A comparative analysis of six international chiropractic regulatory systems
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Background: The function and roles of legislation primarily provide a protective function for the public by preserving their fundamental rights. Legislation also maintains the legitimacy of the professions and aids in defining the scope of practice within the profession. Legislation may however affect the international migration of practitioners, in addition to geographical proximity, shared language, customs and educational curricula as well as historical links. There is no published literature that compares chiropractic legislation in regulated countries, thus no understanding of where possible similarities and differences exist and the impact they may have on the migration of chiropractors Objective: The main objective of the study is to aid in increasing the understanding of the values, structures and operations of various international chiropractic regulatory systems with the goal of identifying the similarities and differences (viz. compare) between these chiropractic regulatory systems. Method: Six countries with chiropractic Legislation were selected using purposive sampling based on the number of practicing chiropractors. The USA was divided into states with the top three selected according to practicing chiropractors, Canada was divided and the top province selected based on practicing chiropractors. Information and data was obtained via desk based research and additional information was gathered by the researcher from the registrar of the respective regulatory bodies. Results: A variety of factors were identified that may either aid in or hinder the mobility of chiropractors across jurisdictions. By analysing the legislative documents, it was found that regulatory bodies remain similar in content and structure however significant differences were also found. Conclusion: In conclusion, regulatory bodies and their governing documents and procedures remain similar in content and structure. However the study revealed differences factors that could possibly affect the mobility of chiropractors across jurisdictions. These areas identified included: Educational standards and processes, competency maintenance, registration requirements (local and foreign), disciplinary procedure and processes and constraints placed by supranational bodies.