Plymouth academics take on key roles within College of Podiatry

Two academics from the University of Plymouth have been elected to senior positions within the College of Podiatry – the public facing and academic arm of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the professional body for the UK’s registered podiatrists.

Dr Sally Abey, Programme Lead for Podiatry, has been elected as Dean of the College’s Directorate of Education, and Emma Cowley, Lecturer in Podiatry, has been named Vice-Dean of the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine. 

The College of Podiatry is made up of five directorates: Education, Podiatric Medicine, Podiatric Surgery, Public Sector Management, and Private and Independent Practice. 

Sally and Emma will be working together and with the teams at the College of Podiatry to undertake the posts alongside their University roles – informing and influencing academic learning and research, and educating and raising awareness of the importance of foot health.

In her capacity as co-lead of MSK: UK, the College of Podiatry Specialist Advisory Group for musculoskeletal podiatry, Emma has already contributed to the Parliamentary debate on whether women can be made to wear high heels as part of a workplace uniform

Her new role will see her work alongside the Dean of the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine, Dr Jane McAdam from the University of Salford, to develop the Directorate over the next three years. In particular, they will be developing a career spine for podiatrists and undergraduate podiatry students, which Emma initially proposed, to facilitate career progression in private sector practice. 

Emma said:

“I’m really pleased to be taking on the role and hope I can help to raise the profile of podiatry as a clinical and academic discipline – as it’s something that people haven’t necessarily heard of until they really need it. Among its responsibilities, the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine functions to approve short CPD courses and develop competency frameworks for podiatric sub-specialties with associated Special Advisory Groups, and I’m looking forward to furthering career development of our professionals as part of my position as Vice-Dean.”

Link to Emma Cowley's staff profile

In her new role as Dean of the College’s Directorate of Education, Sally is keen to look at developing advanced practitioner roles, where podiatrists have an extended scope of practice – such as assessing for aortic aneurisms while working in the area of vascular medicine.

The Directorate of Education is the advisory body on all matters relating to higher education awards of direct relevance to podiatry, at pre- and post-registration levels, and ensuring that good channels of communication are facilitated between the providers of accredited programmes and the College of Podiatry.

Sally said:

“This is an exciting time to have been elected as Dean of the Directorate of Education as the College has a new strategic vision for raising public awareness around podiatry and the significant part it plays in foot health. I am looking forward to taking on the challenges and opportunities it brings.”
Link to Sally Abey's staff profile

Bernhard Haas, Interim Head of the School of Health Professions at the University of Plymouth, said:

“As a School, we are very proud of Sally and Emma for taking on these roles, and are delighted that they are leading the way in shaping the future of their profession.”

Fani Mela – BSc (Hons) Podiatry

Being part of the Plymouth University family, has really kept me focused, dedicated and devoted. With the support and guidance of my lecturers, I graduated with a First class honours degree, proving that the “language barrier” was never a barrier!

Fani tells us about her career path since graduation and why she would recommend studying a degree at Plymouth University

Learn more about Fani Mela

BSc (Hons) Podiatry

Podiatry is a rewarding and challenging healthcare profession involving assessment and treatment of patients with foot and lower limb pathology and musculoskeletal function. Placements in clinical practice are an integral part of podiatry training.

As a podiatry graduate you will be a highly skilled health professional who can work confidently with a variety of patients.

Learn more about BSc (Hons) Podiatry