Code of Ethics


In accordance with the Memorandum and Articles, all Members and Students of the Institute shall in writing undertake to adhere to the following:- (members must note that because an item is not mentioned, it does not mean that it cannot constitute a breach of Ethics).

As chiropody/podiatry in the United Kingdom is a legally regulated profession within the scope of the Health Professions Order 2001 (and subsequent amendments) attention is specifically drawn to the provisions of that act and the requirements of the legal entity created for its implementation; the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The contents of this document should be read in conjunction with the specific legal obligations and requirements placed upon Chiropodists and Podiatrists as registrants of the HCPC. Breaches of such legal requirements would additionally be regarded as breaches of the Institutes own ethical code and be dealt with in the manner laid down for such occurrence.

Members of the College of Foot health are still bound by the requirements of ethical, decent and lawful behaviour at all times and are subject to the same sanctions of the Board of Ethics as would apply to a HCPC registrant member.


  1. “Chiropody/Podiatry” means the scientific care of the foot and directly related structures of the lower limb in health and disease in line with the best evidential paradigms existing at the time of such care.
  2. “Chiropodist/Podiatrist” is a protected professional title recognised in law and may only be used by an individual registered with the HCPC if that practice is within the United Kingdom. It is a criminal offence for such titles to be used by anyone who is not currently so registered even if they possess qualifications which relate to the titles such as diploma, certificates or degrees in chiropody or podiatry or any variation thereof which could be taken to imply they are currently registered as Chiropodists/Podiatrists. Members in practice outside the United Kingdom must comply with any legislation defining titles and their use that are applicable in their country of operation.


  1. All members of the Institute of Podiatrists agree absolutely to follow the dictum of ‘primum non nocere’ and will at all times seek to ensure to the best of their professional ability and endeavours that in dealing with clients they ‘first do no harm’
  2. Registered members of the Institute may undertake the surgical and mechanical treatment of the foot and its directly related structures within the lower limb in accordance with their specific training, professional liability insurance cover and experience. This can include but is not limited to; abnormal nails, superficial excrescences occurring on the feet, corns, callosities and verrucae; the corrective and preventive treatment of congenital or acquired deformities of the feet, and the provision of appropriate appliances, orthoses and prosthetics. Non-prescription medicines which are on the ‘General Sales List’ may be utilised by all members in the course of their professional practice subject to that member having accurate and comprehensive clinical knowledge of such use.
  3. UK members currently HCPC registered as Chiropodists and Podiatrists may utilise, sell and supply those pharmacy-only medicines which are laid out in the amendment to the 1968 Medicines act recognised by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulations Agency in its guidance published in November 2006 or such amendments, and/or applicable statutory instruments, as may from time to time and for the time being be made and be in force. It is the professional responsibility of registrants to ensure that they are appropriately trained to utilise such medicines and that their knowledge is current and in line with the best practices applying at the time of such use.
  4. Suitably trained Chiropodists and Podiatrists with recognised qualifications who are appropriately registered with the HCPC and annotated for local anaesthetics (POM – A) and/or prescription only medicines, may independently upon their own clinical judgement utilise injected local anaesthetics and supply or administer the range of stated exempted prescription-only medicines as defined in accordance with the current legislation applying at any particular time (POM – S). Additionally, members who are suitably qualified and registered and annotated with the HCPC as supplementary prescribers may prescribe any appropriate medicine in line with a clinical management plan agreed between themselves, an independent prescriber (who must be a Doctor or Dentist with the right to prescribe such drugs) and the patient referred to in such a plan. It must be stressed that anaesthetics, exempted medicines and prescribing may only be utilised by registrants currently so annotated on the HCPC register and such right of use immediately terminates upon an individual leaving the register for any reason. Members who are appropriately trained and currently registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as ‘Independent Prescribers’ may prescribe on their own initiative all UK licensed medicines for conditions that are within their scope of podiatric practice and knowledge, subject to any restrictions, changes or amendments made from time to time by statutory medicines legislation.
  5. Members in practice outside the United Kingdom shall at all times comply with any and all local legislation applying to their professional practice and conduct.
  6. The Institute recognises that an individual’s scope of practice may change due to additional training or qualifications being undertaken. As a democratic organisation committed to the ongoing development of the profession of chiropody/podiatry, it does not seek to arbitrarily define or limit such scope of practice and actively encourages its members to continue learning and personal skills development to the very highest levels throughout their entire professional careers. However, it is both the ethical and legal duty of all members to only practice at any time within the scope of their own competence as defined by training or qualifications recognised by the board of education of the Institute, and within such legislation as may be applicable at such time of practice.
  7. A member has the right to examine, diagnose and treat the conditions for which he/she has been trained and within the scope of the law, without reference to a medical practitioner.


  1. A member shall at all times uphold the dignity and honour of the profession in all their actions, manner and dealings with clients and colleagues alike.
  2. A member shall in all cases beyond their scope of practice advise or refer the patient to consult an appropriately qualified colleague, medical practitioner or other healthcare professional.
  3. A member shall not give treatment to any patient, who to his knowledge is under the current care of a medical practitioner, for a specific lower leg or foot problem, without the knowledge of that practitioner.
  4. A member shall not for any reason offer treatment and/or advice to any patient known to be under the care of another member of the Institute without the consent of such member.
  5. A member having been employed as an assistant by another member, shall not at the termination of such employment, or at any future time attempt to induce any patient to leave the former employer’s practice.
  6. The friendly relations which exist between professional persons should not be affected if another member should set up in practice nearby, or by a patient changing practitioner. Institute members are expected to use their discretion in not setting up in close proximity to other members.
  7. A member shall not use the logo of the Institute without the written permission of the Institute.
  8. A member shall respect absolutely the confidence of their patients, other healthcare professionals and medical practitioners. Members must abide by the requirements of any legislation pertaining to the keeping and use of personal information regarding patients, whether such information is in physical or electronic format
  9. A member shall not offer to give tuition in the theory or practice of Chiropody/Podiatry or Foot Health Care unless he is a tutor, a licensed teacher, mentor or instructor of the Institute.
  10. All Registered Chiropodists/Podiatrists shall:

(i) Abide by the Standards of Proficiency from time to time required by the Health and Care Professions Council or the Department of Health in Ireland: and

(ii) abide by the Institute of Podiatrists Standards of Proficiency from time to time required: and

(iii) maintain a personal profile of their learning activities and continuous professional development.


  1. All professional literature utilised by a registrant shall be factual, decent and accurately reflect the qualifications, professional memberships and registrations held by the member. In particular the member should not lay claim to any skills or specialism’s with which they are not competent. Current laws applicable to advertising shall at all times be complied with.


21. As previously stated, Chiropodist and Podiatrist are titles that may only be used within the United Kingdom by persons registered with the Health and Care Professions Council whilst such individuals continue to have such registration. Their use in any other way is unlawful.

22. In the context of their professional chiropody/podiatry practice, only such qualifications and designatory letters as are recognised by the Board of Education and Executive Committee
may be publicly used by registrants.

Associates who are not HCPC registered podiatrists and chiropodists shall use only such title or titles as may be approved from time to time by the Boards of Ethics and Education of the Institute and shall in no manner present themselves as, suggest or otherwise imply themselves to be, chiropodists or podiatrists.

IoP Mission Statement

The Institute serves members throughout the whole of the profession of podiatry and podiatric medicine. Its members include chiropodists, podiatrists and podiatric surgeons, employed and self-employed at all levels of practice. The Institute certificate of membership is proof that members undertake to adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional conduct and that they have access to some of the UK’s most innovative continuing professional development training.

The Institute is a democratic organisation with the election of officers both local and national being decided bi-annually by members. All members therefore play an active role in their own affairs. For more than 60 years the Institute has followed an independent line at the forefront of the profession it serves, for the progress and well-being of both the profession and the public.