Release date 5/4/21
RAMP have been made aware of a couple of issues around title use so, as a reminder, RAMP Registrants who are not regulated with HCPC,GCC or GOSC may use the term chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist ONLY if it is prefixed with an animal term.eg equine, canine or animal etc. It must be made clear on any website, leaflet or other marketing that you do not use these techniques on humans. Failure to do so could result in prosecution as this is a criminal offence.
Please ensure that you comply with the law as it applies to you.
To clarify the law as it stands here is a copy of the Barristers advice that RAMP commissioned. It makes it clear that the current laws around protected titles only cover human practice BUT that if they are used in the animal field it must be made clear that the practitioner does not treat humans unless also qualified to do so.
1. Introduction: The Issues. I have been asked to advise upon the scope of the protection of title for Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapist (“the professions”). Specifically, I have been asked whether the protection of title which exists for these professions applies when the practice of the individual chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopaths relates to and is carried out upon, an animal and not a human patient.
2. This Advice has been commissioned by the Register of Animal Musculoskeletal
Practitioners (“RAMP”), which is concerned to understand the legal parameters in which its members operate. RAMP has established a voluntary Register of professionals who are trained in chiropractic, osteopathic and physiotherapy techniques and treatments for animals. They are regarded by RAMP as one occupation, i.e., animal musculoskeletal practitioners.
3. Summary of Advice.
a. The Acts and the Order governing the practice of osteopaths, chiropractors and
physiotherapists are concerned exclusively with the regulation of the treatment of human patients (paragraphs 9 – 21 below); Legal Advice, 28 January 2020 2
b. As a result, the titles concerned are not protected titles, outside of the context of the treatment of human patients. There is no statutory or other legally binding regulatory framework governing their use outside of that context;
c. In my view, provided that any description makes it plain that the practitioner does not purport to be qualified to, or to treat, human patients, and is not on the Register of those professionals who would do so, an exclusively ‘animal’ practitioner may use the title ‘physiotherapist’, ‘osteopath’ and ‘chiropractor’ provided that these terms are always accompanied by a clear and proper explanation of their animal practice so as to make these vital distinctions.
d. The question of what is a sufficiently clear explanation is a question of fact. It would be for the individual practitioner to satisfy himself or herself that the rules on the protection of title had not been infringed. Clearly, a protocol which had been agreed with the three regulatory bodies concerned with human treatment would be the best way forward. I would suggest that merely using the title ‘animal physiotherapist’, etc, (or ‘equine chiropractor’, to take a similar example) may not be enough to achieve complete clarity – it ought to be accompanied by an
explanation, on websites and other literature, of the distinction and the fact that the
practitioner does not purport to be qualified to, nor offer treatment to human patients.
The RAMP team