Making sense of podiatry for the public

A key part of Foot Health Week is about trying to improve the public's understanding of the profession, and the importance of maintaining good foot health. This page distils some of the key messages everyone needs to know.

What is Foot Health Week?

Foot Health Week is our national campaign dedicated to promoting the importance of healthy feet and podiatry.

This year's campaign starts on Monday 22 April and it finishes on Sunday 28 April. During this time, the College and its members will be campaigning about the importance of good foot and lower limb health and the role that podiatric interventions can play in keeping people healthy, active and pain-free.

Members can download resources for promoting Foot Health Week here.

What is a podiatrist?

Podiatrists are experts in all aspects of foot and lower limb health

Their scope of practice ranges from everyday footcare needs such as issues with toenails, calluses and corns, and treating and avoiding infections, all the way to early detection and diagnosis, minor surgery, sports injuries, healing wounds and preventing amputations. Podiatrists cover a large range of issues in the lower limb including:
  • General foot health
  • Musculoskeletal podiatry such as joint pain, sports injuries, walking analysis and rehabilitation
  • Minor surgery under local anaesthetic - this includes ingrown toenail removal
  • Vascular podiatry - ensuring your circulation works the best way it can in your lower limbs
  • Skin conditions
  • Wound care
  • High-risk limb care for those with complex health needs.

You can also read more about lots of common foot conditions or download our free guide to foot health.

This is only scratching the surface of what a podiatrist can do!

Some have completed further training to become podiatric surgeons, operating on bone and joint conditions in the foot. No matter your age or foot issue, there is a podiatrist that is right for you.

I thought that chiropodists dealt with footcare?

The profession used to be known as chiropody until the qualification changed from a dipolma in chiropody to an Honours degree in Podiatric Medicine. There is no difference between a chiropodist's and a podiatrist's service. Podiatrists are trained to degree level and are Allied Health Professionals. In the UK, podiatry is a regulated profession. All podiatrists must be Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered. You can check that your foot care provider is registered at

Podiatrists sound amazing! How can I get help with my foot problem?

You can find a private clinic near you using our Find a Podiatrist service. You can also check with your local NHS to find out what NHS podiatry services are available in your area. Services vary depending on your local NHS Trust or Health Board and self-referral may be available. Many health insurance companies will also cover podiatry services. Check with your insurance provider for details.

What is the Royal College of Podiatry?

The Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod) is the voice of podiatry in the UK. It speaks to the public, media, government bodies and other organisations about the importance of podiatry and the many lives it saves. We are the professional body and trade union for podiatrists and are the academic authority in the UK. The College does not provide training in podiatry but accredits the training provided by the many universities across the UK including undergraduate degrees, apprenticeships and pre-registration masters.