The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association

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Professionals in the UK are fortunate in that their rights and interests are represented by a variety of different organisations, all working both to the benefit of a profession as a whole and the public it serves. Podiatrists in the UK all come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health’s Health and Care Professions Council, a licensing body which ensures that all podiatrists are adequately qualified and perform to high standards. Beyond the HPC however, there are professional bodies which act more closely with podiatrists to better represent the profession. One such institution is The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association, the focus of this article and one three podiatric bodies here in the UK (the others being The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists).

Who are The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association?

Usually abbreviated to the BCPA, The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association was founded in 1959 and is currently the largest representative of practitioners trained at the School of Surgical Chiropody at Maidenhead (SMAE). This sets The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association apart from many other podiatric bodies in that its members are specially trained in surgery.

Members of the organization complete basic training a SMAE before being granted their status as Members of the School of Surgical Chiropodists and Members of the British Chiropody and Podiatry Association, and allowed to use the letters MSSCh and MBChA indicating these memberships after their names.

These surgical qualifications are postgraduate qualifications that extend a podiatrist’s scope of practice to include a wider range of surgical procedures. When the requirements of the courses are achieved, the graduate receives a Diploma in Podiatric Medicine, which allows practitioners to perform these treatments on the wider public and grants them the opportunity to earn a Fellowship of the School of Surgical Chiropodists.

To pursue these post-graduate qualifications, podiatrists need to complete the 3 year degree in podiatry regulated and approved by the HPC.

Membership offers podiatrists the backing of an institution recognized by the government and public as training podiatrists to high standards in the area of surgery. Members are listed on the BCHA website so that anyone looking for podiatric care can find them easily, allowing for a wider clientele and the expansion of practices.

At present the BCPA represents about 7,000 podiatrists, most of whom work in private practices although some members do work in the NHS or are in on-going education. 

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