About Chiropodists and Podiatrists


Chiropodists and Podiatrists are regulated health professionals who assess, diagnose, and treat a broad range of medical conditions of the foot. Chiropodists and Podiatrists practice in a variety of health care settings that include private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, multi-healthcare discipline clinics and private home visits.

Who Can Practice as a Chiropodist or Podiatrist?
Only individuals who have successfully passed the College of Chiropodists of Ontario registration examination, registered with the College as a Registrant and maintain membership as a Registrant in good standing, can:

  • Use one of the two protected titles, Chiropodist or Podiatrist, depending on the Registrant’s Certificate of Registration; and
  • Perform the following authorized acts, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his or her Certificate of Registration:
  1. Cutting into subcutaneous tissues of the foot.
  2. Administering, by injection into feet, a substance designated in the regulations.
  3. Prescribing drugs designated in the regulations.
  4. Administering, by inhalation, a substance designated in the regulations.
  1. Communicating a diagnosis identifying a disease or disorder of the foot as the cause of a person’s symptoms.
  2. Cutting into subcutaneous tissues of the foot and bony tissues of the forefoot.
  3. Administering, by injection into feet, a substance designated in the regulations.
  4. Prescribing drugs designated in the regulations.
  5. Administering, by inhalation, a substance designated in the regulations.
What Educational Pre-requisites are Required to Register as a Chiropodist or Podiatrist in Ontario?

Prior to 1982, regulated footcare services were provided in Ontario only by United States trained Podiatrists who graduated from one of the approved programs of Podiatric Medicine and were conferred the academic designation, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.).

In 1982, George Brown College, together with the Toronto Institute of Medical Technology, began the Ontario based Chiropody program. Graduates of this program were conferred the academic designation, Diploma of Chiropody (D.Ch.). For only two years, the Ontario based program conferred the academic designation, Diploma of Podiatric Medicine (D.Pod.M.).

In more recent years, the Ontario based chiropody education is being offered by the Michener Institute of Education at UHN and graduates are conferred the academic designation Advanced Diploma Chiropody.

Some Registrants of the College were trained in an approved program at the University of Quebec – Trois Rivières in Quebec, Canada and were conferred the academic designation Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.)

The College also has members who obtained their requisite educational preparation from approved academic programs in the United Kingdom, with the academic designations conferred to them that may include one of the following: State Registered Chiropodist (S.R.Ch.), Bachelor of Podiatry (B.Sc.Pod.), Bachelor of Podiatry (B.Sc.(Hons)Pod.), Diploma of Podiatric Medicine (D. Pod. M.) .

Some Registrants of the College were trained in an approved program in South Africa and were conferred the academic designation BSc (Hons)(Podiatric Studies)

Only Registrants who hold the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree, and were registered before July 31, 1993, are permitted to use the protected title of Podiatrist, and are permitted to practice under the Podiatrist scope of practice. Any member who registered after July 31, 1993, regardless of academic education obtained, must use the title Chiropodist, and must practice under the chiropodist scope of practice.

Additional Information

The College supports the transition to the Podiatry Model to ensure the streamlining of registration pathways for healthcare professionals who wish to practice footcare in Ontario. Learn about the Podiatry Model in Ontario.


What Foot Conditions Are Treated by Chiropodists or Podiatrists?

The Foot Conditions Treated by Chiropodists or Podiatrists include, but are not limited to:

  • nail and skin disorders, including high risk wound care for diabetics or those with vascular compromise;
  • musculo-skeletal disorders such as might occur with injury, overuse syndromes, sports-related conditions, genetic or acquired deformities of the foot; and
  • lower extremity and postural related concerns caused by underlying foot conditions.

In the interest of patient safety and the public well-being, all Registrants of the College are required to maintain the highest standards of infection control in the practice setting in which they are providing care to a member of the public.  

What Treatment Methods Do Registrants Of The College Use?
Treatment methods offered by Registrants of this College to address the above conditions include, but are not limited to:

Additionally, Registrants of the College who have four years of continuous education in chiropody, such as members who hold the academic degree, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), are authorized to order or take X-rays and utilize fluoroscopy for imaging of the foot.

** Please note that the range of diagnostic and treatment options offered by a given Registrant may vary based upon their class of registration with the College, either a Chiropodist or Podiatrist, as well as on the individual competencies and training of a Registrant. Prospective patients are advised to enquire about the range of treatments provided by a Chiropodist or Podiatrist at their practice in advance of seeking an appointment to ensure that any available treatment options are aligned with their expectations and needs.

What Should I Expect at My First Appointment with My Chiropodist or Podiatrist?

When visiting a Registrant of this College for the first time, patients should expect to be asked a series of questions about their specific foot ailment, as well as questions relating to their general health history, medications they are taking, activity level, and foot concerns. This provides relevant information to the Registrant that is important in assisting them to properly determine the cause of the patient’s foot concern. Patients will be asked to sign a consent to treatment to permit the examinations and/or any treatments the Registrant deems appropriate and necessary.

Do I Need To Provide My Medical History?

The Registrant will gather information about the patient’s medical health history, as well as family health history as deemed necessary. In addition, the Registrant will record any medications the patient is currently taking or has taken in the past that might be of importance. Further, the Registrant may enquire as to activity level of the patient, leisure pursuits, treatments provided in the past by other Registrants or healthcare providers. Patients should know that Registrants of the College are obligated to maintain patient’s health information with the strictest measures to ensure patient’s privacy in these matters.

What Is Informed Consent and the Consent to Treatment Form?

Registrants are obligated to explain the proposed treatments to their patients and to receive the patient’s informed consent for a proposed treatment. Patients, or their legal guardians, have the right to receive sufficient information in order to make an informed decision on whether to accept treatment. Consent must be informed by means of a meaningful dialogue between the Registrant and the patient, or legal guardian, and should include, but not be limited to, the topics of the financial charges associated with a proposed treatment plan, the risks and benefits of undertaking or not undertaking a proposed treatment plan, and what recourse exists if the expected outcomes are not realized. In many instances, this may require the review and signing of a specific Consent to Treatment Form by the patient/legal guardian and the Registrant. It is the Registrant’s responsibility to ensure that their patient understands and consents to their assessments or treatments before any treatments begin.

What Is The Purpose Of The Assessment?

The purpose of the assessment is to gather and record the objective findings of the examinations conducted by the Registrant. This will include a physical examination of the patient’s feet and lower extremity but may also include items such as an assessment of vascular circulation, a neurological assessment, x-ray examination of the feet, a gait analysis, a biomechanical assessment, and other such evaluations, depending on the presenting concerns.  Following these evaluations, the Registrant should be able to share with the patient the findings of the assessments or the diagnosis, and/or other possible causes (differential diagnoses), and outline an appropriate treatment. In some instances, the Registrant may decide that a referral to the patient’s family doctor is needed to pursue further investigations or evaluations outside of the scope of the Registrant. All the findings of the assessment should be communicated to the patient by the Registrant.

Will I Receive A Treatment Plan?

Following the assessment, and where a diagnosis is determined, the Registrant can then provide a treatment plan in accordance with the Registrant’s permitted scope of practice and in accordance with the patient’s needs and best interests.

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