Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry)

The Role(s)

Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry)

An Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry) is a podiatry support worker. They may also be known as Foot Care Assistants or Podiatry Assistants: these titles now come under the one title of Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry)

Assistant Practitioners (APs) work alongside registered Podiatrists to deliver care of the feet and lower limbs. APs work alongside Podiatrists to provide general routine foot treatments, assist with minor surgeries, apply dressings and advise on foot health including public health messages.

Assistant Practitioners (Podiatry) support Podiatrists to treat patients of all ages, suffering from, but not limited to, conditions such as:

  • Sports related injuries and biomechanical disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • Skin conditions
  • Ingrowing toenails


Assistant Practitioners (Podiatry) will be directly involved in the following:

  • Personal foot care
  • Manufacturing orthotics
  • Wound management
  • Diabetic foot screening
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound
  • Patient preparation
  • Clinical environment management
  • Health education talks
  • Advice on footwear and foot health

 Within NHSScotland, Assistant Practitioners (Podiatry) work in many different areas including health centres, GP practices, community clinics, hospitals, social service homes and many others. APs work within the larger multidisciplinary team and play an important role in the delivery of holistic care to patients.



Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skills include:

  • practical skills and good hand-eye coordination
  • strong communication skills
  • a caring and understanding manner
  • good team-working skills
  • IT skills
  • excellent work ethic

Useful abilities include:

  • the ability to work with people from different lifestyles or backgrounds
  • the ability to work with different equipment and materials
  • the ability to manage your own time and work schedule

Entry Requirements

To apply for a job as an Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry), a good standard of education is required including English and Maths. Previous voluntary or paid work experience in a healthcare setting would be an advantage.

The specific entry requirements will depend on the agenda for change banding for the job. The qualifications asked for may vary depending on the recruiting NHS Scotland board. It would be advisable to contact each individual board to find out its specific requirements.

You may also be encouraged to work towards an SQA SQV level 2 or level 3 Clinical Healthcare Support.

Additionally you will also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Adults scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.

You will also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is a framework for people interested in working in a clinical healthcare setting.

Contact your local Board to find out if this Modern Apprenticeship is available in your area.

For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at


Learning and Development

Those working as Assistant Practitioners (Podiatry) in NHSScotland will be given the training needed for the job including

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • record keeping
  • skin and nail pathologies
  • microbiology
  • anatomy and physiology
  • foot conditions
  • nail operations

Working closely with Podiatrists and experienced support workers, and by completing a supervised programme of training, you will be able to develop your skills.

You may also be encouraged to work towards further education qualifications, such as;


Professional Bodies

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

Assistant Practitioners are eligible for associate membership of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists providing the agreed training and practice levels are met. The Society provide courses, conferences and seminars for APs to update their skills and network with others undertaking similar work. Visit The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists website to find out more.