Foot Health Care Courses
The Blackford Centre for Foot Health
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When can I do the course?
- Can I start the course at any time?
Yes. You could register and start today, or next week. Whenever is right for you.
How long does it usually take to complete the course?
- The foot care course can take five months to complete. But you can do it as quickly or slowly as you want. That's the advantage of distance learning.
Do I need to finish the course within a certain time?
- You can take as long as you want. Unlike other organisations, we don't set any time limits.
What are the course costs?
- You will find the course costs by clicking here.
- Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there any extra fees?
There are no other costs or fees.
- Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?
Yes. You can make five monthly payments. You can find the cost of paying by instalments by clicking here.
- Can I get my money back if I don't like the course?
Yes. Just return the course in good condition within 60 days of receiving it, and we'll send you a full refund.
Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a school and sit tests?
- It's all done from home.
You can also choose an optional Practical Day.
Can I practise in South Africa?
- The South Africa Health Professions Act 56 of 1974 controls who may work on
Under the act, only podiatrists may do the following:
(a) Diagnose foot disorders and foot disabilities.
(b) Treat foot disorders and foot disabilities by means of:
(i) the removal of corns, callosities, plantar warts and similar keratinous lesions;
(ii) the correction of nail abnormalities;
(c) The use and prescription of treatment, medicines and corrective footwear to effect the aforesaid treatments.
- This means you may:
Help friends and family, in a non-paying role
Give advice to paying clients, but not prescribe treatment.
- You may not:
Remove corns and other lesions
Use a scalpel
Prescribe treatment or corrective footwear
- What is an appliance? (See B iii above)
Dictionary.com defines an appliance as:
a. an instrument, apparatus, or device for a particular purpose or use.
b. a piece of equipment, usually operated electrically, especially for use in the home or for performance of domestic chores, as a refrigerator, washing machine, or toaster.
So it depends on whether you regard a pair of scissors as an appliance or not. We don’t believe it is.
For the official information, click here:
- Organisations in SA
HPCSA: The Health Professions Council of South Africa
- HPCSA is a statutory body that regulates health professions in SA.
PASA: The non-official podiatrists’ association will say you must have a degree from the University of Johannesburg. It is not a regulatory body, more of a trade union.
- What this means for you
The podiatrists are jealous of their position, and want to keep others out. They want to keep their monopoly, even though this means people suffer and go without treatment.
The podiatrists have managed to persuade the government that they - and only they - can work on people’s feet. They have managed to get the legislation framed in the widest possible way.
It is up to you to decide whether you may practise as a Foot Health Care Specialist, focussing primarily on cutting toenails.
You should always take legal advice before taking any steps that could involve podiatry. We cannot be held responsible for any actions you may take. You should not take this article as legal advice.
Note: You can call yourself a Foot Health Care Specialist. There are no restrictions on the use of this title.
- About the course
The Blackford Centre course has been designed for worldwide use, and is accredited in the UK.
I live in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada etc. Is the course suitable for me?
- Yes. We have students in 28 countries. And we have two editions of the course. One is for North America and those who want to pay in US dollars. The other edition is for the UK and Europe, and people who want to pay in sterling. But we welcome payment in any currency.
How can I contact the Blackford Centre?
- There are two types of people you can contact - your tutor and a course advisor.
Your tutor marks your work, and helps you with any problems. You can email or post assignments to your tutor, whenever you want.
We don't give out the tutor's phone number, because a few people would spend all day talking to their tutors, who would never get any work done.
But sometimes students get stuck, or have an urgent question. If so, you can phone your course advisor at the Blackford Centre at any time during work hours. If you leave a message out of work hours we'll call you back the next day. You can contact your tutor as often as you want, and about anything to do with foot care.
Is the course accredited?
Is the course accredited or endorsed?
Yes. Our course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme.
This means we have undergone an external quality check to ensure that our organisation and the courses we offer meet certain quality criteria.
Endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.
To this end, the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at QLS Level 4 Award against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.
When you successfully complete this course you will receive a Certificate of Achievement and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).
Read more about course accreditation here
Will the course give me credits towards a degree or some other study?
- No. But it will help you set up and run your own practice.
And we encourage all students to continue their studies after completing the course.
What sort of jobs can I do with this qualification? Is it just a case of building your own practice? Or could you get salaried pay?
- The course is primarily for people who want to set up their own foot health practice.
There are also openings for salaried work in foot care. You could become an assitant to a podiatrist.
Will the qualification get me a job in a hospital or school?
To get a job in a public organisation, you'll probably need more qualifications than we can offer. Our course is designed to help you work with private clients.
The easiest way to earn a living is to work for yourself. So in the course we focus on how you can work as a foot care practitioner.
Are there any restrictions on me setting up as a practitioner?
- In south Africa, the title ‘Podiatrist’ is a regulated title, controlled by the HPCSA. Our course is not accredited with the HPCSA so you would not be able to practice in South Africa as a Podiatrist after completing our course. This would be a criminal offence.
The title Foot Health Care practitioner is not currently a regulated title, so you would be able to practice as a foot Health Care Practitioner.
- Most countries don't stop you setting up your own practice.
The USA has more stringent regulations.
- Can I practise in Canada?
At time of writing, it is legal to practise in Canada. See https://cafcn.ca/
What organisations can I join as a member?
- On completing the course you can join our counsellors' register free of charge, here: www.inst.org/membership/foot-care. It could bring you valuable clients.
You could also join:
- The Register for Foot Care practitioners: http://www.footreg.org/
- CAFCN, The Canadian Association of Foot Care Nurses: https://cafcn.ca/join-cafcn/
- The Foot Health Practitioner Association: http://thefhpa.co.uk/join-us/ after two years' practice.
Where can I study the course?
- Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test centre?
It's all from home.
Will I be able to get insurance?
- Yes, we provide you with the names of organisations that provide insurance to students who complete our course.
How are you different from other organisations?
- When you start comparing us with other organisations you might notice that:
- Some organisations limit the amount of time you have to complete the course. Many organisations only allow you 12 months to complete the course. And after those 12 months are up they may require you to pay a fee to continue. With our course you can take as long as you need, without paying additional fees.
- Some organisations will only give you 7 days to return your course if it’s not right for you. If our course is not what you expected and you want a full refund we allow you 60 days to return it and claim your money back.
- Some organisations will charge you an administration fee to return the course. We refund all of your fees.
How can I be sure that you're legitimate, and that you won't disappear with my money?
- Here are some answers we hope will reassure you.
- We've been in operation since 1995; so we're very established.
- We publish our physical address at the bottom of each page - and you are welcome to visit us.
- We're audited by the Quality Licence Scheme once a year (you can phone them to verify they do that).
- You can read the Reviews of our students on the web site.
- You can ask us for the contact details of former students who will talk to you about their experiences.
- We publish an Ethical statement here.
- We're registered at Companies House: registration number 352 4886
- Our VAT number is 729 1528 23
- Our Licence number granted by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 is 606843.
- Our bank is NatWest, 7 High Street, Wells, Somerset (we have money in the bank and no loans or overdraft).
- We're registered with the UK government's Register of Learning Providers (www.ukrlp.co.uk); Number 10009490.
And finally, we love what we do; and we wouldn't do anything to jeopardise it.
What does the course cover?
- You can see what we cover in the course by looking at our course content here: https://www.inst.org/foot-health-practitioner/syllabus.htm.”
The practical day
- What is the practical day?
As an added extra to the course, you can include one or more practical days. This consists of a day working 1-to-1 with a professional foot health practitioner and real life clients.
This is an optional extra for the course. Not all students want this day. Some learners already have experience, and others organise work experience for themselves.
The practical day costs £100. We recommend you take part in this later into your course, to get the full benefit of it. You can ask for it at any time during your course.
- Is the course sufficient without the practical day?
Yes. To pass the course, you don’t need to complete any practical days. But we recommend that you practise on friends and family, and complete the voluntary work when possible. This helps you apply what you're learning to a real life setting.
The course itself includes practical activity. We include case study-based assignments to help you apply your knowledge to a real life setting. And your tutor will be a practising professional, so will be able to advise on any practical questions.
- What would I do on the practical day?
You will observe the following:
- The recording of medical details
- Assessment of a clients feet, including diagnosis and discussion of treatments.
- Treatments being carried out
- Any advice being given on common musculoskeletal problems.
You will discuss:
- Health and safety
- When to refer a client to a GP, podiatrist or physiotherapist.
You will carry out:
- Trimming the toenails of at least one client
- Assist in applying a dressing or topical treatment to at least one client.
During the practical day your practitioner will answer any questions you may have. We recommend you make a note of them in advice, to make the most of your day.
- Do you cover scalpel work?
We don’t involve you in practical scalpel work. As you will be studying via distance learning, it would be unsafe for us to do so. But the course discusses scalpel work, and includes videos on it.
Any other questions?
- If you have any questions, contact us here: Contact page
an advisor on