Forensic Podiatry FAQs

  1. What is forensic podiatry?

    Forensic podiatry has been defined as "the application of sound and researched podiatry knowledge and experience in forensic investigations, to show the association of an individual with a scene of crime, or to answer any other legal question concerned with the foot or footwear that requires knowledge of the functioning foot". (Vernon D.W., McCourt F.J., “Forensic podiatry – a review and definition”, British Journal of Podiatry, Vol. 2, No. 2, May 1999, p. 45 – 48.).

  2. Who are forensic Podiatrists and what do they do?

    The forensic podiatry sub-committee have produced a document entitled "The Role and Scope of Forensic Podiatry", which covers the training, education, role and scope of practice for the discipline.

  3. Purpose of this subcommittee is to:

    Lead on all matters relating to forensic podiatry as recognized and practiced under the auspices of the IAI.

  4. How do I request to serve on this subcommittee?

    Anyone interested in serving on this sub-committee should contact the Chair of the Sub-Committee in writing (e-mail or hard copy) to express an interest in serving on the committee and at the same time submit a brief resume to confirm that they are suitably qualified to represent the discipline in this way.

  5. What are the terms for serving on the committee?

    The terms for serving on the forensic podiatry sub-committee are as follows:

    1. To serve on the sub-committee for the duration of the President's term of office (usually 12 months).
    2. To maintain and uphold the standards of the IAI in general and the forensic podiatry discipline in particular.
    3. To attend, if present, the annual business meeting of the sub-committee which will be held at the IAI conference/training seminar.
    4. To respond to requests from the sub-committee chair and the IAI via the sub-committee chair for information and comment.
    5. To actively participate in the sub-committee programme of work and development.
    6. To develop and recommend membership qualifications and standards for the forensic podiatry discipline.

  6. What are the responsibilities of the Chairperson?

    The responsibilities of the Chairperson are as follows:

    1. To lead the forensic podiatry sub-committee.
    2. To attend and chair the annual business meeting of the sub-committee which will be held at the IAI conference/training seminar.
    3. To recommend appropriate sub-committee membership to the President of the IAI for the coming year.
    4. To recommend the formation of special committees and sub committees to the President of the IAI as required.
    5. To screen applications for membership of the IAI within the forensic podiatry discipline and provide a judgment as to suitability for membership.
    6. Where possible, to instigate and hold an educational breakout session for the forensic podiatry discipline at the annual IAI International Educational Conference.
    7. To make recommendations as required to the Chair of the Science and Practice Committee on matters pertinent to the forensic podiatry discipline.
    8. To act as a professional resource for the forensic podiatry discipline.
    9. To act as an expert witness for investigations and hearings which relate to the forensic podiatry discipline.
    10. To provide written reports as required by the IAI in relation to the activities of the forensic podiatry sub-committee.
    11. To liaise with other sub-committee within the IAI whose work closely relates to that of the forensic podiatry disciplines (e.g. Footwear and TireTrack) as required.

  7. Who can I contact to obtain information regarding this subcommittee?

    Information regarding the forensic podiatry sub-committee can be obtained from the Chair of the sub-committee, which for 2009 is:

    Professor Wesley Vernon OBE
    Chair of the IAI Forensic Podiatry Sub-Committee
    c/o Sheffield Podiatry Service
    Jordanthorpe Health Centre
    1 Dyche Close
    Sheffield
    S8 8DJ
    Tel: +44 114 2371183
    Fax: +44 114 -2377531


  8. Are there any requirements for obtaining employment in the Forensic Podiatry discipline?

    As Podiatrists commonly work in discrete clinical practices, or are based within the health community, it would be unusual for a Podiatrist to be employed solely in a forensic capacity. The Role and Scope of Practice document does however define the education and training recommended for forensic podiatrists, which are as follows:

    1. Initial gaining of qualification as a Podiatrist.
    2. Gaining post graduate knowledge of specific relevance to the practice of forensic podiatry. (e.g., M-level study in relevant areas, forensic science/forensic identification study, research, or demonstrable experience).
    3. Becoming competent as a forensic practitioner (e.g. through Forensic science/forensic identification study, workshop, seminar, or conference attendance, comparative analysis training, expert witness training, assessed mock case working, supervised assistant work, mentorship). It has been suggested that this final phase of training as a forensic podiatrist could not be completed in less than 12 months.

  9. What source(s) such as a website, standards, best practices or guidance that is utilized by practitioners working in this field?

    Forensic podiatry is a very recent discipline within the IAI and work is in progress to publish standards, best practice and guidance for the discipline. The following sources are currently available however:

    Website-based information The IAI Role and Scope of Practice of Forensic Podiatry document.

  10. Can you provide recommendations on where to find information and resources to support research or a science project for

    1. Elementary school
    2. High school
    3. College
    4. Practitioners in the field

    Forensic podiatry is so new that literature written appropriately for elementary and high school readers is not yet available. For Undergraduate and Post graduate, University students and practitioners, the sub-committee is currently compiling a comprehensive reference database, which should be available in 2010.