The History of BCOM

History of BCOM

Stanley Lief

BCOM was founded as the British College of Naturopathy in 1936 by Stanley Lief. He was born in Latvia in 1892 and moved to Johannesburg at the age of three. Inspired by Bernharr Macfadden’s magazine “Physical Culture”, Stanley enrolled at the Bernarr Macfadden School in America.

After graduation he came to England to manage an institution in Brighton, and then went into private practice in Bristol. He went on to open his own Nature Cure home in Buckinghamshire and founded “Health for All” magazine.

In 1925 Stanley opened the famous Champneys Spa in Tring, Hertfordshire, and there had many years of successful practice. Frazer House was donated to Lief by one of his patients.

Stanley Lief was truly a pioneer and held in the highest esteem by his colleagues and students. He was Dean of the College from 1936 to 1963, and President of the British Naturopathic and Osteopathic Association three times between 1945 and 1956.

To find out more about Stanley Lief click here.

History of Frazer House

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The College has been at its present site in Netherhall Gardens since 1953 years. The spacious old building is named after Hector Frazer, who purchased and gave the property to the British Naturopathic & Osteopathic Association as a token of gratitude for the benefit he and his wife received from treatment given to them by Stanley Lief, founder of the College.

The house was large enough to provide lecture rooms and accommodation for a Clinic with treatment rooms for out-patients. It also had a spacious, panelled hall with an overlooking balcony, which was very suitable for lectures, conferences and receptions and an equally spacious room for use as a student common room. At this time the College had 28 students.

The official opening of the building as the British College of Naturopathy took place on 2nd October 1954. It had been decided unanimously that the house would be called ‘Frazer House’ in honour of the generous benefactor who performed the opening ceremony.

The original House was designed in the second half of the nineteenth century by two eminent architects, Batterbury and Huxley. Completed in 1883, it had been commissioned by the artist Thomas Davidson, whose paintings are in the Greenwich Maritime Museum.

Since the College’s official opening at the site in 1954 there have been major building developments including three extensions to Frazer House in 1980, 1989 and 2004.

BCOM's Timeline

  • 1936 - British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy (BCNO) founded by Stanley Lief
  • 1942 - The College's initial site is destroyed by a direct hit from a bomb in the Blitz
  • 1949 - The College moves to Craven Terrace, Bayswater
  • 1953 - Hector Frazer donates Frazer House to the College
  • 1954 - The first year of teaching takes place at Frazer House
  • 1989 - Accreditation by the General Council and Register of Osteopaths (GCRO - the original private professional register)
  • 1992 - Honours degree validated by the University of Westminster
  • 1994 - Conversion degree validated by the University of Westminster
  • 1996 - Lief House site opened by Glenda Jackson MP
  • 1998 - Satellite clinic at Soho Community Hospital in London's West End opened
  • 1999 - RQ awarded to BCOM by the new professional register, the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)
  • 1999 - The College launches the International Conference on Advances in Osteopathic Research (ICAOR)
  • 2002 - BCNO becomes the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM)
  • 2003 - Frazer House extension completed
  • 2005 - Sector-leading research laboratory completed at Lief House
  • 2006 - New 3+2 Masters Pathway given approval by the University of Westminster
  • 2008 - BCOM validates its innovative undergraduate Masters in Osteopathy degree with London Metropolitan University
  • 2011 - BCOM celebrates its 75th Anniversary
  • 2012 - New validation relationship formed with the University of Plymouth
  • 2012 - BCOM Faculty members on Host Nation Medical Team at London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
  • 2013 - BCOM awarded Recognised Qualification status "approval without conditions” from the GOsC/QAA RQ report for the second consecutive time
  • 2016 - BCOM celebrates its 80th Anniversary
  • 2018 - BCOM awarded Recognised Qualification (RQ) status "approval without conditions" from the GOsC/QAA report for the third consecutive time
  • 2019 - BCOM accepted onto the Office for Students (OfS) Register of English higher education providers
  • 2020  - Local MP Tulip Siddiq visits BCOM
  • 2020 - BCOM adapts to the Covid-19 pandemic and moves teaching and patient consultations online
  • 2021 - BCOM merges with the European School of Osteopathy (ESO) under the BCNO Group with Princess Eugenie as Royal Patron
  • 2022 - BCNO Group introduces a BSc (Hons) Osteopathy enabling students to work and study at the same time
  • March 2023 - Princess Eugenie visits BCOM
  • September 2023  - Sale of Lief House site and consolidation of all academic and teaching activity in one building, Frazer House