Who We Are
The FIP began in 1947 as the Federation Internationale des Podologues. A group of French-speaking national organisations in Belgium, France, and Switzerland were responsible for its creation. Madam Decosterd of a Swiss organisation was the first President, and the first Congress was held in Zurich in 1953.
In the next two decades, the Federation grew to include other national organisations within Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Individuals from the United States of America also became involved but never formally. Leonardo Escachs of a Spanish organisation became the second President. Around this time the Federation became registered in Spain and the offices of FIP also moved to Spain. Karl-Heinz Hamme of a German organisation became the third President.
In 1973 the FIP created an independent body, the Comite de liaison des Podologues de la Communaute Europeenne (CLPCE) to defend the interests of the profession within the EEC. Robert Van Lith, President of the Belgian organisation ABP, became its first President. In 1975 an agreed European syllabus document was signed by eight of the FIP member organisations, and lodged with the relevant department of the European Commission. The document was largely the work of Peter Read and Ravi Suvarna, delegates of the United Kingdom organisation SOCAP, and based on the United Kingdom’s own common syllabus.
In 1993 the FIP became the FIPP with the addition of the words “et Podiatres” to its title, and a logo bearing the new title adopted. On becoming President Robert Van lith began the process of updating the statutes (articles of association) and byelaws and of moving the FIP headquarters from Spain to Paris. As part of this process the CLPCE, which until then was an independent body from FIP, became a commission within the FIPP, alongside the Group de Reflection that was renamed the International College of Teachers of Podiatric Medicine (ICTPM). An Executive Board was also set up to run the affairs of the FIPP between annual meetings.
In January of 2001, the FIP Board called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Paris for the purpose of developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the future of the Federation. The discussions had been initiated at the AGM in Geneva, Switzerland the previous year on the Federations changing role and objectives in the context of increasing globalisation of academic and practitioner standards. At the start of the EGM, a number of routine items were swiftly dealt with.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) was unanimously admitted to membership and the meeting accepted APMA’s invitation to hold the next FIP World Congress in Boston in collaboration with APMA’s own annual scientific conference in 2004. The meeting also agreed to support a proposal to designate each May as “International Foot Health Month” from 2002.
The 2016 AGM held in Montreal, Canada confirmed the denomination of the Federation as the International Federation of Podiatrists – Fédération Internationale des Podologues with the abbreviation FIP-IFP.
In 2016 the FIP-IFP hosted the best World Congress in its history. The Palais des Congrès of Montreal welcomed over 850 of the world’s leading specialists in foot care over 3 days. The conference opened up with the flag ceremony followed by the address of the FIP-IFP President, Carine Haemels. The cultural entertainment was provided by a cirque performance by Cirque Fantastique, followed by the Keynote by Dr. John Bell which rocked the audience. This event was co-hosted by the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP-IFP) and the Canadian Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA).
Since 1947 the International Federation of Podiatrists – Fédération Internationale des Podologues has represented podiatrists and the podiatry profession worldwide. We have seen tremendous changes and advances in the field of podiatry during the course of our history. We are filled with great optimism and excitement, as we reflect on our achievements and look to future opportunities in the field of Podiatry. We see our membership growing and see the dedication of all Podiatrists as they strive to achieve the highest level of podiatric practice and education. We witness governments recognizing the podiatric profession and integrating podiatrists into their health systems.
The International Federation of Podiatrists is in the driver’s seat as the voice for the podiatric professional globally, leading advocacy efforts to promote general foot healthcare, and changing the future of those with foot and ankle ailments.
Our ability to succeed in this endeavor will only be possible through strong partnerships and collaboration. Advances in podiatry are happening around the world, let’s foster more of them, together