Training to become a Podiatrist (often also called a Chiropodist)
To practice as a podiatrist in the UK, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and to do this you need to successfully complete an HCPC approved Podiatry degree.
Degree courses are offered at various locations throughout the UK and take 3 or 4 years full-time to complete, dependent upon where you study. Each course varies in their structure of delivery, but all involve a lot of practical work with patients.
When applying for a course it is important that you check carefully as to the entry requirements as each School sets its own. During your studies, and in order for you to pass all of the course, you will need to show that you have an understanding of chiropody/podiatry and how it benefits patients. It will be beneficial for you to spend some time with a podiatrist to find out about podiatry first hand. In many cases this is a requirement of application to the podiatry schools.
As soon as you have graduated from university you will be eligible to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a podiatrist. In order to retain your podiatry title and remain on the register you will be required to keep up-to-date with your knowledge and skills and also paying the HCPC’s annual retention fee.
You will also be eligible to join the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and enjoy the benefits that are offered to all members. For more information on becoming a member click here.
To find a course click here
Training to become a Foot Health Practitioner (also known as FHP’s)
With the correct training, Foot Health Practitioners can safely treat the kind of general conditions that are routinely encountered in our ageing population and in those people who need regular care of corns, calluses, dry skin and problem nails for example, as well as basic mechanical problems of the feet. There is unfortunately no centralised regulated standard of training as there is for Podiatrists, and some ‘courses’ offer only a few weeks of theory and very little else. It is a fact however that correctly trained FHP’s can usefully accommodate the ageing population increase and also beneficially promote awareness of preventing and treating general foot disorders. They can establish socially valuable, responsible and often very profitable businesses, sometimes as a mature career move or a similar ‘desire for change’.
The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists had decades of experience in training Chiropodists before it became an all-degree regulated profession necessitating training by universities. We are keenly aware that a need exists for a source of high quality, academically structured training for people who wish to train in foot care, but who do not wish to go for full-time study for a minimum of three years to qualify as an HCPC registered Chiropodist/Podiatrist. Accordingly, a course recognised by the Institute and delivered by their experienced tutors is available via distance-learning and is presented in such a way as to allow access to students with or without prior medical knowledge. It is delivered over 18 months and includes detailed, supervised practical training at the Institute’s National Clinical Training Centre in Southport. Successful completion gives access to high quality indemnity insurance and a range of additional development courses.
More detailed information can be found here.
Disclaimer: completion of this course does not qualify you to use the title Chiropodist or Podiatrist