I graduate?

Individuals who have successfully graduated from a recognised chiropractic degree programme are eligible to register with the GCC. You need to do this in order to practise chiropractic lawfully in the UK.

Applicants for registration must also:

  • declare any criminal convictions or cautions, no matter when or where in the world the offences were committed
  • provide a report from their GP confirming they are in good health, physically and mentally - our good health requirement means that you are capable of safe and effective practice without supervision. It does not mean the absence of any disability or health condition
  • give details of registration with other regulatory bodies or associations in the UK or elsewhere, and about any disciplinary action taken against them by such a body
  • give information about any allegations of professional negligence considered by a civil court
  • provide proof of professional indemnity insurance
  • provide a birth certificate and proof of any change of name since then (for example, a marriage certificate)
  • provide a character reference.


To find out what will be expected of you once you register with us, you can take a look at the GCC's Code which can be found here