General Osteopathic council vs Darren Tilley

For legal reasons Darren is not allowed to use the word Osteopath or any of its derivatives in telling the truth about his qualifications which seems ridiculous, but is the case. He can use the word 'practitioner' to convey his meaning....


The Facts.


In March 2012 Darren was on the receiving end of a private prosecution by the General Council of Osteopaths. (GOC)


Darren Qualified as a 'practitioner' in 1997, two years before the formation of the register of Osteopaths.


His Diploma was awarded after successfully completing a six year course at a College of 'Practitioners' in London. This involved completing over one thousand supervised clinic hours, a ten thousand word thesis, and passing without failure or retake, every single test of competency and underpinning knowledge set by the college.


He did not join the register of Osteopaths, choosing instead to pursue a specialisation in remedial muscle therapy. Many qualified Osteopaths refused to join the register for a variety of reasons and many have been prosecuted by the GOC. 


By not joining the register of Osteopaths it became unlawful for Darren to describe himself as an Osteopath. 


Although he then stopped referring to himself as an Osteopath, he did continue to refer to his training and his qualifications both on his website ( and in some of his headed notepaper, used for receipts and invoices etc.


After warnings from the GOC in 2008 he placed a disclaimer on his website homepage stating that he was not a member of the register and did not consider himself an Osteopath. He removed the word Osteopath from his business cards but continued to use the suffix D.O. (Diploma in Osteopathy) after his name, believing he had a lawful right to do so since he justly earned the qualification and had not acted in any way that justified their removal..


Four years later, after a receipt issued by Darren was brought to their attention, The GOC, with no preamble, under the legal direction of their solicitor, Velia Soames, decided to prosecute him.


Darren sought legal advice and was informed that despite the fact he was NOT being dishonest, he was still breaking the law by referring to his qualification, and he was advised to plead guilty to two charges of 'unlawfully' describing himself as an Osteopath, which he reluctantly did. He was fined £1000 plus costs of £869 


The GOC, not content with their “victory for public safety” (Velia Soames’ words) continued to persecute him, issuing a press release stating that he was a 'bogus practitioner'. This document will apparently remain in the internet indefinitely, permanently affecting Darrens livelihood by suggesting he is unqualified and dishonest.


Darren has an untarnished career working in bodywork therapy, spanning some fifteen years. He has refined his treatment of painful conditions to a very high standard generating countless positive testimonials. He has had published articles in respected bodywork and health magazines and has presented seminars and sports therapy lectures at local colleges and for sporting organisations.


Without a single complaint directed against him in all this time, achieving an extremely high success rate in his practise, and contributing to the profession as an author and lecturer, he strongly refutes the statement that he is 'bogus', but respects his clients right to make up their own minds when presented with the facts of the matter.


March 2012