Chiropody and podiatry are interchangeable terms. In recent years the governing body for chiropodists aimed to raise the profile of the profession by changing our title to podiatrists. This aimed to align ourselves with our American counterparts who train as podiatry surgeons which is an option a university podiatry graduate may pursue here. However, the term chiropody remained resilient in the public psyche and a recent vote decided in favour of keeping both terms.
Our titles are legally protected creating a closed profession.
Non-graduate practitioners have either been grandfathered in by completing a set amount of years practice or by taking further training.
Both graduates (formerly state registered) and non-graduates in these categories must then be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) by law.
Only University graduates will be recognised by the letters BSc Podiatry, BSc Hons Podiatry or formerly DPodM.
Absence of these letters denotes a non graduate practitioner.
There is a further category of practitioner to date which you may see advertise as ‘Foot Health Practitioners’. These are not registered with the HCPC and are not legally allowed to call themselves chiropodists or podiatrists.
I hope this allays the confusion about the professional title and qualifications.
If you are not sure about the qualification of your podiatrist
Firstly, check the register at HCPC-uk.org/check
Then ASK your podiatrist about their training and check their qualifications. It is your legal right to know and gives you an informed choice when choosing your health care professional.
Finally, Chiropodists and Podiatrists must have medical indemnity insurance within their scope of practice.