Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to mechanical dysfunction of the joints, particularly those of the spine, and their effects on the nervous system. Chiropractors work on joints and muscles, concentrating particularly on the spine. They use their hands to make specific adjustments (the chiropractic word for manipulation) to improve the function of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.
The Chiropractor Neil Bray qualified as a chiropractor in July 2001 after 5 years of full time study at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth. He has a BSc. (Hons) in Human Sciences, an MSc. in Chiropractic and a postgraduate diploma in Chiropractic. He is a member of the British Chiropractic Association, The College of Chiropractors and is registered with the General Chiropractic Council.
Regulation In common with medical practitioners and dentists, all chiropractors are registered by law under the Chiropractors Act 1994 and the title 'Chiropractor' is protected under this legislation. The profession is statutorily regulated through the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) and it is illegal to practise as a chiropractor without being registered with the GCC. All British Chiropractic Association members are registered with the GCC.
The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is the largest and longest-standing association for chiropractors in the UK, requiring the highest standards of education, training and conduct from its members. All BCA members are covered by a high quality professional indemnity insurance and the Association operates a robust professional standards and complaints management process.
Education and training The title of chiropractor is protected by law and as a result only practitioners who are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) can call themselves chiropractors. The GCC has set the standards of education in chiropractic and all chiropractors must have graduated from an accredited institution before being accepted onto the Register. The BCA only accepts graduates who have gone through a minimum four-year full-time internationally-accredited course. The syllabus covers in-depth training in a variety of subjects including life sciences, biomechanics, clinical medicine and differential diagnosis. Practitioners also undergo practical training in adjustment and supervised clinical training, where they have hands-on practice in treating patients. Graduates who are members of the BCA undertake an additional year of supervised training as a requirement of membership. The General Chiropractic Council has a mandatory requirement for chiropractors to undertake a programme of continuing professional development, (CPD), as a condition of annual re-registration.