WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
“As a mum I wanted a job where I was able to work flexibly and not just stuck in an office. I love being out & about visiting my clients”
— Elizabeth Dutton, Foot Care Practitioner
Working as a Foot Care Practitioner is a job for people who like people and who prefer to work independently at a time that suits them. You can chose to work part-time or build your practice up to full-time. Many FCP's employ other staff as part of their business.
Your primary role is to provide treatment to those with foot problems. So you are treating people with a need, and this need is rising as we have an ageing population and ever smaller NHS budget for feet.
Your work will involve diagnosing and treating common foot problems as well as giving advice to help people keep their feet in a healthy condition.
Training with us also includes support to help you with get started in your new business. This support is available during your training, but also extends well after you qualify.
TYPES OF WORK
Many newly qualified FCP's begin working providing a domiciliary (home visit) service. This has absolutely minimal overheads in terms of marketing and equipment allowing you to earn an income straight away. You will find that most of your clients will chose to re-book at six to eight week intervals meaning your business should grow quickly.
For most FCP's the mainstay of work involves cutting and thinning nails, the treatment of common skin conditions (corns, callus, verruca) and ingrowing toe nails.
If you chose to study further then you can also learn to treat more complex conditions such as plantar fasciitis (a type of heel pain) and other conditions of the musculo-skeletal system. These more complex areas can attract much high fees.
WILL I FIND ENOUGH WORK?
Like most European countries the UK is facing a rapidly ageing population and foot problems increase with age. At the same time the NHS which employs Podiatrists is under ever increasing pressure to focus resources into serious foot problems such as diabetic foot ulceration.
This can mean that people with foot problems who are not diabetic are left with no option but to seek care from the private sector.
DO I HAVE TO BUY OR LEASE A PREMISES?
No is the short answer. Most people do not have the capital to buy or lease a clinical premises when they start out and build their client base with a visiting practice to start with.
WILL I NEED INSURANCE TO WORK?
We advise all of our students to have indemnity insurance and we have negotiated this for you already. Our insurance packages are offered to you at cost and we take no commission from you. Depending on the level of cover you can expect to pay £15-£25 per month for your insurance through us.
DO I NEED A DEGREE TO BE A FOOT CARE PRACTITIONER?
No you most certainly don't. You do need to have great communication skills, after all you will be working with clients. Our theory course takes you through all you need to know to qualify and includes huge amounts of reference material for when you need it. If you have commonsense you should have no problem in achieving your goal.
ARE FHP'S THE SAME AS CHIROPODISTS & PODIATRISTS?
No, absolutely not. The terms Podiatrists and Chiropodists are legally protected titles for practitioners who are the HCPC register. To train as a Podiatrists takes a minimum of three years on an approved university course. Once qualified and on the register you are eligible to work within the NHS or private sector. This training is tough but does offer a rewarding career for those who can afford the fees, time and are able to get through the course.
FHP's are trained on shorter courses often delivered more flexibly. The training covers the management of a wide range of basic foot conditions. We believe that by working with very senior and well-respect clinicians, our training programme offers the best training.
We would expect FHP's qualifying through our school to always work within their scope of practice and to seek advice from senior colleagues where appropriate.