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Scope of Practice

Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry) Scope of Practice

Toenail Cutting Assistant Practitioner

Working as an assistant practitioner (podiatry) 
Foundation Degree/SCP equivalent or SCP accredited programmes.
Intermediate Clinical Skills

Administrative Skills
Information Management
Communication Skills
Health and Safety
Stock Management
Record Keeping
Caseload Management
Assist in research data Collection

Clinical Skills
Patient Preparation
Clinical environment preparation
Pathological nails (low risk patients)
Non-pathological callus (Footfile/Moores Disc)
Wound management (low risk – treatment plan delegated by podiatrist)
Physical therapies in accordance with a care plan
Application of skin care products
Application of emollients
Assist in application of dressings/re-dressings
Orthotics casting , manufacture and supply
Assist in nail surgery
Basic Life Support

Miscellaneous duties

Health education
Footwear advice
Diabetic screening (according to an agreed proforma)

Case Load
Some pathological nails
No, low or moderate medical need in combination with no/low podiatric need.

Nail clippers, nail files, drill (including Moores Discs), skin dressers, monofilament and tuning fork.


If you elect to delegate a task, or temporarily transfer the care of a client or patient to an assistant practitioner, you are responsible for the outcome.

Before delegation of a patient takes place the patient must be assessed by a podiatrist and must be re-assessed on at least an annual basis. This will safeguard all parties involved i.e the podiatrist, the assistant practitioner, the employer and the patient

You must ensure that you have appropriately assessed the patient and that the person to whom you have delegated:

  1. Understands what is expected of them and has a clear written treatment plan with expected outcomes with target dates

  2. Has the knowledge, skills and recognised qualification or experience to carry out what you have asked them to do safely and effectively

  3. Is appropriately supervised

  4. Is aware of when and under what circumstances the patient should be referred back for a reassessment

  5. Is able to refer the patient back to you or another podiatrist without delay/immediately if they are uncertain or concerned in any way as to the patient’s changed health status or their response to the treatment being provided

If they tell you that they are unwilling or unable to carry out a particular task or to continue with the care of a particular patient, you must not endanger the patient by forcing them to do so.  You should explore the reasons and identify any training issues before making any decisions as to what to do.


Appropriate supervision does not necessarily mean that the assistant practitioner (podiatry) needs to be working in the same location. Providing work has been delegated according to their level of knowledge and skill, then it should be sufficient to be available for reference. However delegated work should annually be reviewed in line with the agreed treatment plan.