The History of the IoP

The Institute of Podiatrists (IoP) traces its direct roots back nearly a century, to when a number of professional chiropody organisations throughout the United Kingdom came together at a meeting in London in 1938, to form a national professional body called the Joint Council of Chiropodists (JCC). The intent of the amalgamation was to standardise training, the ethical responsibilities of practitioners, introduce professional indemnity insurance for the protection of clients, and both raise the profile of and guide the future development of the profession of Chiropody. Many of these founding bodies were themselves amalgamations of smaller regional associations, and it is very possible that their roots in turn may predate the 20th Century, because it is known that the title Chiropodist and Chiropody was in common usage in the mid 1800’s – Queen Victoria had a Surgeon-Chiropodist named Lewis Durlacher (1792 – 1864) *

The organisations which amalgamated to form the JCC in 1938 were : The Metropolitan Federation of Chiropodists (founded 1920), The Western Association of Chiropodists (founded 1920), The Scottish Incorporation of Podiatrists (founded 1928 and arguably one of, if not the first, recorded uses in the UK of the title Podiatrist), The London and Provincial Chiropodists Association (founded 1929), The Yorkshire Association of Chiropodists (founded 1929) and The Westminster Association of Chiropodists (founded 1936).

In 1955 the JCC decided to register as a limited company to better administrate the national affairs of a national professional organisation which by this time had assumed substantial teaching responsibilities. It therefore duly became the Institute of Chiropodists (IoC) with specific permission granted to it by the Governments Board of Trade to dispense with the need to place Limited after its title.

In 1995 to recognise the increasing use of the professional title Podiatrist and to reflect that most entry level university degrees into the profession now include it, for example BSc (podiatric medicine) and BSc (podiatry) etc, we changed our name to The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IoCP).

Today, podiatry is the term almost exclusively accepted and used within modern, professional medicine. Its roots ‘pod’ and ‘iatros’ meaning ‘foot’ and ‘physician or healer’ being much more appropriate. For this reason, in 2024, our organisation changed its name to The Institute of Podiatrists (IoP).

The IoP is incredibly proud and passionate of our founding principles, that we still continue to adhere to; supporting best practice in the field of scientific medical treatments of the foot and associated structures , the highest standards of ethics in those granted membership, indemnity protection of both practitioner and patient, and constantly seeking to raise the profile of our socially useful profession.

* Durlacher held the appointment as Surgeon-Chiropodist to the Medical Department of the Royal Household of King George IV, King William IV and Queen Victoria. On one occasion he demonstrated his operation for ingrowing toe-nail at the Hospital of Surgery in Panton Square, London. He wrote A Treatise on Corns, Bunions, the Diseases of Nails and the General Management of the Feet (London, Simpkin, Marshall and Co., I845), From: Dagnall, JC. Med Hist. 1958 Jan; 2(1): 68–69.