Foot Health Care Courses
The Blackford Centre for Foot Health
In South Africa, podiatrists are regulated by HPCSA. This course does not entitle you to provide treatments listed in the regulations for podiatrists. For more information, click here
Here's our promise to you:
Just weeks from now, you'll be working as a certified Foot Health Practitioner, restoring people's feet to health.
Isn't that an amazing thought? As a foot health practitioner your services will be in big demand. That's because:
- 30% of senior citizens can't cut their own toenails.
- 75% of the adult population has some form of foot problem.
- We walk 75,000 miles in our lifetime – no wonder people have feet problems.
- There are 250,000 sweat glands in each pair of feet. They produce as much as half a pint of moisture each day.
- Many of us wear ill fitting shoes, without realising it. These shoes cause further problems.
So, you're here at The Blackford Centre website because you've thought about becoming a practitioner?
Congratulations. It's a rewarding career. Here are some of the reasons why you'll love it:
- You'll get a new career working with a growing number of clients.
- You'll make a big difference to the lives of others, reducing their suffering and increasing their mobility.
- You'll be your own boss. You'll no longer be subject to an unrewarding daily grind and be dictated to by others.
- You can work only the hours you choose. That means you get the freedom to care for children or elderly parents, or just get a better work-life balance.
That’s why becoming a foot health care professional makes sense.
Foot care: it's a massive problem
Most people never think about their feet – until there's a problem. And foot issues are surprisingly common. After all, we spend at least four hours each day on our feet.
Our feet take a hammering; and when you add poorly fitting shoes and high heels to the mix it’s a recipe for bunions, calluses, corns, ingrown toenails and many other painful foot conditions.
Some of these foot conditions lead to more serious problems, including knee, hip, and back pain and require time off work.
Foot related issues only get worse as we age. And because the baby boomer generation is nearing retirement there are now more elderly people than ever. So there's a growing demand for foot health practitioners.
But everyone, young and old needs to look after their feet. And that’s where you can step up to the challenge, provide a wonderful service and earn good money.
My tutor was amazing. I loved the course it was so informative and interesting.
The section on finances, prices and how to conduct your business in was fantastic.
This course is perfect and I loved it. Also the people at the Blackford centre were always so lovely supportive and informative.
Thank you so much I now love my job!
- Sara Summers
What treatments can you offer?
Here are the problems you'll learn to manage:
- Treat athlete’s foot
- Treat blisters
- Remove corns
- Remove hard skin
- Treat chilblains
- Advise on gout
- Cut in-growing toenails
- Manage verrucas
- Help sweaty feet
- Ease the pain of arthritis.
- Manage the problem of poor-fitting shoes
- Resolve the problems caused by damage inflicted by running and playing sports.
- Ease foot ulcers
These are all serious, incapacitating problems. They stop people from enjoying normal life. Anyone can quickly become 'disabled' from any of these problems. It will be your job to make them 'able bodied' once more. What greater gift can there be than that?
On the course you'll learn the precise methods we use to solve each problem. There's a video for each treatment. You can watch the videos as often as you want, so you'll see exactly what to do.
So, what exactly does a Foot Health Care Practitioner do?
A foot health care practitioner is a professional who cares for people’s feet, and brings comfort and relief to a wide range of foot conditions.
This profession is now recognised by the NHS where it is known as a 'podiatry assistant'. You may even call yourself a podologist, which is an emerging term for someone who treats foot and gait problems. We prefer the more usual term 'foot health care practitioner'.
As a foot health care practitioner you will have the opportunity to treat a wide range of cases and clients including:
- Elderly people
- Minor procedures such as nail surgery or laser treatment
- Sports injuries
- Dancers who may develop foot problems from long hours of punishing rehearsal and performance
- Workers who spend long hours on their feet
- Giving advice about footwear or foot health
- Children who are suffering from lower limb pain or have problems walking
- Diabetes patients—diabetes can cause serious problems with circulation
There will never be a dull moment as you deal with a wide spectrum of foot problems and meet some fascinating people.
There's a large gap in the health industry for these services. Many foot problems cause pain but aren't serious enough for the person to see a doctor or be referred to a hospital. And clients are often reluctant to pay high professional fees to clinical podiatrists..
This is where you, as a foot health practitioner, come in. Many foot issues can be quickly resolved through a visit to a foot health professional without the unnecessary expense of a trip to a specialist. This is your opportunity to establish yourself in a growing area of need.
As a foot health care professional or podiatry assistant you can make a real difference in the lives of those around yo. You'll earn a good income in an enormously satisfying profession.
Chiropodist, podiatrist, foot health practitioner – what do these words mean?
There's no difference between the word 'podiatrist' and 'chiropodist'. They mean the same thing.
In South Africa, the UK and many other countries, 'podiatrist' and 'chiropodist' are protected titles. You would need long periods of intensive study at specialised locations to earn the right to use those titles.
'Foot health practitioner' is not a protected title. Nor is 'podologist'. That means you can train with us and quickly become a practitioner.
How can I step into this profession?
It’s surprisingly easy to change direction, and become the independent professional you’ve always dreamed of being.
And The Blackford Centre’s Diploma in Foot Health Care is all you need to enter this career.
The course is home-study, which lets you learn at your own pace, and with no classroom attendance required. You'll have your own tutor, who will be a practising foot care practitioner.
When you successfully complete the course you'll get a Foot Care Practitioner Diploma from the Blackford Centre, and a Level 4 Award from ABC Awards.
The course covers all aspects of foot care. So when you set up your own practice you'll know what to do in every instance.
We also give you the information you'll need to get your own foot health care business up and running.
You can choose from two editions of the course, the printed and online edition that gives you printed hard copy of the modules, and the cheaper online-only edition.
Our in-depth modules are supported by videos that demonstrate real-life situations and treatment scenarios. It feels like you’re there in person watching and learning alongside the expert.
What will I learn in the Diploma?
In the 9 modules you'll learn about:
- Anatomy and physiology of the foot and leg
- How comfortable supportive footwear works, and what happens when it doesn’t
- How to treat common foot problems including yeast infections such as athlete's foot, blisters, bunions and other toe deformities, corns and calluses, cracks in the skin, chilblains, gout, nail problems, and many others.
- Treatment procedures
- Hygiene practices
- Where to buy professional supplies and equipment at discounted rates
- Legal aspects of a professional practice
- How to set up your practice
- How to get cheap insurance
- How much to charge
- How to find clients
This course has been designed by practising foot care professionals, and is fully up to date.
Great course and fantastic feedback and support from my tutor
- Krystyna Preisner
What can I charge?
As a foot health practitioner, you can charge R250 for cutting someone's toenails, a task that can take no more than 15 minutes. That works out at R1,000 an hour.
For an initial consultation that could take 45 minutes you might charge R500. And you would expect many return visits from the same client.
The Blackford FEET methodology
The Blackford FEET method is a structured system for diagnosing and treating feet problems.
The system helps you act in a professional manner, and ensures you don't overlook anything.
FEET represents best practice in foot health care. It's an easy to remember mnemonic, consisting of the following steps, which we expand on in the course:
Find out: Identify the problem.
Examination: Shoe. Ankle. Feet. Toes. Nails.
Evaluation: Wounds, Oedema, Blistering, Infection.
Treatment: Cutting. Bandaging. Topical Application. Referral. Charging. Follow up.
As a learner you will receive a free FEET Sheet that provides a rapid reminder of the steps involved as well as a detailed list of actions. It is especially valuable for your early client meetings.
How will the course help me?
Stepping into new and uncharted territory can be scary. We know that. Transformation always involves something new, a step into the unknown. Here at the Blackford Centre we understand those questions and fears that may have prevented you from moving in a new direction in the past.
That’s why we have designed the “Foot Health Care Practitioner Diploma” course as a fully comprehensive guide to professional foot health care to answer all those questions. And we will walk alongside you as you take every step into a new future.
Because it’s not enough to just give you the information you need to succeed in this exciting new business we want to do everything possible to ensure your new career path starts on the right foot.
Not only will you have the services of a course advisor but your progress will be accelerated with the help of your very own personal foot health care expert as a personal tutor. We guide you personally through all the winding steps of foot health care and setting up a professional foot health practice.
In addition, assignments completed during the course provide the perfect opportunity for helpful feedback from our foot health tutors.
How will I get experience?
- We show you how to gain experience as you branch out on your own. We reveal how you start by working with friends and family, moving as you grow in confidence to work first on a pro bono or charity basis, then charging modest fees. And as your diary fills, you'll be charging more to new clients. All of this is detailed in the course.
A career that fits around your needs
Just imagine the freedom of being your own boss at last. You decide when and how you work. You decide when to take your holidays. You choose whether to work weekends or not. You get to set your own fees. Just one of the exciting aspects of becoming a foot health care practitioner is the flexibility it gives you to work as you like.
There are so many different ways you can work with your clients, including:
- Home-based clinic--a great way to start. You have your own familiar space and your initial set-up costs will be lower, as you already have the premises and phone connections. Watch your income grow as your reputation spreads through the neighbourhood.
- Mobile clinic, visiting clients in their homes. This is a great way to get to know the communities around you and expand your business because many of your clients (especially the elderly) find it difficult to leave their houses.
- Rent an inexpensive room as a separate private clinic. There are plenty of places you can find inexpensive rooms for rent. Having your own rooms in a shopping centre or other area with high foot traffic is a great way to promote your services. It gives your business an aura of professionalism and allows you to keep your home life separate.
- Share an established clinic as a partner. Shared costs and networking can open up new horizons for your business.
- Find a job with an employer--gives you job security.
- Work as an assistant to an established podiatrist - perhaps you’ll be inspired to continue your training to become a qualified podiatrist.
In fact, you might use a variety of these approaches in your career.
I would like to take this opportunity to praise my tutor. The syllabus and assignments were challenging which stretched me, but more than anything it was the positive constructive feedback from Karen which helped to encourage and educate me.
I would definitely recommend anyone to access education via the Blackford Centre, specifically the Level 4 Foot Care Practitioner course.
With Karen's feedback, suggestions and online videos I feel I have learnt more than I would have in a class room with other individuals to distract me and slow my progress.
- Erica Ainsworth
Foot health care—it can only get better
Now is the time to establish yourself in this fast growing area of health care. According to ageuk.org more than 30% of senior citizens cannot cut their own toenails.
- The number of senior citizens is rapidly growing. Inevitably they suffer from foot health issues.
- Diabetes: The increasing numbers of diabetes and other circulation related foot problems will ensure that foot health care remains a growth profession.
- Sports people and dancers give their feet a tough time and so need to pay special attention to the health of their feet. They will pay for regular expert attention.
- Beauty and foot care: The general population is beginning to recognise the importance of looking after their feet and want some pampering for their hard working feet.
Many of these clients will become regular and grateful customers – because nails keep growing and we keep walking on out feet. We recommend that patients have a check up every six months at least, and more often for clients with more severe problems. This means a continuing source of income for you. Your long-term relationships are rewarding and bring real pleasure to your professional life . You will enrich the lives of your clients, many of whom are lonely. And each day will send you a wealth of new and exciting challenges and fascinating clients.
As you can imagine, people don’t want to go on a waiting list or risk being turned down. They want quick solutions to their problems, especially when they're in pain. Which is why people need a foot health specialist.
What makes this diploma better than others?
The Blackford Centre’s “Foot Health Care Practitioner Diploma” course is designed by experts to help you become a foot health care professional and have the freedom you’ve always dreamed.
The 9 modules take you step-by-step through all the intricacies of foot health care. You will learn all you need to know plus gain some priceless support and guidance on setting up your new business and addressing health and safety issues.
The course is are structured to give you the information you need in a logical and easy-to-digest way. Videos of professionals in real-life situations give you the invaluable insights you need; it’s the closest thing to hands-on training you can get.
You'll have the personal support of an experienced tutor who's an expert in foot health care. They are there beside you to answer your questions and to help you get the most out of the course.
The assignments provide a fantastic opportunity to gain feedback from your tutors. And at the completion of the course you will receive a handsome diploma for your clinic and a Level 4 award from ABC Awards.
The choice of a) printed hard copy study materials and online content or b) online-only content gives you an option for lowering your study costs.
But you remain in control of when you study. It’s your time and you choose when you complete your assignments—perfect for when you need to fit around existing work commitments or family demands.
Why the Blackford Centre?
The Blackford Centre has been running highly regarded professional training courses for more than twenty years. Our experience, our expert tutors and course writers ensure that you receive only the best most effective training for your money.
Our online courses give you the freedom to study anywhere in the world and in your own time. There are no classes to attend because it’s all online. This means you are in control of your learning.
The Blackford Centre is registered with the UK Register of Learning Providers (UK Provider Reference Number 10009490).
Our courses have been used by companies such as: Land Rover, Royal Mail, Jaguar, Marks and Spencer, RAF, Selfridges, Easyjet, Unilever, HM Revenue and Customs, Medway Council and many others.
Our lengthy and growing list of satisfied customers is your guarantee of a deeply satisfying and richly rewarding course.
If you have any questions, call us on 087 55 10 850 (or +27 65 317 8848 if you're outside South Africa) and we'll answer any queries you might have.
We look forward to helping you succeed.
With best wishes
an advisor on