What is the purpose behind ACPD?


The Australasian Council of Podiatry Deans (ACPD) was established in June 2019 to promote excellence in podiatry education through collaboration between providers in Australia and New Zealand. During the past 3.5 years, the ACPD has developed as a supportive group of podiatry program leaders who work collaboratively to address issues relevant to the education of undergraduate and postgraduate podiatry students.


What objectives lie behind this purpose?


The ACPD’s objectives include:


  • Facilitating the best educational environment to produce excellent graduates.
  • Being a representative body to foster communication and relationships, and advocate for podiatry with state and national governments, universities, regulators, professions and societies at large.
  • Raising awareness of the role of podiatry and podiatry education.
  • Engaging in public debate concerning podiatry as it relates to the education of podiatrists.
  • Proactively identifying and addressing matters that impact on podiatry education locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Providing a network to foster improved communication and support between members, programs and other groups.


What kinds of initiatives has the ACPD been involved in so far?


  • The ACPD completed a cross-institutional pilot study in 2021, to understand undergraduate students’ choices to study podiatry. Dr Michelle Kaminski presented preliminary findings at the APodA’s, Australian Podiatry Conference 2021 ‘Why do people choose to study podiatry?’ The main study was launched early in 2022 to seek feedback from podiatry students and comparative data from other allied health students.
  • The ACPD collaborated with the APodA in 2021 to develop a marketing strategy to potentially inform course promotion activity in universities. The APodA is excited to continue to work closely with the ACPD towards the development of the profession and its workforce.
  • The ACPD developed consensus-based guidelines for assessment of Work Integrated Learning of Podiatry students, which was recently published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. Consensus-based statements for assessing clinical competency in podiatry-related work integrated learning | Journal of Foot and Ankle Research | Full Text (biomedcentral.com). These guidelines will be used to further develop a common assessment tool to assess all podiatry students on clinical placements.


What’s next on the horizon for the ACPD?


The ACPD will continue to advocate for podiatry at a national level, through the Chairs of Allied Health Councils joint forum. In addition to the work on student recruitment, ACPD members are collaborating on a range of projects including:


  • Environmental sustainability in podiatry practice.
  • Culturally responsive practice in podiatry.
  • Enabling a competitive funding source for education-related research projects.
  • Increasing student enrolments and securing the future of podiatry programs, to build a sustainable workforce.


Where can I learn more about related workforce issues?