Many people ask what the difference is between these two professions. In reality there is not much difference at all.
What is the difference between chiropody and podiatry?
The title ‘Podiatrist’ or ‘Chiropodist’ is a somewhat protected title. This means you cannot call yourself either title without being registered with the Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC). A qualified podiatrist or chiropodist has either gone through a ‘Grandparenting scheme’ with the HCPC (and therefore have been qualified for at least 3 years and can show extended learning) or have studied for 3 years to gain a degree (BSc) in Podiatry. They both specialise in deformities of the lower limb.
In recent years. the programme of learning has advanced to that of Degree level, a course spanning 3 years, encompassing the entirety of the lower limb, dermatological conditions, sports and musculoskeletal podiatry (including gait analysis), paediatrics and nail surgery. The title ‘Podiatrist’ is given to this lower limb specialist.
Therefore, in reality the two titles are correct, “podiatry” encompasses more advanced procedures such as nail surgery and biomechanical assessments that the more traditional ‘chiropodists’ are not trained to carry out.
Podiatrists are autonomous healthcare professionals who aim to improve the mobility, independence and quality of life for their patients.
They assess, diagnose and treat people with problems of the feet, ankles and lower limbs. This can include providing the following services:
Who can be registered as a Podiatrist or Chiropodist?
Only podiatrists (or chiropodists) who have achieved the BSc in Podiatry may be registered with the Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC). Always check that your podiatrist is HCPC registered. If they are not, it could mean that they are not fully trained and are practising under the title ‘Podiatrist or Chiropodist’ illegally.