From 31 January 2020, the HCPC will open the podiatric surgery annotation for registered podiatrists. This will indicate that a podiatrist has undertaken HCPC approved training or had their experience endorsed through an HCPC approved course.
We believe the annotation is an important advance for public protection. It is also a positive step as it provides formal recognition of this specialism within the podiatry profession.
We have been able to take this step by working closely with the sector following our Council’s decision that the practice of podiatric surgery among podiatrists should be regulated in the interest of public safety, and by setting standards for podiatrists and education providers delivering training.
What does this mean for those who wish to start to train in podiatric surgery?
The HCPC has approved a number of education programmes since setting standards, allowing registered podiatrists to gain the skills and knowledge required to undertake podiatric surgery and gain the annotation, having successfully completed the programme. Any registered podiatrist without prior experience and wishing to start to practise podiatric surgery should now complete one of these programmes – please note access to these programmes is subject to entry criteria.
What does this mean for those who are already practising podiatric surgery?
We advise anyone practising podiatric surgery to take account of the HCPC standards for podiatric surgery, as the threshold standards for safe and effective practice in this area. Podiatrists already practising podiatric surgery may continue to do so, but the annotation provides formal recognition of their skills by the HCPC and provides assurance to the public that their podiatrist meets the standards.
To gain the HCPC annotation, those already practising podiatric surgery can undertake the HCPC Annotation Process as a Podiatrist Practising Podiatric Surgery programme at The University of Huddersfield in order to demonstrate that they meet the HCPC standards of proficiency. This twelve-week distance education module starts four times a year over the next two years allowing podiatrists to fit it in at a time most convenient to them.
Please note, from 1 January 2022, the only way to gain the podiatric surgery annotation will be to complete a full programme as a new student.
John Barwick, Interim CEO of HCPC said,
“We are pleased to put in place this final step towards the recognition of this specialism within the podiatry profession, complementing the setting of standards which enables us to be clear on our expectations of safe practice in this area.”
Dr Paul Chadwick, Clinical Director, College of Podiatry said,
“We welcome the development of this process. As a professional body, we recognise the value in this for safeguarding the public and showcasing the enhanced skills podiatrists practising podiatric surgery possess. We look forward to continuing to work with various stakeholders to progress the practice of podiatric surgery in the UK.”
Suzanne Rastrick, Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, NHS England said,
“Advance practice is one of the most significant developments within the Allied Health professions. I am delighted to see both standards and annotation now in place at HCPC with regards to podiatrists undertaking surgery.
“I encourage those who manage podiatrists to support their employees to undertake the appropriate educational programmes to gain the annotation. This will give their staff the formal recognition they deserve for these specialist skills and provide reassurance to patients that they have the skills and experience to practice safely.”
Moraig Rollo, Interim Associate Director NMAHP (AHPs), NHS Education for Scotland said,
“I am delighted to support Podiatric Surgery Annotation on the HCPC register. It is a positive step that provides formal recognition of Podiatric Surgery skills within the podiatry profession. It is important for professional governance and provides assurance to the public that their podiatrist meets HCPC standards of practice.”
Dr Andrew Bridgen, Senior Lecturer in Podiatry, University of Huddersfield said,
“We are very excited about the approval of the programmes at the University of Huddersfield. We have worked closely with the College of Podiatry and the HCPC to make sure these programmes deliver practice-ready students who go on to meet HCPC standards.”