Title: Communication and consent

Date: 9 October 2020

Course leaders: Mark Waters, Samantha Fennell and Steve Vogel

Cost: £109-£135


About the course

Osteopaths are required to regularly refresh their knowledge and skills in communication and consent. There is increased professional awareness of the importance of communication in osteopathic practice, but the physical nature of osteopaths’ interactions with patients means that there can still be issues around communication and consent.

This one-day online CPD starts with a session on what guidance is provided in the new Osteopathic Practice Standards (OPS) and other GOsC documents. This will then be followed by a session on best practice in communication skills with our degree course leader, Mark Waters, who has extensive experience teaching on these subjects to undergraduate and qualified osteopaths.

The afternoon sessions include:

  • a workshop on communication and consent, with Steven Vogel, osteopath and UCO Deputy Vice Chancellor
  • a session on issues surrounding communication and consent with children and their parents, presented by Samantha Fennell, osteopath and UCO PGCert in Specialist Paediatric Osteopathic Practice course leader

The day offers a valuable opportunity for you to refresh your skills and share experiences with fellow osteopaths.

Event image courtesy of Jan Chlebik.


Osteopathic practice standards (updated) and other CPD elements covered

A) Communication and patient partnership - A1, A2, A3, A4, A6, A7

B) Knowledge, skills and performance - B2, B4

C) Safety and quality in practice - C2, C4, C6

D) Professionalism - D1, D2, D3, D5, D7

Communication and consent

This event focuses explicitly on communication and consent with a range of patients, in a variety of settings, based on a selection of real practice scenarios. By looking at the professional guidance available to osteopaths and by discussing best practice with experts and other experienced delegates it satisfies all the CPD requirements in this key area.


Learning outcomes

  • Refresh and upgrade your communication and consent skills and discuss experiences and scenarios with fellow osteopaths
  • Work with others to acquire the skills, knowledge base, philosophy and personal development associated with communication and consent.
  • Become familiar with the guidance given in the new OPS and what modifications have been made in this area.
  • Understand the issues in communicating with different patient groups, including children and older adults.
  • Consider the additional challenges presented by patients with limited capacity and the judgements you can be expected to make in these circumstances.
  • Learn about incidents that have taken place within the wider healthcare arena and how they affect osteopaths working with patients



09:15 – 10:45 Communication and Consent: The New Osteopathic Practice Standards and other Guidelines for Osteopaths - Mark Waters

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 12:45 Best Practice in Communication Skills: What does this look like in the clinical environment? - Mark Waters

12:45 – 13:45 Lunch break

13:45 – 15:15 Consent and communication with patients with dementia and / or limited capacity - Steve Vogel, Osteopath

15:15 – 15:30 Break

15:30 – 17:00 Consent and communication with children patients - Samantha Fennell, Osteopath 


Course suitability

This course is suitable for qualified osteopaths.


About the course leaders

Mark Waters

Mark Waters is the course leader of the full time and part time M.Ost degrees at the University College of Osteopathy (UCO). Mark has been working in osteopathic education for thirteen years and brings his extensive experience as an educator to ensuring that the undergraduate provision at UCO is delivered in a way that reflects the best pedagogy and the latest academic thinking.  Mark has been working as a teacher in various settings for two and a half decades and has built learning opportunities for children and adults across all levels from early years to postgraduate. 

Following a number of years focusing on the care and development of children with special needs and disabilities, Mark trained and then worked as a primary school teacher. Mark made the move to Higher Education joining UCO (then BSO) in 2006. Initially taking the role of academic learning adviser he quickly moved into course management, becoming the access to HE diploma course leader in his first year with the organisation. This lead to him taking responsibility for the mixed mode degree pathway and then later he headed up the development of the UCO’s first entirely part-time M.Ost programme, validated in 2013. Mark has been running this degree since its inception and extended his responsibilities in this area by taking on management of the full time degree in August 2018. Mark has also taught a number of subjects to UCO students, including academic learning techniques, professionalism, ethics, communication skills and research practices, and delivers elements of the UCO's PGCert ACE course and CPD programme.

In addition to his various roles at the UCO Mark sits on the quality and development committee of LASER learning awards. He has continued to build on his qualifications and experience, completing an MA in education in August 2010. Mark is passionate about education and osteopathy and has conducted research on preparedness for practice, e-learning, collaborative learning and assessment many elements of which he has presented at conference.

Mark says he believes one of his main roles as a course leader is focusing on the student's learning experience. He enjoys working closely with undergraduates to make sure that they get the most out of their time studying here. It is this part of his job that gives him the greatest satisfaction.

Outside the UCO Mark is the chair of governors at an outstanding primary school, enjoys running and cycling and is fanatical about cinema, writing film reviews for a small London publication and his own movie blog.

Samantha Fennell

A former graduate of the UCO, Samantha now heads up the Postgraduate Certificate in Specialist Paediatric Osteopathic Practice (SPOP) using innovation, evidence based and patient centred approaches to meet the needs of varied patients that are seen within the paediatric clinic.

Samantha was a member of UCO clinic faculty for eight years before stepping into the course leader role so knows first-hand some of the challenges that students face on their journey to becoming an osteopath.  

As an active member of faculty and the wider Osteopathic Community, Samantha sits on several of our committees and is part the General Osteopathic Council steering group looking at minimum standards in paediatric practice. Her specialist area is paediatrics and she continues to lecture in this subject both in the UK and Europe, delivering an evidence-based approach to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

She is an enthusiastic senior member of staff who when not at the university heads up The Jamii Project, a social enterprise working with young people not in education, employment or training. Her passion is to see osteopathy recognised in remote areas of the world so regularly works alongside a UK medical team in Burma with displaced indigenous people.


Steven Vogel

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), The University College of Osteopathy. Editor-in-Chief, The International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine

Most of Steven’s working time is spent on research and education at the University College of Osteopathy. He held a clinical post as an osteopath in an NHS primary care setting for many years. His recent research has focused on reassurance, communication and consent, and safety in manual therapy. He was the lead researcher in the largest UK study investigating patient and osteopath’s experience of risk management and adverse events and consent. Steven has published widely and been involved in the development of NICE’s clinical guidelines for low back pain and sciatica. 

Cancellation policy

The UCO regrets that no refunds can be made for cancelled places unless a substitute participant can be found.  The UCO cannot guarantee that any course will run.  In the event of your course being cancelled, all paid fees and deposits will be refunded in full.